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Difficult to keep up with AlphaTauri, says Leclerc

Motorsport: Formula One World Championship, Bahrain Grand Prix, qualifying. Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc (front) of Team Ferrari and his teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. of Spain take to the track from the pit lane. Photo: Hasan Bratic/dpa (Photo by Hasan Bratic/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Charles Leclerc qualified fourth for the Bahrain Grand Prix after a strong qualifying outing by Ferrari compared to last year; however, the Monegasque says it’ll be difficult to keep AlphaTauri behind.

Asked on whether Ferrari had chances to hold a competitive pace, Leclerc replied: “Yes… but it’s going to be difficult.

“I think AlphaTauri is very strong in the race pace with what they’ve shown on Friday, and they are starting on the medium too, so it’s going to be very difficult to keep them behind.

“I don’t think the first three are reachable yet for us, but with a bit more work, hopefully soon we will be able to fight with them.”

Leclerc also admitted that Ferrari’s pace in qualified “surprised” them, but states that they still have work to do.

“On the quali [pace], now we know, and it’s surprising us. We did not expect to be here. But I have to say, we need to keep our feet on the ground and it’s only the first quali of the year in very strange conditions, so I think we should be satisfied as a team of how much of a step we did compared to last year.

“If we looked last year we were fighting to go into Q2 and we didn’t make it. So this year to be P4 on the grid feels great,” he concluded.

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