During the opening heat of the final stage of qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix, Ferrari accidentally put a set of fresh soft tires on Leclerc’s car.

The team planned to send him to used softies for the first run before giving him a new set with red walls for his Q3 effort.

Leclerc asked on the radio about the tire call and the team said, “Sorry, it was a mistake.” He finished the session fourth overall, losing more than eight-tenths of a second Max Verstappenthe fastest time after missing a second run.

“I think there was a misunderstanding, it wasn’t a big problem,” Leclerc said after qualifying. “But obviously I mentioned it because I was a bit surprised.

“But yeah, it still won’t change anything, for the rest of the weekend.”

Asked by Autosport if the disappointment was another small mistake by Ferrari this year, Leclerc replied: “No.”

Leclerc will start the race from 16th on the grid after serving a power unit penalty, one place behind title rival Verstappen, who is also down the rankings.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75

Photo: Erik Junius

Verstappen also failed to complete the final run in Q3 and finished more than six-tenths of a second outside the field, showing his dominance at Spa.

Leclerc felt that Red Bull was “extremely strong” over the Spa weekend and that his pace was “a surprise because I think we expected to close the gap a little bit in qualifying”.

“They found something very impressive this weekend,” Leclerc said.

“It’s a big gap. That’s why I hope that things will change in Zandvoort. But before that we have a race tomorrow, we seem to be a bit more competitive. We’ll see how it goes.”

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Verstappen was told he had to fight back from 15th on the grid to win the race Mercedes driver George Russell. Verstappen himself said he would be disappointed if he did not recover and finish on the podium.

“I will also be disappointed if I don’t get back on the podium, but given that he is with me, if he has the pace he had today, it will be very difficult for me to get back on the podium,” said Leclerc. .

“But yeah, we never know. A good first leg, a clean race and I’m sure we can get back into the lead.”


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