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Charles Leclerc Admits He Can’t Be “Happy” After Bad Sprint Qualifying at the Chinese GP

Vidit Dhawan

Charles Leclerc Admits He Can’t Be “Happy” After Bad Sprint Qualifying at the Chinese GP

Although Charles Leclerc is believed to be one of the best qualifiers on the current grid, he seems to be having his fair share of struggles recently. After qualifying all the way down in seventh for the Chinese Grand Prix sprint race, the Monegasque himself admitted that he cannot be “happy” with his performance.

While speaking to the media after the session, the 26-year-old said (as quoted by, “Once again I wasn’t able to give my best in qualifying and I can’t be happy about this. The positive aspect, however, is that in the dry I made good progress and I’m happy because I worked a lot on tire preparation and it seems that the first fruits are there, at least with a view to tomorrow”.

There are two key reasons why Leclerc struggled to perform as he would have liked during the session. Firstly, the timing of the rain in SQ3 surprised him as he did not get the best of opportunities to register a quick lap time.

Secondly, he also made a mistake on his out lap that resulted in him colliding with the barriers. As a result of the collision, the front wing of his SF-24 suffered damage.

Leclerc then had no choice but to return to the pits, and consequently, it meant that he registered a lap less than his rivals. This is the second race running when Leclerc has suffered during qualifying as even during the Japanese Grand Prix weekend, the Monegasque only managed a lap time that was eighth-fastest.

Carlos Sainz seems more comfortable with the SF-24 than Charles Leclerc

During their time as teammates at Ferrari, Charles Leclerc has often had the upper hand over Carlos Sainz during qualifying. However, so far this season, it is the Spaniard who seems to be outperforming the Monegasque by a huge margin during qualifying.

In the head-to-head qualifying this season, Sainz currently leads Leclerc 3-1 after the sprint qualifying session in China [Sainz did not participate in Saudi Arabia]. The only time that Leclerc managed to outqualify Sainz was during the opening race in Bahrain.

Since Sainz seems to be more comfortable with the SF-24, it is no surprise that he is the Ferrari driver who has managed a victory this season. The 29-year-old registered an emphatic win in Australia, a race in which Leclerc finished P2 to hand Ferrari their first 1-2 in two seasons.

There seems to be added motivation for Sainz to perform well as the Spaniard is currently without a race seat for 2025. With Ferrari signing Lewis Hamilton, Sainz will have to make way next year. Therefore, if the #55 driver is to secure a seat at a top outfit, he needs to prove to other teams that he has the potential to beat a strong driver like Leclerc.

About the author

Vidit Dhawan

Vidit Dhawan


Vidit Dhawan is the F1 writer and Editor at The SportsRush. He fell in love with the sport at first sight when F1 visited India in 2011. The noise and the racing action from lights out and away we go to the chequered flag are what keeps him at the edge of his seat at all times. Vidit has been a lifelong Fernando Alonso fan and sees Charles Leclerc as the future of the sport. Other than F1, he also follows football and tennis closely.

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