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Leclerc reveals bizarre Ferrari strategy to avoid Q3

Leclerc reveals bizarre Ferrari strategy to avoid Q3

F1 News

Leclerc reveals bizarre Ferrari strategy to avoid Q3

Leclerc reveals bizarre Ferrari strategy to avoid Q3

Charles Leclerc revealed it was Ferrari's plan to avoid the final phase of qualifying in Austria to open up the team's strategy options for Sunday's grand prix.

Carlos Sainz and Leclerc qualified 11th and 12th at the Red Bull Ring, with the former missing out on a Q3 position by just 0.006secs to Williams driver George Russell.

Controversially, however, Leclerc has confirmed the 'failure' was in the thinking going into qualifying.

"It was kind of the plan to not go to Q3, to be honest, because we wanted to have a free choice for tomorrow," said Leclerc.

"But on the other hand, I'm a bit disappointed obviously. The best would have been to go to Q3 with the medium, which Williams managed to do with George, which is very impressive and that is what left me a bit disappointed.

"To be behind them on a medium is not great."

Despite the poor qualifying result, Leclerc remained confident of a points finish on Sunday after showing strong race pace a week ago in the Styrian GP.

He added: "It's definitely looking good for tomorrow but we will have to analyse exactly what strategy is better to take for tomorrow considering there are actually quite a few cars ahead of us that will be starting on the medium."

Williams pace no surprise to Sainz

The Austrian Grand Prix saw George Russell reach Q3 for the first time in his career as a Williams F1 driver with the Briton ending the day ninth fastest.

The pace of Russell was, however, no surprise to the Spaniard.

"He beat us last week, at least me, he beat me," said Sainz. "That Williams is not a slow car this weekend. He was running P8 before retiring. I did a few laps behind him and he was impossible to pass.

"So good job to George. For sure, he is doing a good job but it is not like that Williams is much slower than us. If anything, in quali, it definitely looks like the quicker package this weekend."

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