Zhou Guanyu achieved a commendable fifth place in the qualifying round at the Hungaroring, with Leclerc in the Ferrari separating him from his teammate Valtteri Bottas in Alfa Romeo.
The teammate of the driver from Monaco, Carlos Sainz, failed to qualify for Q3. He finished the Q2 session in 11th position, narrowly missing out by a mere 0.002 seconds.
When asked about his worries regarding the team’s speed despite his satisfaction with his own performance, he replied: “I don’t really see it as a concern because it’s quite challenging to anticipate the pace of other drivers in different qualifying sessions and on various tracks.”
I did not anticipate having an Alfa Romeo in front of me for tomorrow’s race, so I’m unsure of how they will perform. We have exciting surprises lined up every weekend.
Regarding Alfa’s surge in form, he added: “They were very strong, yesterday the team showed me the simulations of what we think they will be like, and honestly they were alright, the simulation ahead of today.
Yesterday, I expressed doubt about a potential error or mistake, but today the team proved me wrong as they had anticipated it.
Once again, there is a significant amount of work ahead of us. Comprehending it poses a challenge due to my limited expertise. Although I have not verified this, I believe there were no significant upgrades planned for this weekend.
Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23
Photo by: Michael Potts / Motorsport Images
“It becomes challenging to comprehend when everyone undergoes changes and struggles from one weekend to the next, rapidly transitioning.”
Sainz emphasized that his difficulties in Q2 were a result of an unusual sensation with the medium tire.
The Spaniard expressed feeling a little strange throughout the entire weekend due to that particular combination.
Each instance of running it resulted in consistent difficulties encountered in sector one, making it challenging to achieve desired outcomes. The level of difficulty surpassed that of the hard tyre.
I anticipated that Q2 would be more challenging for us. We had a smooth run in Q1, but when I reintroduced that compound in Q2, I struggled with excessive sliding in sector one and couldn’t manage to complete a satisfactory lap.
The lap wasn’t terrible, but I struggled with grip. It’s disappointing because those two-thousandths of a second can make a big difference in the new F1.
Sainz commented on the speed of some of his competitors, stating that McLaren and Alfa Romeo are both performing well this weekend.
“I am unsure if it is a unique track feature or simply a result of track attributes. It could be that we have not properly adjusted the car’s configuration or adequately prepared the tires. We must conduct an analysis to determine the cause.”
“We have been pushing the boundaries throughout the weekend using the medium compound, and even with all the different tire compounds, we have not achieved the desired position of being in the top four or top five, as we have in the past.”