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Charles Leclerc admits he is surprised to have performed so well in cold conditions after securing fourth on the grid for the Eifel Grand Prix.

The Ferrari driver took fourth on the grid, his best starting position since the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix. He expected his Ferrari would not perform as will in the low temperatures at the Nurburgring.

“I’m quite surprised, especially in this weather – I expected us to struggle in this cold weather,” Leclerc told Sky.

“From the beginning of the season, we’ve struggled to make these tyres work any time it’s been cold, but today it seems like it’s worked out for us. So I’m very happy and I’m very happy with my last lap. I put everything together and fourth is great.”

After Ferrari’s disappointing early season performance, which has left them sixth in the constructors championship, Leclerc said he is encouraged that the upgrades the team is bringing to its car are working as planned.

“For sure there were some upgrades this weekend that worked in the proper way,” Leclerc said. “We are not trying to find an update that will give us a huge amount of lap time, but just smaller differences every weekend.

“For now, it’s working well. Every time we bring something new to the car, it’s working, which is the most important thing and something which was not the case in the past. So this is very important as it helps us to build a solid basis for the car.”

Leclerc’s performance once again contrasted with team mate Sebastian Vettel, who will start tomorrow’s race in 11th after being outqualified by his younger team mate for the eighth consecutive race weekend.

“Today I especially think the first sector was quite competitive,” says Leclerc. “Seb is a four-time world champion and I am pretty sure that he will come back to where he needs to be.

“At the moment, I’m focusing on myself, I’m trying to push the car as hard as possible every time I’m in the car and it’s working pretty well for me.”

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