Ferrari pilot Charles Leclerc is without a doubt the tragic figure of Formula One qualification for the Grand Prix of Azerbaijan in Baku.
After best times in all free training and P2 in the first qualifying segment (Q1), the Monegasse with its crash in Q2 lost the great chance of a front starting place. Whether it would have become the pole position under normal circumstances cannot be said. Rather than P9, from which he will enter the race, Leclerc would probably have cut himself off.
In his first reaction via Boxenfunk as well as in his detailed statement in front of the TV cameras in the driver’s camp, Leclerc went to court very hard with himself. With this attitude he also presented himself on Saturday via social media, tweeting shortly after the crash, Leclerc
Team colleague Vettel praises Leclerc
How Leclerc’s direct competitors judge the leading positions in Formula One-season 2019 – Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel as well as the Mercedes-Duo Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas – the tough assessment of the 21-year-old Monegasse itself opposite?
“Well, I think that’s normal. If you make a mistake, you are not happy about it,”says Vettel, to praise Leclerc for his merciless self-esteem:”I think that being critical of himself is also a reason that he has made it this far.”
“I don’t think any of us like this part of racing life, But from time to time this part belongs just as much to it,”said Vettel, to see the positive:”The weekend is not over yet. We have a good car and I am sure we can fight back as a team.”
Hamilton has a great understanding and feels with Leclerc
beating back hardly means to close again behind the two silver arrows after three Mercedes double sequences 2019 even in the fourth season race. How do you rate the Leclerc reaction in the Mercedes camp?
“I would be the same,” says WM top rider Hamilton, who had to give up almost to his teammate Botta in the battle for the Baku Pole, even though he himself had a wind shadow of Bottas on his decisive Q3 round, But the Finnish had no such.
“If it is your own fault, then you are hard on yourself,” Hamilton recognizes himself in Leclerc, but at the same time notes: “If you get older, it may be a little less than if you are younger. Either way, it’s painful.”
“On a track like this, there’s a lot of pressure on his young shoulders,”Hamilton also knows the particular emotional significance of the Baku City Circuit for Leclerc. And the five-time Formula One World Champion can only too well put himself in the mind of the Shooting Champion just now in his second season.
“For years I have been unable to get out of my hotel room in such an experience for two or three days”, Hamilton goes on and on, “That’s why I can totally understand it. I think it’s cool that he’s so open about it. In the race he can certainly move forward.”
Does Ferrar bear a part in the crash?
And Polesetter Bottas also knows from his own experience:”The mistakes that you have to blame yourself and that you could have avoided are the ones that hurt the most. From that point of view, I totally understand. We Finns may not be quite so clear about this, but the feelings are the same.”
However, not everyone sees the blame for the Q2 crash unreservedly with Leclerc. Above all, former World Champion Nico Rosberg does not take the 21-year-old Monegasse, but the Ferrari team for the risky tyre strategy verbally into the deficiency.