Charles Leclerc will not start the Monaco Grand Prix from pole position after finding a driveshaft problem on the way to the grid.
A crash at the end of FP3 saw Leclerc on pole position for his home race but fearing a grid penalty if his gearbox needed changing. His Ferrari team inspected the gearbox last night and again this morning and said “no apparent defects were found” after the latter checks, confirming he would start from pole as a result.
However, when the pit lane opened for cars to head to the grid, Leclerc instantly took to team radio to say: “No, no, no no. The gearbox, guys!”
Leclerc returned to the garage where Ferrari could work on the car, and the team informed the FIA that he would not be taking up his position on the grid while it attempted to fix the problem. The best he could then hope for was a pit lane start, but Ferrari soon confirmed he would not be taking part in the race at all.
“Charles will not start the race due to an issue with the left driveshaft which is impossible to fix in time for the start of the race,” a team spokesperson said.
The incident continues a dire run of results for Leclerc at his home race, where the Monegasque has yet to finish across three attempts in Formula 1 and two races in Formula 2.
The pole position slot remains empty for the race, with Max Verstappen now the lead car but starting from second on the grid.