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F1 Abu Dhabi GP entrance row a “large shock” having feared Q1 exit

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Leclerc ultimately lapped only 0.139 seconds shy of polesitter Max Verstappen within the remaining a part of the shootout, with the Pink Bull driver failing to enhance on his final flying lap.

It marked a fast restoration for Leclerc, who was solely ninth after his first run in Q3. He reckoned his driving was on the cash however that the automotive had let him down in a straight line.

He felt as if the “peaky” SF-23 then got here alive when contemporary tyres had been fitted, leaving him with a “large shock” as he jumped as much as second place.

Leclerc stated: “For some purpose, once more, our automotive could be very peaky so each time we’re on scrubbed tyres, like the primary run in Q3 was an excellent lap, however we had been final.

“I did not have many hopes. However then once we placed on the brand new tyres, all the pieces comes alive.

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“It felt nice. Once more, I did an awesome lap. Actually joyful to be on the entrance row. Nevertheless it’s an enormous shock.”

Leclerc thought he was liable to dropping out of qualifying in Q1 and Q2 earlier than progressing into the highest 10 shootout and capitalising on a big final-sector slide that knocked McLaren’s Lando Norris out of rivalry for pole.

The Monegasque continued: “Actually, contemplating the weekend we have had till now, I didn’t count on it in any respect, the final lap. I knew I needed to put completely all the pieces collectively.

Photograph by: James Sutton / Motorsport Images

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23

“I did the final nook, was a bit an excessive amount of sliding. However I believe everyone has had that.

“Q1 and Q2, I used to be frightened to undergo and on the finish a entrance row, so it is superb.”

Leclerc did recommend his precedence for the race was to consolidate second place moderately than take the combat to Verstappen, with Ferrari needing to concentrate on leaping Mercedes for second within the constructors’ championship.

The Scuderia sits 4 factors adrift getting into the ultimate race of the season.

“I hope it’ll go effectively,” stated Leclerc. “That is the goal. It’s to beat [Mercedes] within the constructors’ championship.

“I actually hope Carlos [Sainz, eliminated in Q1] can have an awesome begin after which be part of me within the combat.

“Let’s try to put each of our vehicles in entrance of each Mercedes [George Russell fourth, Lewis Hamilton 11th] and are available again residence with a second place within the constructors’. That’s all that issues to me this weekend.”

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