Leclerc banking on mediums after qualifying success

Charles Leclerc admitted that Ferrari had taken a gamble in attempting to get through to the final round of qualifying on the medium compound tyres.

It means that he will be starting tomorrow’s race on that compound which is a relief as the SF1000 has struggled to make the soft compound last in race conditions.

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“I’m extremely happy about today. I did not expect to be P4 for tomorrow’s race, especially not starting with mediums,” he said after the end of Saturday’s qualifying session for the British Grand Prix.

  • Hamilton recovers from early spin to sweep Silverstone pole

“We tried it but we were not very confident about making it,” he said of the decision to try and make it into the final round using the harder compound.

“To make it work was very nice, and it’s looking good for the race,” he added. “It’s a great qualifying today, I’m very, very happy with the job we’ve all done.

“Our race pace, we are struggling,” he admitted. “I think we have the pace, but we are just destroying the tyres very quickly compared to the others, so starting on the medium will help us massively.”

His team mate Sebastian Vettel is not looking in such good shape. The former world champion set his best Q2 time on the soft compound so that is what he will start the race on. Worse still, he will be lining up in tenth place on the grid.

Leclerc explained that everyone had been grappling with tricky conditions because of the gusty wind conditions at Silverstone, which is a former airfield on an exposed piece of land in Northamptonshire.

“With the wind, like from FP3 and quali it has been quite constant but from yesterday it changed completely.

“It changes completely the balance of the car so you need to adapt to it quickly because it really affects the balance of the car a lot.

“It’s very challenging in a Formula 1 car without wind already,” Leclerc explained. “Maggots and Beckets now, it’s crazy how quick that is.”

Leclerc had been one of a number of drivers who was being looked at by the race stewards for possible breaches of the rules in qualifying.

In Leclerc’s case it was because he was under investigation for an unsafe release where the team ushered him out of the garage in front of Racing Point’s Lance Stroll.

But after looked at the evidence the stewards decided that “having reviewed previous instances…this situation was not particularly unsafe” and determined that no further action was required.

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