Team Scuderia Ferrari has literally found a second wind in the 2019 Formula One season. After having been outperformed by the Mercedes team in the first half of the season, the Italian outfit has been dominating since the summer break. Charles Leclerc has now taken his fourth consecutive pole position, while his teammate Sebastian Vettel sits in third, behind Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes.

Leclerc is a man on a mission. This is now his sixth pole position of the season and he has well and truly overshadowed his teammate, who only happens to have four World Championships under his belt.

SIX poles overall in 2019

FOUR in a row@Charles_Leclerc is the qualifying master 👊#RussianGP 🇷🇺 #F1

— Formula 1 (@F1) September 28, 2019

Speaking of his teammate, Vettel could only manage to tuck in behind championship leader Lewis Hamilton. The German was clearly upset when he stepped out of the car at the end of the Q3 session. In the post-qualifying interview, he told former F1 driver Jenson Button exactly what he was feeling.

"I'm not entirely happy. I couldn't extract the maximum from the car today and my Q1 was disrupted. Tomorrow the start will be important and the speed is there, so we'll see," he said.

Meanwhile, Hamilton was pleasantly surprised to make it to the front row. He has previously said that he is aware that he won't be a favourite to win any of the remaining races this season. After the qualifying session, he spoke again about how much the Ferraris have improved. "It was a tough qualifying session, because these guys have some crazy speed on the straights - jet mode!," he said.

Hamilton's teammate, Valtteri Bottas, only managed to make it to fifth position behind Red Bull's Max Verstappen. However, due to a 5-place penalty on Verstappen, it will be a Ferrari-Mercedes-Ferrari-Mercedes battle up in front.

The season has become a lot more competitive since the summer break, when aerodynamic upgrades on the Ferrari gave them a sudden boost in performance. After Leclerc's victories in Belgium and Monza, followed by a Vettel-Leclerc 1-2 in Singapore, the team is catching up with Mercedes.

Despite Ferrari's recent success, a stellar start to the season still puts Lewis Hamilton 96 points ahead of Leclerc and 65 points ahead of his teammate. Are the improvements too little too late for Ferrari? Even though they are now proving to be faster, the Mercedes cars have proven to be very reliable. Even if Ferrari keeps winning, they can barely chip away at the lead because the Mercedes cars are still hauling a good number of points just behind them.

With only six races left in the season, it remains to be seen if Hamilton has done enough to secure his sixth Formula One World Championship title.


Confirmation of @Charles_Leclerc's fourth pole in a row, and sixth overall this season 👀👏#RussianGP 🇷🇺 #F1

— Formula 1 (@F1) September 28, 2019
Charles Leclerc
Charles Leclerc