Leclerc explains qualifying pace deficit to Verstappen

Charles Leclerc says he wouldn’t have beaten Max Verstappen to Mexican Grand Prix pole position – until the Dutchman was penalised for a yellow flag infringement – even without the setup change in Q3 that he feels hampered his pace.

Leclerc explains qualifying pace deficit to Verstappen

Leclerc will start from his seventh pole position of the season, but rued a setup change ahead of his second run in Q3 that cost him time in the final sector. Regardless of the move, Leclerc didn’t think he could’ve beaten Verstappen – before the Red Bull driver was stripped of pole position anyway.

“We went a bit too far with the setup and it created quite a bit of oversteer in the last sector but overall it wouldn’t have changed anything,” said Leclerc. “I wouldn’t have got pole position [until the three-place grid penalty was applied]. Max was too quick.

“Today it felt extremely difficult. The first run in Q3 I was extremely happy with and we were one tenth behind and I don’t think much closer than that was possible.

“On the second run I tried to put a bit more front in the car, which I wanted, but I went [out] the other side, which created quite a lot of oversteer in the last sector and we lost too much time. I lost the time I made up in the first sector.”

“After FP3 we thought we had a shot for pole, and then in qualifying [Verstappen] was too quick.”

Read Also:

His teammate Sebastian Vettel, who took pole at the last race at Suzuka, admitted he had a poor first lap in Q3 and Bottas’s crash ruined his second attempt. He was third fastest but will start second.

“I had a mistake on my first run so I was quite confident on the second run I can make up for it,” said Vettel. “Unfortunately there was double yellow, so I had to slow down and the lap was lost. I didn’t peak when it was time to peak in the sessions, especially Q3.

“Other than that the car felt good. There was more in hand. Obviously Max was a fair bit faster than us on the key lap.”

In terms of race potential, Vettel said: “The car is good, I would have liked to be a bit further up. I think it was possible but let’s see tomorrow. It is a long race, I think we have the speed. We’ll see how everything gets going. We start on the medium tyres, and we’ll take it from there.”

shares
comments
Bottas had knee pain after hitting "nasty" barrier

Previous article

Bottas had knee pain after hitting "nasty" barrier

Next article

Albon: Crashes not down to pressure to match Verstappen

Albon: Crashes not down to pressure to match Verstappen
Load comments
The details that boosted Verstappen and held back Hamilton in Austin Prime

The details that boosted Verstappen and held back Hamilton in Austin

As the 2021 Formula 1 title battle winds towards its climax, the United States GP added another thrilling act in the Lewis Hamilton-Max Verstappen battle. Although Hamilton aced the start, Verstappen and Red Bull took the initiative with strategy and were richly rewarded, despite Mercedes' best efforts as the race went down to the wire

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a baking hot afternoon in Texas, Formula 1 drivers were tested to their limits. As the pressure on the title contending squads reaches an ever-greater level of intensity, the foremost challengers again showed their class, but were outshone by a standout drive from the upper midfield

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Prime

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment.

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement Prime

Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man Anthony Peacock explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it).

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
How Verstappen has become F1 champion material Prime

How Verstappen has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle Prime

Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be set to be another close contest.

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Prime

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Prime

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021