The pole position secured on Friday has whetted Charles Leclerc’s appetite for his first win of the 2023 Formula 1 season. In Austin, the Monegasque driver will try to maintain his lead, knowing that the challenges will be numerous.
There will be many challenges for Charles Leclerc in Austin. Having clinched pole position on Friday, the Monegasque can certainly approach Sunday’s Grand Prix with optimism, but he remains cautious and refrains from getting carried away.
While initially, during the parc fermé interview, Charles Leclerc had expressed a hopeful desire for victory, he appeared more cautious during the press conference. “I think Max will come through, and there won’t be much to fight for,” he admitted honestly, predicting a swift comeback by Max Verstappen from the sixth grid slot.
The first hurdle between the Ferrari driver and victory is none other than the reigning world champion, Max Verstappen. But he’s not the only challenge.
Compounding the difficulties for Charles Leclerc’s pursuers is another persistent issue for Ferrari in 2023: tire degradation. After the Sprint Race, the Monegasque driver stated, “We’re struggling a bit with tire degradation. We need to see what we can do tomorrow because we’re finding it a bit tough at the moment.”
In this regard, the insights gathered through the differing strategy chosen by Carlos Sainz for the Sprint Race could be helpful. The Spanish driver ran the Saturday race with a set of soft tires, enduring some struggles but providing valuable information to the team. Charles Leclerc hopes this can be of assistance: “We have a lot of data to analyze. We used two different strategies, and now we understand the behavior of the two tire compounds. This could help us a bit for the race; we hope to take advantage of this small edge.” In the parc fermé, Leclerc had concluded: “And we hope to win.”
Hoping for Charles Leclerc’s victory in Austin is a matter for quite optimistic fans. Formula 1 is not an exact science, conditions can vary, and until proven otherwise, the driver starting from pole position will be the Monegasque driver.