Charles Leclerc qualified P2 at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Leclerc has a reputation for being a qualifying master. Ferrari showed poor pace throughout the free practice sessions. The whispers were that the team was saving their engine for qualifying. They did not want to push hard. They are already on their third CE.
Charles Leclerc will serve a ten-place penalty in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. The Ferrari driver had reliability issues during the Bahrain Grand Prix resulting in his DNF. Ferrari tooj another CE (control electronics) power unit component for Saudi. This resulted in a grid penalty. The teams can use two CE without penalty, and the Monegasque is already on his third.
After qualifying P2, Charles Leclerc gave his interview, “Happy? Yes and no. On one hand, it’s been a very difficult weekend for us in terms of pace, but I’m very happy with my lap. I think I put everything in it. On the other hand, Red Bull is on another planet.” Leclerc is happy with his performance. However, he does not think Ferrari will be able to catch up with Red Bull. All the other teams on the grid feel that Red Bull is in a league of its own. “We need to keep pushing, but that’s what we are doing as a team. Tomorrow is not going to be easy. I have a 10 grid places penalty so we will be starting a little bit further back but we will focus on the race.”
Related: “We have quite a bit in the locker,” Charles Leclerc optimistic about Ferrari’s chances during Jeddah qualifying
Charles Leclerc wants to push and come back stronger
Charles Leclerc stated over the radio, post-qualifying, “Honestly P2 is…I don’t think there was any more. For some reason, at turn 13 my fronts were not as grippy as before. I don’t know if there is anything I could do.” The Ferrari driver feels that he gave it his best. Xavier Padros, his race engineer, applauded him, saying it was a good lap.
Red Bull’s Sergio Perez claimed his second pole in Jeddah. Leclerc was 0.155s behind him. Fernando Alonso will jump to the front-row start because of Leclerc’s penalty. George Russell, the Mercedes driver, will start third on the grid, followed by Carlos Sainz and Lance Stroll. Max Verstappen’s engine failure cost him his P1 at the Saudi Arabian GP.
The other teams capitalized on Verstappen’s problem. It was a strong qualifying session for the Alpines as well. Pierre Gasly will start 7th, and Esteban Ocon will start 10th. Lewis Hamilton did not have the pace and finished P8. Meanwhile, McLaren rookie, Oscar Piastri stunned everyone with his performance, and the Australian will start P9. Though Leclerc qualified 2nd, he will serve his penalty. He will, however, give his best during the race and hope for a better result.
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