MONTMELO, Spain -- Charles Leclerc suspects a mechanical issue was to blame for his lack of pace in qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix.
The Ferrari driver will start 19th on Sunday's grid after finishing the first session of qualifying over 0.6s shy of teammate Carlos Sainz and as the second slowest driver.
Leclerc said the car was struggling for performance in right-hand corners, and while he initially thought it was related to his rear tyres, he is now convinced there was a mechanical issue on his car.
"We will have to check the data and most of all check the car because there was definitely something strange," he said. "I nearly lost it during the red flag [in Q1] and I was at 70 km/h and there was just no warning.
"The left-hand corners were really, really bad, with the rear right and I first thought it was the tyres, so we went with a new set of tyres and on the new set of tyres it was the same feeling -- right-hand corners really good, left-hand corners completely off.
"We will have to check, but I would be very surprised if we don't find something on the car."
Ferrari has debuted an aerodynamic upgrade this weekend, but Leclerc thinks his struggles are entirely unrelated.
"I think mechanical," he said. "Our aero package is the new one since yesterday and it worked really well. I don't think it is aero wise.
"It's going to be an uphill weekend, to be honest. On the other hand, it's a track where we will see quite a few pit stops, tyre degradation is going to be a big thing tomorrow, so if we do a good job on that we are going to improve our chances."