Leclerc takes pole at Monaco GP

GP MONACO F1/2021 - SABATO 22/05/2021 credit: @Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

If you’re anything like me, you were slightly surprised after Free Practice two at just how much pace the Ferrari’s of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc had and you started to wonder if the Scuderia could upset the status quo at the sharp end of this year’s championship battle between Red Bull and Mercedes.

As Saturday’s qualifying session proved, Ferrari were legit on pace around the famous principality and hometown hero, Charles Leclerc, secured pole position for Sunday’s race but it wasn’t without drama.

Leclerc set the marker on his first run but as everyone set out for their final run in Q3, Charles crashed and the session was red-flagged ruining the last laps of Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas.

Luckily for Leclerc, Formula 1 doesn’t use a rule that would have deleted his fastest time if you cause a crash or yellows in the final shootout like Indycar does. This means that despite crashing and preventing any further progress from Verstappen and Bottas, Leclerc retains pole position for Sunday’s Grand Prix.

A very noticeable issue is the 7th place qualifying position of Lewis Hamilton who struggled with his car all day. He will start behind Pierre Gasly’s Alpha Tauri and Lando Norris’s McLaren. Starting from the fourth row is a tall order for Lewis and could cost him critical point sin the championship if Verstappen manages to win the race but you can never count Lewis out.

The start will be critical as Max has gotten very good at starts and if he can get around Leclerc, this could be a serious points haul agains Hamilton. Also notable was the lack of pace for Daniel Ricciardo down in 12th and a resurgent Sebastian Vettel up in 8th in his Aston Martin.

Monaco Qualifying Results:

1Charles LeclercFerrari1m11.113s1m10.597s1m10.346s
2Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1m11.124s1m10.65s1m10.576s
3Valtteri BottasMercedes1m10.938s1m10.695s1m10.601s
4Carlos Sainz Jr.Ferrari1m11.324s1m10.806s1m10.611s
5Lando NorrisMcLaren-Mercedes1m11.321s1m11.031s1m10.62s
6Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Honda1m11.56s1m11.179s1m10.9s
7Lewis HamiltonMercedes1m11.622s1m11.116s1m11.095s
8Sebastian VettelAston Martin-Mercedes1m12.078s1m11.309s1m11.419s
9Sergio PérezRed Bull-Honda1m11.644s1m11.019s1m11.573s
10Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1m11.658s1m11.409s1m11.779s
11Esteban OconAlpine-Renault1m11.74s1m11.486s
12Daniel RicciardoMcLaren-Mercedes1m11.747s1m11.598s
13Lance StrollAston Martin-Mercedes1m11.979s1m11.6s
14Kimi RäikkönenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1m11.899s1m11.642s
15George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1m12.016s1m11.83s
16Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Honda1m12.096s
17Fernando AlonsoAlpine-Renault1m12.205s
18Nicholas LatifiWilliams-Mercedes1m12.366s
19Nikita MazepinHaas-Ferrari1m12.958s
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