Leclerc takes Monaco pole despite losing front wing in crash

52
Leclerc takes Monaco pole despite losing front wing in crash

Charles Leclerc claimed pole at the Monaco Grand Prix on Saturday but may have hurt his chances of victory in the process.

The Monegasque gave himself the chance of becoming a rare home winner at the street circuit on Sunday when he beat the rest of the pack by putting in the fastest time of Q3 with a 1:10.346.

Ferrari’s number one driver, however, clipped a wall at the death, and lost the front wing of his car and may have also damaged his suspension. He was able to exit his vehicle safely and appeared unhurt by the collision, but has given his team a lot of work to do to put things right before tomorrow.

“It’s a shame to finish in the wall, it doesn’t feel the same,” Leclerc said after the race, who secured his eighth career pole position, and the first for the struggling Ferrari team since 2019.

“But at the same time I’m incredibly happy about my first timed lap.

“It’s a big surprise for everyone to be on pole for the race.”

If there is too much damage to the wing then he may incur a grid penalty, but for now he appears set to lead from the front – a notoriously strong position on the narrow track.

“I am [worried about the gearbox], but let’s see,” the 23-year-old said.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen took the other place on the front row, with Valtteri Bottas the premiere Mercedes driver on the day, taking third.

After Leclerc’s crash brought out the red flag, the Finn was disappointed not to get one last run.

“It’s disappointing I didn’t get my last run with the red flag, that’s how it is sometimes…” he said.

“We’ll try everything we can tomorrow, it’s Monaco – anything can happen”

Current world champion Lewis Hamilton was only able to manage seventh spot, three rows behind Leclerc.