Leclerc Not Writing Off Mercedes Despite Early Baku F1 Struggles

Published 06/05/2021, 3:27 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Formula One – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – June 3, 2021 Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc during the press conference Pool via REUTERS/Francois Nel


The first two practice sessions of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix are been done and dusted. While it is known that Mercedes are not strong on street circuits, some drivers, such as Charles Leclerc of Ferrari, were surprised to see the pace of their drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, as they weren’t the fastest.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

However, the Monégasque believes the Silver Arrows will show their true pace during the qualifying session and will park their cars on the front row for Sunday’s race.

Charles Leclerc know’s Mercedes is hiding their pace

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Speaking after the session, Leclerc said, “Mercedes I don’t really know what happened either. But I pretty sure that they will be in front, and it will be basically a fight between McLaren, that are our main competitors. So we need to make sure that we have to do everything perfect.”

Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – May 19, 2021 Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc during a press conference ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix Pool via REUTERS/Sebastien Nogier

“Because they are doing very few mistakes this year. So we are going to try and maximize our potential this year and hopefully we can be ahead of them in quali,” Leclerc concluded.

Watch Story: Toto Wolff Swears, Valtteri Bottas Bares: Funniest Moments From Drive to Survive

How did the Silver Arrows perform in Baku?

It’s another street circuit at the Azerbaijan GP, and Mercedes didn’t seem to show their true potential around the circuit. In FP1, Hamilton only managed to put in the seventh fastest lap while teammate Bottas came 10th.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

In the second practice session, things went from bad to worse for the Brackley-based squad; the seven-time world champion, came 11th and Finland’s Bottas fell down to 16th fastest.

Formula One F1 – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – June 4, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in action during practice REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

The Silver Arrows need to find their winning formula if they want to have a good weekend at Baku and reclaim the lead in the championship from rivals Red Bull. With the intense pressure of qualifying rounds just hours away, Hamilton & Co hope they can find or show (if Leclerc’s words are to be believed, that is) their true pace.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

DIVE DEEPER

Valtteri Bottas Surprised After Toto Wolff Blamed Him for Mercedes’ F1 Pit Error in Monaco

12 days ago

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Arpit Gomes

459 articles

Arpit Gomes is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier’s Institute, he is a big fan of McLaren and their driver Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. Arpit always looks forward to the paddock moving to Spa and drivers dealing with the exciting Eau Rouge corner as well the straight at Monza.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT