Leclerc not happy Lewis cheering

Lewis Hamilton secured what was only his second-ever pole position around the streets of Monaco on Saturday to qualify ahead of Valtteri Bottas and the Red Bull of Max Verstappen.

Hamilton’s lap of 1m 10.166s established a new track record around Monte Carlo, although Bottas’ effort was just 0.086s slower, the world champion qualifying ahead of his team mate for the first time since Bahrain and securing Mercedes’ fourth front row lock-out in a row.

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was fourth, after clouting the barrier at Tabac on his final effort, finishing ahead of the Red Bull of Pierre Gasly in fifth.

Behind, Kevin Magnussen occupied P6 for Haas after impressing throughout qualifying to finish ahead of Monaco specialist Daniel Ricciardo, seventh in the Renault, with Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat, McLaren’s Carlos Sainz and the second Toro Rosso of Alex Albon rounding out the top 10.

One of the biggest shocks of the session occurred in Q1, however, when Charles Leclerc found himself out in the first part of qualifying after Ferrari neglected to put him back on track as others were improving, leaving the home hero – and one of the favourites for pole – down in 16th on the grid. Unsurprisingly, Leclerc was one very unhappy Monegasque as he headed into Saturday evening…

The young Monegasque had sat within the top 10 as Q1 entered its final stages – though his best lap had been far from perfect. But as other drivers – including team mate Sebastian Vettel – went out in a bid to improve their times on a track that seemed to be getting faster, Leclerc remained stationary in the Ferrari garage and could only watch on as his name tumbled out of the top 15 and into the elimination zone.

“I asked [the team] whether they were sure [we were safe], they told me ‘We think we are’. I said ‘Shouldn’t we get out again?’ – but there were no real answers,“ said Leclerc as he spoke to the media just moments after his exit, his face etched with a mixture of anger and disbelief.

“I don’t know,” he added. “I didn’t get an explanation yet in detail. It’s a very difficult one to take.

“It’s disappointing to be out in Q1 in a Ferrari, but even more so at home and even more on a track like this where you can’t overtake,” he added. “We can’t afford to do these things. It’s just a big, big disappointment.”

After his first run, Leclerc had to be wheeled back to the FIA weighbridge after missing a signal to stop upon arriving back in the pits. The 21-year-old, who was born and raised in the Principality, dismissed that as a factor in his early exit.

“We had plenty of time, even when we went out of the box, to go out again,” explained Leclerc.

“The weighbridge was not a problem – we still had the fuel to go again and only [needed to] change the tyres. No, no, this was a problem. I need some explanations – I don’t know for now.”

Leclerc is set to start Sunday’s race – his second at home – from P15, moving up one spot after Giovinazzi was penalised that’s one place lower than he qualified for last year’s event with Sauber. And he now says he has no choice but to adopt an aggressive no-holds-barred approach.

“Hopefully it rains and then there will be a bit of lottery in there. If it’s dry it’s going to be boring – I’ll have to take a lot of risks I think, even risking to crash.

“But at the end that’s the only thing we need to do now is to try to be extreme in our overtaking because this is a track where it is basically impossible to overtake, so we will see.”

Source Media Vietnam with F1.com

Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari SF90. 25.05.2019. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 6, Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo, Monaco, Qualifying Day. – www.xpbimages.com