Charles Leclerc was trying not to get carried away with his first pole position at the Bahrain Grand Prix, with the possibility of his first victory on Sunday.
Ferrari has looked extremely competitive all weekend in Bahrain, recovering from a difficult opening race in Australia to lock out the front row. Leclerc beat teammate Sebastian Vettel to pole position in only his second race for the Scuderia to become the second-youngest polesitter in Formula 1 history, and says the significance is not lost on him even if the race is now his focus.
“A lot of emotions,” Leclerc said. “I’m trying to stay as cool as possible because unfortunately there are no points for pole position. All points will be awarded tomorrow. Of course a great moment. It has been a great day and a great weekend until now for us and I hope it will continue tomorrow. The target now is to focus on the race and try and do the best race possible. But it’s amazing to be here.
“I think you can always do better. I am overall very happy with my lap in Q3. I think that was my weakness in the first race. I was disappointed after qualifying because of this. Today I am very satisfied. I put my three best sectors together which is what I wanted. Of course you can always do better, but I’m extremely happy.”
With the pole position coming so early in his Ferrari career, Leclerc says he was not putting any pressure on himself to deliver instantly even after seeing how strong the car was in testing.
“I didn’t have any particular expectations. I was completely aware of how much of a big step there is, team wise and also competition wise as obviously the drivers I’m fighting with now are the best.
“I’m extremely happy it has started like this, but as I said it’s only qualifying. I hope I will have strong points tomorrow which is the most important. We’ll see, but I’m extremely happy to start like this.”