Ahead of Ferrari’s 1000th Grand Prix at the fast-paced Mugello, Charles Leclerc made quite the statement with his SF1000 securing P5 in the Q3 session.
Only behind the two Mercedes and Red Bull cars, Leclerc put on a solid performance with his 1:16:270 lap time. And tomorrow, he will be looking to sniff out any opportunity, should there be any slip-ups from the cars up ahead.
Leclerc was quoted as saying, “I’m very happy, very happy with the lap overall. I put everything together and P5 was definitely above any of our expectations. So very, very happy.”
Even before the weekend kicked off, the Monegasque driver had anticipated that balance would be better suited to the Ferrari at Mugello.
Speaking about the high downforce at the track, “Monza and Spa was extremely difficult for the whole team. I struggled massively to drive the car with those low downforce settings. But, here we managed to put the balance right, and it felt very good in the car.”
Leclerc has proven to be the stronger driver this season. Even more so now, Ferrari will lay greater focus on trying to get Leclerc to the front. Ranking 5th in the Drivers’ standings with 45 points and two podiums, he looks to be far ahead of Sebastian Vettel at the moment.
It is no surprise that he has proven to be a capable contender for the podium. With Mattia Binotto’s hand on his head, an improved car next season might just be what Leclerc needs to unlock his true potential.
Sebastian Vettel, on the other hand, showed a level of indifference towards the P14 finish that he bagged during quali. Relying more on his experience to deliver a points return tomorrow, he did state that some signs are better.
Both Leclerc and Vettel will be secretly optimistic ahead of the race, with the former looking to push Albon to the limit. One would recount the fantastic drive of steel that Leclerc showed in 2019 at Monza, where he eventually won the race.
With some fans allowed and a special occasion on the horizon, Charles Leclerc will try to make Sunday a fantastic event for the Tifosi.