Charles Leclerc was disappointed to miss out on an appearance in Q3 at the Suzuka International Racing Course but hopes starting eleventh and with a free choice of tyre will enable him to move forward and score points on Sunday.
The Monegasque racer felt a mistake on his first run in Q2 lost him the time that could have seen make it into the final segment of Qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix, particularly as it was impossible to improve on the second run as rain hit the track.
Leclerc still managed to see the positives in the result on Saturday, especially as he gains a position following Esteban Ocon’s three-place demotion following a grid penalty, and the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team racer feels he can secure a third consecutive top ten finish on Sunday to add to the twenty-one points he has scored so far in 2018.
“Overall, it was a positive day and we see the potential is there for a good performance tomorrow,” said Leclerc, who will move to Scuderia Ferrari in 2019 in place of Kimi Räikkönen. “The pace was there in qualifying, and it is a shame that we did not make it to Q3 today.
“I made a small mistake on my first push lap in Q2, and it was not possible to improve my lap time after the rain started again, however it means we can gain an advantage by starting the race on the tyres of our choice.
“I look forward to being back on track.”