Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc is sure that the other teams have plenty of potential to show in the coming week of testing next week in Barcelona, and believes main rivals Red Bull and Mercedes are sandbagging. Both Leclerc and teammate Sebastian Vettel today the timesheets in the opening two days.
The first week of testing has come to a close with Thursday's running, and despite finishing behind their German rivals on that day's pecking order, Leclerc is adamant that they still have a lot to show.
“The performance has no sense for now because it’s testing, they are not pushing and we are not either,” Leclerc told Autosport. "We don’t know how much the others are sandbagging. So, we’ll see at the first race.The main importance for this test is to do the programme of the day and that’s what we’re doing, so we’re happy.”
Ferrari have been looking exceptionally strong over the course of the week, with Vettel completing 169 laps as long as setting the fastest time on the opening day last Tuesday. Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull's Christian Horner are amongst those who believe Ferrari are the team to beat.
“As Seb said it doesn’t feel like a new car,” he said. “It feels like it’s already quite an established car," Leclerc added. "We need to keep pushing. The other teams are sandbagging.
“We need to see how much they are, but we are pretty happy with the car at the moment. I already feel quite at ease with the car. There’s still a lot I need to get at ease with but already the feeling is very good.”