The weekend started off quite well for Ferrari, as they showed a good pace throughout the free practice sessions and made the most of this afternoon’s Qualifying.
Charles Leclerc will be starting the Turkish Grand Prix right behind Max Verstappen’s Red Bull, after a remarkable last lap in Q3. The Monegasque was fourth fastest as he closed his last attempt in 1.23,265s but Lewis Hamilton’s 10 place penalty following an ICE substitution means Leclerc will be P3 on the grid.
“I am happy with my qualifying,” he commented at the end of the session. “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.”
An important result for the team indeed and a good chance to catch up with McLaren who is currently standing 3rd in the Constructor Standings. Lando Norris qualified in P7, quite a bit behind Leclerc, while Carlos Sainz managed to keep Daniel Ricciardo out of Q2, but his SF21 will be starting last on the grid because of a Power Unit change.
“We definitely maximised our car’s potential today,” said Leclerc. “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.”
His chances of proceeding to Q3 were getting thin as he spun in Q2, but he managed to reheat his tyres quickly after a stop at the boxes and get through on his last attempt with the help of his teammate.
“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.”
And as for the race, Leclerc sounds hopeful of carrying on with the good performance, as long as rain doesn’t come into the picture.
“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.”