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Leclerc explains SQ3 drama in Austria after missing final timed lap

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SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA - JUNE 28: Charles Leclerc of Monaco and Ferrari prepares to drive in the garage

Charles Leclerc has offered an initial explanation of the costly stoppage he experienced during the SQ3 phase of Sprint Qualifying at the Austrian Grand Prix, explaining that “everything switched off” aboard his Ferrari.

Leclerc was heading out on track for his final lap of the session at the Red Bull Ring when he ground to a halt in the pit lane, losing several seconds as he tried to get going again and then failing to reach the start/finish line in time.

READ MORE: Verstappen pips Norris to Sprint Qualifying pole in Austria by 0.093s

That meant the Monegasque had no chance to post a lap in SQ3 and was placed down in 10th position, leaving him with a recovery drive in Saturday’s Sprint.

SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA - JUNE 28: Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving the (16) Ferrari SF-24 leaves the

Leclerc will start the Sprint 10th after stopping in the pit lane during SQ3

“I don’t know what happened... I was in the pit lane and I got the anti-stall and then everything switched off,” Leclerc commented after the session.

“I have… The team told me that we will speak when I’ll be back in the garage, but obviously I went straight from the car to here so I don’t know.”

AS IT HAPPENED: Follow all the action from Sprint Qualifying at the Austrian Grand Prix

Pushed on what was possible without that drama, he added: “We weren’t super strong but definitely better than P10, so it’s a bit disappointing. We’ll look at what happened and tomorrow we’ll try to have a good Sprint race to come back in the front.”

On the other side of the garage, Carlos Sainz will line up in fifth position, just under half a second away from the pole-sitting Red Bull of Max Verstappen.

SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA - JUNE 28: Carlos Sainz of Spain driving (55) the Ferrari SF-24 on track during

Sainz was left to lead the Ferrari charge, ending the session in P5

“I had a decent Sprint quali, I think I was on it since Q1, Q2 and Q3,” he said. “Three very clean laps in qualifying, unfortunately already since FP1 on softs we look a bit weaker than on mediums, or the harder compounds.

“When we put that soft at the end, from thinking maybe a top-three was possible, we are P5, but we had the same in FP1, where we were P6, something like that, on softs. It’s something to look into… Unfortunately, right now this is more or less where we are.”

READ MORE: ‘It won’t be Max Verstappen’ who fills Hamilton’s seat at Mercedes for 2025, says Horner

He added: “I’m hoping that we can move forward a little [in the Sprint]. Starting P5, clean side of the grid, we’re going to go for it and try to get as [much] points as possible tomorrow.”

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