Ferrari’s current predicament in Formula 1 is such that it cannot yet consider fighting for podium positions, let alone wins, according to Charles Leclerc.
Ferrari has endured its worst start to a Formula 1 campaign in over a decade, having taken just 19 points from the opening two races, and holds only fifth in the standings.
The squad had one car drop out in Q2 at each event in Austria and accelerated development of its updates, which could not be trialled in race trim after Leclerc hit Sebastian Vettel on the opening lap.
Leclerc and Vettel insisted that the collision is now firmly in the past but the Monegasque was downbeat over Ferrari’s prospects at the Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend.
“Realistically we are struggling with the performance at the moment,” said Leclerc.
“I don’t think we can consider ourselves fighting for podiums at the moment, but we will try to change that and we are working as hard as possible to try and change this.
“Last year we were also struggling on this track, this year we have a different car, hopefully the changes made on the balance will help us but I doubt it will be a very different picture to the previous weekends.
“So I’m expecting that it will be a similar picture to the previous weekends.”
Leclerc did however take a podium finish at the season-opener, but that was only after several cars ahead retired in a race which saw just 11 cars make the chequered flag.
Vettel’s return of a solitary point after two events is his lowest tally at this point of a season since 2009.
“Sunday would have helped us to understand better also at the same track, to see the pace one weekend and then the next weekend,” said Vettel.
“But then again the team has a lot of experience, we know coming here what this track is about, the tyres and so on, so I think we will get the final confirmation this week.
“We know that the parts have worked, we would have liked them to obviously be a game changer, it doesn’t look at this stage like that, but then again we’re let to confirm them in real race conditions.
“So I think it will be interesting and we are excited to see where the car is tomorrow and especially in the race.”