Formula 1 | Leclerc on pole in the Monaco F1 GP, ahead of damaged Sainz and Pérez

The circuits parade in this 2022 F1 season, but the candidates for pole position are always the same. Thus, Charles Leclerc, Carlos Sainz, Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez will perform favorites before the qualifying session.

The Monegasque from Ferrari was unerring in Friday practice, dominating Free 1 and Free 2. The third session of the weekend saw Sergio Pérez climb to the top of the standings, just ahead of Ferrari.

Saturday morning’s session was marked by several incidents on the track, which saw Carlos Sainz blocking Sebastian Vettel, and Pérez blocking George Russell. The Spaniard escaped a sanction after the stewards ruled that Ferrari had given him the wrong information. The team was fined 25,000 euros.

In addition to the fight between Ferrari and Red Bull, that between Mercedes F1 and McLaren was expected for this qualifying session. Alfa Romeo F1 and AlphaTauri also showed up in Free Practice 3.

Q1 – 18 mins

Mick Schumacher signed the first benchmark in 1’16″997, 0″064 ahead of his teammate Kevin Magnussen. Lando Norris took the best time in 1’15.800, just ahead of Valtteri Bottas, who failed at 0.056.

The Mercedes drivers then took control, Lewis Hamilton in 1’15″391, far ahead of Russell, who missed his first lap and complained of a lack of grip. Pérez set a real qualifying benchmark in 1’14” 369, and Verstappen beat him in 1’14″295, as the Ferraris raced on.

Pierre Gasly took third place, and Leclerc moved into third after experiencing late lap traffic. Kevin Magnussen even placed himself in front of the Monegasque.

Esteban Ocon grabbed the third fastest time, before Fernando Alonso moved up the pecking order in 1’14″148. Norris took the second fastest time 0.044 behind the Spaniard’s Alpine, and the Red Bulls were still on the track.

Pérez took the lead in 1’13″292, and Verstappen trailed just over a tenth. Sainz matched Pérez’s time, which put him second. Leclerc complained that he was too out of sequence for the other drivers’ lap time, which caused him to be embarrassed.

Gasly improved to move up to fourth, and Leclerc was on an improvement lap. The Monegasque set the fastest time in 1’12.939. Ocon and Alonso improved, with the Spaniard climbing ahead of Verstappen in the standings.

Verstappen improved to come within 0.054 of Leclerc, as Ricciardo climbed back into the top 10. Hamilton moved up to fifth, and Leclerc improved despite a limited pass through the final corner, to 1’12.569. Sainz is placed second at 0.047.

Pérez improved in turn, like Schumacher who moved up to seventh. Albon set an excellent time and took eighth place, before Magnussen improved and moved up to fifth. Latifi improved to 16th place, but it wasn’t enough to provisionally advance to Q2.

Bottas moved up to ninth, Russell took third, but Zhou didn’t improve. The red flag was waved for no specific reason. Tsunoda hit the New Chicane lightly and race management obviously wanted to check the condition of the rails.

There were 2 minutes 25 left on the clock when the session started again, at 4:20 p.m. local time.

Many drivers came out, and we saw the Williams, McLaren, AlphaTauri, Aston Martin and Alpine drivers trying to get another time.

Latifi improved but was not degraded in the hierarchy. Vettel took seventh, Alonso eighth, Norris fourth and Ricciardo ninth. Ocon took fourth place.

The eliminated are Albon, Gasly, Stroll, Latifi and Zhou. The frustration was enormous for Gasly, who missed a final attempt by tenths of a second.

Q2 – 15 mins

Verstappen quickly set a benchmark of 1’12″551, but he was beaten by Sainz in 1’12″074, before Pérez put them in agreement in 1’12″059.

Leclerc took third time just 0.033 behind Pérez! Norris was fifth ahead of Vettel, Tsunoda and Ricciardo. Bottas moved up to seventh place, while the Mercedes drivers completed two laps of tire warm-ups.

