Ferrari wary of race pace despite both cars in top six for Spanish GP

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Ferrari is wary the strong pace shown in qualifying might be tough to replicate during Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix.

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz both start in the top six in Barcelona, with the Monegasque securing 'best of the rest' behind HAM-VER-BOT in fourth.

"Happy with today," he told Sky Sports afterwards. "I don't think there was much more to do in terms of position for sure.

"In terms of laptime, maybe a little bit more in the last sector, I didn't put everything together, but apart from that, very very satisfied with today."

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That result also came after Leclerc's worst qualifying of the season a week earlier in Portugal, something he blamed on trying to push too hard, too soon at Portimao.

As a result, the seven-time polesitter trying to build up more gradually in Spain. 

“Yes, it worked well for me," he was quoted by "Q1 and Q2 for me it was all about trying to focus and get the fastest lap without damaging the tyres because it will be very important to have a good set for the race start.

"Then, in Q3, once I pushed a bit more, the car just came together and then the lap time arrived."

Currently, Ferrari is on a 16-race run without a podium dating back to Leclerc's third place at last year's British Grand Prix.

But asked if a return to the top three was on the cards on Sunday, Charles was doubtful. 

"Anything is possible but realistically I think it's going to be very difficult," he said. "In normal conditions, I don't believe we can keep that third place in case we get there at one point.

"The goal is to extract the maximum out of the car, and if third is the best we can do tomorrow then we can be third, but I think the most important is that we try to score with both cars as many points as possible.

"We are in front of both McLarens which are our main competitors for this year and this is an important fight.

"We need to try and take as many points home as possible."

20023 scuderia ferrari spanish gp friday

Last weekend in Portimao, however, tyre wear proved Ferrari's weakness and Sainz is concerned a repeat is likely at his home race.

“We are carrying a bit of a deficit in the race, in terms of tyre management, we’re still not where we want to be," the Madrid native admitted.

"In Portimao, we struggled a lot and we saw on Friday, again, we don’t have the best of race paces or tyre degradation. But, at the same time, if we get a good start and execute the strategy well, I still think we can finish in front of the rest.”