Charles Leclerc labelled the Ferrari Formula 1 team’s failure to get its tyres switched on in qualifying for the Turkish Grand Prix a “disaster”.
The Monegasque driver and teammate Sebastian Vettel had looked on course for a decent grid slot based on the pace shown in both the dry and wet practice sessions.
But it all went wrong in qualifying as neither driver could get their tyres working, and Vettel ended up in P12 with Leclerc two places further back. Both will move up a position though thanks to Lando Norris’s five-place penalty for ignoring yellow flags.
Writing on Twitter after the session, Leclerc could not hide his disappointment after he had been second fastest in the morning’s final free practice session.
“Was feeling really good in the wet during FP3, but we couldn’t switch on the tyres in qualifying for some reasons and it’s been a disaster. Disappointed about today but the race is tomorrow!”
Leclerc had come on the team radio immediately after Q2 to express his surprise at ending up six seconds adrift of the best lap time.
Speaking after the session, he said the feel of the car in the afternoon had been completely different to the morning, and he had no proper explanation as to why.
“Unfortunately, our performance was worse than expected, after a reasonably good weekend so far,” he said.
“This morning it was raining quite hard. But I could feel the grip and I was confident with the car, but this afternoon it was a completely different picture.
“We just could not make the tyres work in quali, we were struggling in the rain and being so far off the pace is really not good. I’m hoping for a dry race tomorrow.”
Vettel believed that just a small difference in tyre temperature could have transformed Ferrari’s situation, as both he and Leclerc were left powerless to find more lap times.
“We were struggling just to generate heat in the tyres, and in a situation like this I think a couple of degrees makes all the difference,” said the German. “Unfortunately we were not able to maximize our potential and I felt the extreme wet was our weakest compound. I’m quite sure the car was better than P12, but not in these conditions.”
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