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Q2 off wrecked Leclerc's Q3 hopes

NEWS STORY
11/05/2019

While the 0.866s advantage Valtteri Bottas enjoyed over Sebastian Vettel was bad enough, the other Ferrari, that of Charles Leclerc, was 1.182s off the pace, leaving the Monegasque youngster fifth on the grid.

However, it was subsequently revealed that a scrappy Q3 performance, which saw the youngster go out late for one run comprising two hot laps was down to damage incurred when he ran wide in Q2.

"I don't really understand how I could lose that much of the car on the kerb," he admitted. "I did not expect it. I got a little bit of understeer, but I kept it flat thinking it would be all fine.

"Unfortunately we broke quite a lot," he continued. "I took it a bit quicker, the car was probably a bit lower, and we clicked one bargeboard and I think the second one was damaged too.

"I don't think it was a big error from my side," he insisted. "It's just unfortunate this time, it had big consequences. I had quite a lot of understeer, especially after we lost half of the bargeboard. We tried to repair it, but somehow it just didn't feel the same as before. So we need to look into that."

"We repaired it as best we could," said Mattia Binotto, "but it still compromised his Q3 performance, as he had to attempt two timed laps on a single set of tyres.

"Having said that, this weekend has highlighted the weak points on our car," he added. "We will carry out all the necessary analysis, also after the race, to get a complete picture of where we are struggling."

However, even without the damage, Leclerc admits the SF90 was no match for the Mercedes.

"We were slower than Mercedes and that's it," he said. "Mercedes have been extremely quick all weekend, all Friday, all through FP3 and we felt it coming a bit to be honest.

"They are just extremely quick and we need to work to try and catch them."

Check out our Saturday gallery from Barcelona, here.

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