Lucky Charles Leclerc labels Q1 mistake 'unacceptable'

Charles Leclerc in action for Ferrari in Hungary

Charles Leclerc described himself as “very lucky” and labelled his error “not acceptable” in the wake of qualifying fourth at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Leclerc edged Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel for the position by just 0.028s, though did so in the wake of a crash through the final corner in Q1.

Leclerc lost the rear of his SF90 and suffered a substantial rear-on impact with the barriers, though was able to continue, and had already set a time quick enough to make Q2.

Ferrari used the available time to undertake repairs, enabling Leclerc to continue in the session.

“I’ve been very lucky to go again,” said Leclerc. “I have to thank the team very much for what they’ve done but it was a completely unnecessary mistake at that point in quali.

“That’s two mistakes in two grands prix. The first one wasn’t acceptable but this one is definitely not acceptable, and if I had stayed in the wall it would have been a lot worse.

“I need to learn from these mistakes. This is the second one in quali at an unnecessary time so I need to understand and work on that.

“On the other hand, it was very positive in Q3 on my side. Of course, we are half a second down, that’s not where we want to be but I’m very happy with my lap overall. “

Vettel cut a downbeat figure in the wake of Ferrari’s performance in Q3, having trailed Red Bull’s Max Verstappen by half a second.

“I don’t think they’ve [Red Bull] found something, they were quick already the weeks before coming here.

“Obviously they do have a disadvantage on the engine side but here the engine is not as important.

“We knew they would be strong, we knew Mercedes would be strong because they have the best package but obviously we can’t be happy sitting further back and not being able to intervene in that fight.”