Leclerc not 'expecting miracles' in Austrian GP as Ferrari 'not even close' to expectations

SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA - JULY 04: Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving the (16) Scuderia Ferrari SF1000 on

Charles Leclerc’s best lap time in Austrian Grand Prix qualifying was 0.920s slower than he achieved when he took pole at the same venue last year. It’s no surprise, then, that he’s not “expecting miracles” on Sunday after the team were “not even close” to where they expected to be…

Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto played down expectations coming into the weekend after he revealed the Italian team were planning a “significant’ change of development direction – and therefore the new car would not be ready until round three in Hungary.

But on Saturday, after qualifying seventh at the Red Bull Ring with team mate Sebastian Vettel failing to make Q3 and starting 11th, Leclerc admitted their form was worse than anticipated.

“Unfortunately this is where we are at the moment, so we need to work and start building a better car for the future,” he said. “We cannot get demoralised by today’s result but today’s result is not what we were expecting, we’re not even close to where we expected to be.

Charles Leclerc: 'Not an easy qualifying for us'

“But we have to keep on working as a team, to try and find improvements in every single detail, as that can make a big difference, seeing how closely packed we all are.

“It’s tomorrow that we can score points. We’re not expecting miracles, they won’t come for sure, but we’ll do the best we can with what we have and continue to work the best we can for the coming races.”

The weather is expected to get warmer into Sunday, with Ferrari usually stronger in race trim than in qualifying, so Leclerc is hopeful they can rescue something from the weekend - though a repeat of his second place from last year looks unlikely.

“There’s the possibility to do better than today but the Mercedes are out of our reach,” he said. “We’ll give it our all, as drivers and as a team, and we’ll try to get as far up the order as possible.”

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