TENSE QUALIFYING: In Monaco, during this 6th round of the Formula 1 championship, Fernando Alonso will start in 2nd position
The domination of the Red Bull team is undeniable in Formula 1. He had never started at the head of the grid on the Rock before: Max Verstappen will start this Sunday from pole position in the Monaco Grand Prix, 6th round of the championship, after having snuffed out the best qualifying time on Saturday from Fernando Alonso, 2nd (Aston Martin).
On the Monegasque track bathed in sunshine, pole position was decided in the very last moments, but at the finish, “Mad Max” honoured his rank as a leader in the championship under the nose and beard of the double world champion. Spanish (2005, 2006). “In qualifying you have to give it your all and risk it all,” said the Dutchman.
Charles Leclerc is “not satisfied”
The “everything for everything”, Verstappen indeed risked it well since in the last moments of qualifying, the defending champion, then 5th, embarked on a fast lap during which he will touch the safety barriers several times… to come and take back 84/1000 from Alonso, to whom pole seemed promised.
Behind, encouraged by banners “Daghe Charles! » (“Allez Charles!” in local patois) clinging to the balconies overlooking the track, the native Charles Leclerc took the 3rd fastest time of the day. “I am not satisfied with this 3rd position but on the other hand, we must also look at our situation with the car”, reacted the Monegasque, who was aiming for a third consecutive pole position in F1 here, at home.
The defending vice-champion can be all the less satisfied that he was inflicted in the evening a penalty of three places on the grid for having “unnecessarily embarrassed” the Briton Lando Norris (McLaren) launched in a fast lap during these qualifications. He will start 6th immediately. It’s yet another blow for Leclerc on his land: so far, “his” circuit has never really smiled on him since at home, the Monegasque has always had to give up between 2017 and 2021, after technical problems or clashes. .
3rd place for Esteban Ocon
This penalty, however, benefits the Frenchman Esteban Ocon, 4th in qualifying and who therefore goes back to 3rd place. He equals his best position since the GP of Italy 2017 and Belgium 2018. The Alpine driver will start on the second row alongside Spaniard Carlos Sainz ( Ferrari ). The seven-time British world champion Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) goes back to 5th place.
Big loser of the day, Sergio Pérez, victorious here last year, will start at the back of the grid. The Mexican hit a wall with his Red Bull during the first part of qualifying (Q1), damaging his car too heavily to start again. These qualifications were particularly important in the narrow streets of the Principality, where overtaking is generally difficult – and all the more important as the rain could enter the race.