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Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), after winning pole position in the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix on May 28. Photo: AFP/VNA/CVN
“It’s very special, I’m happy. The weekend has gone well so far, the last lap before the red flag was really good.”welcomed the child of the country who will leave in front of his teammate at Ferrari, the Spaniard Carlos Sainz, second.
A red flag indeed came to put a premature end to the last qualifying session, cut short after the crash against the safety barriers of the Mexican Sergio Pérez, struck in stride by Sainz at the entrance to the famous tunnel, a few moments from the end.
“It’s quite damaged and what made it worse was the hit Carlos gave us, so we don’t have a lot of damage. But we’ll see, I think it should be fine for tomorrow.”Pérez explained.
The third place of this 7e round of the season still goes to the Mexican, ahead of his teammate at Red Bull, the Dutchman Max Verstappen, currently leader of the championship. “I don’t think pole was in our reach today, Charles was strong, it’s a shame, because I think our two drivers could have improved a bit.” acknowledged Red Bull boss Christian Horner.
On the Monegasque track, which is not conducive to overtaking in the narrow streets, the positions on the grid are crucial, even if the rain could arrive at the start of the race on Sunday May 29. After six rounds (four won by Verstappen, two by Leclerc), the reigning world champion is barely six lengths ahead of the Monegasque in the drivers’ standings.
Among the constructors, Red Bull is currently ahead of Ferrari by 26 points, buoyed by its 44 points in the last round in Spain last week.
Finally the good one?
Before wanting to win at home tomorrow, the challenge for Leclerc will be above all to finish the race.
So far, “his” circuit has never really smiled on him since at home, the Monegasque has always had to give up since 2017 after technical problems or clashes. Like Pérez on Saturday afternoon May 28, Leclerc, in the last seconds of qualifying in 2021, made a mistake and damaged his car.
Dutchman Max Verstappen, 4e the qualifying session for the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix on May 28 in Monte-Carlo.
Just before the start the next day, during the warm-up laps, the ax fell: the Ferrari had its transmission shaft affected and the Monegasque was not going to be able to contest his GP at home when he had taken pole. “I hope I can finally finish this Grand Prix at home“, he breathed before this weekend.
At the start of the race tomorrow at 3:00 p.m., Briton Lando Norris (McLaren) will start from the third row alongside his compatriot George Russell (Mercedes), 6e qualifications. Will follow the Spaniard Fernando Alonso (Alpin), 7eBriton Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), 8eGerman Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin), 9e and the French Esteban Ocon (Alpine), 10e.
Earlier in qualifying, the first part (Q1) was interrupted a few minutes by a red flag after the Japanese Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) hit a safety barrier. To the grandmother of his teammate, the French Pierre Gasly, in good shape since the start of the weekend, but who suffered the full brunt of the arrival of this flag. He was unable to complete his last fast lap to join the second part of qualifying and will start Sunday from the 17e position.