Leclerc crashes his way to pole in Monaco

Qualifying in Monaco usually provides the best action of the weekend, and it did not disappoint this time around after a year’s absence.

Charles Leclerc will start his home race from pole despite crashing into the barriers near the end of Q3 and bringing out the red flag. This put to an end the progress that the traditional pole challengers were making and giving Monaco their first Monégasque pole sitter ever.

Only 19 drivers were able to take part in the qualifying session after Mick Schumacher had a big crash during FP3, losing the rear of the car coming out of Casino Square. He has been granted permission to start the race.

The red flag meant that the final runs for the majority of the final ten runners were not complete and it has created a rather mixed grid that should spice up what usually is a processional race.

Max Verstappen will start on the front row alongside Leclerc after he set a time 0.230s slower than the Ferrari driver.

Behind them is Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, followed by Lando Norris of McLaren and Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly.

One driver who you would expect to be up at the front, especially after claiming his 100th F1 pole in the last race, is Lewis Hamilton. He was on course for a decent start before the red flag came out. His banker lap at the start of Q3 was only good enough for P7 and this is where he will start the race.

He will be lining up on the grid alongside his former title challenge Sebastian Vettel, who is now racing for Aston Martin. This means that on the fourth row of the grid there is 11 World Championships.

Sergio Perez of Red Bull will start from a rather disappointing ninth place while Antonio Giovinazzi impressed in his Alfa Romeo to get into Q3 and start the race from tenth.

Daniel Ricciardo will be disappointed with his qualifying after failing to make the top ten shootout. He will start the race from P12 with Alpine’s Esteban Ocon just ahead of him in P11.

Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll, Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen, and Williams’ George Russell all made Q2 and will start the race from 13th to 15th respectively.

Yuki Tsunoda was very close to making it out of Q1 but will have to settle for a P16 start, but he will be ahead of a two-time F1 World Champion in Fernando Alonso, who will start from P17 in his Alpine.

Nicolas Latifi was the fastest non-HAAS car and will start the race from P18 with Nikita Mazepin out qualifying Mick Schumacher for the first time for a P19 start. Schumacher will start from the back of the grid after failing to take part in the session.

The 2021 Monaco Grand Prix will begin on Sunday at 2pm UK Time.