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Leclerc: With a special lap, we can beat Red Bull in Qualifying

Leclerc: With a special lap, we can beat Red Bull in Qualifying

Leclerc: With a special lap, we can beat Red Bull in Qualifying
Charles Leclerc is looking to pull out a special lap in Qualifying for the 2023 Monaco Grand Prix, believing that would give him a head start over Red Bull for Sunday’s race.

Charles Leclerc has raced in Monaco four times since he became a Formula 1 driver with Alfa Romeo in 2018. He has two pole positions there (2021 and 2022), but a combination of bad lack, driver errors and strategy errors by Ferrari, meant that the Monegasque is yet to stand on the top step of the podium at his home race.

As for 2023, a maiden win at home still seems to be far fetched for the Ferrari driver, with Red Bull flying solo at the front of the F1 grid, winning all races so far this season, but Leclerc is hoping that if he delivers one of his “special” qualifying laps for pole in Q3 on Saturday, he would be in a good position to win the race on Sunday with overtaking being very difficult around Monaco.

“I think Red Bull is still the team to beat,” told the media on Thursday. “With a special lap, maybe we can beat them in Qualifying. In the race, they are extremely quick – but again on a track like this, overtaking is very difficult.”

Aston Martin may be a factor and bad luck…

But Leclerc is also wary of Aston Martin, whose Fernando Alonso is chasing a 33rd career win and believes a circuit like Monaco will present a decent opportunity to do so. There is also Mercedes and their B-Spec W14.

“Not only Red Bull is quick,” Leclerc pointed out. “Aston Martin will be in the mix. Mercedes arrived with a very different-looking car, which I’m curious to see how it performs. Then we need to see where we are and what’s possible.”

Leclerc lost out in 2022 to Sergio Perez, despite starting on pole, after Ferrari messed up his pit stop. In 2021 he was on pole as well, but crashed at the end of qualifying. On race day he broke down on his way to the grid with a busted driveshaft something Ferrari failed to inspect and fix after his qualifying crash.

When asked about his bad luck around Monaco; Leclerc responded: “I do not believe too much in luck, but it’s true that when you see the records, it’s not always been easy on race day.

“But Saturday was good, which I hope we can reproduce a good performance this Saturday, with a better Sunday this time,” the 19-time polesitter concluded.