Charles Leclerc was left perplexed by Ferrari’s lack of pace in F1 qualifying for the Turkish Grand Prix.

After an encouraging final practice session where Leclerc was second fastest, both Ferraris failed to make it into Q3.

Leclerc ended the session in 14th place, a whopping 6.4s off Max Verstappen’s fastest time in Q2.

Teammate Sebastian Vettel fared slightly better, qualifying 12th but still over 5s off Verstappen's Q2 pace.

After looking strong in FP3, Leclerc had no answers to why Ferrari’s challenge faltered.

“I have no explanations, absolutely no explanations,” Leclerc said. “We went in the heavy rain in FP3 this morning, we were competitive, we were probably one of the fastest cars out on track, coming into qualifying six seconds off. We’re not speaking a few tenths, we ate six seconds off which is absolutely huge.

“I have no explanations for that. We need to understand what we are doing wrong in the rain. Because this is not one time, but it’s been a few times in the rain, we are struggling more than the others, and we’re not speaking about small differences. I don’t know what could be the cause. Because again this morning, it was raining and on intermediates, we were competitive. So no explanations.”

Given Ferrari’s struggles in qualifying, Leclerc is hoping for a dry race.

“I hope it’s going to be dry,” Leclerc added. “In the wet, it wasn’t fun at all, this morning I could find the grip and make the tyres work but it was not the case in qualifying. If it’s like this morning, I hope wet. But we cannot rely on this, so will I hope for dry.”

Leclerc has been promoted one place to 13th due to Carlos Sainz picking up a three-place grid penalty for impeding Sergio Perez.

Reflecting on his own qualifying, teammate Vettel said: “It was tough, we struggled to get tyre temperature. It has been a tricky session, disappointing we didn’t make it through because even though it has been slippery, we looked ok the whole weekend – so we’ll see what we can do tomorrow…

“Not in the end, in the beginning, yes, but not in the end. In the end, it was purely the grip you had or didn’t have. Still see a second spread, which is to do because of the tarmac. It’s very slippery. If you’re able to generate more temperature, you can find more grip. Think we were on the cooler side today.”

 

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