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Leclerc - Australian GP victory sparks F1 title belief

Leclerc - Australian GP victory sparks F1 title belief

F1 News

Leclerc - Australian GP victory sparks F1 title belief

Leclerc - Australian GP victory sparks F1 title belief

Charles Leclerc has claimed it is "difficult to think about the championship" but talked up his chances after taking a second win from three races.

Leclerc scored Ferrari's first grand slam victory since Fernando Alonso's success in the 2010 Singapore Grand Prix by starting from pole, leading every lap, setting the fastest lap and clinching the race victory.

Across the 58-lap duration, the Monégasque was troubled only at the two safety car restarts when reigning F1 champion Max Verstappen challenged.

This threat disappeared on lap 39, however, after the Red Bull driver retired to allow Leclerc a clear run to the flag.

"Obviously, we are only at the third race so it is difficult to think about the championship but to be honest, we have got a very strong car, a very reliable car too and for now, we have always been there," said Leclerc.

"So I hope it continues like this and if it does, we probably have a chance for the championship which makes me smile after the last two years that have been difficult for the team and obviously for myself."

Leclerc hails F1 first

Leclerc had scored all three of his previous wins from pole position but the Ferrari driver claimed this was the first occasion he felt he had been able to "control" the race.

"In Formula 1, it is the first one where we controlled a little bit the gap and honestly, what a car today," said Leclerc. "Of course, I did a good job all weekend but it was not possible without the car.

"And this weekend especially with race pace we were extremely strong. The tyres felt great from the first lap to the last lap. We were managing the tyres extremely well and I'm just so happy."

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