F1 Monaco GP Qualifying LIVE! Charles Leclerc wins pole position - Updates and latest news after Perez crash

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·18-min read
F1 Monaco GP Qualifying LIVE! Charles Leclerc wins pole position - Updates and latest news after Perez crash
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F1 Monaco GP Qualifying LIVE!

Charles Leclerc put himself in a great place to reclaim the Formula One champiosnhip lead from reigning champion Max Verstappen by winning the pole for the Monaco Grand Prix.

Leclerc was already atop the leaderboard Saturday when a crash by Sergio Perez stopped the session with about 30 seconds remaining. Perez had spun his Red Bull and was blocking the track, and Carlos Sainz saw him too late to avoid hitting Perez.

Despite the contact with Perez, Sainz qualified second as Ferrari locked out the front row for Sunday's race. For Leclerc, he now must actually finish a race on his home circuit.

He won pole a year ago but was unable to start the race because of damage to his Ferrari suffered in warmup. Leclerc, winner of two of the first three races of this F1 season, lost the championship lead to Verstappen in Spain last week when Verstappen won his third consecutive race.

Verstappen will start fourth on Sunday alongside Perez, who was third-fastest before his late spin in qualifying.

Lando Norris of McLaren qualified fifth, one spot ahead of George Russell for Mercedes. Russell's teammate, seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton, qualified eighth and was unable to improve his position because of the red-flag brought out by Perez’s spin.

Fernando Alonso qualified seventh, while Sebastian Vettel and Esteban Ocon were ninth and 10th.

Keep up to date with all the track action from the streets of Monte Carlo with Standard Sport’s LIVE blog...

Monaco GP qualifying highlights

  • Q1: Tsunoda brings out red flag before Gasly drops out

  • Q2: Bottas and Ricciardo exit qualifying

  • Q3: Leclerc on pole after Perez crashes out

Qualifying report

16:50 , Marc Mayo

Thanks for joining us for today’s qualifying session coverage!

We will be back tomorrow with live updates from the Monaco Grand Prix race, which Charles Leclerc will start on pole.

Recap the action with our report from qualifying.

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

The final official timesheet

16:45 , Marc Mayo

Can Charles Leclerc end his Monaco curse?

16:35 , Marc Mayo

All’s well that ends well for Fernando Alonso

16:27 , Marc Mayo

The Alpine racer actually put his car in the barriers back up at Mirabeau as Sergio Perez was having his shunt... But he still took seventh place.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner discusses the session

16:23 , Marc Mayo

“I don’t think pole was on today, Charles was mighty so congrats to him. Both drivers could have improved a little, Max was significantly up. But it’s one of those things - Checo was on it all weekend. Disappointed not to get on the front row but we’ll fight from there.”

Carlos Sainz gives his take

16:19 , Marc Mayo

“I saw the yellow flag as I came into the corner, I had to hit my brakes. We had really good pace all day, I was building it up. It’s impossible to say [if I would have taken pole]. We are in a great position to score a result for the team, the car has been amazing all weekend.”

How it all ended up

16:17 , Marc Mayo

Charles Leclerc reacts to taking pole position

16:12 , Marc Mayo

“It is very special, I’m so incredibly happy. It’s been a very smooth weekend to now, I just had to do the job. That last lap before the red flag was really, really good. It was really on the limit, I think I was fourt-tenths faster before I stopped. It’s great to have Carlos with me on the front row.”

The crazy end to qualifying

16:09 , Marc Mayo

16:09 , Marc Mayo

Leclerc looking a little bemused as he enters the garage, the wreckage having been cleared away. Sainz tells team radio he saw yellow flags late as he headed around the blind corner and tagged Perez.

The scene of the accident

16:07 , Marc Mayo

RED FLAG!

16:05 , Marc Mayo

Perez goes off and Sainz drifts into him! Not a massive collision but that brings out the red flag... qualifying is OVER!

16:04 , Marc Mayo

Still a seven-tenths gap between Leclerc and Russell as the Brit puts his Mercedes sixth on the grid.

Traffic is getting hectic with all these cooldown laps...

16:02 , Marc Mayo

A hefty chunk of oversteer by the Casino kills Verstappen’s hot lap before it has really started. He crosses the line without any improvements having lost time on Leclerc in each sector.

