Following another disappointing qualifying session, Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc has revealed that his car has lost its promising balance for the qualifying session which cost him valuable time.
After two encouraging practice sessions on Friday, Ferrari dropped back in today’s qualifying with the Scuderia securing a ninth and eleventh starting position for Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel respectively. Considering the previous weekends, it seems that the SF1000 is currently lacking the qualifying pace, but it comes alive in race trim.
However, even if that trends continues tomorrow, it will be a hard task for Vettel and Leclerc to turn that pace into good results given the difficulty of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya regarding its overtaking opportunities.
"I am disappointed with our quali result. I was not very happy with the car today. At the beginning of quali it was not too bad but then I had a lot of understeer, which was getting worse and worse after every session and I just could not drive around this issue. We need to look into it and understand how we can fix it, because in the end P9 is disappointing.”
Following the British and the 70th Anniversary Grands Prix in which Leclerc excelled, the Monegasque thinks that tomorrow’s race at Barcelona will be a much more difficult affair given the tyre situation and advantage of the drivers who start behind him.
„We were just not fast enough on our quick lap. Tomorrow we will be starting on Softs, which is not the best tyre here, and people behind us will start on Medium and Hard, probably the best strategy, so it won’t be easy."
Vettel has been struggling with his SF1000 since the British Grand Prix, Round 4 of the season. The quadruple world champion received a new chassis for this weekend after the Scuderia found a small crack on his previous one. The German indicated yesterday following the practice sessions that he feels more comfortable in his car, but that promising feeling did not translate into good results today.
"I was very close to making the cut to Q3, as two thousands of a second is a very small gap. I tried everything and for sure it is a shame to be that close and not get through. I’ve been struggling all weekend to find the right balance. However, we have to look at the positives and with a free choice of tyres for tomorrow, hopefully we can do something different. We have tonight to think about that.”
The 33-year-old has pinpointed Turns 5 and 7 as his weak points, but he said the right balance was missing all through the second and third sector.
„Overall today, the first sector was ok, but then in the middle one the car started to be more and more nervous, I struggled in particular in turn 7, but also turn 5 was very tricky. The final sector was better, but there too, it wasn’t easy to find the right balance. Now we have to study the data in order to find some answers that could be helpful for the race."