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.

    2020 Tuscan Grand Prix – Qualifying results

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.

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“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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