Leclerc: “Third is the best we could have done”

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc has said “third is the best we could have done” after qualifying for the British Grand Prix.

Valterri Bottas took pole position for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone and Leclerc was third fastest behind Lewis Hamilton.

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It was a closely fought third qualifying session and Leclerc ended up just 0.079s behind Bottas but despite being so close, Leclerc didn’t feel he could do any better.

“Up to Q2 we were quite good but then in Q3 Mercedes turned up a little bit the engine, and they were very, very quick” said Leclerc.

“Third place is the best we could have done today and I’m very happy about it.”

Ferrari closer than expected

Ferrari had been expecting to be quite a way behind Mercedes at Silverstone but surprised many by ending up fastest in Q2 and looked a threat for pole until Bottas set his best time.

Although Leclerc will start on the second row he was pleased at how close he was to the Mercedes cars.

“Overall, I think we are very happy with the performance, very close to Mercedes and we did not expect it.” added Leclerc.

“We thought we would be struggling more this weekend.”

The Monegasque driver will start on the softer tyre tomorrow having opted for a different strategy compared to Bottas and Hamilton and he hopes that will allow him to get the lead early on and control the race.

Speaking about the tyre compound difference Leclerc said: “That’s definitely the target  – to try to use our tyre advantage, especially at the start, to gain positions and then try to keep them.”

“Keeping them will be very difficult because they are extremely quick in race runs but that’s the target.”

Leclerc’s teammate Sebastian Vettel had yet another difficult qualifying session and will start the race in sixth tomorrow.

It is the third race in a row that Leclerc has out-qualified his more experienced teammate.