Ever since the FP1 in Bahrain, Charles Leclerc has been looking lost, as it was quite evident during the qualifying session on Saturday. After missing out on Q3, the Ferrari driver acknowledged a “difficult” weekend in the desert. However, he added that he is looking to be stronger when he returns for the race.
Speaking to Formula 1, Leclerc opened up his thoughts on the weekend filled with struggles. “It’s been a difficult weekend on my side,” he said. “I’ve been struggling with the car since FP1, and it didn’t really get any better.”
“Maybe a little-bit Q1, then Q2 with the medium, I struggled a bit again. I haven’t been driving very cleanly this weekend, but I’ll try to sort everything out for tomorrow.”
Following an incredibly strong weekend in Turkey, all eyes were on the Maranello-based outfit coming into the Bahrain Grand Prix. However, their lead driver, Leclerc, never really got going. Meanwhile, his teammate, Sebastian Vettel, looked in good form.
Hence, going into the qualifying session, it was anticipated that Vettel would finish ahead of Leclerc. Ultimately, that is exactly how it turned out. Vettel will line up in P11, while Leclerc will start from P12 on the grid.
Charles Leclerc looks at the positives despite starting from P12
The Monegasque sounded disappointed after failing to get himself into Q3. However, P12 isn’t that bad to start a race from, considering Ferrari will now have free tire choice up their sleeve. Leclerc, too, mentioned the same following the qualifying session.
“I’m a bit closer [to the pack] but still a bit disappointed obviously,” said Leclerc. “P11 and P12 at the end is not that bad as we have free tyre choice.”
“I don’t know how different we will be able to do compared to the others in terms of strategy. But we at least have the freedom to think of something else, and yeah, we are close to top 10 compared to yesterday.”
However, Ferrari will still be concerned with the fact that even the free tire choice might not be much of an advantage. All of top 10 will start with the Mediums. Hence, Ferrari are left with two choices – Either start the race on a set of Mediums, or on a set of Hards and attempt for a one-stop race.
So, can Ferrari get their strategies to perfection and make sure that both Leclerc and Vettel see the checkered flag in the top 10?