F1: Leclerc Steals Pole For Ferrari, As Red Bull And Mercedes Struggle In Monaco 

Leclerc charges to surprise pole as Verstappen gets P2 and Hamilton struggles to P7.

By Sahil Gupta


1 mins read


Published on May 23, 2021

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  • Leclerc delivered on the promise of Ferrari's ascendancy
  • His pole lap was followed by a crash which could cause a penalty
  • If there is gearbox damage he will drop down to P6

Charles Leclerc stole a surprise pole for Ferrari at his home race in Monaco. His teammate Carlos Saniz Jr qualified in P4, but they both were looking good for 1 and 2 through practice and qualifying, being faster than the Red Bull and Mercedes. Red Bull especially with Max Verstappen also looked equally good but was restricted to P2 after Leclerc in his last lap crashed in the wall triggering the red flag which ended the qualifying session. But because of the damage, there is concern that Leclerc might have damaged his gearbox which could give him a 5-place grid penalty which will drop him down to P6. 

Mercedes uncharacteristically were struggling with Bottas managing P3, but more importantly world championship leader Lewis Hamilton qualifying in P7. Lando Norris put on another good show with P5 in the McLaren but overall, the team from Woking were struggling as Daniel Ricciardo didn't make it to Q3 with just P12.  This could mean over the weekend they fall behind Ferrari in the world constructors championship. 


The Ferrari duo looked quick all weekend

Alpha Tauri's Pierre Gasly was also pretty quick in P6 head of the world championship leader. Sebastian Vettel in the Aston Martin relived some of his old world championship winning form with P8 way ahead of team-mate Lance Stroll who managed P14. Sergio Perez again struggled in the Red Bull just managing P9. Antonio Giovinazzi surprised in the Alfa Romeo with P10 while his teammate Raikkonen managed P13. 

Esteban Ocon was the fastest Alpine in what is turning out to be a horrid weekend for the team. He managed P11, while former world champion Fernando Alonso didn't get through to Q2 in P17. George Russell in the Williams managed P15 ahead of the Yuki Tsunoda in the second Alpha Tauri, 

Latifi in the second Williams was ahead of both the Haas in P18. Mazepin managed P19 ahead of Mick Schumacher who didn't run during the session because of massive damage to his car in P3. He will start the race, however, in P20, being out qualified for the first time this season by his teammate. 


Verstappen managed P2, but his last lap was cut short because of Leclerc's crash

Monaco is notorious for being hard to overtake on and likely we will see a boring race. That being said with the Ferrari being ahead of Red Bull and Mercedes, this would also mean there is a chance for a new race winner this weekend ahead of the Verstappen and Hamilton duopoly. 

Even if Leclerc gets a penalty and he drops down to P6, he will be ahead of Hamilton and Perez. And this would also promote Bottas and Sainz to P2 and P3. This would mean the Ferrari's could gain points on McLaren. Regardless if overtakes aren't made, which is likely, the qualifying session could have huge ramifications on the world constructors championship. 

1 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:10.346
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull +0.230s
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes +0.255s
4 Carlos Sainz Ferrari +0.265s
5 Lando Norris McLaren +0.274s
6 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri +0.554s
7 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +0.749s
8 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin +1.073s
9 Sergio Perez Red Bull +1.227s
10 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing +1.433s
11 Esteban Ocon Alpine +1:11.486
12 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren +1:11.598
13 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo Racing +1:11.600
14 Lance Stroll Aston Martin +1:11.642
15 George Russell Williams +1:11.830
16 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri +1:12.096
17 Fernando Alonso Alpine +1:12.205
18 Nicholas Latifi Williams +1:12.366
19 Nikita Mazepin Haas +1:12.958
20 Mick Schumacher Haas *
* did not qualify but has the stewards' permission to race

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