Leclerc takes Pole ahead of Piastri in Monaco, Verstappen 6th

Andrea Vergani, Jaden Diaz
25 May, 2024

Charles Leclerc is in Pole Position for the Monaco GP, the third in four years for the Ferrari driver, now consolidated as an absolute specialist of his home circuit. Qualifying wasn’t perfect for the #16 Ferrari driver, with some difficulties in Q1 and Q2 compared to the dominance he showed in free practice this morning and yesterday, but once Q3 arrived, there were no mistakes on his part.

An excellent Oscar Piastri finished in second, separating the two teammates from the Red team, and tomorrow, the Australian from McLaren will put pressure on Ferrari to try to win his first career Grand Prix.

The one who wasn’t flawless was Max Verstappen, who, with a mistake in the last attempt, compromised his chances of Pole today.

Leclerc Pole

MONACO QUALIFYING: LECLERC IN POLE, BUT IT’S NOT DOMINANCE, START AND FUNDAMENTAL STRATEGY

Vasseur’s team was certainly hoping for a Red front row like two years ago when the rain compromised the race of the two Ferrari drivers, but Piastri entered. Tomorrow, the first stint will be fundamental, with possible undercuts by everyone in the front rows if Leclerc from Pole Position does not impose a higher pace than his rivals. With the error in the last attempt, Verstappen also lost positions on Norris and Russell.

In any case, Red Bull will play with one tip tomorrow after Perez’s elimination in Q1. Yuki Tsunoda impressed once again, finishing eighth in Qualifying behind the top four teams, ahead of Albon and Gasly!

The first phase of Qualifying showed a very evenly matched pecking order across the field. There was no shortage of surprises, with Fernando Alonso and Sergio Perez eliminated in Q1 – partly due to traffic.
Still, Leclerc and Verstappen were the only front-runners that didn’t use two sets of tyres in Q1. The others eliminated were Logan Sargeant and the two Saubers. The Swiss outfit has struggled immensely at Monaco throughout the weekend.

In Q2, Ferrari was relatively evenly matched with Max Verstappen’s Red Bull and the McLarens. Carlos Sainz continued to suffer compared to his teammate. Mercedes dropped slightly compared to Q1 times but confirmed two cars in the top ten.

In addition to the front-runners, Gasly, Tsunoda and Albon qualified with good laps, beating their respective teammates and putting themselves in a good position to score points tomorrow. Those excluded were Esteban Ocon, Hulkenberg, Ricciardo, Stroll and Magnussen. 

The final session of qualifying in Monte Carlo saw Charles Leclerc stamp his authority. He enjoyed a clear edge over the rest of the field. Only Oscar Piastri set a lap within two-tenths of the Ferrari driver’s best time.

McLaren were second and fourth, building on their strong performance since Miami. Considering the characteristics of this circuit, they can be relatively pleased.

Sainz finished in third, although he is at risk of a grid drop for impeding. Max Verstappen could only manage sixth, validating his consistently pessimistic comments across the weekend.

Tsunoda finished first of the midfield runners in the final part of qualifying in P8. Mercedes will be in contention for strong points tomorrow, although they remain a few steps from the very front.

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