The qualification of Interlagos was a bit bitter for Charles Leclerc. The Monegasque driver, who will have to serve ten penalty positions on the grid for replacing the internal combustion engine after the Austin problem, closed the Brazilian qualification only in fourth place, after having demonstrated throughout the session that he could fight for the pole position.
"I am very disappointed with myself. Without the error in the last corner of the first attempt in Q3, I would have been very close to pole or in any case second – Leclerc made his hot debut after qualifying – I lost so much, about three and a half tenths or four tenths, only on this curve. I repeat, I am very disappointed, but I will learn and in the end it does not change so much having the 10 penalty positions. However, making the best lap or being close to it would have been good for everyone, so it's a shame ”.
Yet Leclerc had made the difference in Q2, when he had gone very close to Verstappen's best time – and doing better than Vettel – while mounting medium compound tires, chosen to attempt a different strategy to recover from the middle: "On this track there is little difference in terms of degradation between Medium and Soft, so I don't know if we will have any real advantage but at least we try something different".
"We learned a little more about testing long runs this morning in the PL3, but I don't think it will be enough to reduce the gap from the other two top teams. However, I will always aim at the best possible result, but it will be more difficult than the other Sundays " concluded the Monegasque.