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Leclerc Optimistic About Ferrari’s F1 Progress Despite Qualifying Setback in Barcelona

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Charles Leclerc maintains Ferrari's F1 enhancement is progress, even with a disappointing distance from the pole position in Barcelona's qualifying round.

Charles Leclerc is confident that the latest updates to Ferrari's Formula 1 car are effective, even though he was 0.3 seconds off the pace for pole position at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Leclerc secured the fifth spot on the starting grid for Sunday's competition at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

The driver from Monaco found himself outpaced by both competitors from Mercedes, with a larger distance separating him from pole position holder Lando Norris and Max Verstappen, who came close to clinching the lead.

Ferrari unveiled a major update for the weekend's race, yet they seemed far from being real contenders for the top qualifying spot.

Nonetheless, Leclerc believes the latest update represents significant progress.

"Definitely, the enhancements we've implemented are performing as expected, marking a positive progression," Leclerc confirmed.

"Nonetheless, it's a comparative game, and other teams have introduced improvements as well, so it ultimately hinges on the magnitude of progress each team makes."

"Definitely, there's room for further refinement with the latest update we've implemented, but I don't see that as a justification. It seems we're just slightly behind in speed this weekend."

Ferrari experienced their most challenging weekend of the season during the previous event in Canada, with neither of their drivers reaching the finish line.

Prior to this, they were significantly lagging in speed due to Leclerc dealing with a problem related to the engine.

Leclerc admitted he faced difficulties in terms of performance leading up to the qualifying rounds, but commended the improvements made since the practice sessions

He continued, "Up until qualifying, it's been quite challenging for me, especially until the end of the third free practice session. The first and second practice sessions were particularly tough. During the first session, we were still using the older setup, as it was essential for us to evaluate the differences between the two cars."

"However, at a circuit such as Barcelona, facing the loss of two sets of tyres presents a challenge. This is due to having only a single lap per set, after which your time can drop by six or seven tenths on the subsequent lap. It's all about timing and finding your pace. During FP2, the car seemed completely off, struggling significantly with its balance."

"Today, we made significant adjustments to the car, altering numerous aspects without overhauling everything. Right from FP3, I found myself feeling more comfortable immediately, yet our speed still lags behind. Despite this, I'm somewhat satisfied with the improvement, especially considering how my comfort level has advanced from yesterday to today, a change I believe will benefit us during the race."

"I'm dissatisfied and let down by the car's performance in today's qualifying session since it fell short of our expectations."

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