Behind the mistake made by Leclerc in the last lap of qualifying held yesterday in Miami there is also a choice of setup. A set-up judged ‘extreme’ by Charles himself, who just before the accident at turn ‘8’ had thwarted a second-place time trial with a braking error at turn 17.
“I think I’ve put myself in a difficult situation – said Leclerc – I wanted a very aggressive set-up in view of qualifying knowing that it would have served to get the most out of the car. I probably took one step too many, but I want to analyze everything at the end of the weekend.”
Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23
Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images
Leclerc’s approach garners acclaim (including that of Frederic Vasseur) and ignites the enthusiasm of a large portion of Cavallino fans, but obviously does not reach unanimity.
A car against the barriers is never the best answer, but after a very self-critical premise, Charles confirmed that he was aware of the risks he ran.
“I also know that qualifying is my strong point – clarified the Monegasque – and obviously I take more risks. In Q3, this approach pays off nine times out of 10, but if you end up against the barriers twice in the same weekend, that’s not good.”
Charles Leclerc, Scuderia Ferrari
Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
“I’m taking a lot of risks in Q3 to try and do something special – continued Leclerc – because I know that at the moment we are behind Red Bull. Also in Baku I did the same and it went well, the whole weekend was well managed. I repeat, I am angry with myself but regarding this weekend I decided for a more aggressive setup configuration which was too far in qualifying, but I hope it can pay off in the race. I’m sure it won’t be a problem to reset and restart mentally free, I’m not worried about this front”.
Charles is still hoping for the possibility of grabbing the podium, but the starting position isn’t the best considering that Alonso’s Aston Martin will start from the front row.
“Let’s leave the two Red Bulls alone – concluded Charles – because they are in a championship of their own. I think if we can finish behind them it will be a great result, but I know it won’t be easy against Fernando either. The Aston Martin seems very strong in terms of race pace”.