Leclerc happy after 'putting everything together' in Q3

Charles Leclerc qualified fifth for Sunday's Tuscan Grand Prix, a productive result that exceeded the Ferrari driver's expectations.... The post Leclerc happy after 'putting everything together' in Q3 appeared first on F1i.com.

Leclerc happy after 'putting everything together' in Q3

Charles Leclerc qualified fifth for Sunday's Tuscan Grand Prix, a productive result that exceeded the Ferrari driver's expectations.

Ferrari's dismal results of late were anticipated to slightly improve at Mugello, a fast track but not the low downforce environment in which the Scuderia had suffered at Spa and Monza.

Leclerc's best effort in Q3 that yielded P5 on his final lap was helped by a late yellow flag in the session triggered by a spin by Esteban Ocon that denied a few of the Monegasque's rivals a shot at a better lap.

Overall, Leclerc said he was "very happy, very happy with the lap overall".

"I put everything together and P5 was definitely above any of our expectations. So very, very happy," added the Ferrari charger.

"Monza and Spa was extremely difficult for the whole team. I struggled massively to drive the car with those low downforce settings, [it was] very difficult with the balance.

"But here we managed to put the balance right, and it felt very good in the car. We are lacking overall performance to be able to fight with the guys in front, but the balance was very good today.

"It gave me confidence, and I could give my best on that qualy lap. But it was tricky, because the first lap in Q3, I was with old tyres.

"So then to go from old to new, it was tricky, but at the end we made it happen."

Leclerc vowed to give it his all on Sunday to try and secure a good result for his team's 1,000th Grand Prix but admitted to fearing those that will inevitably be snapping at his heels at the start tomorrow.

"There is a good opportunity," Leclerc said. "But on the other hand, if we look at the race pace of the other teams on Friday, there are quite a lot of cars that are stronger than us on Friday.

"It's going to be difficult to keep them behind, but that's my job in the car and I will give everything."

Sebastian Vettel's under-performance relative to his teammate continued in qualifying at Mugello where the German qualified 14th.

"It is a bit of a fight, but it's a fight the whole year," lamented Vettel.

"We try nevertheless to do everything we can, to understand the car a bit more.

"I try to do anything I can driving to adapt, but I think there's still more to do."

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Gasly rues early exit from qualifying caused by battery drain

Pierre Gasly says his unexpected early exit from qualifying at Mugello was mainly due to a lack of... The post Gasly rues early exit from qualifying caused by battery drain appeared first on F1i.com.

Gasly rues early exit from qualifying caused by battery drain

Pierre Gasly says his unexpected early exit from qualifying at Mugello was mainly due to a lack of energy deployment caused by pushing his AlphaTauri's engine too hard.

Last weekend's Italian Grand Prix winner was confident of securing a spot in Q3 in the Saturday afternoon session based on his car's performance in free practice.

But the tightly bunched midfield in Q1 meant that any glitch would prove costly, and Gasly suffered the consequences of poor energy management coupled with set-up issues for his AT01.

"Today was frustrating as everything was going so well all weekend," lamented Gasly.

"The car was good in free practice, and in quali we pushed the engine a bit more and in my two laps before the finish line. We missed it for half a tenth and we lost over a tenth with the deployment, running out of SOC (State of Charge) way too early before the line.

"We also made a few [setup] changes after P3 which didn't go in the right direction, and we are still analyzing why we basically went slower than P3. There is less fuel in the car so we lost grip and we can see it, so we are still investigating.

"But I'm not blaming anyone. I'm just saying us as a team didn't do the perfect job today and, with the margins of half a tenth, it is nothing. But today the few little mistakes we did clearly cost us a lot."

Unfortunately, the P16 low qualifying spot means that F1's Monza winner will have his work cut out for him on race day.

"It’s clearly not good on such a track to qualify so far behind and it’s a shame because everything before that went great.

"We just didn’t manage to put things together in quali and we made small mistakes in the worst possible moment.

"We need to find a way to recover as we know we are faster than this, so we’ll try to make our way back into the points tomorrow."

AlphaTauri tech boss Jody Egginton says the team has made its life for the race unnecessarily complicated.

"There is a lot of work to get through tonight in order to be fully prepared for the race, and today's result has made it harder than it should have been," said Egginton.

"However, we feel we have a package to be competitive tomorrow fighting with the cars in the midfield and this is our target."

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