Charles Leclerc: “It will be a challenge to keep our competitors behind us”

by Paul Hensby
Charles Leclerc - Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team - Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez

Both Charles Leclerc and Marcus Ericsson made it into the top ten shootout for the Mexican Grand Prix on Saturday, just the second time in 2018 that both Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team drivers advanced into Q3, although both will start on the Hypersoft tyre on Sunday.

Leclerc had been as high as seventh in Q3 but fell to ninth in the final runs as both Renault Sport Formula One Team drivers improved their times, but he was happy with the performance of the C37-Ferrari, even though it means running on the Hypersoft Pirelli tyre that has shown itself to be good on very short runs but very difficult on longer runs.

“I am happy about qualifying today – ninth place, another Q3,” said Leclerc.  “Our performance looks strong, and we made a good recovery since yesterday.

“It will be a challenge to keep our competitors behind us, as we are starting on the Hypersoft tyres which we qualified on. We will make the best of it and hopefully will be able to score some points after being less lucky in the last two races.”

Team-mate Ericsson was able to join Leclerc inside the top ten for only the second time this season, and he was pleased with the improvements made in final practice on Saturday after experiencing struggles across Friday.

“After having a difficult day yesterday, we worked hard overnight to improve for qualifying,” said Ericsson.  “Today’s results show a great team effort, by both the team at the track as well as in the factory.

“We made quite a few changes for today, and they paid off. The car felt much better and we could already see the improvements in FP3. Qualifying was great, and it felt good to make it to Q3.

“It was a good effort and we should have good chances for a good result tomorrow, staring in the top ten with both cars.”

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