Already in the Free Practices, it was evident that the Ferrari struggled in terms of stability in the Lusail curves. The Qatar qualifying has not contradicted these impressions. In fact, Charles Leclerc’s fifth place is an unexpected result, considering Friday’s performance. Whether the problems are related to windy conditions, the car’s setup, or the SF-23 simply being less competitive on this type of circuit will be a subject of debate in the coming days. Regardless, Leclerc describes this result (especially after McLaren’s penalties) as the best possible.
Charles Leclerc’s statement raises concerns among fans for tomorrow’s Grand Prix. Even Charles Leclerc seems resigned to a challenging weekend. He will aim to at least challenge the Mercedes cars and defend against a clearly superior McLaren on the track.
Charles Leclerc’s words:
“We had a problem with high-speed corners during the lap, which made me lose pace while pushing to the maximum. It wasn’t ideal, and we lost a lot of ground,” commented Charles Leclerc after the qualifying session. “We struggled a lot in the first sector, and I had a hard time with the rear tires on the outlaps. It was an issue, and in Q2, I only attempted one lap because I had to abort two laps. In the middle sector, we were really fast, though.”
“Overall, we did our best with what we had, and we need to find the pace to push immediately tomorrow. We can improve our outlaps, but I don’t think there’s much room for improvement. I don’t believe we can make significant adjustments to the car setup since it’s limited due to parc fermé conditions,” concluded the Monegasque driver.