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Leclerc left scratching his head over Ferrari’s ‘strange’ qualifying slump in Canada

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MONTREAL, QUEBEC - JUNE 08: 11th placed qualifier Charles Leclerc of Monaco and Ferrari walks in

Charles Leclerc has admitted that Ferrari simply “don’t understand” their lack of pace in dry conditions at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve after both he and team mate Carlos Sainz dropped out at the Q2 stage in qualifying.

Leclerc had talked up Ferrari’s pace on the first day of running, describing the SF-24 as “very competitive” across all weather conditions, but his and the team’s form disappeared throughout Saturday’s running in Canada.

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After a difficult final practice session, Leclerc and Sainz could place no higher than 11th and 12th in the decisive grid-deciding hour, having ended the second segment on used soft tyres and voiced their frustration at a lack of grip over the radio.

Asked what went wrong, Leclerc replied: “Just slow, slow all day. Similar issues also to this morning, I had like a sensor issue, which was very annoying. The management of the session as well wasn’t the best, I think.

“All in all, it’s been a tough session. I would say that the biggest problem is the pace, we are so slow in the dry at the moment, we don’t understand.

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“It’s a bit strange to go from a really, really good weekend in Monaco in terms of pace, and get here and be on the back foot. We’ll look into it.”

Asked how it makes him feel heading into the Grand Prix, with more questions than answers at present, he said: “I’m not sure. I still feel confident that tomorrow [in] the race we can put everything together and have a better result.

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“However, until now we haven’t proved it on the dry, so let’s see what are the conditions and we’ll try to maximise the result. I think that’s the main thing in those races like that. We just need to make sure that we take the maximum points available.

“This weekend we haven’t been great, we’ll focus on that after the weekend, to understand where we lacked. For now, the best thing we can do is focus on tomorrow.”

MONTREAL, QUEBEC - JUNE 08: Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving the (16) Ferrari SF-24 on track

Leclerc took pole and won last time out in Monaco but did not even feature in Q3 in Canada

Sainz offered similar thoughts to his team mate as he also pondered where Ferrari’s pace had gone between Monaco and Canada, and after Friday’s first practice sessions in Montreal.

“Very tough,” he said of the session. “I think from FP3 we saw we were going to struggle around this track. As soon as we didn’t do a perfect job in quali, we are [out] in Q2.

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“I was struggling quite a lot with grip, with the feeling, and we were on honestly a very difficult balance, a very difficult level of grip for the car. It was very easy to do mistakes out there.

“If you would have told me before the Grand Prix how difficult it would have been, that it would have been this difficult, I wouldn’t have trusted or believed it. Then, after FP3, we knew it was going to be a tough quali.”

Pushed on his and the team’s chances on Sunday, he added: “I hope it’s a quali thing and we’re going to be more competitive in the race, although we saw last year how tough it is to overtake. We’ll give it our best shot.”

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