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charles leclerc pole french gp 2022

Leclerc: Carlos helping was amazing teamwork

charles leclerc pole french gp 2022

Charles Leclerc powered the #16 Ferrari to his 16th Formula 1 career pole with his efforts during today’s French Grand Prix qualifying, with Carlos Sainz throwing his weight for a great team result.

Sainz, with engine penalties rendering him to the back of the grid for Sunday’s race, provided the decisive tow that allowed Leclerc to stun the Red Bull pair and relegate Max Verstappen to second and Sergio Perez third.

While Leclerc was chuffed he was also quick to praise his teammate: “It was a great lap. I’ve struggled all weekend to put a lap together but I put it in and I have to says thanks to Carlos for the help. It was amazing teamwork because without Carlos it would have been much closer, so a huge thanks to Carlos and I hope that he can join us back in the fight for the win tomorrow.”

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“I was very surprised by the pace we had. We managed to turn it around for qualifying. The car felt good, it is difficult to understand what the Red Bull guys did yesterday as there was loads of difference with lap times. Let’s see how it goes.”

His pole wasn’t a given but when he did get it sweet the 1:30.872 was three-tenths faster than what World Champion and championship leader Verstappen could muster.

Leclerc explained: “Well I mean it’s quite tricky to get it exactly right. I think the first lap, we were a bit too close in [Turns] 8, 9, so maybe I lost a little bit there and just drove in not the best way possible. In the second lap we adapted that, and it was better, and that was the lap. We did a good job, communication-wise, and Carlos helping me was amazing.”

Leclerc: Carlos judged it perfectly and got out of the way at the right moment

Leclerc: Carlos judged it perfectly and got out of the way at the right moment

“It’s all in the trust at the end,” beamed Charles in parc ferme. “I knew that Carlos was going to eventually get out of the way at one point; I just didn’t know when,” said Leclerc who also added that the move had not been practiced beforehand.

Sainz on the other hand did not set a time, resigned to a back of the grid start he played the team game to perfection: “It was the plan the whole way through the weekend. Unfortunately, the penalty comes at the stretch of the season when I’m feeling at my best with the car.

“I think you’ve seen all weekend, very fast in every session at every point, but obviously, because of the penalty, the target was to get to Q3 and give the tow to Charles, which I think I did pretty well – I think it was pretty nailed – and I’m happy for the team.

“I know how to give a good tow, I mean, I know what I would need, because I know exactly where I would need… Charles to give me a tow, so I just gave him what I think was the best.

“I think this weekend I’m probably one of the fastest guys on track so we should be able to make it through the field. It will all depend on how the hard tyre feels versus the medium, how difficult it is to follow and overtake with these front tyres, how difficult it is with the overheating following other cars.

“But I’m going to give it the best shot and I’m feeling confident with the car, so it’s a good weekend to try and do a good recovery,” added Sainz.