‘We are all going into an unknown’ says Leclerc after securing P4 for Saturday’s F1 Sprint
Charles Leclerc says he and his fellow drivers “are all going into an unknown” with F1's inaugural Sprint event on Saturday, after he delivered a blistering lap to take P4 in Friday's qualifying session at the British Grand Prix.
The Monegasque showed the pace to comfortably end up in the top 10 throughout the session at Silverstone and hooked up a tidy lap as the chequered flag fell to take fifth, which became fourth when Red Bull’s Sergio Perez had a lap time deleted for a track limits infraction.
Fourth is Leclerc's best Q3 performance since taking back-to-back pole positions for the Monaco and Azerbaijan Grands Prix.
“I’m very happy,” said Leclerc. “It was a tricky qualifying. With so little preparation going into qualifying, it makes things a bit trickier. But we did a good job, maximised the potential of the car, and yeah it’s an exciting weekend.
“Tomorrow we have a sprint race, don’t really know how to go into that sprint. We will just try to do the best race possible.”
He added: “I was quite confident [with the car], especially in Q1. In Q2, I wasn’t at the level I wanted to be. Then in Q3, I regained the confidence, and the pace a little bit in the car, so I’m happy with how it went.”
Leclerc will line up fourth on Saturday – with his finishing position in the Sprint securing his grid slot for Sunday’s Grand Prix. Before that, there is one more hour of practice, where teams can fine-tune their long run pace.
“Let’s wait and see,” said Leclerc of his expectations. “I don’t like to speak too quickly. Let’s see how it goes tomorrow. We are all going into an unknown.
“We have got FP2 to try and prepare the sprint race as well as we can – and then let’s see what can we do.”
His team mate Carlos Sainz made it two Ferraris in the top 10, as he ended up ninth quickest, two-tenths of a second behind his team mate.