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LeClerc Takes Pole In Australia

Charles Leclerc will start at the head of the field in the Australian Grand Prix that starts at 15 local (7 CET) tomorrow at Melbourne’s Albert Park circuit.

This is the LeClerc’s eleventh pole, which puts him sixth equal on the list of Ferrari drivers, with Jacky Ickx and Rubens Barrichello.

For Ferrari it is pole number 232, its seventh in Australia, the sixth in Albert Park. In contrast to Charles’ brilliant performance, Carlos was out of luck today and will start from ninth spot after red flags wiped out what looked like being one of the fastest laps of the day on his first run in Q3.

This prevented Sainz to opportunity to prepare for his only valid flying lap properly.

What The Drivers Say

Charles Leclerc

I’m happy with my result today. This circuit is really tricky and I’ve always struggled here in the past. It may not have seemed like it this weekend because we’ve been quite fast, but I’ve done a lot of work to optimise my performance.
The team did a great job. We stayed calm at all times, despite red flags, yellow flags and traffic. The biggest limitation for me was the sun. It was low and at an inconvenient angle and it was almost impossible to see where I was in Q2 and most of Q3. I took a lot of risks and I’m glad that I managed to put together such a good lap in the end.
It doesn’t look too bad in terms of race pace. It’s very close with our competitors so it will be a difficult but exciting race tomorrow.

Carlos Sainz

We had good pace today but my Q3 went completely wrong. We got the red flag right before the finish line of the first flying lap and on my second one, I was about to go out but there was a delay in firing up my car. We finally got going but I didn’t have time to do the preparation lap, which meant the tyres were far from ready for the push lap, sliding everywhere.
Tomorrow I’ll obviously try to recover as much as possible, but without the fourth DRS zone the circuit hasn’t changed that much from the old one and it will be tricky to overtake. Anyway, tomorrow is another day and we’ll try to come back.

Lewis Hamilton

“Compared to yesterday and to the last race, today was a good day for me. I’m really grateful for the work at the factory in turning the car around from yesterday and I almost got P4 which would have been cool but we’ll be fighting for that position tomorrow. I’d say this era of car is the worst for porpoising that I’ve ever experienced. For people watching at home, if the ride height is going high/low, high/low, when you turn in you never know which position you’ll catch it in and the car could oversteer or understeer depending where you catch it, so driving it is a real challenge – it’s like a rattlesnake! We need to find the right balance in ride height to give us performance while controlling the bouncing tomorrow. George and I tried slightly different things on our cars today so hopefully that’s good learning for the team to take into the race”.

2022 Australian Grand Prix Qualifying Results

Leclerc was victorious in the top 10 shootout with a time of 1m 17.868s to keep the RedBull of Verstappen 0.286s at bay in P2.

Perez finished third by 0.372s while Lando Norris made use of his first Q3 appearance of the season in P4 – his team mate Daniel Ricciardo starting seventh at home in a much improved McLaren.

In between the McLarens was Lewis Hamilton in P5 and George Russell in P6 – and behind Ricciardo was Esteban Ocon in P8.

Carlos Sainz was a shock casualty in P9 for Ferrari, 1.540s off his team mate in Q3 as Fernando Alonso crashed out in Q3, a suspected hydraulics issue ending his sterling run, and lines up a provisional P10 for Alpine.

Pierre Gasly missed out on the top 10 shootout in P11 but ahead of Valtteri Bottas, whose streak of 103 Q3 appearances ended with P12 for Alfa Romeo.

Neither Yuki Tsunoda, Zhou Guanyu nor Mick Schumacher could make it out of Q2.

Williams’ Alex Albon (P16, but with a three-place grid drop from Jeddah hanging over him for Sunday) and Haas driver Kevin Magnussen (P17) failed to leave Q1 after a red flag halted proceedings late in that session.

Adding insult to injury for Aston Martin after a difficult weekend so far, Lance Stroll collected Williams’ Nicholas Latifi at Turn 5 in Q1, sending both out of the first segment in awkward high-speed incident.

They took a provisional 19th and 20th while stewards deliberate. Sebastian Vettel’s mechanics managed to repair his Aston Martin after his FP3 crash and he emerged after that red flag with two minutes remaining in Q1, jumping to P18 on the provisional grid.

Image Credits Embed from Getty Images

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