Leclerc adopts new approach to qualifying to avert errors

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc has learned from his mistakes in qualifying this season and subsequently changed his approach to the all-important Saturday afternoon session.

The Scuderia, who is in his second year of F1, qualified on pole in Bahrain but botched his session in Baku where he crashed out of Q2.

In Spain, another error in the second segment of qualifying led to a damaged floor which in turn impacted his run in Q3.

In Monaco however, Leclerc was amazingly eliminated at the outset, through no fault of his own but as the result of a costly strategy blunder by the Ferrari pitwall.

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Still, after assessing his performance in qualifying the 21-year-old has decided to change his approach and favor a more gradual process.

“One approach that I probably have changed after Baku was pushing too hard in Q2,” said Leclerc.

“That has been a mistake because we had an easy potential to go to Q3 with the car we had and to crash at that time was probably a bit stupid.

“Then in Barcelona, we broke part of the floor but that was pushing too hard, I let the car go and broke the piece. So those are things I had changed after this.

“Compared to last year, you can give it all from Q1 to Q3, but as we’ve seen in Baku maybe it was not very important to give it all in Q2 because we definitely had the potential to do a lot better in Q3.

“But there was a few mistakes on my side, and we learn from them, and now I’m looking forward to trying not to reproduce them and hopefully the better times will come.”

In Montreal, team mate Sebastian Vettel said that he had not by any measure given up on Ferrari’s championship hopes despite his team’s 118 point deficit to Mercedes.

Leclerc is on the same page as the German, acknowledging the Scuderia’s disappointing start to its season but refusing to throw in the towel with regard to the fight for the title.

“It’s been a difficult start to the season, I definitely expected more, but we don’t need to wave goodbye yet, we need to push until the end and that’s what we are doing,” said the Monegasque.

“We are trying to understand our mistakes, and not do them again, and go from there. I’m pretty sure the results will come.”