Monaco homecoming going 'smoothly' for Leclerc after 'one of the best laps'

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Charles Leclerc is confident hs Ferrari can secure him a maiden win at his home race, after qualifying on pole position for the Monaco Grand Prix on Saturday.

On a circuit where track position is critical, Ferrari took the front row of the grid for Sunday's race with Carlos Sainz finishing in second behind Leclerc after Q3 was halted by a red flag.

Sergio Perez hit the barrier at Portier, and Sainz could not react quickly enough to avoid a collision, when Leclerc was on track to beat his then-provisional pole time.

Ultimately, it secured the Monegasque driver top spot, and he was in high spirits afterwards following his second consecutive pole.

"I am very pleased with our overall performance so far this weekend," Leclerc said. "I felt confident in the car and started pushing a bit more in Q3. The first lap was good. I think that the second was one of the best laps I have ever done in qualifying.

"It was so much fun to drive, and I was really on the limit. I had a lot of oversteer, so the rear was quite loose. Still, I knew that the lap was coming together nicely and that felt particularly good.

"It’s a shame that I couldn’t finish it, but this is Monaco, and we know that the final attempt is always at risk of yellow or red flags. We secured pole anyway, so I am really happy.

"Whatever the conditions are tomorrow, we will start from the best place possible and will do everything to finish the weekend as smoothly as it has gone so far."

Max Verstappen finished in fourth, continuing his fight to find pace at low-speed corners from the Thursday and Friday practice sessions.

The reigning world champion finished almost three tenths of a second off Leclerc's pole time and could have been further off the pace had his rival finished his second hot lap.

"In general, my pace this weekend has been a bit of a struggle, I never really found the perfect balance," Verstappen said. "We were on for a good final lap in Q3, I was pushing to the limit on the last lap until I got to the corner, where I hit a little traffic jam.

"It was very unfortunate as I think we could have done better than fourth – not pole position, because I think that Charles is too far ahead. I think we could have at least got second place"

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