When the Monaco Grand Prix gets underway at 15 CEST tomorrow, both Scuderia Ferrari cars will start from the front row. Charles Leclerc secured his fifth pole position from seven races this season in his F1-75 and will be able to count on having Carlos Sainz alongside him. It was an almost perfect qualifying session for the team: Charles took his 14th career pole, which puts him fourth on the all-time list of Ferrari drivers, just one behind Felipe Massa. This was the Scuderia’s 235th pole and its 68th one-two in qualifying.
Q3. Charles and Carlos comfortably made it through to the final part of the session, for which they each had two sets of new Soft tyres. On his initial run, Leclerc was first out on track to avoid traffic and set an excellent time of 1’11”376, with Sainz stopping the clocks in 1’11”601, to go second quickest. On their last sets of Softs, the two Ferrari men were back on track to see if they could improve. It seemed as though both of them would do so, with Charles looking on course to break the 1m 11s barrier. However, Sergio Perez spun into the barrier just before the tunnel and Carlos, who was not far behind him, tried to avoid the Red Bull, but he also spun across the track. His F1-75 collided with the Red Bull and at this point the red flags were brought out. Fortunately, neither driver was injured.
Uncertain forecast. Now, the number 55 car will be repaired, following the impact on the left rear corner. As always here, it will be a very long race in terms of time, its 78 laps equivalent to 260.286 kilometres. Adding to the usual hazards, there is a chance of rain in the Principality, as from the morning. Therefore, the engineers and drivers will spend this evening looking at all possible scenarios to be as well prepared as possible for the race, whatever the conditions.
Charles Leclerc #16
"I am very pleased with our overall performance so far this weekend. I felt confident in the car and started pushing a bit more in Q3. The first lap was good. I think that the second was one of the best laps I have ever done in qualifying. It was so much fun to drive and I was really on the limit. I had a lot of oversteer, so the rear was quite loose. Still, I knew that the lap was coming together nicely and that felt particularly good. It’s a shame that I couldn’t finish it, but this is Monaco and we know that the final attempt is always at risk of yellow or red flags. We secured pole anyway, so I am really happy. Whatever the conditions are tomorrow, we will start from the best place possible and will do everything to finish the weekend as smoothly as it has gone so far."
Carlos Sainz #55
"It was a great build up throughout qualifying today, especially up until Q3 when unfortunately things got a bit messier. On my first attempt I had to overtake both Mercedes during my flying lap and I left a couple of tenths on the table, especially overtaking Hamilton at the swimming pool. However, I was confident for the second attempt until obviously Perez crashed in front of me. I did all I could to react quickly and avoid the crash, but it was too late. Things like this can happen in Monaco and unfortunately I was caught up in it again. Overall, P2 is a decent position to start on Sunday and it’s a good day for the team with another front row lock-out and a good opportunity to score solid points tomorrow. Let’s race!"
Laurent Mekies, Racing Director
"We are very pleased with how qualifying went. The Monaco circuit is one of a kind and the fact that, even here the F1-75 was very much on the pace, shows that Maranello has produced a really good car. Congratulations to all the team and the drivers who were excellent. The Monaco weekend is always particularly tricky and Charles and Carlos dealt well with the pressure and the traffic, managing to make the car and tyres work at their best. Once again, Charles produced a superlative performance and, but for the red flag, could have gone even quicker. Right from the start of free practice, Carlos demonstrated that he had a great feeling for the car which allowed him to qualify on the front row, which will be very important for tomorrow. Unfortunately, on his second run in Q3, he spun to avoid Sergio Perez who had crashed just before the tunnel. There’s no denying we got a fright seeing the two cars stuck across the track and we hoped the red flags would come out as soon as possible. Fortunately, neither driver was hurt and now we will give the F1-75 a thorough check to ascertain the extent of the damage. We can expect a very long race tomorrow, which could be particularly tricky if it rains. Tonight, we will work on preparing for every eventuality. There are a lot of fans here supporting us and Charles in particular and we want to give them something to cheer about."