Leclerc achieves local pole while Pérez suffers a late accident

Leclerc had led team-mate Carlos Sainz before the closing laps of Q3, with his 1m11.376s the benchmark time for pole position.

Perez appeared to be Red Bull’s best hope for pole after topping FP3 and leading Max Verstappen through qualifying and followed Leclerc into the final fliers on soft tyres, the second set for the top three riders in the final segment. .

Leclerc established a purple sector in the first third of his final effort – he finished with the fastest time in all three based on his lap of 1m11.376s, while the following Perez failed to reproduce his personal best at that point.

As Leclerc exited the tunnel, Perez lost the rear of his Red Bull and crashed the right rear of his car into the barriers at the Portier exit, after which Sainz also spun as he made the right turn and found the Shattered Red Bull. .

Sainz therefore hit the front right wheel of Perez’s car and was also stranded, with red flags flying and preventing any late improvements or position changes, as there was less than a minute left of Q3 and there was no chance that it will restart.

That cemented Leclerc’s second consecutive pole in Monaco, with Sainz’s fastest time since the start of Q3 putting him 0.225s adrift, with Pérez third thanks to his 1m11.629s.

Carlos SainzFerrari F1-75

Carlos SainzFerrari F1-75

Photo by: Carl Bingham/Motorsport Images

Verstappen ran a set of softs throughout as he opted to continue chasing time to the flag, finishing fourth and unable to improve; he had just set a personal best in the first sector that was 0.1 seconds off Leclerc’s leading time there, due to his teammate’s incident.

Lando Norris took fifth place just before the leaders began their final laps, with George Russell sixth for Mercedes.

Alpine’s Fernando Alonso took seventh but also had a late crash and ended up at the Mirabeau barriers around the same time that Perez and Sainz crashed further down the hill in sector two.

Lewis Hamilton finished eighth, with Sebastian Vettel and Esteban Ocon completing the top 10.

Leclerc led the mid-segment of the session, which presented a worrying moment for the Ferrari driver as he missed his call to visit the FIA ​​weighbridge with just over five minutes remaining in Q2.

Fortunately for Leclerc, he stopped in the pitlane before returning to his garage, so his mechanics could push him back to be weighed, the result of which should mean he doesn’t receive a sporting penalty, as returning to the Ferrari pits runs the risk of a qualifying disqualification. .

At the end of Q2, Yuki Tsunoda fell short of his PB when it mattered and was eliminated in 11th place.

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB18

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB18

Photo by: Carl Bingham/Motorsport Images

Valtteri Bottas jumped from 15th to 12th in his last race, with Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher also their fastest times of the session in their latest racers behind.

They finished 13th and 15th, interspersing McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo, who also set his personal best at the end of Q2, but could not do better than 14th.

In Q1, which Leclerc also overcame, Tsunoda hit the inside wall at the hairpin and immediately punctured with just over two minutes remaining in that segment, with red flags flying as a result.

That led to a huge queue at the end of the pitlane as drivers below the top five at the time scrambled to try and secure a final lap, with track evolution a major factor in who progressed in the early sessions as that the rubber lowered and the drivers generated confidence.

But the gaps that arose between the cars in the long snake out of the pitlane meant that several drivers missed the chance to even start a final wheel, with Pierre Gasly and Zhou Guanyu eliminated in 17th and 20th as a result – the former’s banking effort. he slowly crawled away. the order until Tsunoda’s AlphaTauri teammate was eliminated with a chance to post a last ditch effort.

Alex Albon had led the cars queuing at the end of the pitlane and managed to record a personal best on his final lap, but was then pushed back down as the others behind found time.

This was particularly the case for Tsunoda and the two McLaren drivers, who jumped out of the drop zone in their closing laps of Q1 to drop Albon 16th and out.

Lance Stroll failed to post a best time in his final Q1 and was eliminated, screaming over his team radio, in 18th place ahead of Nicholas Latifi who saved his best time for last but could not do better than the 19.

Results:

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