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Leclerc praises Sainz for 'amazing teamwork' en route to pole

Charles Leclerc beat Max Verstappen to claim pole position for the French Grand Prix, but acknowledged that the battle would have been tougher without the help of Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz.

Charles Leclerc has praised Carlos Sainz for his "amazing teamwork" after the Monegasque claimed pole position for the French Grand Prix. During the decisive Q3 runs, Ferrari instructed Sainz – who will start from the back of the grid due to engine-related penalties – to give Leclerc a tow, which helped Leclerc to fend off the challenge from Max Verstappen. His fastest lap of 1:30.872 put him 0.304 seconds clear of Verstappen, who will start from P2.

Leclerc hails Sainz's role in taking pole position

Speaking after qualifying, Leclerc admitted that the battle with Verstappen would have been tougher had it not been for Sainz's help. "It's a great lap," Leclerc commented. "I've struggled all weekend to put a lap together, and I managed to put it [together today]. "But I have to say that I also had the help of Carlos, and that was amazing teamwork because, without Carlos, it would have been much more close. "So huge thanks to Carlos, and I hope that he can join us back in the fight for the win tomorrow."

Pace of Ferrari came as a surprise to Leclerc

Leclerc admits that he had been expecting Red Bull to pose a threat going into qualifying, but was pleasantly surprised by the pace that Ferrari had during the session. "After Q1, I was very surprised by the pace we had," he explained. "Also in Q2, we were very strong, so somehow we managed to turn that around for qualifying, but it's a good surprise." However, whilst the Monegasque feels positive about Sunday's race, he remains wary of what Red Bull could do. "It feels good," Leclerc said when asked how the car feels for the Grand Prix. "But again, it's difficult to understand what the Red Bull guys have done yesterday, because there was loads of difference in terms of lap times. "Let's see how it goes."

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