Russian Grand Prix pole sitter Charles Leclerc says maintaining the same approach has been the key to his impressive run of four straight poles during the 2019 Formula 1 season.

Leclerc dominating qualifying in Sochi to outpace Lewis Hamilton by 0.402s and become the first Ferrari driver to have secured four consecutive pole positions since Micheal Schumacher in 2001.

After a difficult start to his Ferrari tenure, Leclerc made changes to his approach and has not been out-qualified by teammate Sebastian Vettel since the French Grand Prix. The Monegasque now has sixth pole positions in 2019, two more than any other driver.

“It feels good but it doesn’t change my approach from the other weekends,” Leclerc said.

“Every time you go into a session you just take it normally without thinking about the others or the last poles I have.

“Obviously it feels great but I don’t want to think about these things and I just want to focus on the job ahead.

“Of course I feel confident going in qualifying but at the end at one point it’s going to end, so whether it’s now or later I don’t know.

“The only thing I’m trying to do is to focus on myself, do exactly the same procedure as I had since the last four races.

“I definitely don’t go to the car thinking it will be easy and come together alone. I just try to keep working as I did in the last races and hopefully the laptime comes.

“I don’t think I had any clean laps before the one of Q3,” he added. “I think the first lap in Q3 felt very good, the second lap very good until Turn 16, where I lost the rear and lost a little bit of lap time.

“But overall the car was just coming together and the balance was getting better. I was adjusting a bit the aero balance and I felt more and more confident.”

Leclerc is confident about Ferrari’s race-day chances and believes his team made the right decision to start on Soft tyres, with Mercedes alternating its Q2 strategy, meaning both Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas will begin on Mediums.

“I believe that the long-run pace yesterday was extremely positive, possibly the most positive of the whole season, so this is long good,” Leclerc explained.

“But it will be an interesting race, Mercedes is starting on the Mediums and I think the strategy will play a role. I think we did the right strategy by starting on Softs but we will see tomorrow.”

 

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