Charles Leclerc took his fifth pole of the season at his home GP. The Monegasque, after retiring in Spain due to an engine malfunctionment, led both Friday practice sessions.
This afternoon, Ferrari secured a front row lockout for tomorrow's race. In his first Q3 attempt, he ran in 1:11.376, and in his second shot he had obtained a purple sector, but the session was red flagged with thirty seconds to spare, due to an accident involving Perez and Sainz, and not resumed.
It's a second consecutive pole at home for Leclerc, who then commented in the post-qualifying session interview:
"It is very special, I'm so incredibly happy. It's been an incredibly smooth weekend until now, I knew the pace was in the car and I just had to do the job."
Even if the lap cancelled by the red flag would have been even more impressive, the Scuderia driver is still extremely satisfied with his performance:
"It went perfectly, that last lap before the red flag was really really good but yeah, anyway it didn't change anything for us."
He went on to describe how his session went, and how he managed to complete those first sectors with great speed:
"It was really, really on the limit, I had quite a bit of oversteer. I struggled to put the tyres in the right window in the last sector because there was a bit of traffic, but in the end the rear was a bit loose but the lap time still came and I was improving quite a bit so..."
"I think I was four tenths faster before I stopped so yeah, I think it was a good lap to be honest."
Leclerc is also pleased to see his teammate Carlos Sainz Jr doing well, after his mistakes and issues in Spain, Australia and Imola.
"The car felt amazing, and it's great to also have Carlos with me on the front row."
Asked on what would be best for the Italian team in terms of weather conditions for tomorrow, as allegedly it might rain a bit, Leclerc replied:"I think dry is a bit more predictable, but whatever comes I think we are competitive, so we will be fine."
The final qualifying session was ended early due to Red Bull's Sergio Perez hitting the wall just before the tunnel section, with Sainz hitting Perez as he saw the yellow flag too late to stop.
Ferrari's Racing Director Laurent Mekies talked to Sky Italia about the accident from the team's point of view:
"We were worried about Carlos because he found the track blocked at full speed. With a single yellow, no one expects to find a car in the middle of the track."
In order to be completely safe ahead of tomorrow's race and to not have a driver missing out on the race before the start like it happened to Leclerc last year, Mekies confirmed that a thorough check will be performed.
"We were worried about him, and we are glad he is okay. We will assess the damage to his car," he concluded.