Charles Leclerc claimed Ferrari’s first Formula 1 pole since 2019 at the Monaco Grand Prix, but his participation in tomorrow’s race remains unclear.
The local Monegasque driver slammed heavily into the barrier at the Swimming Pool on his final run in Q3, bringing out a red flag.
Leclerc was already on provisional pole at that moment after an excellent first run.
However, the red flag came when Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas were both improving on their lap.
Ferrari was unsure whether to celebrate Leclerc’s pole, given they are now in a race against a time to repair the damaged car.
There is a possibility that Ferrari may have to change a gearbox if the component was damaged in the crash, which would result in a five-place grid penalty.
That would mean Verstappen would be promoted to pole position as the Red Bull driver ended up second-fastest.
Currently, there is no rule in F1 that means drivers get penalised for causing a red flag in qualifying, as there is in IndyCar and Supercars.
Bottas qualified third, ahead of Carlos Sainz, in a turbulent session for the imperial Mercedes squad.
Defending series champion Lewis Hamilton had a horrid first run in Q3, which left him seventh quickest.
He then tagged the barrier on his final run, costing time and eventually compelling him to abort his lap.
Hamilton will start seventh in his worst qualifying of the year.
Lando Norris was the sole McLaren in the final qualifying segment following a Q2 elimination for Daniel Ricciardo.
Lucky timing meant Norris completed one final lap before the red flag, and he improved to fifth.
Pierre Gasly was a surprise sixth in the AlphaTauri and will start ahead of Hamilton.
Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel took his time to dial into qualifying, narrowly avoiding an embarrassing Q1 exit to land eighth on the grid.
He should start ahead of Sergio Perez in the second Red Bull, whose final lap was thwarted by a profusion of traffic in the last sector.
Antonio Giovinazzi celebrated his first top-ten of the season and will start tenth, just ahead of Esteban Ocon.
Those also eliminated in Q2 included Ricciardo, Lance Stroll, Kimi Raikkonen and George Russell.
A high-profile causality in Q1 was Fernando Alonso, a former winner of the Grand Prix. He was over half a second slower than his teammate.
Yuki Tsunoda, Nicholas Latifi and Nikita Mazepin rounded out the runners.
Mick Schumacher did not partake in qualifying due to a shunt in FP3.
|4||Carlos Sainz Jr.||1m10.611s|