Charles Leclerc was unsure to why the pace was not there when needed in Qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix, with the Monegasque driver finding himself down in seventeenth in Q1, although he was just 0.002 seconds away from making it through.
The Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team had hoped to see at least one car through to Q2 but neither Leclerc or team-mate Marcus Ericsson were able to advance, which for the former in particular was a disappointment after showing good pace throughout the free practice sessions.
“I am not sure what happened to our performance between FP3, where we were very competitive, and qualifying,” said Leclerc. “I am very happy with my lap – which is something I rarely say – so that makes it even more frustrating to be out in Q1.
“We have lots of work ahead of us, and have to understand exactly what happened so that we can recover before the race tomorrow and get a good result.”
Ericsson was happy to be back in the car after his high-speed crash on Friday, caused when his DRS failed on the run down to the first chicane, but he was in agreement with Leclerc about being disappointed with their result, with the Swede ending nineteenth fastest overall having aimed for much better.
“First of all, it is good to be back in the car after the crash I had yesterday,” said Ericsson. “Our mechanics worked all night and did a great job to repair the car in time. FP3 was all about getting comfortable again, and I felt good in qualifying.
“Unfortunately, the result was not what we wanted – with both cars out in Q1. We will analyse what happened and work on making improvements for the race. The result doesn’t change much for me, as we have received a grid penalty for changing my engine.
“Nevertheless, it is really tight in the midfield, so I hope that we can still fight from there and have a good result tomorrow.”