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Analysis
Formula 1 Monaco GP

What F1 GPS data reveals about Piastri's Monaco pole near-miss

McLaren’s Oscar Piastri was left to rue “a couple of mistakes at the end” of his Monaco Grand Prix qualifying defeat to Ferrari Formula 1 driver Charles Leclerc, which is highlighted in the GPS data of his lap.

Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL38

Piastri ended up as Leclerc’s closest rival for pole in Monte-Carlo but fell 0.154s short as the home hero secured a third pole in four years at this famous street track.

At the start of their respective best and final laps in Q3, the GPS data shows that Leclerc – in a boost after his Imola frustration on Ferrari’s lap-starting engine power output – got underway 1.9mph better off than Piastri.

Through Ste Devote, Leclerc gains 0.06s on Piastri, which he more than doubles to 0.14s at Massenet crest, after which the McLaren almost erases the Ferrari’s advantage as they head down to Mirabeau.

Here, though, Piastri pays for attacking the downhill right-hander 3.7mph quicker on turn-in than Leclerc – as he ships nearly two tenths under braking and getting wheelspin on exit before making up for it on the brief run even further downhill to the Loews hairpin.

Here is Piastri’s biggest loss of the whole final lap, as on exit Leclerc’s 0.23s gap is re-established before again Piastri is able to recover with a better run though the right turn below Mirabeau and Portier too.

Leclerc brakes for the Nouvelle Chicane nearly a tenth up. Piastri going slightly too close to the barrier on the inside here and then slightly checking up through the fast-arriving second part of the complex means that has doubled on exit and the run towards Tabac, where again the Ferrari is superior.

But Piastri staying on power a fraction longer. Leclerc slamming over the kerbs and having a bumpy ride through the second part of the Swimming Pool gets Piastri back on terms. The pair arrive for the Rascasse right separated by just 0.013s.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-24

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-24

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Yet, here, Piastri loses critical momentum and that is repeated at the final corner, which results in a 0.135s deficit heading onto the pit straight that ends up as the 0.154s at the line.

“I think Turn 5 [Mirabeau] and Turn 10, the chicane after the tunnel, were not my best,” Piastri said of his last flier in the post-qualifying press conference.

“I think the rest of the lap was pretty solid, just struggled a little bit in those two corners.

“Whether it would have been enough for pole, I'm not sure.

“For me, it's pretty pointless saying if you could have done... Max summed it up very well a few weeks ago.

“I won't repeat it, but it's a good analogy, and I think everybody can say the same. So, yeah, pretty happy with it on the whole.

“If you took the second half of my first lap in Q3 and the first half of the second one, it would have been enough. But, yeah, just a couple of mistakes at the end.”

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