Charles Leclerc hoped to challenge Red Bull after leading the way ahead of the third free practice session.
Leclerc initially led the Formula 1 drivers’ standings but current champion Max Vertsappen of Red Bull has since taken the No. 1 spot. A win could take him top of the leaderboard at the Baku Grand Prix in Azerbaijan this Sunday.
Speaking to Sky Sports before FP3 got underway, Leclerc played down any problems from the first two sessions, having set the fastest time on Friday afternoon.
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“Actually it was not power units, it was me. I had forgotten I had changed something which obviously made me lose power, but nothing there,” he said.
Asked if he had a good chance of competing, he stated: “I think it will be, we’ve had a good Friday. We improved a lot from FP1 to FP2 but there’s certain steps we need to do from today to tomorrow.
“I also feel that in FP2 nobody really put a lap in, neither did we. Neither Carlos [Sainz] nor Max did, actually, improve on the softs.
“The tire degradation was good and the race pace was very strong, that is good.”
While far from certain about re-establishing himself at the top of the pack on Sunday, he thought there was every chance he could eventually emerge victorious.
“I hope so!” he began. “Whether it will be this week or not, I don’t know. If we do everything perfect, I’m confident we’ll take it back at one point.”
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