‘We are just making our lives so much more difficult’ – Leclerc calls on Ferrari to ‘improve now’ after Montreal Q2 exit
A furious Charles Leclerc implored Ferrari to “improve now” after the Monegasque failed to reach Q3 for a second consecutive race – Leclerc finishing qualifying in P11 for Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix.
Leclerc – who qualified P19 for the Spanish Grand Prix last time out – was circulating around Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in mixed conditions in the Q2 segment of qualifying. But with the track half-wet and half-dry, Leclerc radioed to Ferrari to ask to make the move onto slick tyres – a call also made by the likes of Williams driver Alex Albon.
However, Leclerc’s request wasn’t immediately heeded – and while Albon was able to top the segment and progress to Q3, Leclerc stayed out to set a lap on the intermediates, before finding himself pushed into the drop zone after changing onto the slick tyres late on.
“Yeah, tyres were not ready. Come on!” Leclerc bellowed into his radio after taking P11 on the grid – with the Monegasque’s mood not improved when he faced the media.
“I’m very frustrated with the qualifying,” said Leclerc. “Not everything is [about the tyres] obviously because some others did exactly the same thing and still went through into Q3 [on intermediate tyres]. But we are just making our lives so much more difficult.
“I’m very frustrated now and honestly, we need to improve and do a step forward otherwise we’re always going to be disappointed so yeah – we need to improve now.
“We didn’t follow my intuition at that moment and I think that puts us in a very difficult situation after that and we paid the price big time,” he added. “So I’m very frustrated and very disappointed with today, and tomorrow I’ll try to make the best race possible in order to come back.”
Asked, meanwhile, what he would be saying to Ferrari when they debriefed later on, Leclerc replied: “What I will say to the team will remain between the team and myself but there’s no secrets.
“I’ll obviously speak with the team in order to improve, because it’s not the first time that we’re on the wrong side in those conditions.”
Leclerc’s team mate Carlos Sainz, meanwhile, could only manage P8 on the grid in his rebuilt SF23 – following a crash in Free Practice 3 – with the Spaniard then handed a three-place grid drop for impeding Pierre Gasly in Q1, dropping Sainz behind his team mate for Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix.