F1 – Singapore GP – Charles Leclerc (Ferrari): A “super-limit” qualification and Michael Schumacher in the sights

Charles Leclerc and Ferrari may at least be stopping the bleeding. After five victories for Max Verstappen and Red Bull, the Monegasque and the Scuderia left to regain control in Singapore and push back the title of the Dutchman next weekend, at Suzuka. In pole position for the seventeenth round of the World Cup, the driver from the Principality will start seven positions ahead of the leader of the world championship, forced to abandon his last lap in Q3, due to imminent fuel shortage.

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In top position for the ninth time this season, “Charlot” also came close to the 11 pole positions signed by Michael Schumacher in 2001, a record for a Maranello driver. And for that, he was not unhappy since he obtained his new distinction with 0 “022 ahead of Sergio Pérez (Red Bull), the narrowest margin he obtained on his 18 career pole positions. .

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Very urban Leclerc

“It was a very tricky qualifying. In Q1, Q2 with the ‘intermediates’ then in Q3, we didn’t really know what to do, he confessed. We opted to ‘tender’ them at the very last minute and it paid off.” Indeed, he himself took the initiative to leave the “intermediate” to “tender” them a few seconds before the opening of the track in Q3, seeing Max Verstappen’s Red Bull pass in front of his garage with red tires . “We go there on slicks, even if we have to waste time”he launched to his engineer, Xavier Marcos Padros. “Stop the engine”then ordered the Spanish technician.

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However, the scenario for this second pole position in a row in Singapore was not the easiest. As the track was drying, we had to keep our concentration, find the clear lap and respond to Fernando Alonso (Alpine), then Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes).

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“It was really complicatedhe said. I made a mistake on my last lap, so I thought we wouldn’t have pole, but it was enough. It was really special. Every qualifying on an urban track is super-limiting, and even more so when it’s wet like that: there were wet parts where I lost the rear. But overall I managed to do a clean lap.”

Lack of data for the race

It must nevertheless be said that the driver from the Principality is doing well on the tracks in town, since he has already dominated qualifying this year in Miami, Monaco and Baku. And then, this pole is an additional satisfaction after the technical setbacks on Friday. “I had a very limited number of laps but we recovered well”he assured.

The only downside is that he will enter this exceptionally long race – the 61 laps will still be close to two hours of racing – with fewer benchmarks than usual. “We don’t have that much data but with perfect execution we can win”did he declare.

As for the title, it is not a subject for him. “I do not carehe cut. I want to win here, that’s all that matters to me. I know it’s only a matter of time before Max gets the title. But when it happens is not that important to me.”

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