Scuderia Ferrari‘s Charles Leclerc says he still aims to achieve his first podium in Formula 1 despite not feeling happy with his qualifying performance for the Australian Grand Prix.
The Monegasque driver will start the race in fifth place after both Ferrari cars failed to match the strong pace displayed by rivals Mercedes AMG. Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas lock out the front row whilst Leclerc’s team-mate Sebastian Vettel could only manage third overall.
Leclerc’s Q3 lap saw a few mistakes which cost him from producing a strong lap and allowed Aston Martin Red Bull Racing‘s Max Verstappen to sneak ahead into a fourth place grid slot, demoting Leclerc to fifth.
The twenty-one year old says that he can’t be happy with the result but hopes to learn from this and prepare well for his first race as a Ferrari driver.
“I can’t say I’m happy with this qualifying result. After a good Q1 and a very good Q2, in Q3, especially on my second run, I made a few too many mistakes, especially in the first sector and I was unable to improve,” said Leclerc.
“I will try to learn from this and to prepare as well as possible for the race. As for the gap to our main competitors, I have to admit that maybe we had expected it to be smaller, even if this is an unusual track which often throws up a different order to what we can see on a more traditional track.”
Despite the disappointing in qualifying, Leclerc still feels optimistic in achieving a podium finish in the race as he feels there is still room for improvement for the SF90.
“On our side, I think there is still room to work on the car and the race is tomorrow and will be pretty long, so I am still aiming for a podium.
“I will definitely have to get a perfect start, because overtaking is far from easy here.”