Coming through behind is Norris, with what appears a sloppy lap yet it is good enough for fifth... a suggestion he can improve even further?

Five minutes left of Q3

16:01 , Marc Mayo

The current standings read Leclerc, Sainz, Verstappen, Alonso, Norris, Hamilton, Russell, Vettel, Ocon.

Very decent from the Ferrari boys with the Spanish duo of those drivers certainly pleased with their work.

Out go the Mercedes pair, who will do a warm-up and a hot lap having started the session on used Soft tyres.

15:57 , Marc Mayo

Following through are Sainz, 0.225-seconds slower, Perez, 0.253-seconds slower, and Verstappen, 0.290-seconds slower.

The battle for second is looking tight!

15:56 , Marc Mayo

A clean track in front for Leclerc as he opens Q3 with a superb 1:11.376 - half a second quicker than his Q2 hot lap!

Q3 begins!

15:53 , Marc Mayo

It’s time to decide pole position...

Leclerc leads the cars out with 12 minutes left until the final chequered flag of the day.

The bottom half of the grid is set for tomorrow’s race

15:49 , Marc Mayo

CHEQUERED FLAG!

15:46 , Marc Mayo

Ocon powers through into sixth place to drop Magnussen into the drop zone before Hamilton puts in his best lap to save himself.

Vettel lands eighth with a very strong display in the Aston Martin and Bottas goes only from 15th to 12th to miss out on Q3.

Tsunoda leads the five drop-outs from Q2, ahead of Bottas, Magnussen, Ricciardo and Schumacher.

15:42 , Marc Mayo

A hasty retreat from Leclerc as he misses a call into the weigh bridge at the start of the pit lane, and has to be scurried back by his Ferrari pit crew before entering the garage - which would have incurred a penalty.

Three-and-a-half minutes to go in Q2 as Hamilton abandons a hot lap after coming into the Nouvelle Chicane too hot. Ten drivers out on track ahead of the final big push to make the top ten.

15:38 , Marc Mayo

The halfway point of the session comes and goes as Verstappen puts in a quicker lap, yet still is almost 0.3 seconds off the lead.

Leclerc’s first sector is the best of the entire grid and, even tough there’s room to improve in sector two, he goes fastest by just under two tenths before Perez halves that deficit with a good lap.

Now seventh, Hamilton is complaining of overheating rear tyres as he needs two cooldown laps in the Monaco sunshine.

15:35 , Marc Mayo

After the early blows are traded, Perez comes out on top with a 1:12.059 before Sainz and Leclerc follow through just 0.33 seconds back.

Verstappen is almost half a second off the pace despite going faster than Leclerc’s top Q1 time, and he has Hamilton behind him in fifth.

Q2 begins!

15:31 , Marc Mayo

Back to the track and Verstappen is the first out for the 15-minute Q2, in which we will lose those placed 11th to 15th.

Meanwhile...

15:31 , Marc Mayo

In between the sessions, a quick update on Carlos Sainz - he’s been reprimanded for impeding Lance Stroll in practice earlier today and is now only a few penalty points away from a ten-place grid penalty.

15:28 , Marc Mayo

Not entirely sure how to type out Lance Stroll’s radio message after being told he is 18th there, but “ARGH!” will suffice.

Zhou Guanyu says “unbelievable” as he blames the red flag on the fact that he will start last in tomorrow’s race.

CHEQUERED FLAG!

15:23 , Marc Mayo

Hamilton, Bottas, Zhou and Gasly fail to make it through the start line in time for a fresh lap!

Norris puts himself well clear of danger to go fourth, followed by Ricciardo in ninth and Hamilton is drifting towards the drop zone as cars cross the line...

But he is SAFE with Albon missing out in 16th, ahead of Gasly, Stroll, Latifi and Zhou.

15:21 , Marc Mayo

No movement from the top five of Leclerc, Sainz, Russell, Verstappen and Sainz. And not everybody will make the flag here after a fair bit of backing up to create some space out of the pits!

Back underway

15:20 , Marc Mayo

A short break in play leaves us with two minutes and 25 seconds left to go in Q1.

Norris is the current driver at risk, sat in 15th and followed by Ricciardo, Ocon, Latifi, Tsunoda and Ocon. Get ready for a shootout.

RED FLAG!

15:16 , Marc Mayo

Tsunoda has hit the barrier!

