F2: Leclerc Stripped of Pole Record

Ferrari prodigy Charles Leclerc has been stripped of his F2 pole position record following post-qualifying checks.

The expression “don’t kick them when they’re down” rarely occurs in Motorsport, but when it does, oh boy is it felt. There’s nothing quite like the sensation of topping a consecutive pole record – only to lose it after the car in question fails a post-quali check. Unfortunately for Ferrari junior and future F1 prodigy Charles Leclerc, that’s exactly the lovely experience he’s been handed.

Leclerc has been making big waves in the F2 field, and his most recent accomplishment came in the form of a seventh consecutive pole at the Hungaroring. The French driver has long been hailed as a fast-rising F1 star, and his results at the Hungarian track have proven to validate the speculation – even if the car failed a post inspection.

The part in question was a differential which apparently did not comply with the material regulations put forth by the Dallara User Manual. Without diving into the “should racers be penalized for the engineer’s mistakes”, we can be sure that despite a screw-up on material design, Leclerc’s pole was well earned.

For those of you that believe that differing material design in the car’s differential would be sufficient to give one driver a significant edge over the other, you have the floor – just let me get my popcorn.

Moving on, Leclerc commented on the apparent breach and his back-of-the-grid place penalty, but has shown nothing but an appreciation for what the team has managed to achieve – and a relish of the challenge of starting behind the rest of the pack:

“To be honest, I don’t really mind, I’m actually quite happy to start last. When I was] younger I always liked to catch up from the back and for tomorrow that’s what I have to do. Budapest is not the easiest track to do so but I will give my best.” – Charles Leclerc.

Leclerc is on the hunt. He’s under no illusion that both the team and their competitors know what they are worth out on the track. And with him starting in the back, he’ll have an even more ample opportunity to chase the rest down like a rabid bloodhound.

Leclerc has demonstrated an incredible ability to remain calm and find the unseen benefit in a situation – despite it being one that his peers would have a meltdown over:

“It’s not a disaster, obviously it’s disappointing because we lose our seventh straight pole but I think we have shown what we’re worth on track.
The team and I know that there was absolutely no gaining in this and I hope we will show that tomorrow with our pace and in the next races after that.” – Charles Leclerc

Ferrari deserves a tip of the hat for scouting our Leclerc when they did. The young man undoubtedly has potential to burst onto the Formula 1 seen in grand fashion – now let’s just see if his engineers could remember to double check the materials for their components.

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