Charles Leclerc Clinches Pole Position For 2022 Monaco Grand Prix

(Image credit: @F1)

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc topped Qualifying to clinch pole position for 2022 Monaco Grand Prix.

Having topped Friday Practice at his home race, Leclerc came into Saturday as red-hot favourite but Red Bull’s Sergio Perez topped FP3, although the Monegasque hit back to dominate Qualifying and claim a second consecutive pole position in the Principality.

Now, here is a full roundup of FP3 and Qualifying action.

 

FP3

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Williams’ Nicholas Latifi was first out on track ahead of Haas’ Kevin Magnussen as several drivers opted to wait until the track had rubbered in, following overnight partying as is traditional in Monaco.

Latifi proceeded to set the early benchmark lap time of 1m 19.373 on medium tyres but Fernando Alonso on soft tyres responded immediately with 1m 15.809 to go fastest, which he lowered by 1.052 seconds on his next flier.

Carlos Sainz then displaced his compatriot in the 12th minute with 1m 14.110 but his Ferrari teammate, Charles Leclerc went 0.106s quicker, which he soon lowered to 1m 13.647 on his following lap.

Leclerc soon continued to tighten his grip at the top of the timesheets as he posted 1m 13.434 in the 21st minute, only for Perez to better his effort by 0.137s three minutes later, which Leclerc matched just seconds later but Perez sat top due to setting the lap time first.

Perez however was displaced five minutes later as Leclerc posted 1m 12.885 to go top ahead of the Qualifying simulations, which saw everyone find time beyond their first flying laps.

Eventually, Perez stole the top position with 1m 12.476 set in the closing seconds of the session ahead of Leclerc by just 0.041s, as Sainz, Max Verstappen, Pierre Gasly, Lando Norris, Lewis Hamilton, Kevin Magnussen, George Russell and Alonso rounded out the top ten.

Sainz and Lance Stroll meanwhile were both amongst a few drivers who suffered lock-ups into Saint Devote but continued unharmed, although Stroll later damaged his front wing after clipping the barriers on the exit of the Swimming Pool chicane with a few minutes left in the session.

Position Driver Team Time 
1 Sergio Perez Red Bull 1m 12.476
2 Charles Leclerc Ferrari + 0.041
3 Carlos Sainz Ferrari + 0.370
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull + 0.405
5 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri + 0.734
6 Lando Norris McLaren + 0.750
7 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes + 0.899
8 Kevin Magnussen Haas + 0.960
9 George Russell Mercedes + 1.000
10 Fernando Alonso Alpine + 1.109
11 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri + 1.169
12 Mick Schumacher Haas + 1.351
13 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin + 1.362
14 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo + 1.373
15 Alex Albon Williams + 1.406
16 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren + 1.628
17 Esteban Ocon Alpine + 1.784
18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin + 2.163
19 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo + 2.385
20 Nicholas Latifi Williams + 2.434

 

Qualifying

Q1

Magnussen was first out on track and set a benchmark lap time of 1m 17.061 which was swiftly bettered by several drivers, including Mick Schumacher, Norris, Hamilton, Perez and Verstappen who topped the opening fliers with 1m 14.295.

Track evolution however meant that times continued to fall as Perez and Sainz briefly shared the fastest lap of 1m 13.292, whilst the elimination zone at half-way point of the session compromised of; Sebastian Vettel, Guanyu Zhou, Bottas, Latifi and Schumacher.

The timer however was red flagged with 2m 25s left on the clock after Yuki Tsunoda grazed a barrier with the following five drivers sat bottom at time of stoppage; Daniel Ricciardo, Esteban Ocon, Latifi, Tsunoda and Zhou.

The session resumed five minutes later with Latifi and Zhou finishing slowest in 19th and 20th respectively behind Stroll, whilst Gasly was unexpectedly eliminated in 17th after he failed to beat the line to set one final lap as Alex Albon found himself 16th on the grid.

Leclerc meanwhile topped Q1 with 1m 12.569 ahead of Sainz.

 

Q2

Verstappen was first out on track in Q2 and set the initial benchmark lap time of 1m 12.551 but Sainz quickly bettered his time, only for Perez to go top with 1m 12.059 from the Spaniard and Leclerc as the top three were split by 0.033s after their opening fliers.

Leclerc later found further time in his first Q2 run to go top with 1m 11.864 before missing the weighbridge, although his Ferrari mechanics wheeled him back to the weighbridge before he reached Ferrari’s pit box.

The elimination zone meanwhile compromised of; Magnussen, Bottas, Tsunoda, Ricciardo and Schumacher once opening runs were completed.

Come the checkered flag, none of the bottom five drivers escaped elimination but the order switched around as Tsunoda qualified 11th ahead of Bottas and Magnussen, whilst Ricciardo stayed 14th fastest ahead of Schumacher.

 

Q3

Leclerc was first out on track ahead of Mercedes’ Hamilton and Russell who found themselves in a Ferrari sandwich with Sainz behind the British pair.

Once the opening flying laps were completed, Leclerc led with a benchmark 1m 11.376 ahead of Sainz, Perez, Verstappen. Alonso, Norris, Hamilton, Russell, Vettel and Ocon.

Qualifying eventually ended prematurely with 30s left on the clock after Perez struck the outside wall at Portier after losing the rear on entry, only for Sainz unsighted to also spin after losing his rear on entry too and clattered into the front of Perez’s Red Bull.

Leclerc consequently claimed a second consecutive pole position at his home race to head Sainz in a Ferrari front-row lockout, with Perez heading Verstappen in an all Red Bull second row as Norris, Russell, Alonso, Hamilton, Vettel and Ocon rounded out the top ten.

Position Driver Team Time 
1 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1m 11.376
2 Carlos Sainz Ferrari + 0.225
3 Sergio Perez Red Bull + 0.253
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull + 0.290
5 Lando Norris McLaren + 0.473
6 George Russell Mercedes + 0.736
7 Fernando Alonso Alpine + 0.871
8 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes + 1.184
9 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin + 1.356
10 Esteban Ocon Alpine + 1.671
11 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 1m 12.797
12 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo + 0.112
13 Kevin Magnussen Haas + 0.124
14 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren + 0.167
15 Mick Schumacher Haas + 0.284
16 Alex Albon Williams 1m 13.611
17 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri + 0.049
18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin + 0.067
19 Nicholas Latifi Williams + 0.792
20 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo + 1.995

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