Monaco Grand Prix – Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc is concerned about sustaining gearbox damage following his crash late in Q3, which could see the Monegasque lose his pole position.
The home hero initially set the fastest lap on his first run, but, on his second run, clipped the wall at the exit of Swimming Pool and ploughed into the barriers. This brought out the red flags and halted other drivers’ second runs.
Leclerc’s SF21 suffered extensive damage and when asked whether he is concerned about gearbox damage, the Ferrari driver admitted it was a worry.
“I am, but let’s see,” said Leclerc.
Gearboxes are required to last for six consecutive races – should the gearbox be damaged and require a replacement, Formula 1 rules dictate that Leclerc will be given a five-place grid penalty. This would promote Red Bull’s Max Verstappen to pole.
“It’s a shame to finish in the wall,” Leclerc continued. “It doesn’t feel the same but, at the same time, I’m incredibly happy about my first timed lap.”
“The first corner was quite tricky, I didn’t do a great first corner but then second and third sector I nailed it and just very very happy to be on pole obviously.
“It was very, very difficult to manage myself mentally after Q2.
“I could feel I was quite emotional in the car but I told myself ‘now it’s Q3, now it’s time to put everything together’.
“I managed to do so, so I’m incredibly happy. But it’s tomorrow that we score points, but I have to say that it’s a big surprise for everyone to be on pole for the race tomorrow.”