Charles Leclerc says he doesn’t expect Ferrari’s rushed updates ahead of the F1 Styrian Grand Prix to recover much in terms of lap time but admits they are crucial to confirming the team is heading in the right direction with development.

Ferrari comes into the second event of the 2020 F1 season reeling after a lacklustre season opener at the Red Bull Ring that saw Leclerc qualify almost a second slower than he managed at the same venue a year before.

While he recovered to second in the race after maximising his opportunities in a frantic final few laps, both drivers were critical of the cars lack of performance, which they put down to a number of issues.



Though Ferrari had originally planned to bring updates to round three in Hungary, it has rushed some of these to appear in Austria this weekend, including a revised front wing.

For now Leclerc doesn’t believe the changes will make a huge difference to their standing in the pecking order but admits they need to show the team is working in the right direction going forward or be in greater trouble as a result.

“We are bringing some updates on the car, we don’t know how much we’ll gain and if it will put us in contention for the podium but realistically it is going to be very difficult because Red Bull and Mercedes are very quick,” he said. “

“Of course, the safety car helped last week but we also made the best of our opportunities and I think anything is possible if we do the same this weekend. But if we can be on the podium with pure performance, I don’t think so but we are working to change this.”

“It will be important that these updates are working the proper way and shows we have been working in the right direction, if not then it will be a bad sign, But I am confident this update will bring some performance in the car, but how much… let’s see.”

Team-mate Sebastian Vettel, who suffered with handling problems throughout Sunday’s race en route to tenth position, agrees but says it is useful to do a direct comparison at the same venue.

“It is still early in the season, we don’t know how long the season will be but for sure it will be a good indication for whether it is the right direction or not. You always have certain expectations but the best answer is the stop watch.

“On track, one is what we feel and the other is the clock. I am excited about it, it will be interesting to see a direct comparison to last weekend where we will end up.”



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