JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia — Charles Leclerc took little consolation from qualifying 0.155s off Sergio Perez’s pole place time on the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, saying Ferrari’s hole to Purple Bull is way greater than Saturday’s session instructed.
Leclerc was second quickest however will drop to twelfth on the grid with a ten-place grid penalty after reliability points on the Bahrain Grand Prix noticed him exceed the variety of management electronics allowed for the season.
Regardless of the obvious enchancment in efficiency relative to Purple Bull because the season opener in Bahrain, when Leclerc was 0.3s off pole place, the Ferrari driver was cautious about speaking up his crew’s progress after reigning champion Max Verstappen dropped out of qualifying with a driveshaft failure.
“I put every little thing in to my lap however I really feel just like the hole we’re seeing from Checo to myself just isn’t the actual one, I believe the hole is way greater than that,” he mentioned. “And ultimately my purpose is to beat the Purple Bull, it is to not end second or third or fourth or no matter. So there’s nonetheless loads of work to do to earlier than attending to their degree.”
Leclerc mentioned Ferrari was on a par with Mercedes, Aston Martin and Alpine for race tempo, however expects Verstappen, who will begin fifteenth, to scythe by way of the sector.
“For tomorrow we now have a ten-place grid penalty so it will likely be beginning the race a bit on the again foot however I’ll do completely every little thing to return again to the entrance.
“We may even have Max behind, however the Purple Bulls are in a league of their very own for now so I am fairly positive that he’ll come again fairly shortly to the entrance. For us we are going to try to give attention to ourselves, we’re roughly in the identical race tempo of Alpine, Mercedes and Aston Martin so it needs to be a superb combat, however let’s wait and see tomorrow.”