“I will repay the efforts of the mechanics”: he was up to his word Charles Leclerc, fourth in Qualifying in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia behind Mercedes and Max Verstappen, but ahead of Sergio Perez. The Monegasque took the Ferrari to the second row and could even take off from the clean side of the track should Red Bull replace the gearbox on Verstappen’s car. Ferrari’s Saturday was made less positive by the elimination of Carlos Sainz in Q2, but the Spaniard’s mistake could have far more serious consequences and force the men under the orders of Mattia Binotto to another evening of overtime to repair damage that they would most likely have been very large.
Laurent Mekies, head of Ferrari’s track operations, commented on a decidedly adrenaline-pumping Saturday: “A mix of emotions in this qualifying. We are happy for Charles’ good fourth place, who has gradually regained confidence with the car after yesterday’s accident and, at the very last attempt, has once again shown that he is one of the best drivers around with a fantastic lap. We are very sorry for Carlos, who did not manage to achieve the result he had shown he could achieve throughout the weekend and also in the first part of qualifying. That small mistake at Turn-10 cost him a lot and he will have to face an uphill race. In view of the race we will first of all try to prepare ourselves in the best way to try to further consolidate that third place in the Constructors’ classification which represents our main goal in the season finale. On an unforgiving track, we expect a race full of unexpected events: it will be important to know how to take advantage of every possible opportunity ”.
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