Team-work made the dream-work for Scuderia Ferrari during qualifying for the Turkish Grand Prix, as Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr worked together to get the Monegasque driver into final qualifying, the team’s reward is a third place start for Leclerc! Sainz to start from last due to engine penalty.
Leclerc has looked seriously impressive all weekend and qualifying was no different. The Monegasque driver did struggle slightly however in the opening two qualifying sessions, with the track surface being damp in places. Sainz who knew he would start last no matter where he qualified came to the rescue, giving Leclerc slipstream in Qualifying Two to boost Leclerc into the final session.
Leclerc then did it all by himself in Qualifying Three to put himself in third place for Sunday’s race at the Intercity Istanbul Park Circuit, right behind pole-sitter Valtteri Bottas. Leclerc is very happy with his starting position which he inherits due to Lewis Hamilton’s grid penalty, and believes he has good potential for the race.
“I am happy with my qualifying. P4 is a good result for the team, finishing just behind the championship leaders who, at the moment, are still tough for us to beat. We definitely maximised our car’s potential today. Q1 and Q2 were tricky for me, as I opted for a lower downforce set-up this weekend which is the right choice for the race and hopefully should pay off tomorrow.
“But in today’s wet conditions, I slid around quite a bit and had to fight for it. It was great to see Carlos being there and giving me the slipstream on the final straight in Q2. It was good teamwork and helped us make it to Q3. I am happy with my final lap in the last session and look forward to the race. If the conditions are dry, I am confident that we have good potential.”
“We are ready to fight our way up the order” – Carlos Sainz Jr.
Carlos Sainz Jr played the perfect team role in qualifying, with the Spaniard already being fully aware that no matter where he qualified he would be starting last. With this in mind Sainz helped Leclerc whenever he could.
In a huge shock, Daniel Ricciardo was eliminated in Qualifying One after Sainz knocked him out on his final lap. Sainz jumped out of the elimination zone, knocking Ricciardo into it. With Ferrari and the Mclaren F1 Team fighting for third in the constructors, this could be a pivotal moment in their third place scrap.
Sainz is disappointed that he didn’t get a real chance at qualifying but is fully motivated on calving his way through the field on Sunday.
“It was a pity we were not trying for a fastest time, especially seeing the performance of the car in dry conditions. It is difficult to take, but looking at the big picture it is better to take the penalty now and have a better engine for the remainder of the season. Our plan was executed perfectly today. In Q1 we took calculated risks to make it comfortably into Q2, bumping one car out which turned out to be a McLaren.
“Then in Q2 I stayed in the garage and went out on a perfectly timed strategy to help Charles with a bit of a slipstream on his Mediums. For tomorrow, it all depends on how the car feels in traffic and how we can go through the field without damaging the tyres too much. The pace has been encouraging all weekend so we are ready to fight our way up the order as much as possible. Bring it on!”