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Verstappen confident of Leclerc reversal after Red Bull issues
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Verstappen confident of Leclerc reversal after Red Bull issues

Verstappen confident of Leclerc reversal after Red Bull issues

Verstappen confident of Leclerc reversal after Red Bull issues

Verstappen confident of Leclerc reversal after Red Bull issues

Max Verstappen is buoyant ahead of the French Grand Prix despite Charles Leclerc's dominant pole position at Paul Ricard.

The Ferrari driver finished three-tenths faster than reigning F1 champion Verstappen, with Leclerc benefitting from clever strategy from the Scuderia after Carlos Sainz - who is taking a back-of-the-grid penalty for a PU change - was used to provide a tow for the Monégasque in Q3.

Red Bull has traded cornering speed for straight-line speed with trimmed-out aerodynamics and Verstappen believes that could be the difference come race day.

Having finished top of final practice, Verstappen said: "Well FP3 is not qualifying clearly, but overall we were lacking a bit in qualifying, just general grip.

"So it was a bit more tricky than I would have hoped but overall I think we still have a decent race car.

"Hopefully, tomorrow it will come to our favour, we are quick on the straight so hopefully we can use that tomorrow."

"It is also going to be warmer but clearly they were very quick again."

Perez hails bounce-back from "worst weekend"

Verstappen's team-mate Sergio Perez had been well adrift of the Dutchman and Leclerc all weekend and had looked as though a fight with Mercedes was likely for the second row of the grid.

But the Mexican finished third and a tenth down on Verstappen to complete a comeback and set up a two-pronged attack against the lone Ferrari.

"It has been a good recovery. I have been nowhere the whole weekend to be honest," conceded Perez.

"I have been struggling a lot, it probably has been my worst weekend up to qualifying really and finally, we managed to recover well in quali.

"That definitely will be the target tomorrow, try to recover and beat all the red cars."

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