Despite an ambitious wing adjustment, Charles Leclerc ended up in a disappointing fifth place during qualifying for the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, leaving him frustrated.”

Throughout Friday’s practice sessions, Charles Leclerc showcased promising performance on the track. However, his mood took a downturn during Saturday’s FP3 session and qualifying due to issues with his front tires. Despite starting strong by securing fourth place in Q1 and second in Q2, Leclerc encountered difficulties during his final run in Q3.

In an attempt to extract more performance from his car, Leclerc opted for a front wing adjustment before his last qualifying run. This decision reflected a strategic move to tackle the challenges he faced with his front tires. However, the anticipated improvement did not materialize, leading Leclerc to abandon his run and settle for fifth place on the grid.

Reflecting on his struggles during the qualifying session, Leclerc acknowledged that the root of the problem might have stemmed from earlier stages of the weekend. When questioned by Auto sport about his Q3 difficulties, Leclerc hinted at underlying issues that might have affected his performance from the outset of the event.

 In FP3, I began sensing a slight loss of control, which unsettled me, but I maintained optimism that the feeling would improve come qualifying, as it typically does. The pattern usually involves revitalization when new tires are fitted in qualifying, coupled with low fuel, reinvigorating the car’s responsiveness.

However, today proved to be an exception to this norm. Throughout qualifying, I grappled with significant challenges stemming from the front tires. This persisted until the final run in Q3, when I decided to take a bold approach by making aggressive adjustments to the front wing, hoping to rectify the situation. Unfortunately, the gamble didn’t pay off as expected, and instead, it exacerbated the issues I was facing.”

Reflecting on today, it hasn’t been the smoothest day for me on the track. I didn’t feel as in tune with my driving as I did yesterday. However, looking ahead to tomorrow, I’m keeping a positive outlook. The race presents a new opportunity, and I’ll be aiming to make the most out of it by maximizing every aspect of my performance.”

“The feeling wasn’t right,” he said. “From FP3, it was much more difficult to have a clean lap. Yesterday, every lap I was doing was clean and good.

“And today there was either one axle or the other that will go away, which is mostly down to tire preparation.

“And I don’t think I’ve done a great job on that today. So that’s a snowball effect then for the rest of the lap. So that’s why I think I messed up.”

Leclerc admitted that FP3 had also opened up his eyes to Red Bull’s performance.

I noticed that Red Bull began unleashing their engine’s full power,” he remarked. “From Turn 7 to Turn 9, we were already trailing by three-tenths of a second this morning. That’s quite significant.”

Following that realization, I knew clinching a pole position would be a tough ask. However, our strong performance in Q1 gave me a glimmer of hope. Yet, as qualifying unfolded, it became evident that our aspirations weren’t aligning with the reality of the situation.

Realistically speaking, aiming for a win seems challenging, especially with Max Verstappen demonstrating formidable strength. While Checo Perez could potentially be within reach, Red Bull’s overall performance exceeded our initial estimations.

Nevertheless, my focus remains on staging a comeback and securing a podium finish. If that entails surpassing Checo, then that’s precisely what we’ll strive for.”


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