Formula 1

Charles Leclerc: “I’m very happy with my lap and our performance in general”

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Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Charles Leclerc recovered from a spin early in Q3 to take a fourth pole position of the 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Saturday.

The Scuderia Ferrari driver was left with a lot of work to do in his final run after losing control of his F1-75 at the chicane on his first run, the spin ending his chance of putting in a lap time.

However, he recovered well to snatch top spot away from Oracle Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen to secure career pole number thirteen, and he goes into Sunday’s race confident of a third victory of the season after strong long-run pace in final practice.

Ferrari struggled with their tyres over the longer runs on Friday, so Leclerc was happy with the progress they made as they look to beat Verstappen on Sunday.

“We really turned things around since yesterday and our team did an amazing job,” said Leclerc. “We struggled a lot in the first two practice sessions this weekend, especially with the tyres.

“We analysed all the data and made significant changes to the car last night. We saw some improvements this morning when we did a long run and hopefully it will be enough to beat our competitors who have had an advantage in this area for the past two races.

“As far as qualifying goes, it was a tricky session. I think that my first lap in Q3 was great until I pushed a little too much in turn 14 and lost the rear. I had just one shot to bring it home after that and I’m very happy with my lap and our performance in general.”

“We’ll give everything from there to fight for the win!” – Carlos Sainz Jr.

Team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr. was able to qualify third on the grid for his home Grand Prix, and he believes the updates Ferrari have brough to the track have been working well this weekend.

Sainz believes third is a positive result for him, particularly after his team were forced to chance his chassis overnight, and he feels it gives him a chance of attacking for his maiden Formula 1 race victory on Sunday afternoon.

“Overall P3 is a decent result for tomorrow and we feel positive for the race, as the upgrades seem to be working well,” said Sainz.  “We still struggle a bit with the rear being very light in this car, so I’m not driving it exactly the way I would like to.

“However, we still managed to grab P3, which is a good position to attack tomorrow. We’ll give everything from there to fight for the win!

“A big thank you to the mechanics for their hard work overnight to change the chassis and also to every fan out there in the grandstands for their incredible support. Let’s race tomorrow!”

Carlos Sainz Jr. will start his home Grand Prix from third on the grid – Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd
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Thirty-something motorsport fanatic, covering Formula 1, Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula 3. Feel free to give him a follow on Twitter at @Paul11MSport.
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