Carlos Sainz out-qualifies his new team mate for the first time since the beginning of his journey with Scuderia Ferrari. The Spaniard managed to score the fifth fastest lap time, while Charles Leclerc is only 8th on the grid.
Ferrari is the only one team, together with top contenders Mercedes and Red Bull, to bring both drivers into Q3; the Maranello team tried to qualify in Q2 with the medium compund, a mission which Leclerc accomplished easily, while Sainz couldn't bring a lap together because of Kimi Raikkonen's Alfa Romeo traffic in his first run. The pit wall then decided to put the Spaniard out on soft to run out of surprises. Sainz will be the first on the grid to wear soft at the start behind the top four on mediums.
Sainz performances shows how fast the spaniard is adapting to his new challenger, while colleagues like Ricciardo, Alonso and Vettel still can't reach top performances in their new teams.
“It was a very hard qualifying out here in Portimão due to the gusty wind and the tricky conditions but I’m happy with my session. When I was out on track I could feel I was driving well and we have been taking good decisions on the setup of the car all weekend" said the spaniard.
"The biggest positive for me is that my approach seems to be working fine and the feeling with the car gets better with every session. There is still a lot of room for improvement, but I think today was a good step and I’m happy about that, though I would have preferred to make it into Q3 with the mediums - he explained - my pace was good with that compound and if it hadn’t been for the traffic with an other car on the second push I think I would have been in a better position to make the cut. However, since I had saved one set of softs after a strong first run in Q1, we decided to avoid unnecessary risks and qualified to Q3 with softs. Once in the top ten, a good couple of laps gave us P5 for tomorrow.
"Despite the tyre disadvantage for the race, I’m confident that with a strong start and tyre management from my side we can fight for good points. Lets race! Hasta mañana”.