Charles Leclerc looks like he is finally starting to find joy again behind the wheel of his SF21. The Monegasque admitted being very satisfied with his performance on Saturday, taking the fourth spot on the starting grid for the second time in a row.
Leclerc suffered a big loss of control in FP2, which caused him to end his Friday in the wall. However, the 23-year-old did not look disturbed at all by this unexpected event, as he will start Tomorrow’s race right behind Max Verstappen’s RB16B, even though he did not feel as good as yesterday behind the wheel of his SF21.
“It’s been a great qualifying even though I feel like we struggled a bit more today compared to yesterday to do the lap times we wanted, so I struggled a little bit more in the car,” Leclerc said.
The Monegasque qualified his words, as he still managed to do the lap he wanted in the last part of the qualifying session, and is therefore happy with his performance, as he considers he could not have reached the top 3.
“But in Q3, I managed to do the lap I wanted, apart from the chicane where I lost a little bit. But looking at the result, we couldn’t have reached that P3 position so I’m very happy with today.”
Considering the difficulty of overtaking around the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, if Leclerc can get a good start he might be able to fight for very high positions. Nevertheless, he was caught up by Lando Norris and Sergio Perez last week, when he also started in P4.
This time, Sergio Perez will start in front of him. However, Valtteri Bottas struggled during his last qualifying lap and will only start in P8 tomorrow. He should also be a real threat to consider for the Ferrari driver.
“I think it’s going to be a difficult race. (…) We are lacking a little bit of straight-line speed, especially compared to the McLaren. So we’ll have to wait and see and hopefully, we’ll have a good enough pace to go away. If not, it’s going to be difficult to keep them behind,” Leclerc admitted.
“There’s not much tire management which is something that we like as drivers because we can push throughout the race, so it should be an exciting race tomorrow.”