“The grip was just extremely poor in the first sector” — Leclerc reflects on nightmare F1 Canadian GP qualifying for Ferrari

Photo Credit: Scuderia Ferrari
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After winning the Monaco Grand Prix and demonstrating strong performance since introducing their latest upgrades in Imola, Ferrari was expected to be the favourites at the Canadian Grand Prix. This was anticipated due to the track’s slow corners, kerb riding, which played to Ferrari’s strengths last time out.

However, during final practice it became evident that Ferrari was struggling with pace. D

Despite their efforts, they were unable to pinpoint the cause of the problem, leading to a challenging qualifying session. Both cars were eliminated in Q2, with Charles Leclerc finishing eleventh, just one place ahead of his teammate Carlos Sainz.

Leclerc admitted that the car was “nowhere” and that they had no clear explanation for the drop in performance.

“Well, we are just not fast enough and yeah, unfortunately, that’s it. In FP3 we were nowhere on the dry, in qualifying we were nowhere on the dry as well.

“I don’t have any explanations for now. In FP3 already we felt that something was wrong, we couldn’t see what was wrong and that was exactly the same in qualifying where it definitely felt like something was wrong but nothing we could see was wrong.”

He described the situation as “very surprising” and “disappointing” but remained hopeful for the race.

“Very surprising. Yeah, I did not expect that and it’s obviously disappointing.

“But we’ve got a race tomorrow and I believe that in the race the issues that we have had in qualifying will be a bit different.”

Ferrari has had tyre preparation issues throughout the season and once again it seemed to rear its ugly head in Montreal on Saturday. Fred Vasseur said they were losing 50% of their lap time in turn 1, and Leclerc confirmed that sector 1 was a big issue.

“So, the grip was just extremely poor in the first sector especially. And then once you slide in the first sector it’s a snowball effect and you never really get the performance out of the car. So, yeah, difficult weekend until now.”

The Monagesque driver ran old tyres in his last Q2 run, which is unusual as teams save their newest tyres till their last run. Ferrari had decided to use their new set at the start of the session in case rain fell.

“I’ll review that with the team. I’m not sure.”