Leclerc expects Red Bull strength to be ‘more visible’ in Barcelona

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Red Bull and Max Verstappen came out on top of last weekend’s eventful Canadian Grand Prix, but Charles Leclerc expects the strength showcased by the bulls earlier this season to be on full display once again in F1’s upcoming rounds.

After dominating the early part of the F1 season, Red Bull has suffered a difficult run of races due in large part to its car’s lack of compliance when it comes to handling bumps and kerbs.

The team was beaten by McLaren and Lando Norris in Miami and suffered another significant defeat in Monaco where Ferrari and Leclerc prevailed.

Slowly but surely, Red Bull’s rivals have been closing in on the Milton Keynes-based outfit

However, as the season progresses, and the calendar moves towards F1’s more traditional tracks, Leclerc anticipates Red Bull being back in top form, with venues like Barcelona, the Red Bull Ring, and Silverstone playing to the basic strengths of Red bull’s RB20.

"I feel like the strength of Red Bull will be more visible on a track like Barcelona," Leclerc said in Montreal, after suffering his first DNF of the season.

"But let's wait and see. And behind [Red Bull] I think we'll all be pretty close."

Mercedes charger George Russell, who claimed in Canada his second career pole in F1 and his first podium of the season, echoed his Ferrari counterpart’s view regarding Red Bull ramping up its performance once again at upcoming European tracks.

"It's no secret they've struggled a bit with their car these last three races. Yet they've still won two of the last three," Russell noted.

"So I expect them to probably take a small step when we go back to the European races on more conventional circuits.

"We need to see how their performance turns out in Barcelona, but this pace increase that we've seen from us this weekend, it hasn't been a surprise to us because all the numbers back at the factory told us we're going to be finding a big chunk of performance with these upgrades.

"So Barcelona is going to be interesting for everybody, but I'm confident we can be in the fight."

Leclerc admitted that Ferrari was still in the process of optimizing its package, which includes ironing out what he sees as the SF-24’s main weakness.

"I still believe that one of our weaknesses is the long, slow speed corners, we struggled quite a bit in China because of that," the Monegasque explained.

"This is still an area that we need to work on with the car - so I will say it is the main issue to address, but it is not only that.

“There are a lot of little details, added up together, that make a difference, and just a new package with a bit more downforce and a bit less drag, it is completely obvious it won't be enough to close the gap.

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