Charles Leclerc admits he’s happy to have put everything together and claimed P3 in qualifying for the 2023 Italian Grand Prix given the difficulties he’s faced this weekend.
While teammate Carlos Sainz has impressed in every session, topping FP2 and FP3 before taking pole on Saturday, the Monegasque has struggled to keep pace with him.
Leclerc revealed that was largely due to going in the wrong setup on direction on Friday, and after taking some pointers from Sainz, he says he’s happy with how things played out on Saturday.
“Our Q3 was really on the limits,” Leclerc said to select members of the media, including Total-Motorsport.com. “I was really happy with my laps and we were very close with Max and Carlos.
“To be honest, it’s not something that I expected. Until now, it’s been such a difficult weekend for me. Yesterday I went in a direction that was completely wrong with the car setup, and I really struggled to put a lap together.
“This morning in FP3 it was all about adapting to that new car, following the direction of Carlos’ setup. Then in quali I managed to put everything together and I’m really happy with the performance we’ve shown today.
“Yes, it’s only P3 and I’m never completely happy with third place, but considering where we started the weekend, it’s not a bad place to be.”
Leclerc explains setup decisions
When asked why he went in the direction he did, Leclerc said it was simply because he thought it was the right direction to go in.
“I had a feeling that this was the right direction to go, but obviously after FP2, I realized that it wasn’t,” said Leclerc. “It’s as simple as that.
“Then was all about readapting to everything in FP3 as quickly as possible, but also there I was quite inconsistent. And then in qualifying I put everything together, and the last lap in Q3 was really good.
“I mean, Carlos has done an incredible job since FP1. He’s been on it, and in Q3 his lap was really good. So I am happy to be that close.”