(Motorsport-Total.com) – Charles Leclerc is “quite surprised” by his performance in qualifying for the Eifel Grand Prix at the Nürburgring (follow Formula 1 2020 in the live ticker!). Because he hadn’t expected fourth place on the grid. Therefore he is “very satisfied”.
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“Mainly because we assumed we would get into trouble in these cool conditions. It went pretty well,” said Leclerc. Indeed: With 1: 26.035 minutes, the Ferrari driver at least held a Red Bull and both Renault behind him, 0.766 seconds behind Valtteri Bottas’ best Mercedes time.
“The lap,” says Leclerc, “was very good. I got it right on the last try, even though the conditions worsened in Q3. There was more wind overall and that made the car unpredictable. Still I managed to get the lap. I am very happy with P4. “
Vettel and Leclerc disagree on update conclusion
Leclerc’s Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel, on the other hand, got along less well and only reached P11, with reference to a weak first sector. Leclerc says that he was particularly strong in this section, but did not want to go into the team duel, which was 0.498 seconds apart.
The assessments of Ferrari drivers when using the latest updates on the SF1000 also differ widely. Vettel states that he only drove it in the afternoon. His conclusion: “A bit difficult to say, but not a big difference. That is also what we expected.”
Leclerc, however, explains that the current Ferrari innovations “worked properly”. He goes on to say: “We are not so much concerned with updates that would bring us a lot of time. We rather try to implement small changes every weekend. At the moment it works well.”
Now a “good result” for Leclerc
“Every time we use something new, it works. That’s the most important thing. And that has not been the case in the past,” says Leclerc. “That helps us to find a solid foundation on the car.”
Leclerc wants to use this very basis to achieve a “good result” at the Eifel Grand Prix. However, there is no concrete target. Because: “The race is likely to be difficult. There are a lot of unknowns there because we have practically not done any test laps with a lot of fuel. So let’s see.”
“It will be important,” says Leclerc, “to protect the tires and to anticipate which ones [Reifen auf welcher Achse] wear out first. In any case, we will try to make the best of it. “
Leclerc does not copy Vettel
And Vettel? Leclerc doesn’t write him off, but says: “Seb is a four-time world champion. He’ll get back where he belongs. At the moment I’m concentrating on myself and on pushing the car to the maximum every time. That works at the moment very good for me. “
The statistics underline that: In the current season, Leclerc has a clear lead in the Ferrari qualifying duel against Vettel with 9: 2. He did not start from the top 10 only three times, but Vettel only three times from the top 10.