Charles Leclerc bemoaned the massive gap between Ferrari and their competitors after the 2023 Azerbaijan GP on Sunday.
Although the Monagasque was quicker than in previous races, he was unable to keep both Red Bulls behind him. After a few laps, both Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen overtook Leclerc with ease.
Speaking to Viaplay, Leclerc explained how Ferrari are around 21 seconds behind Red Bull in terms of race pace. Although he was not satisfied with P3, he was happy to improve in Baku and have a smooth race without any mishaps or crashes, unlike in the first three races of the season.
Leclerc also said that even Aston Martin were quicker than Ferrari:
“Nope, Still not. I mean, yeah, we are 21 seconds behind the leaders so I cannot be satisfied. Having said that, considering the first three races of the season, I’m happy to have had a trouble-free weekend where we cooled (off and) scored some good points.
“But there’s still a lot of work to do. I mean the Aston Martin is a better car than I was in race pace. The Red Bull is a better car by quite a bit in terms of race pace too. So we have a lot of work to do.”
Charles Leclerc added that his team are pushing in the right direction and hopes that future upgrades will improve their performance:
“We are pushing in one direction that we think will be very helpful for the race. I cannot go more into details, but I hope this will pay off, of course. But let’s wait and see if in the next few races whether there’s an improvement in the right direction.”
Charles Leclerc admits that Ferrari cannot compete with Red Bull at the moment
After the 2023 Azerbaijan GP, Charles Leclerc said that it was nearly impossible to keep Red Bull behind and lead for 51 laps.
He talked about how he placed himself in front with a great lap in qualifying, but it was not enough to keep the Red Bulls at bay. The Ferrari driver said:
“Red Bull are in another league when it comes to the race. A very good (qualy) lap managed to put us in front, but over 51 laps, it was just not possible; they have so much pace than us in race pace. They found something that we didn’t yet.”
The pace difference was so massive that the Monagasque did not even try to defend against the two Red Bulls.