Leclerc warns Ferrari how they ‘will lose the victory’

Charles Leclerc qualified on pole for the Spanish Grand Prix after dealing with the pressure of spinning on his first Q3 lap.

Charles Leclerc brilliantly claimed his fourth pole position of the season so far, after recovering from a huge mistake on his first flying lap in Q3.

Leclerc has been imperious all weekend at the Spanish Grand Prix, having a couple tenths over everyone in most sessions.

Qualifying was no different, with the Monegasque driver claiming pole by three-tenths.

However, Q3 started in the worst way possible for the championship leader, after spinning at Turn 14 on his opening flying lap.

The spin flat-spotted his tyres, resulting in the Ferrari driver aborting the lap and being tenth after the first runs were complete.

The pressure was then on Leclerc to deliver on his final attempt, which he did with an extraordinary lap.

Leclerc clocked a 1:18.750, to seal a comfortable pole position ahead of the race.

Following qualifying, Leclerc admitted to Sky Italia that he was “scared” during his pole lap.

“The session was very difficult, in Q3 I made a mistake in the first attempt,” Leclerc told Sky Italia.

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“Obviously then I only had one lap, but it went pretty well. I was a bit scared during the lap, but I managed to do everything perfectly.

“I am very happy with the pole, the car was fantastic. I’m really happy.”

Pole position is extremely important at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with overtaking being a huge challenge at the well-used venue.

Alongside Leclerc on the grid is title rival Max Verstappen, who he knows will be a threat during the race.

There have been calls that the race may see both two and three-stop strategies, with Leclerc being aware that if he fails to keep his tyres in good condition, he “will lose” the Grand Prix.

“Yes, I am in a strong position at the start. But in the last two races we have struggled with the tyres compared to Red Bull,” Leclerc added.

“Max is then immediately behind me. If we don’t manage the tyres well, we will lose the victory. We have to understand the situation well and try to do well tomorrow.”

On the other side of the red garage, Carlos Sainz will start his home race from third on the grid, having come within a tenth of Verstappen.

Verstappen didn’t even get a second flying lap, with the Dutchman suffering from a DRS failure in the closing minutes of Q3.

Sainz will be hoping to deliver on Sunday in-front of his home crowd, who will be at the circuit in their numbers on Sunday.

The Spaniard admitted to “struggling” with a number of aspects, however, he knows he has room to improve.

“I made a lap which was more or less what I wanted, which is not easy,” Sainz said.

“I’m struggling with this heat and the balance of the car.

“I suffer with the back of the car but I’m trying to change my driving style and the set-up to get there.

“It’s clear Charles did a great lap, he’s driving very well. But I still have margins for improvement,” concluded the Spaniard.