Grand prix

Why Leclerc’s setup choice made for a “tricky” qualifying at F1’s Turkish GP | F1

The Monegasque starred in qualifying once again as he’s set to start the race from third on the grid, moving up a place thanks to Lewis Hamilton’s penalty.

It wasn’t plain sailing for Leclerc in qualifying after he spun in Q1, while Ferrari generally lacked pace in the damp conditions.

As the track dried out, Leclerc saved his best lap for the end as he toppled Pierre Gasly, Fernando Alonso and Sergio Perez for fourth.

With the race most likely going to be dry, Leclerc feels that Ferrari has made the correct decision with its downforce levels.

“Very [happy],” he said. “For tomorrow, with Lewis’ penalty, I knew it was going to be a tricky session for us because we decided to go for a low downforce setup for this qualifying for tomorrow, which eventually I think is the right choice but for today it was going to be tricky, and then for Q2 thanks to Carlos obviously for the tow, otherwise I think it would have been a bit tighter to get to Q3 with the traffic I had in the last three corners.”

Leclerc admitted it was “a bit strange” that Ferrari was so competitive at Istanbul Park.

“I’m not completely sure to be honest,” Leclerc replied when asked why Ferrari is performing so well in Turkey. “As well as this, it’s a bit strange but to be honest, also the midfield seems to be working quite well because we are very close to pole position everyone, so it’s good to see that though.

Teammate Carlos Sainz is set to start from the back of the grid after taking a completely fresh power unit for this weekend.

With the Spaniard not competing in qualifying, Sainz kindly gave Leclerc a slipstream on his final lap in Q2 to ensure he progressed into the final session.

“Yes, it was planned for this race and it was planned also in the last race but the rain, we didn’t do it because it was raining in the last race in the qualifying,” he explained. “But there we saw the window and we exactly knew what to do, where to do it and yeah, it was great, it shows that we also know how to work as a team.

“We are very close together and it’s good to see that, it’s good also for me as it’s good for Carlos, because we are pushing each other after every races. At the end to finish sixth or seventh this year is not that exciting, but hopefully we can do a good enough job to try and gain some other positions before the end of the championship.”

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