Leclerc to start Monaco GP from pole after Ferrari gearbox check

Charles Leclerc will start from pole position for Formula 1’s Monaco Grand Prix after Ferrari gave the all-clear to his gearbox on Sunday morning.

Leclerc to start Monaco GP from pole after Ferrari gearbox check

The Monegasque driver had faced an anxious wait overnight to see whether or not his gearbox would need replacing following his Q3 crash.

Had he needed a new gearbox fitted, it would have meant a five-place grid drop – handing pole position to Max Verstappen.

Ferrari gave the gearbox a quick inspection on Saturday evening before parc ferme restrictions began, and were satisfied that it had suffered no serious damage in the impact with the barriers at the end of qualifying.

However, it wanted to hold fire until more detailed checks had taken place on Sunday morning to see whether or not there was a risk of it failing.

Ferrari's evaluation concluded that the gearbox had escaped unscathed from the impact with the barriers, and that means Leclerc will be able to take up his pole slot.

A statement from Ferrari said: “Following further in-depth checks this morning, no apparent defects were found on Charles Leclerc’s gearbox.

“Therefore, the Monegasque driver will start today’s race from pole position, as per the qualifying result.”

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21, crashes out towards the end of Qualifying

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21, crashes out towards the end of Qualifying

Photo by: Jean Petin / Motorsport Images

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto had been clear after qualifying that the team would not take a gamble on pushing on with the gearbox if it felt there was a risk of it failing in the race.

The team is locked in a tight battle for third place in the constructors’ championship with McLaren, and is just five points behind its Woking-based rival.

Speaking about Ferrari’s views on the gearbox situation before the checks were complete, Binotto had said: “No, we will not gamble. 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.”

Confirmation of Leclerc taking up his pole position slot means that Verstappen will start from second place on the grid for Red Bull, ahead of Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas and Ferrari's Carlos Sainz Jr.

shares
comments

Related video

Archive: Monaco's magic F1 moments as told by the stars

Previous article

Archive: Monaco's magic F1 moments as told by the stars

Next article

The ulterior motive behind Mercedes' F1 engineering talent stockpile

The ulterior motive behind Mercedes' F1 engineering talent stockpile
Load comments
How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working Plus

How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working

After its worst campaign in 40 years, the famous Italian team had to bounce back in 2021 – and it appears to be delivering. Although it concedes the pole positions in Monaco and Baku paint a somewhat misleading picture of its competitiveness, the team is heading into the 2022 rules revamp on much stronger footing to go for wins again

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Plus

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

Formula 1
Jun 17, 2021
The figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again in F1 2021 Plus

The figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again in F1 2021

OPINION: An interloper squad got amongst the title contenders during Formula 1’s street-circuit mini-break, where Red Bull left with the points lead in both championships. But, as the campaign heads back to purpose-built venues once again, how the drivers of the two top teams compare in one crucial area will be a major factor in deciding which squad stays in or retakes the top spot

Formula 1
Jun 16, 2021
Why Alfa's boss is ready for the task of securing a stronger F1 future Plus

Why Alfa's boss is ready for the task of securing a stronger F1 future

Two tenth places in recent races have lifted Alfa Romeo to the head of Formula 1's 'Class C' battle in 2021, but longer-term the Swiss-based squad has far loftier ambitions. With the new 2022 rules set to level out the playing field, team boss Frederic Vasseur has good reason to be optimistic, as he explained to Autosport in an exclusive interview

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
How Barnard’s revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction Plus

How Barnard’s revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction

The MP4/1 was pioneering by choice, but a McLaren by chance. STUART CODLING relates the tangled (carbonfibre) weaves which led to the creation of one of motor racing’s defining cars

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool Plus

Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool

Windtunnel work forms the bedrock of aerodynamic development in Formula 1. But as PAT SYMONDS explains, advances in virtual research are signalling the end of these expensive and complicated relics

Formula 1
Jun 13, 2021
Why polarising Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour Plus

Why polarising Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour

The newspapers, naturally, lingered over Max Mosley’s tainted family history and niche sexual practices. But this is to trivialise the legacy of a big beast of motor racing politics. STUART CODLING weighs the life of a man whose work for safety on both road and track has saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but whose penchant for cruelty remains problematic and polarising

Formula 1
Jun 12, 2021
Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture Plus

Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture

Sergio Perez has spent most of his career labouring in Formula 1’s midfield, wondering whether he’d ever get another shot at the big time. Red Bull has handed him that chance and, although life at the top is tough, the Baku winner is doing all the right things to get on terms with Max Verstappen, says BEN ANDERSON

Formula 1
Jun 11, 2021