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Leclerc: Ferrari expected more pace in Suzuka

Leclerc: Ferrari expected more pace in Suzuka

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Leclerc: Ferrari expected more pace in Suzuka

Leclerc: Ferrari expected more pace in Suzuka

Charles Leclerc admitted that Ferrari's performance on Friday at the Japanese Grand Prix fell short of expectations.

Bother Mercedes and the Red Bull of Max Verstappen finished practice quicker than Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel, who saw late runs in FP2 do little to bridge the gap, despite favourable track conditions.

With Saturdays running cancelled due to Typhoon Hagibis, the Scuderia now have a full day to mull over how to plug the gap ahead of Sunday morning's qualifying, when Leclerc will go in search of a fifth-straight pole position.

While the Monegasque admitted his performance was not stellar in Friday's sessions, the lack of pace still left him scratching his head.

"I think we made the most out of our day, which was the most important, but it seems we are lacking pace this weekend, which is a bit of a surprise," Leclerc said.

"Because at the end we were very strong in the last four races, we expected to be quite good here, but, yeah, it's less the case.

"The long run was not great compared to Mercedes. I think we were quite okay compared to Red Bull, more or less the same - I need to check the data, I haven't checked everything.

"On the low fuel it seems that we are lacking a little bit of pace at the moment, so we need to work on that and to try to understand. The car didn't feel bad, the balance was quite good, but it seems that we are maybe lacking a little bit of overall grip.

"But I believe that I didn't drive very well today, so I need to work on driving first.

"Then we've got a few set-up changes to do on the car, and hopefully putting everything together we'll do a step forward."

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