The AlphaTauri is back in the garage looking fairly unscathed and the replay shows him clipping the barrier as he came through the nouvelle chicane out of the tunnel. It left a front-left puncture but not a huge amount of damage all told.

The session will resume at 3.20pm.

15:16 , Marc Mayo

Stroll is out in the Aston Martin after those problems earlier in the session, and his crash in practice, and is running well with 11th place despite coming rather close to a marshall’s waving flag as he came through the swimming pool.

Bottas is rock bottom behind Alfa Romeo teammate Zhou, Tsunoda, Latifi and Ocon as he pushes through a fresh hot lap.

That is ninth for the Finn before Russell goes third.

And we have a red flag!

We have a Ferrari 1-2

15:12 , Marc Mayo

From 14th and with six-and-a-half minutes left of the session, Hamilton puts in personal-best first and second sectors before squirrelling through the swimming pool chicane.

It’s a reasonable sixth place for the seven-time world champion as he crosses the line.

Coming through afterwards is Leclerc, who puts in the best first and second sectors of the entire grid to hold a 0.047-second advantage over Sainz.

15:10 , Marc Mayo

That’s better from Leclerc, his first properly clean lap is a 1:12.939 to break the 73-second barrier.

Early signs of promise from Norris, Gasly and Alonso in the battle to join the frontrunners as Russell goes eighth to slot underneath those three on the timesheet.

15:08 , Marc Mayo

“We are so much out of sequence with the others, it is dangerous,” says Leclerc after that traffic impacted his first hot lap.

He will start his next attempt from 13th as the times improve across the pack, Sergio Perez clocking a 1:13.292 before Carlos Sainz puts in a... 1:13.292. As tight as it gets!

15:07 , Marc Mayo

Just third fastest for Leclerc after his third lap with a touch of traffic perhaps catching him out in the final sector, leaving him just under six-tenths off Verstappen.

But the grip levels are fast improving as Alonso and Norris claim the top two for themselves, albeit likely briefly.

15:05 , Marc Mayo

A first lap put in by Lewis Hamilton crosses the line at 1:15.391, the quickest time before George Russell comes home over a second slower and Sergio Perez banks a 1:14.369.

A decent early marker of the gap between the Red Bull and Mercedes cars despite their improvements in Spain a week ago.

“I have no grip whatsoever,” Russell tells team radio as Max Verstappen edges quicker than Perez by less than a tenth.

15:02 , Marc Mayo

Lots of cars head out on track but Lance Stroll is not among them as Aston Martin continue final fixes on his car - the Canadian should still make it out in Q1.

The bottom five of the 20 racers will be lost in this 18-minute session.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Green light!

15:00 , Marc Mayo

Here we go... Qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix gets underway.

Traffic will be a key factor in the coming hour

14:55 , Marc Mayo

George Russell was left fuming with Sergio Perez after encountering the Red Bull at the end of his third practice hot lap. Expect more of the same in qualifying...

Hard to overstate the importance of this qualifying session

14:50 , Marc Mayo

This could prove to be the most important Saturday session of the weekend as there is no track as difficult to overtake on as Monaco.

The great and the good out in force in the paddock

14:44 , Marc Mayo

Prince Albert of Monaco is joined by Princess Charlene and American actor Patrick Dempsey ahead of the session.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Daniel Ricciardo explains FP2 shunt

14:39 , Marc Mayo

It was a sour Friday for Daniel Ricciardo who put his McLaren in the wall at the swimming pool in second practice, and he could only muster 16th in this morning’s run.

“It was strange. I think if anyone crashes there you normally see on the exit if they take maybe too much kerb in Turn 14 and then lose the car. But I already started losing the car pretty much before Turn 13," Ricciardo said.

“We pushed a little too far probably in a couple areas with the set-up. We had a good morning and obviously you try a few things for FP2 to try and maximise a bit more performance but let's say we overstepped it and you don't know until you try it.

“Obviously, it was my first lap so I couldn't really get much of a read on it obviously, it happened straight away. I tried my best to save it, but I couldn't. Obviously, we missed all of the session, but I'm okay. We'll be ready to go tomorrow.”

Weekend preview

14:35 , Marc Mayo

“Monaco tests a driver like no other track, even the most accomplished just a fraction away from a nasty prang at the most unforgiving of circuits. It is the great unknown on the calendar, a facet which has been ramped up in 2022. Teams are still getting to grips with the new regulations — and the cars they have created within those rules — and all arrived in the principality with an air of uncertainty: how best to set up their car; and quite how it will fare on the particular nuances of the tight, twisty street circuit.”

