Sports Desk, May 22 (EFE).- Local hero Charles Leclerc took pole position for the Monaco Grand Prix despite crashing his Ferrari in the closing laps of qualifying.
Leclerc clipped his front right tire on the chicane at the exit of Swimming Pool, which caused his car to lock up and crash into the barriers.
The crash prompted a red flag, which halted the session and handed P1 to the Monagesque even though the other drivers had time left on the clock.
If the Ferrari took damage to its gearbox, Leclerc would be handed a five-point penalty that could see him replaced at the top of the grid by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
“It’s a shame to finish in the wall,” Leclerc told F1 media after the qualifying session. “But at the same time, I’m crazy happy about my first lap. Second, and third sector, I nailed it. It’s a bit of a surprise for everyone [in the team] to be on pole, but I’ve always been very unlucky here, so let’s see.”
Asked whether he was concerned about the gearbox, he said: “I am, but let’s see.”
For now, Verstappen will have to settle for P2 on the grid, although he felt he could have given more were it not for the red flag.
“I felt really comfortable, I was really building up to it. It was going really well, the red flag ruined the chance for pole. Nevertheless, a very good weekend so far.”
Valtteri Bottas is set to start in P3 for Mercedes ahead of Carlos Sainz in the other Ferrari.
Lando Norris is to start from P5 in the Mclaren ahead of AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly.