Charles Leclerc felt Sergio Perez had taken “some dangers” that had enabled him to grab his maiden F1 pole place on the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
Within the closing couple of minutes of qualifying on the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, three drivers all had a grip on pole place – and neither was Max Verstappen or Lewis Hamilton.
The primary was Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, who then had it snatched away from him by his team-mate Leclerc – winner of final week’s season-opener in Bahrain.
However simply when it appeared as if Leclerc would proceed his good begin to the marketing campaign, alongside got here Perez to pop himself into P1 on the grid for the primary time on this collection on the 215th try – the longest look forward to pole any driver has skilled.
Pipped by simply 0.025sec, Leclerc informed Sky Italia: “I’m truthfully proud of my final lap in Q3.
“Checo shocked me as a result of I imagine he took some dangers that ultimately paid off.
“I went extra safely – within the first two sectors I took sufficient dangers and so I mentioned ‘okay, let’s full this lap which is nice.
“As a substitute, we missed the pole by two hundredths, so we will by no means go away any stone unturned.
“However tomorrow there may be the race and I hope I can carry residence an excellent consequence.”
Each Leclerc and Sainz reported their automobiles had unusually carried out higher on used rubber than recent tyres.
“The bizarre factor this weekend is we discover ourselves higher with used tyres than with new tyres,” mentioned the 24-year-old from Monaco. “So we lacked the sensation with the brand new tyres to do the subsequent step.
“I imagine the tyre degradation [in the race] might be basic. There’s extra of it than anticipated. However I believe we have now clear concepts on tips on how to handle the tyres, as we did in Bahrain.
“So we have now to deal with ourselves. The primary two corners might be necessary, with out pointless dangers, but when we will achieve a place it could be higher.”
Sainz, increasing on the tyre anomaly, added: “I don’t perceive why I can’t make the brand new tyres work. All of the quick laps I did at present, I did them on used tyres. I discover myself method higher with used tyres than with new tyres.
“One thing bizarre, which doesn’t occur on another observe.
“I’m blissful I used to be there combating for the pole, however on the opposite aspect not that blissful as a result of I’d prefer to be on pole.
“In free apply I used to be attempting one thing with the automobile – suspensions, set-up – to see if I may discover a higher feeling. In qualifying I put all the things collectively, so I believe I made some progress.
“The easiest way to show that’s to see how I might be tomorrow within the race, if I’ll be nearer to the tempo and if we will win.”
Extra reporting by Luca Brambilla