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Leclerc eyeing points after grid slot promotion

  • Published on 07 Oct 2018 03:12
  • comments 0
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Charles Leclerc is hoping he can have a strong race in Japan and collect more points for himself and Sauber. The Monegasque driver dropped out of qualifying after Q2, admitting that he made a mistake on his hot lap.

The 2017 Formula 2 champion qualified in eleventh place but will start the race from tenth as Esteban Ocon was handed a three-place grid penalty. Leclerc will be able to start the race on a tyre compound of his choice and is hoping he can maintain his strong pace from Saturday.

“Overall, it was a positive day and we see the potential is there for a good performance tomorrow," the Ferrari-bound driver said. "The pace was there in qualifying, and it is a shame that we did not make it to Q3 today.

“I made a small mistake on my first push lap in Q2, and it was not possible to improve my lap time after the rain started again, however it means we can gain an advantage by starting the race on the tyres of our choice. I look forward to being back on track.”

Leclerc has scored points at the last two races and currently sits in fifteenth place in the driver's standings. Sauber will be hoping to overtake Toro Rosso in the constructor's standings, but face a tall task of doing so this weekend as Brendon Hartley and Pierre Gasly start from sixth and seventh respectively.

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