Scuderia Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc will start Sunday’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at the Imola circuit from seventh place after setting a fastest time of 01:14.617s and speaking following the action he said:
“I love this track, especially in qualifying, when you can take the curbs more aggressively.
Today we struggled a bit in terms of balance and I can’t say I’m fully satisfied with my laps in Q3. In the end, a seventh position came out which is not terrible even if I was hoping for something better. In fact, we are all very close and if I look at the gap from fourth position it is frustrating to see that we are three squares behind.
Tomorrow will not be easy at all, especially because overtaking here is very difficult. We will have to start with a set of Soft tires that have already covered two laps in Q2 but I think that, after the first stint, we can play our cards. The race is tomorrow, and it is in that phase that the points are awarded.
Sebastian Vettel qualified 13th with a time of 01:15.274s but starts the race from 14th place after it was found that the German had exceeded track limits and speaking following the session he said:
“I was satisfied with the quality of my laps even though it is quite clear that today we weren’t able to be fast enough to deserve the next round. In qualifying I felt better than in free practice this morning and I tried to extract all the potential from the car. Feeling more comfortable, I risked a bit but made some mistakes by finishing wide at the chicane and losing a position for having gone beyond the limits of the track.
We will start rather backwards and tomorrow it will not be easy to recover as overtaking here is not easy at all. In the race it will be important to safeguard the tires and then we’ll see how things turn out. I think the goal will be to make only one stop.
Today for me it was the first day on the Imola track and I am still refining my harmony with this circuit. However, I can already say that it is a very nice track where I hope to still have the opportunity to compete in the near future ”.
Scuderia Ferrari Sporting Director Laurent Mekies commented saying:
A qualifying quite similar to that of eight days ago, even if we were hoping for something better. Moreover, this implies the confirmation of the growth of our potential compared to the central phase of the championship, even on a track with characteristics different from that of Portimão. Fourth position – what is reasonably our target at the moment – we missed by just over a tenth with Charles, who however for the ninth time this year is in the top ten on Saturday afternoon. Sebastian seemed to be more comfortable with the car but was unable to pass the Q2 cut and will find himself sprinting again from the second half of the grid, albeit with the advantage of being able to choose the best compound with which to do the first part of the race. race.
Also today we tried to go through with the Mediums in order to have a strategic advantage tomorrow, making the first attempt in Q2 with this compound. After the first response of the time trial, if Sebastian was clear about the choice to try again to improve with the Soft, it was still too risky for Charles to rely again on the harder tire and therefore we preferred to play it safe.
With the weekend format compressed into two days there is obviously less time to prepare for the race in the usual way, considering that the long runs carried out today are a bit less representative: there will therefore be one more unknown factor to keep in mind. However, the objective remains unchanged: to make the maximum points with both drivers to make up ground in the Constructors’ classification ”.