Leclerc rues missed 1-2 despite ‘amazing’ pole

Image by Andy Hone/LAT

Leclerc rues missed 1-2 despite ‘amazing’ pole

Formula 1

Leclerc rues missed 1-2 despite ‘amazing’ pole


Charles Leclerc said his pole position at the Italian Grand Prix feels “amazing” but believes Ferrari should have had a 1-2 result at Monza.

Sebastian Vettel will start from fourth on the grid despite being quickest in final practice, with the German one of those drivers unable to start their final laps in Q3 after a farcical end to the session. Leclerc was already on provisional pole before the final attempts and so secured his second pole in succession on his first Ferrari appearance at Monza, but feels the Scuderia could have locked out the front row.

“Obviously the feeling I got when I went out of the car, hearing the crowd cheer so loud, is absolutely amazing,” Leclerc said. “On the other hand a bit of a shame for the team, Seb couldn’t do his second timed lap; he was very quick.

“I felt like a 1-2 was an opportunity even though these two guys (Mercedes) were extremely quick and it was very, very close. The whole qualifying was a big mess with all the slipstreaming and having the best one. But very happy with this pole position.”

With only Carlos Sainz and Leclerc crossing the line to start their final runs after a number of drivers slowed dramatically to try and get better track position for a slipstream, the pole sitter says his role was actually to give Vettel a tow but that there was no way for both cars to start their laps.

“To be completely honest, the plan was that, in the first run, Seb was giving me the tow and in the second run, I will give him the tow. So, I actually went out of the box in front of him, and then there was the huge mess after Turns 1 and 2 and the McLaren and a Renault – I don’t know whoever that was – they stopped in the middle of the track and we had nowhere to go.

“Seb overtakes me there, because of the mess, because obviously we were aware it was quite tight on time, and then I stayed behind Seb until the last straight where I heard on the radio, ‘You can overtake Seb,’ so I overtook him – but I had no time for me either to start the lap. It was a shame – but I don’t think I could have done much more.”

Vettel is under investigation over leaving the track and gaining a lasting advantage in Q2, while Nico Hulkenberg, Carlos Sainz and Lance Stroll have all been summoned to the stewards for driving unnecessarily slowly at the start of the final runs in Q3.