Formula 1

Formula 1: Leclerc takes Monaco pole despite crash

Featured image credit: @f1 official twitter

Charles Lerclerc clinched pole position for the Monaco Grand Prix, despite the Ferrari driver crashing in the final moments of qualifying.

Having set the fastest time, Leclerc crashed heavily at the end of Q3, bringing any early end to the session. This means he will start from the front at his home race, with the red flags preventing his rivals from improving on their final runs.

Valtteri Bottas qualified third ahead of Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, while seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton struggled and ended up seventh for Mercedes.


A heavy crash for Mick Schumacher in Saturday morning’s free practice ruled the Haas driver out of qualifying, with his car still being repaired.

Lando Norris led the way at the start of the session for McLaren, who are running a special retro livery this weekend. The time was soon bettered by Bottas, before  Verstappen – who was fastest in FP3 – lapped over two-tenths quicker.

As times continued to tumble, Sainz went quickest for Ferrari, who displayed strong pace throughout practice. Verstappen improved to move back in front before Bottas lowered the benchmark further with the only sub 1m11s lap time of the session to end on top.

Leclerc improved to pip Verstappen to second, with Norris and Sainz in fourth and fifth. Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly was sixth ahead of Hamilton and Red Bull’s Sergio Perez. 

Yuki Tsunoda just missed out on making it into Q2, and he was joined by Alpine’s Fernando Alonso, Williams driver Nicholas Latifi and Haas rookie Nikita Mazepin.


The pace was ramped up at the start of the second session, with Sainz setting the best time of qualifying so far ahead of team-mate Leclerc. Norris went second-fastest to sandwich the two Ferraris early on, before Verstappen pushed the limits of the track to better Sainz’s benchmark. But the Dutchman was pipped to top spot in the final moments by Leclerc, who set a time of 1m10.597s.

Bottas improved late on to beat Sainz to third, with Perez in fifth ahead of Norris, Hamilton and Gasly. Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel and Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi impressed by also making the top 10.

Alpine’s Esteban Ocon just missed out Q3 in 11th, and he was joined by McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo – who has struggled for pace all weekend – as well as Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll, Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen and Williams driver George Russell.


Verstappen was first to a post a lap, with a benchmark of 1m10.576s. Bottas was unable to better this on his first effort, lapping just 0.060 shy of his Red Bull rival. Leclerc went fastest by 0.230s with a time of 1m10.346 on his first run, which was good enough for pole after his late crash. Norris ended up fifth ahead of Gasly, with Vettel qualifying eighth ahead of Vettel and Giovinazzi.

Monaco GP provisional starting grid

1.Charles Leclerc Ferrari
2. Max Verstappen Red Bull
3. Valtteri Bottas Mercedes
4. Carlos Sainz Ferrari
5. Lando Norris McLaren
6. Pierre Gasly Alpha Tauri
7. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
8. Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin
9. Sergio Perez Red Bull
10. Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo
11. Esteban Ocon Alpine
12. Daniel Ricciardo McLaren
13. Lance Stroll Aston Martin
14. Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo
15. George Russell Williams
16. Yuki Tsunoda Alpha Tauri
17. Fernando Alonso Alpine
18. Nicholas Latifi Williams
19. Nikita Mazepin Haas
20. Mick Schumacher Haas


Featured image credit: @f1 official twitter

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