Despite showing good pace during Free Practice at Spa-Francorchamps, Charles Leclerc was unable to get through into Q3 on Saturday, ultimately ending up thirteenth fastest in Q2.
The Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team driver had been eyeing another top ten start but could not get the pace out of his C37-Ferrari when it mattered, although the Monegasque racer also felt other teams had showed some extra performance themselves during the session that was not apparent earlier in the weekend.
“It is a shame we did not make it any further in qualifying today,” said Leclerc. “The car feels good since the beginning of the weekend, and we are quite competitive on this track.
“Some of the other teams had a bit of extra performance in their pockets today and were able to stay ahead of us. We had some issues we must fix to improve for the next qualifying.”
Leclerc will move up to twelfth on the grid for the Belgian Grand Prix thanks to the penalty for Valtteri Bottas following the Finn’s engine change, and the Sauber driver feels there is potential for a good result on Sunday, regardless of the weather.
“However, we are optimistic with regard to our potential for a good result tomorrow,” said Leclerc. “The weather conditions will play an interesting role in determining the outcome of the race, and I look forward to it.”
Team-mate Marcus Ericsson finished just behind Leclerc in the session and will start the race in thirteenth position, but the Swede was disappointed to suffer a technical issue that prevented him the opportunity to improve with a final run.
“The car felt good and we gave a solid performance both in FP3 and Q1,” said Ericsson. “We advanced into Q2 but unfortunately, due to a technical issue with my car, I had to retire before starting the last run which was a bit disappointing.
“Despite this, I have been feeling very good so far this weekend and I remain confident for the race.”