Charles Leclerc rues Ferrari’s “biggest mistake” as Bahrain pole slips away

Charles Leclerc shared his major regret after Max Verstappen pipped him to pole position at F1 Bahrain Grand Prix

Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Sakhir, Bahrain, Qualifying Day.-
Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain…

Charles Leclerc’s lap in Q2 would have been good enough for pole position at the F1 Bahrain Grand Prix.

But, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen will start on pole after his own brilliant lap in Q3, even if it wasn’t as fast as Leclerc’s Q2 effort.

It left Ferrari’s star driver rueful.

He said to Sky Sports: “I know, I know…

“The biggest mistake was not having a second set of softs in Q3.

“Which, when I put on the softs again in Q3, the track has changed, the wind has changed a little bit.

“With the scrub in the middle, I couldn’t really follow the track.

“I found myself with car and a balance that was out of place.

“Unfortunately, that’s what was possible.

“I’m quite happy with the lap. But the balance of the lap wasn’t in the right place anymore.”

Only half-a-second separated Verstappen on pole to Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in P9.

With Leclerc second, Merceces’ George Russell in P3, then Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz in P4, there is optimism that Verstappen will have his work cut out on Saturday in the grand prix.

Have Ferrari told Leclerc that he could win from second on the grid?

“With what we are expecting from race pace from Red Bull, I think it will be very difficult,” he insisted.

“But I hope we can have a good surprise.”

Asked what tricks Ferrari could play to usurp Verstappen at the front, Leclerc sighed: “I don’t know…

“I don’t think the gap is as big as last year. That is my feeling.

“Data says that we expect the gap in the race to be probably at least as big as last year.

“Let’s wait and see. I want to be positively surprised. And to prove the data wrong.”

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