Charles Leclerc annoyed with Ferrari for ‘compromising’ final stage of Bahrain GP qualifying

Charles Leclerc showed his exasperation with Ferrari at “compromising” his final runs in qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Leclerc was right in contention for top spot in the first qualifying session of the season, alongside team-mate Carlos Sainz and Verstappen.

However, the Monegasque only finished second in the end – two-tenths of a second slower than Verstappen – and was “disappointed” given pole position was within his reach.

Leclerc referenced an earlier team error in Q1, when his Ferrari team unnecessarily sent him out on a new set of soft tyres, meaning he only had one set for his final two runs of Q3.

“I’m a bit disappointed,” Leclerc said. “We did a good qualifying, it’s been a tricky weekend. I found the sweet spot in qualifying.

“Unfortunately we put on two sets of new softs which compromised a bit Q3.

Charles Leclerc said Ferrari ‘compromised’ his qualifying (Getty Images)
Charles Leclerc said Ferrari ‘compromised’ his qualifying (Getty Images)

“I think we lost a little bit of rhythm with the used set in Q3, then you have to re-adapt to the tyres, but overall a solid qualifying.

“I’m confident we did a step forward, we have to wait and see tomorrow. We really think Red Bull is still ahead by quite a bit in the race.”

Verstappen secured the 33rd pole of his career, with Mercedes’ George Russell completing the top-three.

His team-mate Sainz in the end finished fourth, at the start of his final season with Ferrari before Lewis Hamilton joins in 2025.