Charles Leclerc produced another magical lap in 2022 to grab pole position for tomorrow’s Italian Grand Prix at Monza. It’s the second time in four years that the Monegasque driver will start from P1 at his team’s home event.
Ferrari has proven to be much more competitive this weekend compared to Spa and Zandvoort. Leclerc took pole by over a tenth and a half from Verstappen.
Speaking post-qualifying, Leclerc admitted it was a “very good surprise”.
“It feels really, really good. We still need to finalise this tomorrow, otherwise it’s pointless to do the pole on Saturday, but it is a very good surprise today, considering where we come from, especially in Spa. We were not expecting to fight for pole here. So it’s a very good surprise at home. Yeah, there’s a special motivation for this weekend and it’s great that we managed to do a good job today.”
Ferrari had put a lot of focus into experimenting and finding improvements on Friday after Red Bull beat them out the gate at Spa two weeks ago. In qualifying it paid off.
“I mean, in FP1 and FP2 we tested a lot of things across cars, with Carlos, a lot of different things and we found different directions that were interesting,” said Leclerc.
“We were really struggling a lot in Spa and, yeah, we found some pace. So it’s good. It shows that we worked in the right direction and I hope that tomorrow we can show that in the race also.”
Racing drivers always believe there is more time on the table, even if a lap is close to perfection.
“There’s always something more, no?” said the Ferrari driver.
Nonetheless, Leclerc was delighted with the lap he produced at the end of Q3. It’s his eighth pole of the season – that’s the joint most for a Ferrari driver (Michael Schumacher) since 2004.
“But the lap, I’m extremely happy with. In the first run of Q3, I didn’t do a great lap, but then managed to put everything together on the second lap. So yeah, there’s always a bit more, but I’m very, very happy with that one.”
Pole position 😘💛 pic.twitter.com/L5TGISCayu— Charles Leclerc (@Charles_Leclerc) September 10, 2022