Charles Leclerc: “We have a long and tricky race ahead of us”

by Paul Hensby
Charles Leclerc - Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team - Marina Bay Street Circuit

Charles Leclerc felt it was a positive day around the Marina Bay Street Circuit on Saturday as the Monegasque racer qualified thirteenth on the grid for the Singapore Grand Prix.

The Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team driver felt he got as much performance out of his C37-Ferrari as he could have and making it through to Q2 was always their aim as opposed to making it through to Q3.

Leclerc ended almost three-tenths of a second shy of advancing into Q3 but was ultimately satisfied with the result, and he is now focused on maximising his result on Sunday in what he expects to be a challenging race.

“It was a positive day overall,” said Leclerc, who will swap Sauber for Scuderia Ferrari in 2019.  “We made some improvements between FP3 and qualifying, and fought our way to Q2.  We extracted the maximum out of our car, which is always our main target, and we can be satisfied with our performance.

“We have a long and tricky race ahead of us, and the high temperatures will be a good challenge which I cannot wait to discover.”

Team-mate Marcus Ericsson was more than seven-tenths of a second down on Leclerc but will join the Monegasque racer on the seventh row, with the Swede unable to improve enough to fight for a Q3 appearance.

He however feels positive that they will have a good chance of points if they choose the right strategy and can manage their tyres better than their rivals.

“It was an interesting day for us,” said Ericsson.  “FP3 was rather difficult for us, and we were not fully satisfied with our performance. Nevertheless, we headed into qualifying feeling confident.

“The first session ran smoothly and I was happy with my performance. Unfortunately, Q2 did not go as well as we would have wanted it to. I felt good in the car, but couldn’t seem to improve enough to make it to Q3.

“We can see that the midfield is very tight, and will have to focus on tyre management and a good strategy to get a positive race result. I look forward to tomorrow.”

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