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Ferrari star fears F1 rivals have more 'potential' after strong Imola showing

Ferrari star fears F1 rivals have more 'potential' after strong Imola showing

Ferrari star fears F1 rivals have more 'potential' after strong Imola showing

Ferrari star fears F1 rivals have more 'potential' after strong Imola showing

Charles Leclerc has suggested that some of Ferrari's rivals may have been hiding their true pace earlier in the week at the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix.

Heading into Saturday's qualifying session, Ferrari looked to be favourites for pole position, with Leclerc himself outperforming team-mate Carlos Sainz throughout the weekend to give himself hope of a first pole since the 2023 Las Vegas GP.

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However, both McLarens and the Red Bull of Max Verstappen managed to outqualify both Leclerc and Sainz, with the Monegasque driver being the lead Ferrari.

That fourth position for Leclerc has been upgraded to a top three start due to a penalty for Oscar Piastri, but nonetheless the expectant Ferrari fans were left disappointed at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari.

Max Verstappen claimed pole position at Imola
Ferrari have been well-supported in Imola

Make or break time for Ferrari

Ferrari had brought upgrades to the weekend, as had Red Bull, McLaren and Mercedes, and were hoping to kick their season on.

Leclerc believes that time will tell as to whether or not those upgrades have worked, as well as accusing McLaren of 'sandbagging' throughout the weekend to hide their true pace.

"I think we need to wait and see a few races before judging them because we might not be running in the optimal window for this new package," he told media including GPFans after qualifying. "I'm sure there's more potential to unlock.

“Was today worse than expected, probably a little bit. We expected to be a bit closer. However, the season is still long and we still have plenty of ideas how to extract more of this package and I'm sure that we will in the next few races and that will be crucial for the rest of the season.

"I think that they [McLaren] were just running more fuel yesterday. They were hiding their game a bit more so or low engine mode or whatever they they did. I think they were just hiding their game a little bit more."

READ MORE: Horner opens up on Perez struggles after Imola shambles

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