Charles Leclerc frustrated by not being able to fire Ferrari in F1 dispute
MELBOURNE— Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc has expressed disappointment after he was only able to finish seventh in the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix qualifying round on Saturday, when he and teammate Carlos Sainz one again unable to close the gap with Red Bull.
Champion Max Verstappen wins pole spot for Red Bull, with Mercedes driver George Russell in the front row for Sunday’s race at Albert Park after overtaking teammate Lewis Hamilton in second.
Leclerc said he was frustrated after being trailed by Sainz in Saturday’s third qualifying round, hampering his lap time.
“I don’t know what happened in the second half of the third quarter, whether it was by mistake with Carlos,” Leclerc told reporters. “But I find myself behind him in the first area, which isn’t great.”
He said the Ferrari performed better in Albert Park than the Jeddah outing two weeks ago, blaming his own performance for his qualifying position as well as misinformation. deviated from Sainz.
“I felt we were pretty competitive, but I didn’t put everything together,” Leclerc said.
“Honestly, it feels better, but again today I’m not particularly happy with the way I drive,” he said. “I think the car is actually pretty good.”
Sainz, who will start in fifth place behind fellow Spaniard Fernando Alonso, said Mercedes was closer to contention than many realised.
“They’re a lot faster than people think,” he told Sky Sports.
“That car was very fast. It’s obviously not as fast as Red Bull, no one is, but if they qualify together, they can be a very powerful pack.
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