The weekend of the 2022 Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix began with the threat of rain, so Friday free practice was held in the wet. This meant that very few drivers and teams were able to take advantage of the tire information for the decisive qualifying at Suzuka, which was to be held in dry conditions.
At Ferrari they were confident from the start, although with the idea that Max Verstappen had his second world title tied, so they could take risks without fear of failing. For this reason, in the session that defined the positions of the starting grid on Sunday, Charles Leclerc went all out in Q3 with a new set of softs, although he was just a few thousandths away, just like his teammate, Carlos Sainz , to make a new pole position.
The fastest time was recorded by his rival for the championship, the Dutchman from Red Bull, which led to widespread disappointment in the Italian team for narrowly missing out on first place in Japan. Once he got out of the car, the Monegasque explained what happened to him on his last attempt, acknowledging that he was frustrated : “It was a very complicated lap here, because whenever you are fast in the first sector, you lose in the last, and I I tried to find that balance on the last lap.”
“However, I lost a bit of tires in the last sector and I lost a bit of time, so, it’s very even, with everyone. That’s good, so we’ll try to make a good race from there.” Leclerc pointed out.
When asked how he saw Sunday’s race, the Ferrari driver said it could be something to enjoy due to the little information they gathered in free practice on Friday due to the rain .
“We have a very limited amount of data going into the race, so that’s always a challenge, but the feeling was good with the car,” he continued. “We’ll wait and see the conditions, it looks like it’s going to rain a bit at some point in the race so it should be fun.”
“It’s always good to be here and see so many people who are so passionate about this sport, and so creative, so hopefully we can put on a good show tomorrow,” said the Ferrari driver after finishing second in the Suzuka standings.
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