Leclerc could only manage seventh in qualifying at the Circuit Paul Ricard, just over a tenth off teammate Carlos Sainz, who qualified fifth.

The Monegasque scraped into Q2 having struggled for pace in the lead up to the pole position shootout.

Leclerc explained how his struggles were more down to him than the car.

“I just couldn’t drive around the limitation we’ve had all weekend with the front,” Leclerc said. “I’m struggling a little bit with the front, but, to be honest, it’s more coming from me than from the car. It’s a limitation both Carlos and I are having but Carlos did a better job, driving around that issue.

“I just struggled in qualifying to drive around it, so it’s more something that is coming from me, so we’ll analyze it after qualifying, to understand what I could have done better with my driving, to help the car a little bit today.”

Despite his difficulties in qualifying, Leclerc was happy with his final effort in Q3 after adjusting his driving style to combat the issues he was facing.

“Yes, I was actually pretty happy with my last lap in Q3, because the laps before were a disaster; I was very, very far off,” Leclerc added. “Then in Q3 I managed to find a little bit more time.

“We took quite a big step, a lot more aggressive than what we normally do, so I found a little bit of performance on that, on my driving I was trying to change a few things, and it paid off.”

Reflecting on his own performance, Sainz felt he was finally able to show his “true potential”.

“Honestly the last three weekends, Monaco, Baku and here, I have been feeling very strong [but] this is the first clean quail I’ve done in the three weekends,” Sainz said.

“It’s the first quail where I’ve managed to show my true potential and the true potential of the car with me, so after two frustrating quails, to get one clean one, just nailing the laps through qualifying, felt definitely good.

“I think it was about time because I was starting to get a bit frustrated.”