Leclerc says fourth place is possible from back row ‘if we play it smart on strategy’

2022 Canadian Grand Prix

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Charles Leclerc will start today’s race from 19th after taking multiple penalties for replacement power unit penalties, but believes fourth at the finish is possible.

However he admitted passing cars may prove slightly harder than he expected around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

“I don’t know whether it will work out or not,” Leclerc said. “It was a bit more difficult to overtake than what I initially thought yesterday.

“But overall, I think we’ve got quite a good pace in the car. If we play it smart in the strategy, having some clean air, we can come back to P4 or something.

“So that is the goal and yeah, I’ll give it everything.”

Leclerc called his chances of a victory from the back view ‘optimistic,’ saying he was backing team mate Carlos Sainz Jnr to fight with Max Verstappen for the lead.

“Obviously if I’m not able to do that, then the second person I want to win is Carlos. That would be great for him,” said Leclerc. “I think he’s been competitive this weekend and it’s going to be very close with Max and hopefully with a late Safety Car and a little bit of luck, I can join the battle also.

“But obviously this is quite optimistic.”

Ferrari used the qualifying session to run Leclerc’s car after the new power unit installation and check everything was working. He did not participate in Q2.

Although disappointed at to not being able to qualify, Leclerc said he believed Ferrari had taken the right choice by opting to take all the grid penalties at once.

“I don’t know if there will be any more penalties other than that but I think it’s the best we could have done, although it is not a good situation to be in. But I guess we took the right decision to put it all on one race instead of having multiple race with then grid places.

“So we’ll try to make the most of it and hopefully we can have no reliability issues anymore and focus on ourselves and catch back up with the Red Bulls in the championship.”

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2022 Canadian Grand Prix

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Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....
Will Wood
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14 comments on “Leclerc says fourth place is possible from back row ‘if we play it smart on strategy’”

  1. With focus on “if”.

  2. I also reckon P4 is possible.

  3. BLS (@brightlampshade)
    19th June 2022, 13:08

    Ferrari and smart strategy don’t often go hand in hand

  4. The usual good for overtaking tracks are now much more difficult to race on, any track that relied on massive straights and slipstreaming have now become a nightmare for overtaking. These cars do better with wider tracks different lines and tyre deg, slipstreaming is weak.
    I think Leclerc is going to struggle to get to 4th, as that ferrari is not the fastest stallion around.

    1. @peartree
      Unlike Sainz, because Leclerc didn’t have to worry about his grid position. He went for a low downforce set up in order for him to be able to comeback in the race. He needs a bit of luck with at least one SC in the right moment and a dry race. As for Perez the RB18 is very efficient when the DRS is open, they seem to be the team that gains the most when they activate the DRS.

      1. @tifoso1989 Not wanting to gloat too much but I was right.

        1. @peartree
          You were indeed right. Leclerc was able to cut through the field but he was stuck behind Ocon. Ferrari panicked and decided to pit him instead of waiting for something to happen. The slow pitstop dropped him behind a train of 4 cars and in the end he had to clear both the Alpines with higher top speed and new tyres.

          1. I think it had to do with strategy, so something leclerc considered when making this statement, there were 3 VSC\SC, leclerc didn’t manage to make any pit stop in any of those windows, otherwise p3 would’ve been possible as perez wasn’t there and tbh he wasn’t impressive till the issue.

  5. He’s going to need some luck to get up to 4th but it’s certainly possible. Of course, his car has to make it to the finish, Ferrari have to not screw up their strategy and he needs to not bin it into the wall… If those 3 things happen, I think somewhere around 4th is a reasonable target.

  6. Interesting. If leclerc thinks 4th is possible I wonder which 3 drivers might be in front of him. Can alonso hold onto a podium place?

    1. I guess he expects Perez to finish 3rd…

  7. IfImnotverymuchmistaken
    19th June 2022, 15:16

    Well, he said it himself, then. Not much chance for 4th place.

  8. Sergey Martyn
    19th June 2022, 16:24

    Ferrari strategists are very well known for snatching the defeat from the jaws of victory.

  9. Or victory from jaws of defeat?

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