Charles Leclerc feels annoyed and disappointed to not be able to extract all of the potential in his qualifying run for the Chinese Grand Prix.
The Monegasque driver ended qualifying in fourth place, sharing the second row with Scuderia Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel. Both Italian cars lost out to the Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport cars by four tenths on their hot lap as Valtteri Bottas claims pole position for F1’s 1000th Grand Prix.
In Leclerc’s second run in Qualifying and his final bid to claim pole position, the twenty-one year old made a mistake on his run which cost him time and lost out on out-qualifying his team-mate for the second race in a row.
Reflecting on his qualifying performance, Leclerc says he’s annoyed at himself for making a mistake on his final run, after the team made adjustments to his setup for him to get the best out of the car in qualifying.
“I am annoyed with myself today. I made a mistake on the last lap and I really shouldn’t have done that,” said Leclerc.
“Overall, I think there are some positives, because in all three practice sessions I was struggling quite a lot with the setup, the confidence in the car and the driving. But then, before qualifying we introduced some changes, which meant I could drive better and set the lap times we were expecting.
“It was good but it is also disappointing not to extract all the potential from the car today.”
A disappointed @Charles_Leclerc on the team radio after qualifying
"Fuck I did mistakes. Come on Charles. Argh shit."
"Not good enough for me. From my side, not speaking of the car. Car was good. I should have done better."
— Charles Leclerc #16 (@LeclercNews) April 13, 2019
During Friday practice, Leclerc lost out on the opportunity to do long run and race simulations due to a suspected cooling issue, losing half an hour of FP2 running time in the process. Leclerc is also running the same engine that failed during the Bahrain Grand Prix, when he lost the chance of claiming his first win in F1.
Having completed minimal long runs, Leclerc expects the race to be more complicated than usual and will be going into Sunday in the dark.
“We knew our rivals would be competitive as they have been since the first session. The race tomorrow is going to be a bit more complicated than expected, as I haven’t done any long runs yesterday nor this morning because of the red flag so, I will be a bit in the dark,” added Leclerc.
“It will be tough but I’ll push as much as possible and we can expect our opponents to be very strong.”