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Ferrari drivers left searching for answers after ‘very disappointing’ qualifying display in Spain

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Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz expressed surprise and disappointment at Ferrari’s qualifying performance at the Spanish Grand Prix, with the pair unable to join the pole position fight.

After placing first and third in final practice, Leclerc and Sainz had to settle for P5 and P6 in the grid-deciding session, with McLaren’s Lando Norris, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and the Mercedes drivers all out of reach.

READ MORE: Norris beats Verstappen to pole in thrilling Spanish GP qualifying session

Beginning his assessment of the session, Leclerc said: “Well, we struggled a lot. In terms of performance mostly I’m a bit shared between two sides of me.

“One side is… We did a really good job from yesterday to today in terms of car set-up. I changed completely the car on my side because yesterday I felt really bad in the car, and today the feeling is back.

Qualifying Highlights: 2024 Spanish Grand Prix

“However, the other side is that I’m mostly very disappointed with today, because the performance is not there and we are too far away from pole from where we would like to be.

“It’s not a great day for the team, but tomorrow is the race and we’ll try to maximise our points and then as soon as the weekend is finished try to understand why we were further away than what we thought of pole.”

READ MORE: ‘It’s definitely all to play tomorrow’ says Verstappen despite losing out to Norris in Barcelona pole scrap

Sainz, who was just five thousandths slower than Leclerc in Q3, shared similar feelings after giving it his all in front of the thousands of fans cheering him on.

“Not good,” he said. “Obviously disappointed. We had strong practice sessions and we were expecting to be in the fight for pole position. Immediately in Q2, once Red Bull and McLaren turned it up, we just didn’t have the pace.

Leclerc: ‘I’m very disappointed – we are too far away from pole’

“We could sit here and argue about three hundredths, we would have been P3 and we would all be happy, but the reality is no, I was expecting to fight for pole this weekend, or after free practice. To be more than three tenths off is a lot of lap time.”

Asked about what might be possible in Sunday’s 66-lap race, Sainz added: “We just need to make sure we get a good start, we get ourselves in a better position.

READ MORE: Hamilton targets Norris and Verstappen on Barcelona race day after ‘huge steps’ put Mercedes back in the mix

“It is very clear to me that starting P6 around Barcelona doesn’t make the podium very easy, but with the support of the crowd, and I think I’ve done a very solid weekend up until now, we can go for it.”

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