Charles Leclerc believes the presence of high winds in US Grand Prix qualifying was a factor in his defeat to teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. On the second Q3 runs in Austin, Sainz pipped his teammate by 0.048s to take a third pole position of the season, albeit with Leclerc carrying a 10-place grid drop. it is anticipated that Leclerc will drop to 12th on the grid for the race, as he tries to secure second in the standings in a battle with Sergio Perez. But the Monegasque felt the high winds experienced at the Circuit of the Americas made it tricky to get a feel for the car.
Leclerc: Carlos did the better job today
"It is obviously really difficult, especially with the wind when the car changes a lot from lap to lap," he explained. "Overall, I did my best [effort], but the last lap wasn't the best. "Carlos did a better job today and deserves to be on pole. "I'll be starting a bit further back because of the penalty, but the goal is to try and come back to the front as quickly as possible." Leclerc also paid tribute to Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz, whose death was announced just before qualifying. "It is incredibly sad, but apart from everything that he has done in his career, which is incredible, he's a human being," Leclerc said. "It is a really sad loss for motorsports, so all my thoughts go through to his family and friends."