Charles Leclerc is "confident" Ferrari can keep up with Red Bull in F1's development race after Max Verstappen took victory at the Miami Grand Prix.
Ferrari looked the class of the field early in pre-season testing and in Bahrain and Australia but reigning champion Verstappen has made the most of upgrades to the RB18 to take three wins from the first five races.
Red Bull has historically been strong on the developmental front across the course of a season but championship leader Leclerc insisted: “The concern is not there.
"Of course, they have been improving. I think we all expected them to be improving.
"They are a very strong team and we are aware of this so it is not a surprise. But I am also confident about my team and I am sure that we will bring upgrades that will bring us back to the top, I hope so.
“But we are working well and we have been working well the last two years to come back on top so I hope that those upgrades will help us to challenge them again."
Leclerc concedes Miami victory hopes faded fast
Leclerc was overtaken by Verstappen in the opening stages of the inaugural Miami event but was afforded the opportunity to attack late on due to a safety car triggered by Pierre Gasly and Lando Norris.
Despite his best efforts, the Red Bull had too much straight-line speed and soon pulled to a comfortable margin.
“Honestly, maybe just after the safety car I thought there would have been an opportunity to go for it," explained Leclerc.
"Of course, there was no DRS, so it made our life a bit difficult.
"Apart from that, I think on the medium it was pretty clear that they were stronger and on the hard, I knew we had the pace to challenge them but, obviously, with the gap that there was after the medium stint, I knew that it was going to be very difficult to come back.
“But with the safety car, for two or three laps I believed in it. After that, once the DRS was activated, it was already starting to be better and better for Max.”
Additional reporting by Ian Parkes