Carlos Sainz put himself in second position in all three practice sessions in Monaco, but the Spaniard only managed to qualify fourth with a lot of disappointment.
Ferrari has been competitive all weekend, putting both cars ahead of Red Bull and Mercedes several times: qualifying revealed how much Mercedes was struggling in the Principality streets, with Sir Lewis Hamilton back in seventh, while Red Bull could only compete with Max Verstappen. Both Ferrari, Bottas and Verstappen were really close but in the last part of Q3 Leclerc was leading with a clocked time of 1.10.346s; they were all going for another fast lap when Leclerc touched the wall at the Swimming Pool, causing a red flag and clinching pole.
All the other three contenders claimed they could've clinched pole position as well, but Sainz's frustration was very well evident, as he pushed his hands on the helmet as he saw his teammate's damaged car, claiming it was "unfair" on the radio.
Carlos Sainz is then fourth and will share the second row with Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas. It is easy to understand the Spaniard's frustration as it was the first time in his career he could really fight for pole. Ferrari seems very competitive in Monaco, showing better traction in the third sector compared to their rivals. Sainz stayed on top of the standings for most of the sessions, but when it mattered, he couldn't show his true potential. Now all eyes are on the Ferrari garage: Leclerc's crash caused some damages to his SF21 and his side of the garage hope to not change the car gearbox. If they do, the Monegasque would start sixth, while Sainz would be third, but that is unlikely to happen.
"Today was very frustrating for me - Carlos admitted - I’ve been driving well all weekend and I was very strong in qualifying. I felt confident with the car and I had a very strong pace. Unfortunately, my last attempt was a bit compromised with traffic during the preparation lap and then I didn’t have the chance to finish the flying lap due to the red flag. It was my first chance to put it on pole here in Monaco and lining up P4 is really frustrating. I’m not happy.
"Tomorrow it will be tough to overtake, but I will do my best and I will try to maximize our chances. Well done to the team for giving us a strong car to fight up there today" he said.