FERRARI showed an injection of pace throughout preparations for Saturday’s three qualifying sessions – the results were overwhelming with Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc qualifying in pole position with his first run in the third session (Q3).
Leclerc’s session took an unexpected turn preparing for the second run in Q3 as he clipped the barrier on the entry into turn 16. The driver stepped out of his car unharmed but the session was ultimately red flagged with less than a minute to go.
The stunning turn of events left the vicious Red Bull of Max Verstappen, hunting for pole after warming up tyres for two laps, locked up in its cage in second place. There is uncertainty surrounding whether Leclerc’s Ferrari will require a gearbox change or not – which will deal the driver with a five-place grid penalty.
Leclerc’s untimely trip to the barrier ended the hopes of any driver preparing their final run from finishing their lap – including Verstappen who had the fastest time in one sector. The result was Leclerc’s Ferrari holding onto pole, with Verstappen in second and the Mercedes of Valterri Bottas in third.
Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz, after showing tremendous pace throughout the weekend, was one of the drivers inhibited from completing their final lap whilst in fourth place. The premature conclusion of the session marked the first time Sainz has been out-qualified by a teammate in the streets of the principality. Sainz qualified ahead of Mclaren driver Lando Norris.
AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly concluded a wonderful qualifying session by completing the top six. Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton will start from seventh on the grid after touching the barrier on his first run of Q3.
Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel will start next to Hamilton- both multiple-time race winners in Monte Carlo- on the fourth row of the grid. Red Bull’s Sergio Perez will start a disappointing 8th on the grid, ahead of Alfa Romeo driver Antonio Giovinazzi who will start in tenth.