Monaco: Charles Leclerc delivered on Ferrari’s shock Monaco Grand Prix pace to take a brilliant pole position in his home race, but his delight was tempered slightly when he ended the session in the barriers.
The Monegasque put together the fastest lap of the weekend with his first run in Q3 but pushed a little too hard on his second run, clipping the Armco as he turned into the chicane, which broke his front suspension sending him across the kerb and into the barrier on the other side.
That incident brought out the red flag with less than a minute to go, ending the session prematurely and preventing anyone, including Max Verstappen who was purple in sector one, from completing their final lap.
As a result, Leclerc held onto pole, Ferrari’s first since the 2019 Mexican Grand Prix, making him the first Monegasque on pole in Monaco since Louis Chiron (whom Leclerc’s helmet for this weekend is dedicated to) in 1936.
However, it remains unclear how significant the damage is to his Ferrari and whether or not he will incur grid penalties for the changing of parts.
Verstappen ended up second, in what is his first front row in Monaco, with Valtteri Bottas the leading Mercedes and completing the top three. Reigning world champion and championship leader Lewis Hamilton ended up down in seventh, starting outside the top six for the fist time since the 2018 German Grand Prix.
Carlos Sainz, who was one of the drivers who had to abort following his team mate’s crash, was fourth, his highest grid slot in the Principality. However, it is the first time he has been outqualified by a team mate around the streets of Monaco.
Lando Norris in the Gulf Oil liveried McLaren was sixth, the team’s best Monaco start since 2012, with Pierre Gasly making it three top six starts in five Grands Prix.
Sebastian Vettel has looked the strongest he has all season this weekend – and he continued that momentum with eighth on the grid, having only escaped Q1 by 0.018s. Red Bull’s Sergio Perez and Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi completed the top 10. Lewis Hamilton was seventh.
While saying it a s crazy, Charles Lecterc who took the pole said, "It's a shame to finish in the wall, but at the same time, I'm crazy happy about my first lap. Second, and third sector - I nailed it. It's a bit of a surprise for everyone (in the team) to be on pole, but I've always been very unlucky here, so let's see," said Charles Leclerc, Ferrari who grabbed pole before bringing out the red flags after crashing.
"I felt really comfortable, I was really building up to it. It was going really well, the red flag ruined the chance for pole. Nevertheless, a very good weekend so far. It was working out well..." said Max Verstappen, Red Bull
Schumacher out of qualifiers
Mick Schumacher has been ruled out of qualifying in Monaco after the German rookie suffered a big crash into the barriers in the last seconds of final practice on Saturday.
Schumacher was sitting an impressive P14 on the timesheet when he lost the rear end of his car coming out of Casino Square - not long after Williams' Nicholas Latifi had caused a red flag of his own for crashing at the Swimming Pool.
After the initial impact with the barriers, the Ferrari-powered VF-21 slid down the road before coming to a halt with substantial damage, particularly to the left-hand side. Schumacher climbed unharmed from the car, but was clearly upset with himself.