Charles Leclerc is hopeful that his Qatar Grand Prix prospects will be benefitted by Ferrari’s tyre strategy call during Saturday’s Formula 1 Sprint Race.
The Monegasque driver was one of a handful of drivers to take to the track on the Soft compound during the shortened 19-lap encounter.
Starting in P6, Leclerc utilised his tyre advantage to mount a challenge for the top three positions on the opening lap. He had to settle into fourth after staunch defence from team-mate Carlos Sainz.
While the tyre advantage allowed Leclerc to gain early positions from Lando Norris and Max Verstappen, the Ferrari driver would soon fall down the order on tyres which had already seen six laps of running prior to the Sprint.
“We were in the same position as Mercedes. Let’s look forward to tomorrow, I think tomorrow we have one set more Medium, because people used it today and it looks like a good tyre so our strategy might pay off tomorrow.
“We will try and maximise everything. I don’t want to give too much away but I’m happy with the choice we made.”
The Medium tyre looked to come into its own during the Sprint, with Leclerc noting one particular benefit of the compound in the final corner of the Qatari circuit.
“It’s all about how good you are in the last corner, then it makes it very easy or difficult to overtake,” he said.
“With the Medium it seems they had a good front in the last corner which helped a lot to overtake, so It’s going to be a good race.”