Leclerc admits Ferrari struggles 'crazy'

accreditation
Charles Leclerc of Monaco. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Charles Leclerc of Monaco. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

• The first Grand Prix takes place on Sunday July 5 in Austria 

• Ferrari struggled with Charles Leclerc qualifying in seventh and Sebastian Vettel in eleventh 

• Mercedes secured a front-row lockout 

Twelve months after claiming a dramatic pole position at the Red Bull Ring, Charles Leclerc on Saturday struggled to secure seventh on the grid for Ferrari - and admitted it was "crazy".

The Monegasque driver, whose brilliant first season with the team in 2019 led them to decide not to offer four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel a new contract for 2021, said Ferrari's problems at the delayed season-opening Austrian Grand Prix were worse than expected.

Team boss Mattia Binotto had warned before flying to Austria that Ferrari had decided to re-design the SF1000 car with a package of aerodynamic upgrades to be introduced at the third race in Hungary later this month.

But both drivers were surprised how relatively uncompetitive they were - Leclerc squeezing through to take seventh on the grid while Vettel was 11th after missing the top-ten shootout.

"It's not been an easy qualifying session, unfortunately, and that's where we are at the moment," said Leclerc.

"We have to stay positive, try and get out of these hard times and work as a team -- and try and to cheer everyone up."

Leclerc scraped through to Q3 in 10th before finishing seventh in Q3, trailing cars from Mercedes, Red Bull, McLaren and Racing Point

When his engineer told him he was 10th, he responded immediately: "Crazy."

Vettel admitted he was shocked.

"Of course, yes, it's a surprise," Vettel said of his qualifying performance.

"We thought we had a little bit more in hand, but it looks like the others were probably running a bit more fuel and were a bit more conservative in practice.

"I was not so happy with the car - more over-steer on entry than I would have liked.

"But we'll see. Tomorrow is a different picture. I think with the track getting a bit hotter, it was a bit more costly for us today.

"It's a long race. I think in race trim we are always better. I think we will be there to make up some good ground and score some good points."

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Brought to you by
Voting Booth
Who do you feel was at fault for Verstappen and Hamilton's Italian GP crash?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Verstappen
25% - 1221 votes
Hamilton
42% - 2052 votes
They were both at fault
33% - 1593 votes
Vote