Native son Leclerc grabs pole for Monaco Grand Prix

Sports Desk, May 28 (EFE).- Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) was the fastest Saturday around the urban circuit in his home town of Monte Carlo and will start the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix from the pole position.

The 24-year-old finished Q3 with a best lap of 1:11.376, more than two-tenths of a second better than Spanish teammate Carlos Sainz, who bested Mexico’s Sergio “Checo” Perez (Red Bull) by just 0.028 seconds.

Reigning F1 champion Max Verstappen (Red Bull) of the Netherlands took fourth place, ahead of Briton Lando Norris (McLaren), whose compatriot George Russell (Mercedes) will start from P6 on Sunday.

The fourth row belongs to Spanish two-time champion Fernando Alonso (Alpine) and to Britain’s Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), holder of a record-tying seven F1 championships.

Germany’s Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin), a four-time champion, and Frenchman Esteban Ocon (Alpine) complete the top 10.

Q3 ended early with a red flag after Perez spun out on the last corner before the tunnel section and was then hit by Sainz, who didn’t see the yellow flag in time to stop.

The extreme difficulty of overtaking on the Monte Carlo circuit increases the value of starting from the front row on the grid.

Verstappen, who currently leads Leclerc in the driver standings by just 6 points, has finished fourth in Monaco on each of the previous occasions when he started from P4.

The Dutchman won the 2021 edition of the race from P2 after pole-sitter Leclerc was unable to race as a result of damage to his car from a crash the previous day in qualifying. EFE arh/dr

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