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Leclerc: Ferrari still needs to get on top of tyres despite Spanish GP pole

Charles Leclerc thinks his pole position for Formula 1's Spanish Grand Prix will count for little if his Ferrari team does not get on top of its recent tyre degradation struggles.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75

Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

The Monegasque driver bounced back from a spin in his first run in Q3 to snatch first place on the grid in Barcelona from title rival Max Verstappen with a brilliant late effort.

His pole spot was then sealed when Verstappen was unable to respond on his second Q3 run after being slowed by a DRS problem.

But while Leclerc was delighted with his latest pole, he is well aware that in recent events he has lost the lead after his Ferrari has encountered worse tyre degradation than the Red Bulls.

With temperatures expected to be high for Sunday's race at Barcelona, and tyres likely to face a battering, he is aware that Ferrari needs to better manage the situation than it has recently.

"I am in a strong position to start the race, but we've been struggling with tyres in the last few races compared to Red Bull," he explained.

"Max is just behind and if we don't manage those tyres well we will lose that. So we need to get on top of it and do a good job tomorrow with tyre management."

But while the Red Bull has been better on its tyres at the last few grands prix, Verstappen was not taking it for granted that Leclerc would suffer again.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

The Dutchman said: "The last few races we seemed pretty decent on the tyres. Of course tomorrow will be very hot, very warm, and this track will be quite tough to pass. But let's see.

"Hopefully, of course, our car will be again a bit kinder on the tyres but it's a bit difficult to tell at the moment."

Leclerc's pole position lap came amid intense pressure, with the chicane spin on his first run leaving him down in 10th spot and at risk of being stuck in the pack if he did not pull off a late lap.

But, having delivered a sensational lap, Leclerc praised Ferrari for giving him an 'amazing' car thanks to upgrades it has brought to the Spanish Grand Prix.

"It was a very, very difficult session," he said. "I mean, especially in Q3 because I did a mistake in the first run of Q3. Then obviously I only had one lap but it went extremely well.

"I had a bit of moments on my lap, but at the end I made it stick and I am very, very happy with pole position. It was a very good lap and the car was amazing too, so we very happy."

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