Charles Leclerc has admitted that tyre struggles left him unable to unlock the full potential of his Ferrari car during qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix, despite claiming pole position.
The 24-year-old took the 10th pole position of his F1 career under the lights in Sakhir, as he edged out Red Bull's Max Verstappen.
He did so by registering a fine lap during the final moments of qualifying to knock Carlos Sainz off provisional pole and claim first blood in his teammate battle.
Leclerc: I just put everything together
There was no secret to how Leclerc managed to beat Verstappen and Sainz to pole on Saturday, having found himself behind going into the final Q3 runs.
"It was just putting everything together," he told media, including RacingNews365.com, when asked where he felt he had found the vital lap time during that final run.
"Before that, it was a bit too messy, there was always a mistake here and there and, on my first lap, I nearly lost it in Turn 7, which was quite tricky!"
He added: "I still managed to put everything together, more or less."
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But his pole-winning lap fell short of the time his car was capable of, according to Leclerc, who is still yet fully understand the sport's new 18-inch tyres.
"I was struggling with the tyres; especially during the first sector, I've been struggling a lot," he openly admitted.
"On the last run, it felt a little bit better for that, but we still need to understand it, because it didn't feel as good as it did for the [rest of the] weekend.
"So yeah, there was maybe a little bit of performance left there."
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