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Charles Leclerc

Leclerc explains Ferrari Q3 tyre strategy choice

The Ferrari driver will start from third after only setting one timed run in Q3 to save a set of new Soft tyres for the race.

Leclerc Bahrain
To news overview © XPBimages

Charles Leclerc said it was a "surprise" to be in the fight for pole during Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying, after a "difficult" practice session.

Ferrari elected to spend most of pre-season testing working on car setup, with the team still being cagey about their performance after the first couple of practice sessions in Bahrain.

Leclerc appeared to match the pace of Red Bull during their race simulations in FP2, which is why Ferrari ended their fight for pole early after just one run in Q3 - the Monegasque deciding to save a set of Soft tyres after only running two new sets throughout the session.

"There wasn't any issue," confirmed Leclerc when asked about his early departure.

"I think we were in the fight for pole which was a good surprise to be honest, because I did not expect that after testing and the free practices that were a little bit difficult."

"We managed to find that pace for the pole lap, which was great, but we need to keep in our mind that in the race run, we seem to be a little bit on the back foot compared to Red Bull.

"I think we are in a better place starting third with new tyres."

Leclerc: Aston Martin and Mercedes much closer than we expected

The top six teams were separated by six tenths of a second at the end of qualifying, which is a lot tighter than was predicted after pre-season testing.

With Aston Martin also in the mix, Leclerc anticipates that it could lead to an exciting race with the teams also close on race runs.

He added: "I hope it will also be like that on the race runs. But it was very, very close.

"Actually Aston Martin was really quick, Mercedes also was really quick at some point of the qualifying, and we are much closer than what we expected, which is looking good for the future. I think it makes F1 more exciting."

F1 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix RN365 News dossier


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