Charles Leclerc is happy with his pole position in Las Vegas, but also knows that Red Bull Racing will be very good in the race and that there may not be much of his good performance in qualifying. In any case, the Monegasque is confident, although he acknowledges that it will be difficult to get the tires in the right window.
Leclerc took pole position on the street circuit in Nevada on Friday evening. The 26-year-old got the tires up to temperature and had the confidence to sweep the SF-23 through the corners. “I felt confident from the first lap in FP1,” said Leclerc in the post-qualifying press conference. “So the car has been great all along. That said, we are always very strong in qualifying. But then of course we know what our weaknesses are in the race,” Leclerc admits. ‘And that remains to be seen. But the car felt great so far. So I hope for a good race.’
Max Verstappen will start just behind Leclerc, he clocked the third fastest time, but moves up one spot due to Carlos Sainz’s grid penalty. Leclerc is certainly aware that Verstappen will be right on his heels. ‘Confidence is high because we start first. So it’s the best position to start. On the other hand, we know that Red Bull will be very strong, and Max will of course be very strong in the race pace,” Leclerc points out. ‘But I feel like we saw positive signs this weekend with a lot of fuel in the car, more than in other races. So I hope we can convert that pole position into a victory.”
Getting tires in the right window is going to be difficult
In addition to the raging bull behind him, the Ferrari driver has another concern: making sure the tires work well in the race. It will probably be even colder on race day, so it will be essential to warm up the tires properly and not let them grain too quickly. “I think the hardest part was getting the tires in the right range. Once you got a little bit outside that range, the first sector was miles away,” Leclerc explains.
‘So that was the most difficult thing with qualifying. But in the end I think we have made a good leap forward there,” the Monegasque continues. ‘And we prepared well for qualifying, because in FP3 we struggled a lot with the first lap on the tyres. And then we did well in qualifying, so we really did a good job as a team,” Leclerc praised Ferrari.
Verstappen can take his eighteenth win of the season this weekend in Las Vegas. Also betting on F1? Via this link from JACKS you are eligible for 60 euros in free bets! If you play responsibly, you keep it fun. What does gambling cost you? Stop on time, 18+