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Charles Leclerc

Leclerc confession after shock Q1 elimination

The Ferrari driver qualified 19th fastest in Barcelona, being dumped out in Q1 for the Spanish Grand Prix.

Leclerc Spain
To news overview © XPBimages

Charles Leclerc says was expecting his elimination in the first part of Qualifying at Formula 1's Spanish Grand Prix after a problem on his Ferrari, but he has "no answers."

Leclerc was the big-name exit in the first segment in Barcelona - his first flying lap of the session nearly three seconds slower than pace-setter Max Verstappen.

After a switch of Soft tyres, Leclerc posted the 11th fastest time but was ultimately shuffled down to P19 on the grid as the track improved, ahead of only Logan Sargeant's Williams.

Teammate Carlos Sainz qualified on the front row of the grid alongside pole-sitter Verstappen to rub salt into Leclerc's wounds, with the Monégasque sure something was wrong mechanically with his SF-23 machine.

Leclerc's problems

"I don't have the answers, we'll have to check the data, but most of all, check the car because there was definitely something strange," Leclerc told media including RacingNews365.

"I nearly lost it during the red flag when I was at 70kph, and there was just no warning.

"The left-hand corners were really, really bad with the rear-right, and at first, I thought it was the tyres, so we went for a new set, and then it was exactly the same feeling: right hand corners really good, left hand corners, completely off.

"We will have to check but I will be very, very surprised if we don't find something [wrong with the car.]

"It is not a set-up thing, the set-up was just a slight change, this was way too much of a difference from the left-hand corner to the right.

"We were just completely slow. I was not even that surprised when I when they told me I was out of Q1."

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Leclerc's hopes for the race

Assessing his chances in the race, Leclerc did not offer an optimistic outlook of chances chances.

"It's going to be uphill to be honest," he said.

"But on the other hand, it's a track where I think we'll see a few stops, degradation is going to be a big thing, so if we do a good job, we've got our chances.

"Our race pace looks a little bit better than normal, apart from the Red Bull that are in a league of their own.

"So let's wait and see because we don't know the fuel level of everybody, so it is very difficult [to know where we are.]"

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