Leclerc Takes Blame For 'Compromised' Sprint Shootout In China After 'Losing It'

Friday, 19 April 2024 at 19:30
leclerc charles ferrari3
Scuderia Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc reflected on Friday's hectic final part of the Sprint Shootout at Shanghai International Circuit.
Ferrari's qualifying for the sprint race started quite well, as the red cars didn't struggle as much with keeping the temperature in the mandatory medium compound tires.
Charles Leclerc was fourth fastest in SQ1 and second fastest in SQ2. However, the Maranello team encountered a problem when rain hit the track between SQ2 and SQ3.
All drivers had to switch on the intermediate tires. What followed was an extremely exciting final round of the Sprint Shootout for fans. But perhaps one of the most technically tricky sessions for the drivers.
Every single driver had much more power in his car than grip on the track, which meant they basically fought to keep their cars in between the white lines.
While probably every single driver went over the track limits at some point, Leclerc had the biggest moment coming out of turn eight as he completely lost the rear of his car and became a passenger as his Ferrari slid towards the barrier. He said:

"I lost it on the out lap in Turn 8 during SQ3, which compromised our session. I don't think there was much we could have done differently today."

Fortunately for the Monegasque driver, he only clipped his wing against the barrier, which could easily be fixed in the pits.
Nevertheless, Ferrari's cars didn't have enough pace in the end to challenge for the top positions. The 26-year-old would probably like to at least beat his teammate, but he finished in P7, to positions behind Carlos Sainz in P5. He added:

"We did some good work in terms of tire preparation in dry conditions, which seems to be paying off. We'll give it our all in the Sprint Race and then reset for qualifying tomorrow afternoon."