Ferrari "will not gamble" on Leclerc's gearbox despite Monaco GP pole

Ferrari "will not gamble" on Charles Leclerc's gearbox despite his shock Formula 1 pole in Monaco as it waits to find out the extent of the damage to his car.

Ferrari "will not gamble" on Leclerc's gearbox despite Monaco GP pole

Leclerc managed to convert Ferrari’s impressive practice pace into a first pole of the season in Monaco on Saturday, edging out Red Bull’s Max Verstappen by two-tenths of a second.

But the pole was secured in unusual fashion after Leclerc crashed at the exit of Swimming Pool late in Q3, bringing out a red flag that prevented any drivers for making further improvements.

Although Leclerc was pleased to have secured pole, both he and the Ferrari team were left sweating on the condition of his car and gearbox, fearing it could trigger a grid penalty.

Ferrari F1 boss Mattia Binotto made clear the team would not take any risks with Leclerc’s gearbox, stressing the importance of maximising its points haul in Monaco.

“No, we will not gamble,” Binotto said following qualifying in Monaco.

“I think for us what's important after such a quali is to try to maximise the number of points for the championship, and obviously to maximise we need to finish the race.

“So reliability is key, reliability remains the priority. If we have any doubts, we will certainly change and fix it.”

The car of Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21, is craned away

The car of Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21, is craned away

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Should Leclerc’s car require a new gearbox, it would result in a five-place grid drop that would relegate him to sixth place on the grid.

Binotto thought that Ferrari would have clarity on the condition of the gearbox and the chassis “within a couple of hours”, with a decision on any changes set to be taken tonight.

The result marked Ferrari’s first pole since the 2019 Mexican Grand Prix - scored by Leclerc - and came after a surprising upswing in form through the Monaco weekend so far.

PLUS: Why Ferrari should be quietly confident it's really in the mix for Monaco success

But Binotto said after the session that there was a feeling of disappointment in the team due to Leclerc’s crash and the fact that Carlos Sainz Jr only qualified fourth, having placed second in all three practice sessions.

“It's always a shame crashing a car,” Binotto said.

“[We are] disappointed as well, the entire team was more disappointed not for the crash, certainly not for the pole, because we believe that Carlos could have done better overall and we felt that could have been the case.

“So as team, we could have done even maybe better today and so we feel a bit disappointed with that.”

shares
comments

Related video

Verstappen confident ‘pole was on’ before Monaco GP Q3 red flag

Previous article

Verstappen confident ‘pole was on’ before Monaco GP Q3 red flag

Next article

Sainz "not happy at all" to lose F1 Monaco GP pole opportunity

Sainz "not happy at all" to lose F1 Monaco GP pole opportunity
Load comments
How Ferrari has brought the best from F1’s smooth operator Plus

How Ferrari has brought the best from F1’s smooth operator

As a young boy, Carlos Sainz was schooled by his father in the special folklore surrounding Ferrari in Formula 1. Now an established grand prix ace – and a Ferrari driver to boot – Sainz opens up to BEN ANDERSON about driving for the team of his childhood hero, and of his own boyhood dreams

How Hungarian GP thriller sounded alarm bell for F1 2022 cars Plus

How Hungarian GP thriller sounded alarm bell for F1 2022 cars

OPINION: The 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix may not have been a thrill-a-minute overtaking fest, but it's a race that will live long in the memory as one of the best of the current era of Formula 1. And as F1 moves to regulations in 2022 aimed at boosting overtaking, Hungary showed the balance it must strike with its new machinery as not to deny similarly tense spectacles

Was Hamilton's Hungary solo start a good or bad look for F1? Plus

Was Hamilton's Hungary solo start a good or bad look for F1?

OPINION: Different perspectives had Lewis Hamilton’s solo second standing start in Formula 1’s 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix as fabulous or farcical. But did it make the championship appear too silly for the sake of a moment of high-charged sporting drama?

Why unseen Hungary heroics could be the making of F1's most overlooked driver Plus

Why unseen Hungary heroics could be the making of F1's most overlooked driver

The chaotic start to the Hungarian GP set the scene for F1's less heralded drivers to make a name for themselves. Esteban Ocon did just that to win in fine style, but further down the order one driver was making his first visit to the points and - while the circumstances were fortunate - took full advantage of the chance presented to him

Formula 1
Aug 3, 2021
Hungarian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Hungarian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

This was race that showcased the best and worst of Formula 1, producing a first time winner and a memorable comeback to a podium finish. Avoiding trouble at the start and astute strategy calls were key to success, but where some drivers took full advantage, others made key errors that cost them dearly

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2021
The “heart-breaking” call that led to Ocon’s Hungarian GP triumph Plus

The “heart-breaking” call that led to Ocon’s Hungarian GP triumph

Set to restart the red-flagged Hungarian Grand Prix in second, Esteban Ocon had some doubts when he peeled into the pits to swap his intermediate tyres for slicks. But this "heart-breaking" call was vindicated in spectacular fashion as the Alpine driver staved off race-long pressure from Sebastian Vettel for a memorable maiden Formula 1 victory

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2021
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Plus

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Plus

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021