Charles Leclerc bats off Helmut Marko comments in worrying Ferrari admission

Charles Leclerc has claimed that he isn’t buying into Red Bull’s fears about Ferrari’s pace ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix, suggesting that he is worried that the team could struggle in relation to their rivals on Sunday.

The Scuderia produced their most impressive weekend of the season in front of a jubilant Tifosi crowd last weekend with Carlos Sainz taking his first pole position of the season before battling fiercely against Max Verstappen during the early stages of the race.

While Verstappen and eventually Sergio Perez muscled their way through at Monza, Singapore could bring a different outcome if the Italian team can secure another pole position or even a front-row lockout, given how difficult overtaking can be at this circuit.

Speaking to Sky Sports F1 about the team’s hopes for the Singapore GP, Leclerc said: “It’s nice to read that [Red Bull are worried about Ferrari], but I’m not buying it at all. I mean I really think that they will be the strongest this weekend, especially come race day.

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“In quali it may be close, but maybe not, I mean we don’t know. I think on a high downforce track like here, I expect us to struggle more than Monza, so I don’t think they will have any threat, I think they will be the fastest on track.”

The Monegasque driver has enjoyed plenty of previous success in Singapore without standing on the top step of the podium. After scoring points here in his rookie season with Sauber, Leclerc came close to making it three straight wins for Ferrari in 2019, eventually finishing just behind team-mate Sebastian Vettel.

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2022 was also a promising showing for Leclerc in Singapore. Ferrari’s star man pushed Sergio Perez all the way but was eventually forced to settle for second place following an immense defensive display from the Mexican. 

Marko had previously told Autosport that he was concerned about the threat posed by Ferrari this weekend, stating: “Like every race, we have had a competitive car everywhere so why should that not be the case in Singapore? But I have to say Ferrari and especially Leclerc is a specialist around there.

“If they are faster in qualifying, then it could become a problem for us because overtaking in Singapore is very difficult. But I’m still optimistic that the package we are bringing to Singapore is good enough to win.”

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