Leclerc secures pole position for the Monaco GP, putting an end to Verstappen’s attempt to break the F1 record

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Charles Leclerc stands on his car

Charles Leclerc grabbed the top spot for Ferrari at the Monaco Grand Prix, putting an end to Formula 1 champion Max Verstappen’s attempt to secure a record ninth consecutive pole position on Saturday.

Verstappen, who shares the F1 record with the late Ayrton Senna, will start Sunday’s race from sixth place for Red Bull on what is widely regarded as the most challenging track for overtaking in the series.

Leclerc clinched his third pole position in four years at Monaco, where he grew up overlooking the start-finish line, bringing his total career poles to 24. “This weekend has been amazing,” Leclerc said. “Qualifying in Monaco is a crucial part of the job.”

He finished .154 seconds ahead of McLaren’s Oscar Piastri and .248 clear of Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren’s Lando Norris qualified fourth, ahead of Mercedes driver George Russell.

“I’m pleased with the lap,” Leclerc said. “I know that qualifying isn’t always everything in the race.”

Leclerc secured pole position in 2021 but was unable to start due to a gearbox issue. In 2022, he led from pole until Ferrari made a wrong decision to change his tires.

Charles Leclerc gestures after qualifying

“The team has improved a lot since then,” said Leclerc, who also led the second and third practice sessions. He is on track to break his nearly two-year winless streak, which dates back to July 2022 at the Austrian GP. “I just need to get off to a good start,” said Leclerc, who has won five F1 races in his career.

McLaren is performing well, with Norris winning the Miami GP three weeks ago and nearly catching Verstappen at the end of last weekend’s Emilia Romagna GP.

“The pace was good,” Piastri said. “We were pretty confident coming into this weekend that we could compete for pole position and win again.” However, Sainz wasn’t entirely pleased with his Ferrari.

“When you’re so close to the walls, it immediately affects your confidence,” Sainz said. “Losing control of the car in unexpected places.”

Lewis Hamilton will start from seventh place, with Yuki Tsunoda (Red Bull), Alexander Albon (Williams), and Pierre Gasly (Alpine) rounding out the top 10.

Max Verstappen gets out of his car

Some drivers had to swerve around others struggling for space on Monaco’s tight and winding 3.3-kilometer (two-mile) street circuit. Spanish veteran Fernando Alonso narrowly avoided debris just before entering the tunnel section during Q1, the first part of qualifying.

Alonso and Red Bull’s Sergio Perez failed to advance to Q2. Perez expressed frustration on race radio. His contract with Red Bull ends this season, and Red Bull has yet to confirm if he will have a seat for 2025.

Norris barely made it into Q2 but then found his rhythm. Verstappen won from pole position last year but faces tough competition to win his sixth race of the season.

Before the third practice session, he had a chat with Liverpool soccer player Virgil van Dijk while soaking up the sunshine on the rooftop of Red Bull’s motorhome.

The two Dutchmen used binoculars to admire the views, such as the fleet of massive yachts and Prince Albert’s palace overlooking the track.

Charles Leclerc signs the autographs for the fans

Perhaps they discussed the upcoming European Championship, where Van Dijk leads the Netherlands in their quest to win their first international trophy since Euro 1988.

Verstappen’s winning streak helped him secure a record 19 victories in F1 last year — surpassing his own record from 2022. He currently sits third on F1’s all-time list with 59 wins as he aims for a fourth consecutive world title.

However, Verstappen didn’t lead in any of the three practice sessions in Monaco. He was even summoned to the stewards for driving too slowly during the final session and received a warning.

Early in the third practice session, the red flag was waved after Sauber driver Valtteri Bottas brushed against a wall while exiting the swimming pool chicane. Hamilton also briefly left the track at the first turn but managed to reverse his Mercedes back onto the track.


By Brian Anderson

Hi myself Brian, I am a second-year student at Symbiosis Centre of Management Studies, Noida, pursuing a BBA degree. I am a multi-faceted individual with a passion for various hobbies, including cricket, football, music, and sketching. Beyond my hobbies, I possess a keen interest in literature, particularly fictional books, and channels my creativity into content writing. I am constantly exploring the realms of both business administration and the world of imagination through my diverse pursuits.

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