Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc both made it through to the all-deciding Q3 during qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Sainz was able to secure fifth starting spot, while Leclerc did not get further than seventh. Therefore, the Spaniard is reasonably happy, but the Monegask thinks there could have been more for his starting position.
“We had the potential to do better,” Leclerc said in a Ferrari press release after qualifying. “My first and second sectors came together really well, but I was probably pushing a little too much, which left me out of grip by the time I got to the last sector. It’s a shame, but that’s life. It’s going to be hard to fight back, but we’ll do our best. We are strong in our race pace.”
Sainz ‘quite satisfied’ with his performance
Where Leclerc saw more opportunities for himself, Sainz is mostly satisfied. “Especially after one of the hardest Fridays for me in a long time. We have recovered well. In addition, we have worked hard to put together a competitive car, so my thanks go to the whole team. This session confirms that I’ve made good progress in qualifying since the start of the year, so that’s also a positive point.”
“Sector three was key,” Sainz continues. “I didn’t push the tires too much in the first two sectors and at the end I went for it, which resulted in a good lap. In the race it will not be easy to pass Lando Norris, but we will do our best to give him a good fight and gain some positions. I want to end my first season at Ferrari on a high. Let’s go racing!’
Ferrari race director sees ‘solid qualifying’
Laurent Mekies, race director at Ferrari, is pleased with qualifying. “It was a solid qualifying session, especially in terms of our level of performance. From the start of the season we have seen that it is very close behind the two teams up front. Carlos and Charles gave their very best and were in the hunt for a second row place until the end and their starting positions are a good starting point for the race.”
“After races on two completely new tracks, we are now on a track that has been significantly modified, making it much more fluid,” continued Mekies. “I think this weekend the team has again shown that it is able to adapt quickly to anything new. We went against the grain in qualifying, which will help us reach our potential.”
During the race Ferrari will try to get a good result. ‘In this way we want to achieve the goals that we are still pursuing. We want to have a good race to end the season, to put a smile on the faces of our drivers, and of all the staff who work hard every day, both on the track and in Maranello and all the people from all over the place world that follow the Ferrari with such passion and enthusiasm’, concludes Mekies.
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