Read Matt Majendie’s preview of the weekend here.

Just over half an hour until qualifying starts!

14:27 , Marc Mayo

It’s all smiles down at Red Bull ahead of qualifying

14:22 , Marc Mayo

In fact, Vettel has had quite the time of it...

14:18 , Marc Mayo

Sebastian Vettel has detailed the ordeal of trying to chase down the thief who stole his bag after the Spanish Grand Prix.

The four-time Formula One world champion had left his backpack in his car while checking out of the hotel and emerged from reception to discover it was gone - yet he did have one method of catching the assailant.

“I was checking out in the morning from the hotel, and I had my bag in the car,” he told Friday’s press conference.

“When I quickly went back in and came back out the bag was gone. So, after a while, I realised I had my headphones in the bag, and I could locate them [on my phone].

“I found the headphones but did not find the bag, so it was not really a chase, but obviously I was a bit disappointed to lose the bag. Once I found [the headphones], they were in a flowerpot, so I guess the person who stole it knew you can be tracked.”

Read the full story.

Seb Vettel brings out the bleeper

14:12 , Marc Mayo

Lance Stroll was not the only Aston Martin driver encountering difficulties in third pratice...

Premier League footballers Mason Mount and Eric Dier soak in the Monte Carlo sun

14:06 , Marc Mayo

Max Verstappen backs longer Monaco stay

13:56 , Marc Mayo

One question that will likely be raised after the race is whether Monaco should remain on the F1 calendar.

Max Verstappen admits that the track has its foibles but is worth keeping to keep the sport’s sense of history.

He said: “If a new circuit with this layout came along now, it would not be accepted anymore, but Monte Carlo is a part of history. And this circuit has written so many stories that it deserves a place in F1.”

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Helmet cam in the Monaco tunnel... Are there many better shots in F1?

13:45 , Marc Mayo

Lewis Hamilton admits lack of optimism

13:37 , Marc Mayo

A strong Spanish Grand Prix for Mercedes is unlikely to be repeated this weekend, says Lewis Hamilton - who finished seventh in FP3.

When analysing his Barcelona turnaround on Friday morning, he said: “We weren’t expecting it, we were expecting to be close to the Ferraris and I think Charles [Leclerc’s] pace was ahead of everyone. I definitely didn’t expect to come from so far behind.

“It’s too early to say [about a title fight], we know there’s potential in the car and I think we tapped into it in the last race. This is a completely different track so I’m hoping it’s not up and down weekend in weekend out from now on, but my guess is as good as yours.

“I don’t really understand why [the slower corners] were good in the race, we seemed to be as good as others in the race but in a single lap it wasn’t that great.”

Read the full story.

Lance Stroll hits the wall

13:30 , Marc Mayo

It was not a hugely action-packed practice session in terms of barrier action, with Lance Stroll enjoying the sharpest excursion towards the end of the hour.

Practice results

13:23 , Marc Mayo

You join us after the end of the third and final practice session around Monaco with Sergio Perez putting in an impressive lap to top the timesheet.

Max Verstappen was quickest in FP1 before Charles Leclerc led yesterday afternoon’s session, and the Ferrari man enjoyed a good battle with the Mexican in the Red Bull this lunchtime.

Weather update

13:17 , Marc Mayo

Glorious sunshine is currently bathing the track ahead of the session.

Temperatures are sat at around 29ºC with very low chances of rain today - although the same cannot be said for the race..!

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

How to watch

13:08 , Marc Mayo

TV channel: Today’s session will be shown live on Sky Sports F1 and Main Event, with coverage beginning at 2pm before qualifying begins at 3pm BST.

Live stream: Sky Sports subscribers can also tune in online via the Sky Go app.

Free highlights: Channel 4 will be airing full free-to-air race highlights at 10pm this evening.

Good afternoon!

11:20 , Marc Mayo

Welcome to Standard Sport’s coverage of qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix!

Not only is this the race with the most iconic glitz and glamour of arguably the globe’s entire sporting calendar, it is also Formula One’s most pivotal qualifying session of the year.

Join us for all the build-up, track action and reaction this Saturday afternoon.

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