Leclerc admits 'I don't know' if Ferrari could catch up in 2020

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Charles Leclerc admits he doesn't know if Ferrari could close back up on Mercedes & Red Bull if they start behind in 2020.

The performance of the Italian team was one of the big unknowns heading into the start of the season after a subdued six days of testing in Barcelona.

Publicly, team boss Mattia Binotto was insisting the SF1000 was behind their main rivals, while they were sure Ferrari had plenty of pace in reserve.

Leclerc too was equally cautious, though did take solace in how the Scuderia improved from a weak start during 2019.

“We’ve been struggling a bit during testing,” he explained, talking to the media last week. “So we need to catch up: whether we’ll be able to or not, I don’t know.

"Last year, we’ve had a good progression throughout the year so I think we need to keep working as we did last year and I’m pretty sure the results will come."

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But while a normal F1 season often sees a frantic development race with teams pretty new parts, Leclerc admits a crammed 2020 calendar will change the dynamic, possibly preventing a recovery.

"It is going to be a difficult season for everyone because as soon as it starts it is not going to stop and we won’t have any breaks to develop the car more than the others," the Monegasque said.

“So I think the work on track will be extremely important and more than it has been every other year because we’ll spend a lot of time on track whenever the season will restart.

“It’s going to be very important to be focused and ready from the first race on, and as drivers to give the right feedback to the team and try and help the team in the right direction straight away.”