However, as Q3 began, Ferrari mechanics began to work frantically on the left side of Vettel’s car.
As his rivals took to the track, Vettel remained stuck in the garage – and then vacated his Ferrari with a few minutes left of the session.
While he was left without setting a time, Leclerc went on to score his second pole of the season.
Ferrari said immediately after qualifying that Vettel’s car had suffered “a problem with the air pressure line to the engine”.
It is not yet known what changes this may trigger to solve the problem.