Charles Leclerc enthused about the reduced running opportunities at the Eifel Grand Prix after claiming an excellent P4 on the grid.
Friday’s two practice sessions at the Nurburgring were washed out as the medical helicopter was unable to fly due to rain and fog, leaving only a one-hour FP3 before qualifying.
It was the latest in a series of occasions this year when the Monegasque driver, who will turn 23 next Friday, had extracted practically 100% from his car’s performance. His team-mate Sebastian Vettel will start the race 11th.
Some drivers are starting to be vocal about three practice sessions being too much over the course of a grand prix weekend and Leclerc was of that opinion here – it’s a format that has been premeditated for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola on November 1.
“I definitely wasn’t expecting P4, especially in these cold conditions, so very happy about the result today,” said Leclerc.
“We brought some updates here and maybe they made a small difference in the right direction, which is nice to see. I’m happy about the way we are working and how things went today.
“I think we took the maximum out of the situation – no FP1 and FP2 yesterday, only FP3 and then straight into quali, which I quite enjoyed because normally drivers have lots of time to look at the data and adapt to the track. But now it was just better, I quite liked it.”
Very happy with my lap and with the balance of the car, the small upgrades brought by the team worked properly too which is a good thing. Small steps after small steps, we'll get there.
See you tomorrow 🇩🇪 pic.twitter.com/b47GqtNWet
— Charles Leclerc (@Charles_Leclerc) October 10, 2020
As for the race, Leclerc described it as a step “into the unknown” with Formula 1 not having visited the Nurburgring since 2013 and even when it was a regular stop on the calendar, it was usually in midsummer rather than in the autumn with chilly single-digit temperatures.
“I think all of us drivers are going a bit into the unknown tomorrow, which is what makes this race very interesting,” added Leclerc.
“We don’t have any long runs with high fuel yet. We will discover how the car is handling tomorrow during the race, which will be exciting.
“It will be important to manage these soft tyres because they are pretty difficult in terms of graining, so it will be a tricky race.”