Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Bahrain International Circuit, 2024

Leclerc says extra run in Q1 “compromised” his bid for pole position

Formula 1

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Charles Leclerc was disappointed to fall short of pole position for the Bahrain Grand Prix despite setting the quickest time across the three phases of qualifying.

He said the decision to start a second run in the opening part of qualifying disrupted his rhythm in the decisive final runs at the end of the session.

“I’m a bit disappointed,” said the Ferrari driver after taking second on the grid. “But we did a good qualifying.

“It’s been a tricky weekend until now. We were trying quite a few things in FP1, FP2, FP3 and then I found the sweet spot in qualifying.”

As lap times improved rapidly during Q1, Ferrari chose to send Leclerc out for a second run at the end of the session to avoid the risk of elimination, a decision he challenged on the radio. He returned to the pits after one lap without setting a time as Ferrari judged their rivals were not going to eliminate them.

“Q1 was a bit tricky,” he said. “Unfortunately we put two new sets of softs which compromised a little bit the Q3.

“But all in all it’s quite a good qualifying, a good start of the year. We are in a better place compared to a year ago, so that is good. Now we have to see the race pace tomorrow.”

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Leclerc set the quickest time in Q2, which proved faster than the lap Verstappen produced in Q3 to take pole position. He said having to use his scrubbed tyres from Q1 at the start of Q3 put him off his stride.

“In Q2, I think we had [29].1, which was more or less the lap time that Max did it in Q3, so it was there in the car.

“We just, I think, lost a little bit the rhythm with a used set of C3 [softs] in Q3. Then you have to re-adapt to the new tyres and I lost a little bit there. But all in all it’s been a positive quali.”

Having qualified second, Leclerc is unsure whether he will be able to take the fight to pole winner Verstappen tomorrow.

“I’m confident we did a step forward, but we have to wait and see tomorrow how much of a step forward we did,” he said. “We really think that Red Bull is still ahead by quite a bit in the race, so we’ll see. But if there’s an opportunity, as always, I’ll go for it and we’ll see what happens tomorrow.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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6 comments on “Leclerc says extra run in Q1 “compromised” his bid for pole position”

  1. Not an ecuse you will hear from Max, Lewis or Fernando.
    Leclerc needs to stop let every small thing affect him

    1. Actually Charles was the fastest driver in qualification trim as usual but it seems something gone wrong in the last flying lap (most probably he caught a wild wind). And if you compare him to the ones like Max, Hamilton, Alonso about finding excuses he is exactly the one who moans less than those you mentioned.

    2. True, I am not a lewis fan but he has a lot of mental strength and I think this is what Charles lacks with the mistakes etc. Unless there is a big change from Charles I think Lewis will easily come out on top in 2025.

    3. He concisely explained why he thought he couldn’t reproduce his Q2 time in Q3 – wind conditions had changed for final qually (track temp too obvs) and the scrubbed tyre run didn’t inform them how much front flap to put on for the new tyre run.
      You’d prefer him to be satisfied with 2nd when he could’ve had 1st or just keep us in the dark?

  2. Nope. Actually Max; Lewis and Fernando moan much more than Leclerc about everything little thing possible. Charles was once again the fastest over a single lap but I think something has gone wrong on the last flying lap (most, probably a wild wind caught him in a critical curve). He was very right to ask the team not to use a 2nd soft tyre set in Q1 but as usual, the team did not listen to their drives for to continue to make silly mistakes.

    1. Was hoping that part would improve with vasseur.

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