Charles Leclerc says Ferrari does not need to do anything differently in terms of team orders to take advantage of Red Bull’s lowly starting positions at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen will start 10th after a power loss hampered him in Q3, while Sergio Perez was knocked out in Q2 and lines up one position behind his teammate in 11th. With the Ferrari drivers starting second and third — with Carlos Sainz ahead of Leclerc — the Monegasque says Ferrari should not overcomplicate things on Sunday.
“Honestly at the end of the day we just need to do the best job possible, so just focus on ourselves,” Leclerc said. “I don’t think there’s anything needed there, just obviously not taking any risk between cars but that’s as normal, so I don’t think anything special for tomorrow.”
Saturday was still a missed opportunity of sorts for Ferrari as George Russell snatched pole position with his final lap, but Leclerc says he felt his car didn’t respond as he’d have liked in the final part of qualifying.
“No, I struggled massively, especially in Q3. In Q1 and Q2 I felt quite good, we were doing good steps in the right direction, but then in Q3 I don’t know what happened. The track changed a little bit, the sun came out, and suddenly the tires were definitely not in the right window.
“So I struggled a lot with inconsistency, I did the first lap in Q3 that was quite slow and then the second lap that was more or less OK, but we paid a little bit the price of not having the tires in the right window. But congratulations to George — it’s a special one, the first pole, and he did an amazing job.”
However, Leclerc is confident he can find answers for his tire issues overnight to ensure he has a more competitive car in race trim.
“Well, things I think will change quite a bit compared to what we’ve seen yesterday, so we just need to be able to adapt as quickly as possible. On my side I struggled with tires today but tomorrow the race is going to be a completely different thing. So quite a bit of work tonight to understand in which direction it’s going to go for tomorrow and to be as ready as possible.
“It’s between one and three (stops)! We will see, I think the performance is there, we are quite quick, so hopefully we can gain some places tomorrow.”