This Saturday's qualifying day in Monaco ended with a fantastic pole position of the Monegasque Charles Leclerc, conquered in an unusual way, due to a red flag at the end of the session.
It was an "extended" weekend, as usual, FP1 and FP2 held on Thursday, very interesting also in view of tomorrow's race.
Yesterday, the Formula 1 single-seaters did not run on the track and the day off was used by the two top teams to sharpen their weapons in view of qualifying and the race.
Ferrari excelled in FP2 and FP3, showing its potential to be much more concrete than the previous races, there was optimism in the Maranello team to try to triumph on a circuit where everything is possible, and that's exactly what they did.
A lot of people speculated about the fact that fuel loads on Red Bull cars were purposely more than usual, in order to not provide references to the competition, and that Mercedes had also decided to disguise the performance to mislead its opponents.
Bottas managed to take his Mercedes up to the second row, he will start in third position tomorrow, but Hamilton struggled a bit more, placing his car in the 7th position.
Mick Schumacher did not take part in qualifying due to the huge impact with the barriers in FP3 which damaged the car considerably. 5 positions on the grid for him, for having replaced the gearbox on his car with a new one, who will start from the last position on the grid in tomorrow's race.
3 pm: 18 ° C the air temperature, 34 ° C the track.
Q1 begins with the usual traffic of the city circuit. Norris' best time 1' 12 ''676 is still far from the minute and 11 seconds of free practice.
Carlos Sainz sets the best time and the fastest sectors after 5 minutes 1'11''341, but his first place is soon taken by a good lap by Max Verstappen.
Lots of time trials improve with Bottas taking the lead with a time of 1’10 ″ 938 just ahead of Leclerc, second by 0.175''.
Great lap by George Russell, who places, even if for a short time, his car in tenth position.
Sebastian Vettel is the last driver to enter Q2, Tsunoda, Alonso, Latifi, Mazepin and Schumacher are, in this order, out. Bottas remains the fastest.
The track is improving, everyone on track with soft tyres.
The first to set a lap time is Kimi Raikkonen, the battle seems to be between the two Ferrari drivers and Max Verstappen, with Sainz first (1'10'806) Leclerc behind him (1'11''037) and Verstappen third (1'11''040).
Vettel sets a good lap time and places his car in 8th position, while Verstappen returns first ahead the two red cars.
No one left on track, everyone in to put on new tyres for the second shot of Q2.
The two Mercedes are now in 3rd and 7th position, while Leclerc is first in 1'10''597 with Verstappen behind by 53 thousandths.
Ocon, Ricciardo Stroll, Raikkonen, Russell are, in this order, out of Q3.
Green light and cars are immediately out.
Verstappen takes the temporary pole position in 1'10''575, Bottas sets a good time and goes right behind Max by 60 thousands.
Leclerc puts his car ahead of everyone in his first attempt (1'10'346) and Carlos Sainz is behind him by 0.265 seconds.
The Monegasque hits the barrier during his second attempt, red flag, but time's up and Ferrari conquers, after 16 months for the red team, the pole position.
Verstappen and Bottas follow in second and third position.
What just happened..???!— Formula 1 (@F1) May 22, 2021
Charles Leclerc has his 8th pole position; and his and Ferrari's first since Mexico 2019
Championship leader Lewis Hamilton will start 7th #MonacoGP 🇲🇨 #F1 pic.twitter.com/Jcjy4WvZE2