Charles Leclerc believes Ferrari needs to find a comfortable compromise to perfect the balance of the SF1000 car with just two days left of pre-season testing.

Ferrari is targeting additional downforce with its 2020 F1 car to challenge the likes of Mercedes and Red Bull in its corner speed and stability, which Mattia Binotto expects to come with more drag and hurt its top speed, but Leclerc is encouraged by the team’s winter development.

But following his penultimate pre-season test outing for Ferrari he felt the team still needs to uncover a better balance with the new car before it can be confident of extracting optimum performance.

“I think the biggest strength is the speed around the corners. Then the weakness, I will not call it a weakness, but for now we still need to work on the balance of the car to just try and put the balance a bit more together from entry to exit of the corners,” Leclerc said. “That’s something that is normal during testing.

“To see the proper weaknesses I think we’ll have to wait and see for Melbourne qualifying once everyone is at the same fuel level, and everyone is trying to push their car at the maximum. Then obviously we’ve got the data of everyone in the paddock and it will be pretty clear where we are losing.”

Leclerc is also keeping his head down on Ferrari’s developments and isn’t looking to compare his team’s progress against its F1 rivals until testing finishes.

“We are focusing on ourselves compared to last year and trying to not look at what the others are doing,” he said. “We can’t control what they are doing and we can’t know what they are doing.

“I believe we will arrive in Melbourne not knowing exactly where we are compared to the others.”

Sebastian Vettel is on driving duty for the penultimate day of F1 pre-season testing before handing over to Leclerc for the final day tomorrow.

 

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