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 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