"No more pressure, it will be a normal weekend"

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Charles Leclerc is already aware that his Brazilian Grand Prix will be an uphill race. The ten penalty positions (linked to the use of the fourth seasonal thermal V6) will force him to start the race in the second half of the grid, but he will be able to count on a zero-kilometer engine that should help on the long Interlagos straight that leads to 'S' of Senna.

The 'hunter' version of Leclerc will have to defend the third position it occupies today in the Drivers' Championship standings, a ranking that sees it at +14 on Max Verstappen and +19 on Sebastian Vettel.

Normally a third place is not a placement so top drivers end their hair at the end of the season, but the dynamics of this season make this milestone take on an important significance. There is a challenge between teammates, and there is Verstappen, who even in light of the latest controversy would give much to mock the two reds …

You will lose 10 positions on Sunday's starting grid. Do you think this penalty could preclude you from being able to aim for the podium?
"I will believe it until the end, it could not be otherwise, but obviously to try to win a race it is better to start in front than behind. I think the choice to pay a penalty is the best in order to finish as late as possible in the end of season standings, maybe we will suffer a little here but I will be in a great position in Abu Dhabi ”.

Are you referring to the third position? Do you think that in light of the penalty is a more difficult goal to maintain?
"Undoubtedly, if Austin hadn't been there it would have been better, but in the light of what happened we made the right choices. And it's still all open ".

Do you think the verdicts of this weekend will take on a special meaning to be able to respond on the track to suspicions about your engine advanced by some of your opponents?
"For us it will be a normal weekend, we will concentrate as always on our work. We know well what we do, and we also know that there is no problem, so there will be absolutely no additional pressure because we don't have to prove anything different than usual. We are aware of what we do and we are so happy ”.

Will the specification of the heat engine be different than the one you used previously?
"The engine is exactly the same spec as the one we had problems with in Austin, so nothing new. We didn't talk about news, I heard by phone with the team and I was told that I would use the same specification as the previous one ”.

Do you still expect a small advantage from being able to use a fresh engine?
"I think it will be an advantage, both in qualifying and in the race, especially compared to what I had to use in Austin, which was far ahead with the mileage."

Do you understand what didn't work in your first race stint in the US GP?
"To be honest, we still don't have a clear answer. The balance of the car was very, very strange with this particular set of tires (medium compound) ".

What is Ferrari missing to win more races?
"The goal is always to win. It was the goal of the whole team this season and it will be for the next and subsequent ones. I don't think we are missing much, we just have to put it all together, and this is an extremely important aspect. I'm new to the team, and I think we improved together, the team and I, race after race, and the second part of the season was much more positive than the first. "

Seb this weekend will be playing his hundredth behind the wheel of a Ferrari. Imagine how many races you will be able to play with this team?
"I don't know, but I hope so many, 100 but even more. It is up to me to prove to Ferrari that I deserve the place I occupy, and I am working for it, I hope they confirm me until the day I say stop ”.

Going back to the controversy over the power unit, do I think the team is motivated to deny these rumors?
"As I said personally, I have no motivation to show that those who harbor these suspicions are wrong, we know what we do. We are also confident that the performances will return to normal this weekend, in Austin there were some things that did not go as we had hoped, and obviously having to use the power unit with an older specification was not a help. For my part, no extra motivation to prove that they are wrong ”.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari

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Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF90

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF90

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Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF90, in the pits

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF90, in the pits

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Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF90

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF90

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Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Cars by Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF90 back in pitlane

Cars by Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF90 back in pitlane

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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The car by Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF90

The car by Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF90

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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The car by Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF90

The car by Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF90

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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari

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Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF90, exceeds the Ferrari team at the pit wall

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF90, exceeds the Ferrari team at the pit wall

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Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF90

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF90

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Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari

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Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari

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Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, and Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, weigh in after Qualifying

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, and Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, weigh in after Qualifying

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Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF90

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF90

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Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF90, makes a pit stop

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF90, makes a pit stop

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Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF90, precedes Lando Norris, McLaren MCL34, Daniel Ricciardo, Renault F1 Team R.S.19, Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso STR14, and Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL34

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF90, precedes Lando Norris, McLaren MCL34, Daniel Ricciardo, Renault F1 Team R.S.19, Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso STR14, and Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL34

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Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images



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