Leclerc happy with P4 but urges Ferrari 'to push'

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Charles Leclerc declared hismelf happy with his P4 result in qualifying on Saturday at Imola, but the Ferrari driver is urging his team to push in light of McLaren's impressive pace.

Leclerc's solid performance in the Q3 shootout yielded a spot on the second row for tomorrow race and confirmed the step forward displayed by the Scuderia in Bahrain last month.

And Leclerc reckoned he good have perhaps shaved a few more hundreds from his best time without a small mistake on his first flyer, but P3 was out of reach according to the Monegasque.

"It felt good, I was actually quite frustrated after my fast lap because I lost a little bit of time in Turn 14 and 15," he told Sky F1.

"I took the curb in the wrong way and lost seven-eight hundreds, and I was expecting to lose two or three positions because we are all so close that seven-eight hundreds makes a huge difference.

"At the end P4, and we couldn't have gone P3, it wasn't enough today."

But the remarkably tight spread among the leading pack in qualifying, with less than half a second separating the top eight drivers, led Leclerc to believe that Ferrari needs to pull out all the stops and push to uphold its position.

"Happy overall with our performance but we need to push because the guy that was sitting on my chair just before [Norris] did an incredible lap time," commented the Ferrari driver.

"The two centimeters where he went off track didn't make him gain any time. He's done a great job and McLaren is really pushing so it's going to be a good fight all over the year and we have to be ready for it and push."

Leclerc's 0.329s deficit to Hamilton in qualifying suggests that he could perhaps have a say in tomorrow's battle for an outright win. But the Ferrari charger believes Mercedes and Red Bull will still hold an edge on race day.

"Looking at tracks like this where we are only three tenths out in qualie, it looks like we could but I have to say it's quite strange this weekend.

"We are all so close and especially so close to the top teams. It gives us hope for tomorrow even though they have a bit more to come in the race."

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