French GP: qualifying team notes – Ferrari
When the French Grand Prix starts tomorrow at 3 p.m. CET, Charles Leclerc will start from pole position at the Paul Ricard circuit in Le Castellet. The performance was due to Scuderia Ferrari making the most of their package, as well as a strong contribution from Carlos Sainz. With the Spaniard starting from the back of the grid tomorrow with a penalty for coming up against a fourth power unit this season, he was able to focus on towing his team-mate in Q3, which he did with plenty of effort. effect, helping Charles take the number one space on the grid. It was the Maranello team’s 238th pole in Formula 1, its eighth of the season. For Charles, it was the 16th of his career, the seventh this year, which therefore sees him equal his own record set in 2019.
Both drivers rode their F1-75s comfortably through to the final stages of qualifying, where teamwork came into play, as in both of his races Charles was able to take advantage of the draft of Charles. It was effective on the straight before the first chicane and especially after and in the Signes bend. The first run produced a 1m31.209s, followed by an incredible 1m30.872s, which proved unbeatable, and the only lap of the day under 1m30. The fact that Carlos arrived in Q3 earned him a place on the grid, putting him 19th on the clean side, ahead of Kevin Magnussen, who also has a penalty.
Leclerc will be aiming to convert today’s result into a win tomorrow, while Sainz will have to fight his way through the order. In both cases, tire management will play a key role. Charles will also want to keep his opponents more than a second behind in the early laps so as not to give them the advantage of using DRS. The whole team will now get down to it by preparing for tomorrow’s race, contested over 53 laps, or 309.69 kilometers.
Charles Leclerc: Before this afternoon, it had been quite a difficult weekend for me. I struggled with the balance and I knew that in this kind of heat you pay the price for the slightest mistake because your tires overheat.
Today, I felt good to prepare for this last lap in Q3. Carlos towed me well, which helped me get more headroom and seal pole position. It was a good qualifying with great teamwork behind it.
Our competitors are extremely strong here. It looks like they have an advantage in terms of race pace, but I’m confident we can turn things around and hopefully we can hold on to that lead tomorrow.
Carlos Sainz: Considering I will be serving the penalty tomorrow, today was all about helping the team maximize the result and we had a strong qualification. The plan was to get through Q1 and Q2 with one attempt and then use Q3 to tow Charles, which we did perfectly as a team.
I’m happy because of that and because I was fast and comfortable on the track all weekend. In Q2 I pushed a bit more to test the limits and the time was very competitive. Obviously I would have liked to do a normal session, but I prefer to take the positive because we continue to move in the right direction.
We know tomorrow won’t be an easy race but I’m looking forward to it. We’re going to have to manage the tires well as we try to move up the order, but I’m ready!
Laurent Mekies, sports director: This pole is special because it is the result of perfectly executed teamwork. Congratulations to Charles who has made a lot of progress over the weekend, confirming once again how fantastic he is on a flying lap. And really congratulations to Carlos who always had a good pace. Penalized for the power unit change, he then put himself at the service of the team, towing Charles on his two Q3 runs, thus contributing to the final result.
Now comes the hardest test, the Grand Prix itself on a track that in the past has proven particularly difficult for us. After last season’s race here, we worked on the track and in Maranello to find a solution to the limitations we encountered on this type of circuit. So now we can’t wait to see the progress we’ve made and what we still have to do to improve.
We will now analyze all the data to prepare for the 53-lap race, down to the smallest detail, in order to convert today’s result with Charles, even though our opponents showed excellent pace. It will be a two-to-one affair, which means that it will be all the more important to do everything to the best of our abilities. Of course, we also expect to see Carlos fight his way through the field and help us bring home a lot of points for both championships.