Leclerc’s engineer almost gave him a “heart attack” in Verstappen’s confusion.
The Ferrari driver achieved his third pole position of the season at the US GP. After securing a favorable position at the US GP, Charles Leclerc has drawn up a row with his Ferrari race engineer over track restrictions.
Max Verstappen beat Leclerc by just 0.005 seconds in a time of 1:34.723, but the world champion’s lap was disallowed for overtaking the track at Turn 19, dropping him to sixth. The Ferrari driver beat Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton by a tenth to secure his first pole since the Belgian Grand Prix and third overall of the season after Azerbaijan – all three coming on sprint weekends.
But Leclerc’s engineer Xavier Marcos Padros started telling him during his lap that Verstappen had crossed the track limits, but the Monaco man initially believed the message was meant for him – meaning he had missed the post. Leclerc’s pole surprise “I just had a heart attack because my engineer told me the track limits and then… Verstappen,” Leclerc explained to the media, “When I heard the track restrictions, I hit the steering wheel and the helmet, but then I heard Verstappen and then I said: ‘Okay, that’s better news for us.’ So I said to Xavi now, ‘Tell me the name before. the track restrictions so I don’t get too excited.'” That’s all.
It was a strong session for Leclerc, who edged Verstappen by just 0.004s in Q2 for a fifth different pole in the last five US GPs, but he continued to admit his surprise at securing Ferrari’s second straight Austin pole. teammate Carlos Sainz in 2022. “I grew in confidence with the car and immediately felt good,” he said. “In qualifying I tried to put everything together. The first stage of Q3 was a bit better than the second, but I think there was some improvement on the track.
The second stage was quite good for Pole, although Max beat us on the run track, but his lap time was later removed. “But anyway, I’m very happy to reach the pole. It’s a surprise for us, we really didn’t expect to fight for the pole here.”