Charles Leclerc says he would be “very surprised” if there wasn’t an issue with his Ferrari car after he endured a surprise exit from Q1 at the Spanish Grand Prix.
Despite featuring in the top 10 in all three practice sessions and admitting his satisfaction with the upgrades Ferrari has brought to this weekend, Leclerc struggled throughout the opening stage of qualifying.
With Leclerc unable to escape the drop zone during the initial flurry of runs, Ferrari fitted a new set of soft tyres to his car in a bid to secure his passage to the second segment.
But an improvement up to 11th proved to not be good enough by the end of the session, with multiple drivers proceeding to post better lap times to condemn Leclerc to a first Q1 elimination since Monaco 2019.
“I was completely sure I was out after the feeling during Q1,” said Leclerc.
“The car, I think there is something wrong, we will check the car tonight, but I would be very surprised if the car was fine, it was the left hand corners, the balance was extremely difficult, we’ll check that and try to have a proper car like I had this morning for tomorrow.
“This morning the feeling was really good but for some reason there was something strange.”
Ferrari is running an upgraded car this weekend but Leclerc dismissed any suggestions that this contributed to his downfall.
“It’s not the upgrades, I was running it yesetday and it was fine,” he said. “There was something off for this session and we need to understand what was it.”
Ferrari team-mate Carlos Sainz will start from the front row of the grid.