Leclerc added unnecessary qualifying pressure

A sensational final lap helped Charles Leclerc claim pole in Spain, though it wasn't easy after pointing his Ferrari in the wrong direction early in Q3


Ferrari‘s Charles Leclerc will start the 2022 Spanish Grand Prix from pole position despite admitting he put more pressure on himself by spinning during his first run in Q3.

The Monegasque secured his fourth pole of the season with a sensational final lap, beating championship rival Max Verstappen to top spot after the Red Bull driver was prevented from improving his lap time due to a DRS issue.

It was a welcome turn of events for the Ferrari driver after a first Q3 run that saw him spin at Turn 14. Despite the pressure to deliver, Leclerc was able to do so thanks to his “amazing” Ferrari.

“I just wanted to do the exact same lap again without the mistake, because it was already quite a good lap before that,” Leclerc told RACER. “But I over-pushed in Turn 14 and lost the rear, so obviously there was a little bit more pressure for the last run because you know you have only got one chance.

“But the car was amazing, very tricky in the high speed and I had quite a lot of moments.

“Apart from that, it was very good for the medium and low-speed corners, so very happy with that lap and to have made it work on the only chance I had.”

Leclerc lost the rear

Leclerc was on course to deliver a competitive lap before the spin, which he says was caused by carrying too much speed into the corner.

That, along with an aggressive turn-in, saw him point his Ferrari in the wrong direction.

“I over-pushed a bit too much the lap before so I just took it a bit easier in the entry compared to the lap before,” added Leclerc.

“I locked the rears a little bit so I arrived a bit too long into the corner and tried to do an aggressive turn-in but I just lost the rear.”

To avoid a repeat during his final run, Leclerc says he braked a bit earlier into Turn 14 to ensure he crossed the finish line, as he was confident he was on a good lap.

“So I tried to brake a bit earlier, take it a bit easy. I know I was on a good lap, so yeah maybe there was a little bit in there but not too much, I think I was pretty happy with all the lap to be honest,” said Leclerc.

“I felt like there was a lot more grip compared to the laps before I had done because I didn’t have a new set since Q1, so the track evolution was quite big. I just tried to go for it in the last corner.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc celebrates after Spanish Grand Prix pole position with Carlos Sainz Sr. REUTERS/Albert Gea

“The overheating was quite bad but I don’t think there are any excuses, I just tried to do too much and I lost it. But no big deal.”

Adriano Boin
Adriano Boin
Motorsport journalist specialising in Formula 1 and Ferrari.
- Advertisment -


Start of the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix of | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 winners and losers from 2024 Chinese GP

Formula 1's return to Shanghai after a five-year absence sputtered with some bright moments but failed to really ignite...
Lando Norris during 2024 Chinese GP | McLaren F1 Team

Lando Norris shines in China but McLaren star remains F1’s nearly man

Lando Norris will come away from the Formula 1 2024 Chinese Grand Prix with a feeling of euphoria and...
Sergio Perez leads Lando Norris of McLaren during the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 Chinese GP 2024: Driver Ratings

Max Verstappen enjoyed total domination at the Formula 1 2024 Chinese Grand Prix to extend his lead at the...
Scot Dixon celebrate win at 2024 IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach | Penske Entertainment: James Black

How does he do it? IndyCar’s ultimate ninja pulls off sensational Long Beach heist

Nobody knows how he does it but Scott Dixon is a freak of nature when it comes to saving...
The cars get ready for the 2024GEICO 500 at Talladega | NASCAR/X

NASCAR 2024 GEICO 500 highlights and results: Reddick wins in Talladega

Reddick comes through for first Cup win The NASCAR Cup Series' GEICO 500 was oddly clean for a Talladega Superspeedway...
Lando Norris celebrates finishing second at the 2024 Chinese GP | McLaren

Lando Norris mystified at McLaren 2024 Chinese GP pace

If Max Verstappen didn’t exist, Lando Norris would be a Formula 1 race winner after he finished second at...
Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner and Max Verstappen talk in the Paddock ahead of 2024 Australian Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Fiery Horner reignites Wolff feud over Verstappen rumours: I don’t think Toto’s problems are...

Christian Horner launched a stinging attack on Toto Wolff over the Mercedes team principal stoking rumours that Max Verstappen...
Toto Wolff at 2023 United States Grand Prix | Mercedes / Sebastian Kawka

Toto Wolff in ‘simple minds’ jibe at Horner over Max Verstappen

Toto Wolff has aimed a thinly-veiled swipe at Christian Horner by suggesting only 'simple minds' believe Max Verstappen would...
Daniel Ricciardo of Visa Cash App RB during Sprint Qualifying ahead of 2024 Chinese Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Daniel Ricciardo handed grid penalty for 2024 Miami Grand Prix

Daniel Ricciardo's challenging weekend at the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix has been compounded by a three-grid place penalty issued...
Guanyu Zhou gets emotional on the grid after the 2024 Chinese GP | Sauber

Zhou Guanyu in tears after making F1 history

In an emotionally charged scene at the end of the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix, Sauber's Zhou Guanyu achieved...
- Advertisment -