Ferrari Formula 1 driver Charles Leclerc says he is “angry with myself” after a “big mistake” during qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix cost him a better starting position.

Leclerc, who will serve a 10-place grid penalty for an engine change, was quicker than teammate Sebastian Vettel throughout the opening two parts of qualifying but could only set the fourth-fastest time in Q3, behind Lewis Hamilton, Vettel and polesitter Max Verstappen.

The Moneqasque felt he had a car beneath him to at least top the timesheets in qualifying but was left to rue a costly error at Juncao on his first flying lap of Q3, before failing to improve on his final run.

“I don’t think the pole was out of reach,” Leclerc said.

“I’m very disappointed with myself today. I did quite a big mistake in my first timed lap in the last corner, which cost me at least three tenths.

“So yeah, it’s my fault and I take it completely. I can only be angry with myself. 

“The team did a great job. I think the car was there to fight for pole at least and I didn’t do the job in the car.

“So I’m disappointed and anyway I’ve got 10 places grid penalty for tomorrow. It was always going to be difficult day.”

Leclerc will start 14th on the Interlagos grid for Sunday’s grand prix in Sao Paulo assuming no further penalties are applied.

Asked how he will approach the race, Leclerc replied: “Full attack mode!

“I enjoy a little bit for fighting for 3rd place in the championship but it’s life, it’s like this and I’ll try to enjoy as much as possible and come back. 

“I will give it everything,” he added. “I will try to be as aggressive as I can in the first few laps which will be very important and then hopefully the pace will help us to come back for 3rd in the standings.”

 

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