Charles Leclerc (Ferrari Photo)

Leclerc Tops Formula 1 Field In Monaco Qualifying

Charles Leclerc made his home fan base proud as he outpaced the Formula 1 field to score pole position for Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix. 

Leclerc, born in Monte Carlo, wheeled his Ferrari to a fastest time of 1:10.270, besting McLaren’s Oscar Piastri and teammate Carlos Sainz. With passing at a premium around the tight, 2.074-mile circuit, Leclerc looks to score his first victory at the historic venue. 

“It was nice,” said Leclerc. “The feeling after a qualifying lap is always very special here. Really, really happy about the lap, the excitement is so high. It feels really good, however now I know more often than not in the past that qualifying is not everything. As much as it helps a lot for Sunday’s race, we need to put everything together coming to Sunday.

“In the past years we didn’t manage to do so. But we are a stronger team, we are in a stronger position, and I’m sure we can achieve great things tomorrow and obviously the win is the target.” 

It was Ferrari’s 250th pole position in F-1 competition. 


Lando Norris and Mercedes’ George Russell rounded out the top-five qualifiers. Points leader and reigning F-1 champion Max Verstappen was relegated to sixth after contact with the wall derailed his efforts in Q3. 

The Oracle Red Bull Racing driver’s effort ends his string of eight straight F-1 pole positions, which tied him with Ayrton Senna for the most all-time.

“It has not been a good weekend for the team in general,” Verstappen said. “We have tried a lot of changes over the past few days and nothing has helped optimize the performance of the car. In general, it drives well on the straight but has been very difficult over the curves and bumps so has not been good to drive on this kind of track.

“The ride of the car is not good and it has been bouncing around a lot, which makes it really tricky. The issue isn’t a new thing for us and we have been struggling with this for a while. We have tried everything to solve the issue but I still felt like I was often close to going into the wall. Although I did feel comfortable pushing it to the limit, it is a huge challenge to be consistent and we just didn’t have the fastest car today. Looking to tomorrow, we will work hard to try to find the problem.

“In Monaco things can happen that you don’t expect, so never say never, but we are not expecting miracles.”


Lewis Hamilton qualified seventh ahead of Yuki Tsunoda, Alex Albon and Pierre Gasly. 

“The car has felt great this weekend from the get-go and we were competitive through Friday and this morning in practice,” Hamilton said. “I’ve been pushing the limits everywhere and the qualifying laps felt good. But each time I go into qualifying, I struggle to keep making progress with the car and it feels like I lose performance relative to the cars around me.

“There was a bit of a difference with our cars in the high-speed corners, as George is running the new wing this weekend, but it is great to see the team pushing so hard to bring upgrades to the last race and this one, too. We have been much closer to the front here, and the car is feeling much better than it has in Monaco in previous years; we just have to keep on pushing and getting closer to the front through the year.”

Haas F-1’s Nico Hulkenberg starts 12th ahead of teammate Kevin Magnussen in 15th.

American Logan Sargeant placed 17th after getting bounced out of Q1 aboard his Williams Racing Mercedes.