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Leclerc confident in Ferrari’s Las Vegas F1 victory bid

Charles Leclerc is confident that he and Ferrari can conquer the F1 competition posed by Red Bull's Max Verstappen to secure victory from pole position at the Las Vegas Grand Prix

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In a thrilling qualifying session, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc clinched pole position, teeing up a showdown with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen on Saturday night.

Leclerc F1 Las Vegas Sainz Ferrari
Charles Leclerc congratulates Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz after the duo set the two fastest times in Las Vegas Grand Prix Qualifying. (Image Credit: @ScuderiaFerrari on X)

While Leclerc’s teammate Carlos Sainz delivered an equally competitive performance, securing P2, a 10-place grid penalty will see him start P12 due to a mandatory power unit change following his now infamous practice incident with a water valve cover.

Leclerc’s joy and self-critique

Leclerc, elated with the pole position, expressed his satisfaction while acknowledging room for improvement in his Q3 laps when speaking to F1 in his post-qualifying interview: “I’m, of course, happy. First in Las Vegas, obviously, it’s an incredible event, and to be starting from pole tomorrow is great.”

Despite the elation felt by both Ferrari and their fans, Leclerc was quick to make the point that he felt a better performance from himself was very much on the cards during the session, adding, “I didn’t do a good enough job, but it was enough for P1, so that’s all we need.”

The Monégasque driver shifted his focus to the upcoming race, highlighting Ferrari’s historical struggle to maintain peak performance during races:

“Now it’s full focus on tomorrow to try and put everything together in the race. Normally that’s where we lack most performance, so I hope we can put it all together and win here.”

Leclerc also took a moment to appreciate the unique atmosphere of the Las Vegas Grand Prix. Having visited the city for different reasons in the past, he remarked, “Apart from that, it’s amazing to be here, to see so many people in town for Formula 1, which is a sport that I love, and to see how much work that has been put into such an event. I hope it will be a successful one with a good race tomorrow.”

Sainz’s weekend woes

On the other hand, Sainz, who faced a rollercoaster of challenges leading up to the race, including the FP1 incident which caused the need for extensive repairs to his car and landed him a subsequent 10-place grid penalty, commended the team’s efforts. Despite the setbacks, he acknowledged the team’s progress over the weekend:

“We’ve dominated qualifying together after a tough Friday to put together the whole car again.”

Reflecting on his starting position, Sainz said, “Obviously, I would love to be on pole because it would mean I would start 11th instead of 12th, but I think we did the maximum that we could today.”

Looking ahead to the race, Sainz remained optimistic about Ferrari’s pace and his comeback potential and gave his take on the upcoming race despite the circumstances that found him: “I would love to be fighting for the win tomorrow with Charles and Max, but unfortunately I’m going to be on a comeback mode, a comeback race, and hopefully I can get to the front at some point and battle with them, but I think it’s going to be tricky.”

Featured Image Credit: @ScuderiaFerrari on X

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