Charles Leclerc once again took everyone by surprise with his performance. He barely made it to Q3 with his teammate Sebastian Vettel being knocked out of Q2. Hence, he wasn’t expecting to mingle with the frontrunners when his car was off the pace. However, the Monegasque continues to defy expectations.
He was struggling in the free practice sessions on Friday and Saturday evenings. So, what did he do differently to nail his lap this time?
Watching his friend Pierre Gasly in the AlphaTauri was the turning point for him, “I did such a huge step from FP3 to ‘qualy’ in terms of driving, using a lot more of the track in the entry on the kerb on the right [exiting Turn 8], looking at Pierre Gasly’s onboard actually, so thanks, Pierre!
According to him, ‘Turn 8’ was his Achilles heel all weekend, “And the last corner (Turn 8), which I’ve been struggling with the whole qualy. This one I finally managed to do it well also in my last lap. I’m extremely happy.”
Charles Leclerc dampens the expectation for the race
The two-time race winner will start fourth on the grid for the main race on Sunday. He made his car look much quicker than it actually is, as he has done all season.
However, whenever Ferrari has been starting higher up the grid, they tend to fall back in the mid-field during a race. Leclerc isn’t expecting a different scenario this time –
“This brings us a lot of hopes for Sunday, and then it’s frustrating in the car on Sunday, but let’s be realistic.
“I think we need to learn from it. A few times this year, we’ve been qualifying further ahead than probably what we should have. Tomorrow is going to be a difficult day,” he continued.
“I don’t think we are going to be as competitive as today.”
Whatever place the Ferrari Academy product finishes this race in, he has proven his talent throughout the course of this season. It has been a year from hell for the ‘Prancing Horse,’ and he is keeping them afloat in the constructor’s championship. No wonder the ‘Tifosi’ love him dearly.