Leclerc ”really angry” with himself for Q3 crash: “No excuses”

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Photo credit: Scuderia Ferrari

Charles Leclerc will start the Miami Grand Prix in seventh place after he crashed during his second run in Q3. He failed to set a competitive time after kissing the wall in turn 16 and locking up significantly in turn 17, prompting the Monegasque driver to go all-in in his second and final attempt. He lost his Ferrari over the kerbs in turn 7, causing him to spin out and eventually hit the TecPro-barriers with his right rear. The Monegasque was quite stern with himself.

“I’m very disappointed with myself. Same mistake as yesterday in the same corner. I also know that qualifying is my strong point. Obviously, I am taking more risks in Q3. That pays off nine times out of ten. But obviously, this is a weekend where twice I put it in the wall. This is just not the level where I want to be.

“Again, I’m just very disappointed with myself. I did a great lap in the first lap of Q3. But there’s no point to say that when you don’t finish a lap and you lock up in the last corner. And the second lap, I put it in the wall. So, again, I’m really angry with myself.

“I’m very hard on myself. But I also know what are my strong points and what it gives me on the other side, taking this much risk. But it’s just very disappointing.”

The 19-time polesitter chose the tricky setup because he was convinced he would be able to extract the potential from the car, something he has proven multiple times before.

“I think I put myself also in a difficult situation because I wanted a very aggressive setup for qualifying. Knowing that this was a setup I will need to extract the most out of the car. I probably did a step too far and this is something I will look at after the weekend.

“I am taking a lot of risk in Q3 to try and do something special because I know we are behind Red Bull at the moment. But also I think what is taking the upper hand this weekend is that I have a very aggressive setup. I know it. I think it will pay off in the race for us. But in qualifying it was just too much.”

He also refused to blame the crash on the circumstances: a strange circuit with a shiny new layer of tarmac.

“I mean, this is definitely not something I want to say now after a mistake because this is the same conditions for everybody. And today the only person that puts it in the wall is myself. So, no excuses.

“Yes, people have done mistakes, but I shouldn’t have been the one to make it. So, yeah, then for the track we can speak after the weekend. It’s not the easiest, but it’s the same for everybody.”

With a chance of rain for tomorrow’s race, there might be some chaos, but the Ferrari driver doesn’t think that will provide him with an opportunity to beat Red Bull.

“Unfortunately, absolutely not. I mean, the Red Bull is way too strong in terms of degradation, tyre degradation. So, I think they will be in a league of their own. Then if we can finish behind them, I think it will be already a great achievement because the Aston [of Alonso] seems very strong.”