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leclerc bahrain

Leclerc: I’m a bit disappointed, Red Bull still ahead by quite a bit

leclerc bahrain

Charles Leclerc felt he had more in his Ferrari for 2024 Bahrain Grand Prix Qualifying, he will line up second on the grid alongside the pole winner and the man to beat yet again, Formula 1’s triple World Champion, Max Verstappen

The Monegasque lamented using two sets of tyres in Q1, which compromised his Q3 run: “I’m a bit disappointed, but yeah, we did a good qualifying. It’s been a tricky weekend until now. We were trying quite a few things in practice and then I found the sweet spot in qualifying.

“Q1 was a bit tricky. Unfortunately, we put on 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.

“In Q2 I think I did a .1 which was more or less the lap time that Max did in Q3, so it was there in the car. I think we lost a little bit of the rhythm with the used set of C3 in Q3, then you have to readapt to the new tyres and I lost a little bit there, but all in all it’s been a positive qualy.”

Sainz will line-up in P4 on the grid behind Ferrari teammate Leclerc on Sunday

ferrari sainz

Leclerc continued: “I’m confident we did a step forward but we have to wait and see how much of a step forward we did. We really think that Red Bull is still ahead by quite a bit, in the race I mean.

“So we’ll see, but if there’s an opportunity as always I’ll go for it, and we’ll see what happens,” concluded Leclerc, who last year retired from the race with an engine issue.

In the sister car, Carlos Sainz, in his final season with Ferrari, was fourth quickest, a tenth shy of teammate Leclerc, the Spaniard will line-up behind him, P4 on the grid.

Sanz reported: “It was a super tight session and all in all it hasn’t been a bad first qualifying for the season. In Q3 we were not able to really put everything together, but we are in a decent spot for tomorrow’s race in P4.

“After testing we are confident that we have improved our race pace compared to the beginning of last year, so I’m looking forward to finally going at it tomorrow and finding out where we are on pace. Let’s kick off the season with a good one!” concluded Sainz, who qualified and finished p4 in Bahrain last year.

Vasseur: Maybe Red Bull will not have the kind of comfort zone of last year

ferrari Vasseur: Maybe Red Bull will not have the kind of comfort zone of last year

At the start of his second season in charge of Ferrari, final word to Fred Vasseur on his team’s Friday in Bahrain: “We were P1 in Q1 and Q2 so it would lead you to expect we could do a P1 in Q3, but it did not go that well, as we did not manage to put everything together on the last lap.

“But generally, our performance was encouraging as we were on the pace through all the sessions. That was only the first step of the weekend, now we will see tomorrow what is the situation over the long runs.

“As we’ve been saying since the beginning of the weekend, it’s very difficult to read the winter test and we are still completely in the dark about fuel levels.

“From what we have seen so far, it’s possible that this year Red Bull will not have the kind of comfort zone they had last year and maybe more teams could put them under pressure when they have to make decisions relating to strategy or even set-up.

“Looking ahead to the race we will focus first on ourselves: we want to verify if the car is more consistent in terms of tyre degradation, which seems to be the case, and then we will see what we can bring home. The first target is not to leave any points on the table,” declared Vasseur.