Charles Leclerc just completed a rather frustrating qualifying session at Yas Marina. The Monegasque will move up to P3 owing to Bottas’ grid penalty, but he had to swallow a bitter bit as his final attempt was thwarted by Ferrari’s wrong call for the final attempt in Q3. Leclerc caught the chequered flag at the end of his lap and therefore did not manage to have his shot at pole position.
“I have no idea, it’s life sometimes it happens” he told Sky Sports after qualifying.
“I don’t know if the situation was unlucky or if we could have done anything better, but we will analyse it and try to understand for it not to happen again because it’s a big shame.”
However, Leclerc believes pole position was out of reach, corroborating Vettel's affirmations on the competitiveness level of Ferrari at Abu Dhabi.
"Qualifying was tough today. The lap I did on the first run for fourth place was good, but you can always do better. It’s a shame that we didn’t manage to get back out in time to do another lap. Though pole seems to have been out of reach today, I do believe that we had an opportunity to have a better result, but that’s just how it goes sometimes".
Leclerc is in contention for P3 with Verstappen in the standings, and currently lies 11 points behind the Dutchman. Although the path seems uphill, the Monegasque assures he will take some risks to keep the fight alive until the end.
"Ahead of the race, we will mainly have to work on making improvements in the last sector. That’s where we lacked the most in terms of our performance.
It is the last race of the year, the last chance to get third place back in the championship, which will not be easy. I will have to take some risks at the start to fight for it and will give it my all. Let’s see what we can do.”