Leclerc On Disappointing Qualifying: 'We Were Expecting More'

Saturday, 20 April 2024 at 18:00
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Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc commented on his team's result after the qualifying session for the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix.
The 26-year-old Scuderia F1 driver will start the fifth round of the season at the Shanghai International Circuit from P6 after putting in the sixth-fastest time in Saturday's qualifying.
The Monegasque promised to work on his qualifying performance ahead of this weekend as his teammate outperformed him in two consecutive qualifications.
On the positive side, he was able to outperform Carlos Sainz this time around. On the negative side, he was only fast enough for P6 as he couldn't match the speed of Red Bulls, McLarens, and Fernando Alonso on Aston Martin. He told Sky F1:

"I think as a team, we were expecting more for sure. We were lacking a bit of performance for some reason, so yeah."

"However, on my side, I knew the set-up I had chosen was not ideal for today, but I did not expect to be behind Aston and McLaren."

Shanghai International Circuit offers many overtaking opportunities, and it would be easier for the drivers to make their way through the pack if they had the race-pace advantage, so the Monegasque driver remains optimistic.

"But I believe it's a good time for tomorrow in the way that I think we have the right car to perform tomorrow. It will be all about how fast are we going, are we passing the others to get in front."

The main problem that the Ferrari driver might face is a DRS train that could potentially form behind Alonso, as we've seen in the Sprint Race.
The Spaniard was able to hold Ferraris with McLaren behind him for a long time, but Leclerc suggests it will be a long race, and the drivers in front of him will have to make a mistake at some point.

"If we have a DRS train, we'll have to be patient and wait for the guy in front to lose DRS. Let's see. The race is longer so there will be for sure laps where there won't be DRS, and we'll have to take the opportunity to pass people, and we'll hopefully come back to the front."