Charles Leclerc was fulsome in his praise of his Ferrari team after taking pole position for Sunday's United States Grand Prix, claiming that the work they put in earlier in the day set him up for success.
Teams only had one practice session on Friday before qualifying due to the sprint weekend format, making that hour far more crucial than in a traditional race weekend.
The pole position is the Monegasque's second of the season, following the one he earned on the streets of Baku in just the fourth race of the season.
Leclerc: We started with a strong basis
Leclerc finished third in that race in Azerbaijan, the first of his three podiums this season, which may bode well for his chances on Sunday – particularly with Verstappen starting down in sixth.
"I think as a team we did a great job," he said after the race. "We know that in this sprint weekend it’s more important than ever to have a clean FP1. We did, we had a good FP1. We started with a strong basis thanks to the work the guys had done to prepare this weekend with the car straight away feeling good.
"Then I was feeling good and the lap, I was happy throughout qualifying. The last lap in Q3 there was a bit of mistakes here and there but I think it wasn’t easy for everybody. Really happy we’re starting on pole for Sunday.
"Into Turn 1 it’s always tricky here but at the same time it’s always better to be starting in the front rather than being in the back. I’m really happy and I love this track. I love the vibe that is around this track, in the city and in the country so it’s great to be here"
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