Hamilton took fifth, and Russell seventh, with both men framing Norris. Alonso placed himself as the best of the rest in fifth place, before Norris regained this position. Ocon set the ninth fastest time.

Bottas improved but remained 12th, as the Ferraris and Red Bulls represented the track for a fast lap. Verstappen improved to 1’12.353 but remained fourth. Sainz aborted his attempt, and Leclerc set the best time of the weekend in 1’11.864.

Pérez took second place, also passing under the minute 12 seconds. Hamilton complained of an unsuccessful rear tire warm-up.

Ricciardo improved to just back into the top 10, and Norris improved to take fourth from Verstappen. Tsunoda placed seventh, pushing Ricciardo back into the elimination zone.

Russell improved to sixth, Magnussen took tenth, and Schumacher 13th. Hamilton and Vettel returned to the top 10, as did Ocon in sixth. Bottas improved but it wasn’t enough.

The eliminated were Tsunoda, Bottas, Magnussen, Ricciardo and Schumacher.

Q3 – 12 minutes

Leclerc had a very big time on his first attempt in 1’11″376. Sainz took second place in 1’11″601, ahead of Pérez in 1’11″629 and Verstappen in 1’11″666.

Norris settled into fifth place, eight tenths behind the drivers ahead of him. Hamilton, Russell and Vettel took between sixth and eighth places, and the Alpine F1 drivers were on their fast lap in staggered.

Alonso set the fifth fastest time, two tenths ahead of Norris! A very good performance for the Alpine driver while on the side of Ocon, the lap was less successful with a tenth place.

Pérez and Verstappen made a second attempt in the middle of the session, certainly on worn rubber, and they were both late. Norris improved to come within two-tenths of the Dutchman and take fifth place.

Russell also overtook Alonso, as all the drivers raced for another attempt. Leclerc set the absolute best time in the first sector!

Pérez spun at the doorman at the entrance to the tunnel and hit the wall from behind, before Sainz crashed into the number 11 Red Bull. The track was obstructed and Alonso hit Mirabeau.

The session therefore ended in absolute chaos, which allowed Leclerc to savor his fifth pole position of the season, his second at home! He is ahead of Sainz, Pérez and Verstappen.

Norris and Russell constituting an all-British third line, ahead of Alonso and Hamilton, then Vettel and Ocon.

pos. Pilot Car Q1 time Q2 time Q3 time
01 Charles Leclerc Ferrari F1-75 1:12.569 1:11.864 1:11.376
02 carlos sainz Ferrari F1-75 1:12.616 1:12.074 1:11.601
03 Sergio Perez Red Bull RBPT RB18 1:13.004 1:11.954 1:11.629
04 Max Verstappen Red Bull RBPT RB18 1:12.993 1:12.117 1:11.666
05 Lando Norris McLarenMercedes MCL36 1:12.927 1:12.266 1:11.849
06 george russell Mercedes W13 1:12.787 1:12.617 1:12.112
07 Fernando Alonso Alpine Renault A522 1:13.394 1:12.688 1:12.247
08 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W13 1:13.444 1:12.595 1:12.560
09 Sebastian Vettel Aston MartinMercedes AMR22 1:13.313 1:12.613 1:12.732
ten Esteban Ocon Alpine Renault A522 1:12.848 1:12.528 1:13.047
—————- ————— ———- ———- ———-
11 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri RBPT AT03 1:13.110 1:12.797
12 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42 1:13.541 1:12.909
13 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari VF-22 1:13.069 1:12.921
14 Daniel Ricardo McLarenMercedes MCL36 1:13.338 1:12.964
15 Mick Schumacher Haas Ferrari VF-22 1:13.469 1:13.081
—————- ————— ———- ———- ———-
16 Alex Albon Williams Mercedes FW44 1:13.611
17 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri RBPT AT03 1:13.660
18 Spear Stroll Aston MartinMercedes AMR22 1:13.678
19 Nicholas Latifi Williams Mercedes FW44 1:14.403
20 Guanyu-Zhou Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42 1:15.606

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