While the SF1000 is generally a weak car, qualifying has been its biggest achilles heel. That trend continued today with Charles Leclerc as the lead Ferrari driver ended up in a very disappointing 9th position.
He missed out on P6 by less than half a tenth, however. Had Leclerc repeated his Q2 time in the final segment of qualifying, it would have been a 6th place start.
The Circuit de Catalunya is a notoriously difficult place to overtake at, so if Leclerc has strong race pace like he showed at both Silverstone events, it’ll be more difficult to gain places as he looks to maintain his 4th place in the Drivers’ Championship.
The Monegasque driver struggled with the car more than usual and went into detail about his problems.
"I am disappointed with our quali result. I was not very happy with the car today. At the beginning of quali it was not too bad but then I had a lot of understeer, which was getting worse and worse after every session and I just could not drive around this issue. We need to look into it and understand how we can fix it, because in the end P9 is disappointing. We were just not fast enough on our quick lap. Tomorrow we will be starting on Softs, which is not the best tyre here, and people behind us will start on Medium and Hard, probably the best strategy, so it won’t be easy."
Expanding on his struggles in qualifying, Leclerc told Sky Sports F1: "It just didn't have enough front end to rotate the car. We've lost quite a bit of time because of this, so now we need to understand why did this happen. It's something that we regularly have with this car, struggling with the front in mid-corner. Today, there were not really any solutions."
Not the best day today.— Charles Leclerc (@Charles_Leclerc) August 15, 2020
Starting P9 tomorrow, let's do this 🔥 pic.twitter.com/3P8x8bKbC2