Charles Leclerc believes Ferrari’s qualifying result for Formula 1’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix is a “more realistic picture” for his team.

Leclerc could only manage the eighth fastest time in qualifying at Silverstone as he finished 1.5s adrift and was outpaced by AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly, while Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel failed to make it into Q3 on his way to taking 12th on the grid.

Asked if he was surprised to have not been higher in qualifying, Leclerc replied: “Well surprised, no. I think it’s a bit more of a realistic picture for us to be honest.

“We have been struggling more than last week here, especially with the Softer tyres, we seem to be more aggressive on them.

“I didn’t even manage to finish the full lap in Q3 with this Soft tyre, they are dropping off quite a lot in the last sector. I reckon I lost a lot of lap time there but there is not a lot we can do for now.”

Leclerc starred en route to claiming an unlikely podium finish during last week’s British Grand Prix but the Monegasque does not expect a repeat of that feat this weekend.

“The strategy can be a thing but maybe we shouldn’t expect a podium, I expect us to struggle tomorrow,” he explained.

“Seeing our weakness is to manage the tyres and seeing the degradation we’ve had this weekend with the softer compound, I think it’s going to be difficult.”

Despite only qualifying 12th, Vettel insisted he was happy with his Q2 effort and felt he got everything out of his SF1000 package, adding he has “had worse laps in my life and finished higher”.

“I’m always optimistic so I always try to reset myself for a better day tomorrow,” the four-time world champion said.

“I think since last week, we are pretty much where we are now. We were not able to make a step forward and tried lots of things in the car.

“Looking at the positives I was happy with my lap, it felt like that was everything there was so I had worse laps in my life and finished higher, so I’m happy with that.”

 

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