Eighth place was not necessarily what Charles Leclerc had hoped for, but after a dramatic qualifying session due to a crack in the chassis, he looks back on the race with satisfaction. The speed in the free air in particular provided some relief.
Leclerc was left with some doubts after finishing only thirteenth in qualifying. He had no explanation for the sudden loss of speed, but Ferrari did have one after qualifying. They had discovered a crack in the chassis. He might have already taken the damage in his first run in Q1. The team had made a chassis change for Leclerc, who took advantage in the race.
“If you look at the result, it is of course nothing special,” Leclerc looks back on his race in Qatar. “But if you look at the free-air pace in the second stint, it’s very positive because we were very strong. It’s a track where it’s difficult to overtake, especially if you’re on the same strategy as the guys in front of you. So in the open air I could show my real pace.”
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“I was quite happy to see that the speed was back after the chassis change because it was quite worrying to see how little speed we had,” he refers to the qualifying. “Certainly with a damaged chassis, you don’t know to what extent it is damaged. So to find the speed again after the chassis change, that feels good,” said the Monegask.
Leclerc had no worries about the chassis change. “Normally there’s not much difference when you go from one chassis to another. It’s easy to find the same feeling, so I wasn’t worried at all,” he concludes.