The result of qualifying at the Hungarian Grand Prix did not reflect the true potential of the Scuderia Ferrari SF21. On paper, at a track that should have suited the characteristics of the SF21, Charles Leclerc qualified seventh, while Carlos Sainz's sessions ended prematurely due to an off in Q2.
Down to the nearest thousandth. As has been the case already this season, the performance of the cars in the mid-field is very close. As an example, if Charles had gone just 75 thousandths faster than his best Q3 time of 1’16”496, he would have been fourth.
Carlos. Adding to Scuderia Ferrari’s woes this Saturday, Carlos crashed at the final corner on his first run in Q2. The Spaniard failed to set a time and therefore will start from 15th on the grid when the Grand Prix gets underway tomorrow at 15 CET.
Charles Leclerc #16
"It was a bit disappointing, as we expected a little more than a P7. The high temperatures were not as much of a challenge as the wind was today. As it picked up in Q2, we started struggling with our rears and couldn’t maximize our potential. Tomorrow is when we score points though. Our race pace looks strong so I am confident. It is not an easy track to overtake on, so a good start will be essential."
Carlos Sainz #55
"This one is tough to take. I’m rarely involved in this type of incident and it hurts. After a very strong run in Q1, going off in Q2 is the opposite of ideal. I was closing the lap, not pushing to the absolute limit, as it was only the first run of Q2 and unfortunately I was caught out by a big gust of wind, later confirmed on the data. I don’t want to use it as an excuse, it was a mistake on track and I apologise to the entire team. They did a great job last night and the car today felt quite good. Unfortunately, this is one of the worst possible tracks to have a bad qualifying because overtaking is tough here. I’ll do my best to recover and try to score as many points as possible tomorrow."
Laurent Mekies, Racing Director
"There’s no point denying that it’s disappointing that today’s result did not live up to our expectations. Given the times in Q3, we could have reasonably aspired to a place on the second row, but when the gaps are so small, just the slightest thing is enough to gain or lose several places. Sometimes that has worked in our favour, but not this afternoon. On top of that, we are paying a high price for Carlos not making it out of Q2, because it was clear that he also had the potential to fight for fourth place. Now we are concentrating on preparing for the race, which will be a tough test for the drivers and the cars, especially because of the expected high temperatures. Yesterday, our long run performance wasn’t bad, but we know how difficult it is to make up places on this track. Strategy and tyre management will be the key factors."