Charles Leclerc says he “didn’t expect” Ferrari’s gamble to send him out on medium tyres in Q2 to work out, after earning Ferrari’s best grid position of 2020.
Ferrari conceded it was likely to be in for a difficult weekend at Silverstone due to the circuit’s power-hungry nature, with its struggles in both races at Austria’s Red Bull Ring fresh in its memory.
Nevertheless, the Italian outfit managed to see both of its drivers through to the final part of qualifying for only the second time this season, with Leclerc managing to set his best time on the more durable medium compound tyre.
The Monegasque posted the fourth-fastest time in the Top 10 shootout, just being pipped to third by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
“I am extremely happy about today,” Leclerc said, as quoted by Crash.net. “I didn’t expect to be in P4 for tomorrow’s race, especially not starting with mediums.
“We tried it but we weren’t very confident about making it and to make it work was very nice.
“It’s looking good for the race tomorrow because of our race pace – we are struggling.
“I think we have the pace but we are just destroying the tyres very quickly compared to the others so starting on the medium will help us massively.’’
Conditions, while dry, have proved tricky, with several drivers caught out by the wind around Silverstone, causing many offs in both practice and qualifying.
Speaking about the challenges the wind caused while tackling the track, Leclerc said: “First of all it is very challenging in a Formula 1 car without wind already because Maggots and Becketts – it’s crazy how quick that is.
“With the wind, from FP3 and qualifying it’s been quite constant but from yesterday it changed completely and it changes completely the balance of the car. You need to adapt to it quickly because it really affects the balance of the car a lot.’’