“I think it was definitely the case in Bahrain. I don’t think it was the case in Imola. Looking back at the data, a bit more into details, obviously at the beginning of the race, it was raining, we were quite quick under the rain, and then at the end once it was drying up, it was very difficult to overtake Lando.
“But we were actually I think a bit quicker compared to them. So yeah, we were a bit more confident after the race in Imola compared to the one in Bahrain.”
Leclerc believes tyres will be crucial this weekend: “Last year I think the soft had a lot of graining, the soft runners had a lot of graining.
“I was not on the soft, but the ones that did were really, really quick in the first three/four laps, and then after that they fell off completely. Medium and hard, we could push on those tyres, but the soft is a question mark for this weekend.”
Leclerc’s team-mate Carlos Sainz expects Ferrari to be battling once again with McLaren, and within reach of pacesetters Red Bull and Mercedes.
“It’s going to be similar I think to the last few,” said the Spaniard. “It’s a track that has a very long straight, like Imola and Bahrain, but then a bit of a mixed section, with the corners where we know we are quite decent.
“It’s exciting, and it shows the team has done some good progress” Charles Leclerc
“So very similar, if I have to put my bet. I think what have you seen in the first couple of races is what you’re going to see here. It’s close with McLaren, it’s close to the front actually, it’s not that far away.
“It’s exciting, and it shows the team has done some good progress. It shows at the same time that Ferrari is still not where we want to be. And we were gonna keep pushing to improve.”