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Charles Leclerc

Leclerc 'not happy' over Ferrari qualifying decision

Charles Leclerc was left confused about Ferrari's Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying strategy

Leclerc Bahrain
To news overview © XPBimages

Charles Leclerc is seeking answers from Ferrari over its strategy in qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Leclerc qualified second for the season-opener behind Max Verstappen, having actually set a faster time than pole position during the Q2 segment, but could not translate this into a second Bahrain pole.

The Monegasque put this down to a loss of rhythm in that he had to run a set of scrubbed tyres for the first runs in Q3 before switching to a new set, whereas Verstappen got two fresh sets.

The reason for this was that in Q1, concerned about track evolution and being caught out, Ferrari elected to use a second set of new Softs at the end of the session which meant Leclerc only had a single set available for Q3.

He believed the rhythm of going from scrubbed to new tyres in Q3 cost him a shot at pole, something he was "really not happy" about.

"The car felt good, the last lap wasn't the best lap I've done. I think the best lap was in Q2, where I put everything I wanted in that lap," he told media including RacingNews365.

"In Q3, I didn't really find the grip straight away out of the box, which was a bit strange, so we'll look at that, and having a scrubbed set also at the beginning of Q3, I think, put us a little bit on the back foot, because the track is evolving and it's a bit more difficult to read how much front flap you need to put for that last run.

"It was there I think we lost a little bit of the rhythm.

"I'm not really happy about it, but it's something we'll discuss with the team.

"I thought there was quite a lot of margin, but obviously being the first qualifying of the year, the team didn't want to risk it.

"So we had to run again with another new soft, which again, put us a little bit on the back foot for the rest of qualifying.

"But in the end we are P2 and three-tenths off [pole].

"I think it's closer than what it looks on the timesheet, but this is a good thing. We were expecting Red Bull to have a bit more margin than what there was.

"So we are a bit closer than what we thought, but the biggest question mark is obviously in the race, and I'm pretty sure they have a bit more margin than what we've seen."

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