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Ferrari duo forecast rain to cast uncertain shadow over Verstappen title charge
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Ferrari duo forecast rain to cast uncertain shadow over Verstappen title charge

Ferrari duo forecast rain to cast uncertain shadow over Verstappen title charge

Ferrari duo forecast rain to cast uncertain shadow over Verstappen title charge

Ferrari duo forecast rain to cast uncertain shadow over Verstappen title charge

Ferrari duo Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz have both forecast wet weather for the Japanese Grand Prix that could yet rain on Max Verstappen's F1 title parade on Sunday.

Leclerc and Sainz start from second and third on the grid at Suzuka, with the former 0.010secs adrift of polesitter Max Verstappen, and the latter 0.054s down such was the close-knit nature of their qualifying scrap.

Verstappen, who can clinch his second title on Sunday with a race win combined with the fastest lap, is under investigation by the stewards after coming within inches of a collision with McLaren's Lando Norris in Q3.

Reflecting on where it got away from him to be so close to Verstappen, Leclerc said: "It's a very tricky lap around here because whenever you are fast in the first sector you lose out in the final sector, and I tried to find that balance in the last lap.

"But I lost the tyres a little bit in the last sector and lost a little bit of time.

"It's so close, though, with everyone, so that's nice and we will try and have a good race from there."

Looking ahead to the race, Leclerc added: "We have a very limited amount of data going into the race so that's always a challenge.

"But the feeling was good with the car so let's wait and see for the conditions. It seems as though it's going to rain a little during the race.

"It should be a fun race and hopefully we can give a good show tomorrow."

Rain could make things happen - Sainz

Like Leclerc, Sainz also lost out in the final sector as he said: "It was a very clean lap, a very good lap all the way until the last corner when I picked up quite a bit of wheelspin on my rear tyres.

"It's a shame to be half a tenth from pole. It's been so many qualis now with Max and Charles that we are always within half a tenth.

"And the last half a tenth tends to always fall to the other side [Leclerc]. Hopefully, over the end of the season, this half-a-tenth falls a bit more to my side and I get a pole position."

Sainz, though, will have one eye on the skies above Suzuka on Sunday, adding: "The weather is going to play its part.

"The rain is going to arrive, and I don't know if it's going to arrive at two o'clock, three or four, which is after the race, so there are plenty of things that could happen tomorrow.

"There is always a great opportunity starting in P3, I've managed to save a set of softs in case we need it, so we are in a good position to fight Max tomorrow."

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