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F1 | US GP | Charles Leclerc is “quite happy” with his qualifying position and admits he is surprised by McLaren's performance

Ferrari upgrades worked well again during this US Grand Prix qualifying session, and their Monegasque driver, Charles Leclerc didn’t expect them to finish ahead of the two McLaren

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F1 | US GP | Charles Leclerc is “quite happy” with his qualifying position and admits he is surprised by McLaren's performance
Fuente imagen: Hasan Bratic - MotorLat

Although he ended up in P5, Charles Leclerc will start from P4 in today’s race, due to Valtteri Bottas penalty. During the post-qualifying interviews session he talked about the new Ferrari upgrades, how he felt about his qualifying lap and he admitted being surprised by McLaren’s performance, saying “It didn’t really reflected my expectations I had about them”.

In fact, Charles Leclerc and his team expected McLaren to be much more competitive in this particular track: “Despite we had other expectations about them, it was very important for us to start in front of both of their drivers tomorrow. It is a good chance we have for the constructors championship. We expected them to be faster and more competitive than us, but it’s not the case for now. We’ll see during the race tomorrow, but yes we are very surprised.”

On his personal performance he said “I’m happy with today; I’ll start P4 due to the penalty given to Valtteri. It’s been a very positive but tricky day. In FP3 I lost confidence in the car, especially in the second run of FP3 where I lost the rear basically, and then through qualifying I gained that confidence again and managed to do a good lap in Q3.”

Tomorrow, Leclerc will start just behind the two championship fighters for the drivers' title and as he said “It’s going to be tricky to challenge them in a normal race, but never say never.”

Ferrari also adopted a change of strategy for the tyres during qualifying and the Monegasque explained why they did so: “I was struggling a bit in Q1; on my side we went on the medium early, to then do the lap on the soft after that. Carlos was a little more confident that could do the lap on the second run with the medium tyres, that was the thinking behind. But after all I managed to gain again my confidence with the car during Q2 and do a good lap and most of all, I was able to stick on medium which was a bit of a surprise.”

Leclerc talked about the upgraded ICE component that continues doing a very good job: “Yes, we feel and we are much more competitive now: it gave us a little bit more confidence for the future. We feel like we are going in the right direction. We didn’t expect these upgrades to work as they’re doing… we were completely disillusioned at first, so we are surprised and quite happy with the results we are achieving.”

The Ferrari driver is really enjoying his time in the US: “The atmosphere here it’s great. Two years ago when we came here I didn’t remember the track being that full, so it’s great to see that. I think Netflix has had a big impact on that too, and it’s good to see all these fans and people here.”


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