Can he finally break the curse?
Charles Leclerc (24) starts from first place in his home race in Monaco! For the Ferrari driver, this is the chance to finally win in his living room. So far, Leclerc has not even been able to finish a single race in Monaco. Next to him in the front row: Carlos Sainz (27).
Today’s second winner: Sebastian Vettel (34)! The Aston Martin driver is extremely fast and fights his way through to the final qualifying section, starting from ninth place. Mick Schumacher (23) was only number 15.
The big losers: Red Bull! Although the Brause team started from third place (Perez) and fourth place (Verstappen), they deprived themselves of the chance of a better place in the qualification. Shortly before the end, Sergio Perez (32) crashes into the gang – and ends the session.
Haas pilot Kevin Magnussen (29) opens the first qualifying section. Teammate Mick immediately follows. The first time comes (logically enough) from the Danes. Magnussen sets a 1: 16.997 minute. But time has immediately struck. Red Bull puts out the first exclamation point.
First Sergio Perez (32) takes the lead before Verstappen takes the lead. The championship leader runs 1: 14.295 minutes. After another round, teammate Perez took the lead again. Curious: Sainz has exactly the same speed. However, the time has been canceled due to an irregularity.
About eight minutes before the end, the local hero Leclerc takes the lead in the field. Monegasse drove 1: 12.569 minutes. To the Germans, it looks black until shortly before the end. Both Mick and Vettel are facing the end. Yes, Schumi Jr. can move up to seventh place with a super lap (1: 13,469 minutes). Completely different Vettel. The Aston Martin driver must interrupt his lap. At the next attempt, he advances to a twelfth place.
Extremely important: Two and a half minutes before the end there is a red flag. Alpha Tauris Yuki Tsunoda takes turn ten too narrowly – and touches the barrier. But the Japanese can go ahead and save themselves in the pit. After five minutes we continue. Both the Red Bulls and Ferraris as well as George Russell (24) remain in the garage.
For Q2, Zhou Guanyu (22), Nicholas Latifi (26), Lance Stroll (23), Pierre Gasly (26) and Alexander Albon (26), who have been eliminated, will also be allowed to do so.
At 4.30 pm, the second section of Verstappen opens. The Dutchman drove around the track in 1: 12.551 minutes. But teammate Perez is even faster. The Mexican runs 1: 12.059 minutes and takes the lead so far.
Mick is miles away from that. The Haas driver interrupts his first quick lap, drives into the pit – and stays there for a few minutes. Meanwhile, Leclerc is heading for the top. The Ferrari driver sets a 1: 11.864 minute.
But: Second in the World Cup faces a penalty. Leclerc actually has to weigh his car when he enters the pitlane – but he drives past. The mechanics of the Italian team have to push the car back. Fia, the world association, could still have fingers in the ensuing.
His former teammate, Vettel, used all his experience and finished as number eight with a top-flight finish. Unfortunately, that’s not enough for Mick. The German is only 15. Also eliminated: Daniel Ricciardo (32), Magnussen, Valtteri Bottas (32) and Tsunoda.
The fastest man from the second division also opens the third: Leclerc. Monegasse drove 1: 11.376 minutes – an exclamation point! No one has ever been faster! The second fastest pilot is Sainz. The Spaniard is about 0.2 seconds slower than Leclerc. The Red Bulls cannot provide a direct answer.
That’s how it stays! 30 seconds before the end, Perez loses control of his car and crashes into the barrier just before the tunnel entrance. Curious: Sainz brakes too late and drives into the Mexican. His car is also badly damaged. The session will not resume.
Leclerc will be happy about that.