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Charles Leclerc

Leclerc 'on the limit' but looking to threaten Verstappen

Charles Leclerc narrowly missed out on pole position for the Miami Grand Prix but will start on the front row.

Leclerc Miami Sprint
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Charles Leclerc has conceded that his SF24 felt "on the limit" during qualifying for the Miami Grand Prix, yet still managed to qualify in second alongside Max Verstappen.

The Ferrari driver cruised into Q3 and even topped the second part of qualifying, but ultimately fell 0.141s short of beating Verstappen to pole position.

Leclerc struggled in the final two sectors due to the high surface temperatures overheating the Pirelli tyres, causing a wrestling match with his car's rear-end.

Despite falling short of a first pole of the 2024 season, Leclerc has looked good at the Miami International Autodrome and finished second in the Miami sprint race.

With his one-lap pace and long-run performance looking positive, the Monegasque is looking to threaten Verstappen for victory.

"It felt so much on the limit," said Leclerc. "Obviously, it was very close until [sectors] two and three, where when we started to push for the last last one or two tenths, we started to lose the tyres in sectors two and three, overheating them quite a bit.

"Sector one was actually feeling really good but then sector two and three, we were losing too much.

"So today that's where we lost a little bit of time, however, the race is long tomorrow. This morning. we showed a good pace, so I hope tomorrow we can put Max under a bit more pressure."

DRS the key

Earlier in the day, Leclerc looked comfortable in second and did threaten Verstappen on the run into the first corner of the sprint race.

The reigning world champion shut the door on Leclerc and managed to escape the one-second DRS barrier, hurting Leclerc's chances of keeping Verstappen within striking distance.

Looking ahead to Sunday's race, Leclerc recognises that keeping within a second of the world champion is vital, should he fail to snatch the lead on the run into the first corner.

"Yeah this and keeping the DRS, if we don't get past by turn one," explained Leclerc.

"DRS is super powerful here and if we lose it after the first lap then it's always difficult to come back within DRS, we must not lose it.

"But first of all, there will be the start, this morning we had a good one and tomorrow I will try to have an even better one."

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