Leclerc claim pole at home as Perez suffers late crash

Leclerc claim pole at home as Perez suffers late crash

Leclerc had edged team-mate Carlos Sainz before the final laps of Q3, with his 1m11.376s the benchmark time for pole.

Perez looked to be Red Bull’s best hope for pole after passing FP3 and leading Max Verstappen throughout qualifying and he trailed Leclerc on the final drivers on the soft tyres, the second set for the top three riders in the segment final.

Leclerc set a purple sector in the opening third of his final effort – he finished with the fastest time of three based on his 1m11.376s lap – while the following Perez could not replicate a record staff at that time.

As Leclerc exited the tunnel, Perez lost the rear of his Red Bull and smashed the rear right of his car against the barriers as Portier exited, after which Sainz also spun when he rounded the right-hander and found the Red Bull destroyed. .

Sainz therefore hit the right front wheel of Perez’s car and was also blocked, with red flags flying and preventing any late improvement or change of position as there was less than a minute left in Q3 and no chance of it being restarted .

It cemented Leclerc’s second straight pole in Monaco, with Sainz’s best time since the start of Q3 putting him 0.225s behind, with Perez third thanks to his 1m11.629s.

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari F1-75

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari F1-75

Photo by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

Verstappen ran a series of softs throughout as he opted to continue chasing the flag, finishing fourth and unable to improve – he had just set a personal best in the first sector which was 0, 1 second off Leclerc’s time – due to his teammate’s incident.

Lando Norris was fifth just before the leaders started their final laps, with George Russell sixth for Mercedes.

Alpine’s Fernando Alonso took seventh – but he too had a late crash, ending up in the barriers at Mirabeau around the same time as Perez and Sainz were crushed further down the hill in sector two.

Lewis Hamilton finished eighth, with Sebastian Vettel and Esteban Ocon completing the top 10.

Leclerc led the middle segment of the session, which marked an ominous moment for the Ferrari driver as he missed his call to visit the FIA ​​weighbridge with just over five minutes of Q2 remaining.

Luckily for Leclerc he stopped in the pit lane before returning to his garage and so could be pushed back by his mechanics to be weighed – which should mean he won’t receive a sporting penalty, as the return to the Ferrari pits risked qualifying disqualification.

At the end of Q2, Yuki Tsunoda failed to produce a personal best when it mattered and he was knocked out in 11th.

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB18

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB18

Photo by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

Valtteri Bottas moved from 15th to 12th in his final run, with Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher also their session best times on their final flyers behind.

They finished 13th and 15th, sandwiching McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo, who also set a personal best at the end of Q2 but couldn’t do better than 14th.

In Q1, which Leclerc also overcame, Tsunoda cut the inside wall at the hairpin and immediately punctured with just over two minutes of that segment remaining, with red flags flying accordingly.

This led to a huge queue at the end of pit lane as drivers below the top five at the time raced to try and secure a final lap, with the changing track being a major factor in the progression of the first sessions as the rubber fell and the drivers gained confidence.

But gaps appearing between the cars in the long snake leaving the pit lane meant that several drivers even missed a chance to start a final flyer, with Pierre Gasly and Zhou Guanyu eliminated in 17th and 20th as a result – the effort of first banker slowly slowed down. the order until Tsunoda’s teammate AlphaTauri is eliminated with the option of posting one last effort.

Alex Albon had led the cars queuing at the end of the pit lane and managed to set a personal best with his final lap, but was then pushed back as others behind found time.

This was particularly the case with the Tsunoda and the two McLaren drivers, who all jumped from the drop zone with their final Q1 laps to leave Albon 16th and out.

Lance Stroll couldn’t post a better time in his last race in Q1 and was dropped, screaming into his team radio, in 18th, ahead of Nicholas Latifi, who saved his best for last but didn’t could do better than 19th.


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