Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Monaco, 2022

Leclerc heads all-Ferrari front row in Monaco after Perez-Sainz crash blocks track

2022 Monaco Grand Prix qualifying

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Charles Leclerc will start his home grand prix from pole position for the second year in succession ahead of team mate Carlos Sainz Jnr.

The Ferrari drivers will start ahead of the Red Bulls of Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen after Perez crashed at Portier on his final flying lap, resulting in a crash with Sainz that left the track blocked and effectively ended the session.

Lando Norris will start fifth for McLaren, ahead of George Russell and Fernando Alonso, who also crashed at Mirabeau in the closing minutes.


After the three practice sessions had all taken place under clear skies and bright sunshine over the city of Monte Carlo, the clouds had drifted over by the time the green light at the end of the pit lane signalled the start of the first phase of qualifying.

Sergio Perez was the first of the Red Bulls to set a lap time, posting a 1’14.369 to go quickest, but was immediately pipped by team mate Max Verstappen, who went 0.074s quicker. Fernando Alonso briefly jumped to the top of the standings with his first flying lap of the hour, before Perez improved to reclaim the fastest time by just over a tenth.

Carlos Sainz Jnr set an identical lap time to Perez to go second quickest, before Leclerc moved into the 1’12s for the first time with a 1’12.939. He later improved by just under four tenths, with Sainz also going faster to go second.

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri, Monaco, 2022
Unlucky Gasly was eliminated
With five minutes remaining, the drop zone consisted of two Aston Martins of Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel, the two Alfa Romeos of Zhou Guanyu and Valtteri Bottas, plus Nicholas Latifi’s Williams, with Yuki Tsunoda at risk of elimination in 15th. Stroll moved himself to 11th, knocking Tsunoda into the drop zone. Latifi also improved to go 16th, but that left him still at risk of elimination.

Vettel bettered his time too, moving Esteban Ocon’s Alpine and Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren down into the drop zone in 16th, just behind team mate Lando Norris. Then, with two-and-a-half minutes remaining, the session was stopped when Tsunoda clipped the inside barrier at the Nouvelle Chicane, causing an immediate puncture to his left-front tyre and knocking the barrier slightly out of alignment. Tsunoda was able to recover to the pits and the barrier was soon fixed.

Once the session resumed, a large queue of cars formed at the end of the pit lane as the field looked to get one final lap in before time expired. Due to the queue, Pierre Gasly, Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu all missed starting a lap before the chequered flag flew. For the luckless Gasly, whose team mate had triggered the red flag, the lights turned from green to red mere tenths of a second before he reached the line.

Ocon, Ricciardo and, ironically, Tsunoda all improved by enough to move them out of the drop zone and into safety, but at the cost of Alex Albon and Gasly who all fell into the bottom five, with Gasly unable to improve his own time after missing the opportunity. Stroll was also eliminated in 18th – much to his disgust – with Latifi knocked out in 19th and Zhou last in 20th, having also been unable to set a final lap time after the red flag.

Q1 result

116Charles LeclercFerrariF1-751’12.5699
255Carlos Sainz JnrFerrariF1-751’12.6160.0479
363George RussellMercedesW131’12.7870.21811
431Esteban OconAlpine-RenaultA5221’12.8480.27911
54Lando NorrisMcLaren-MercedesMCL361’12.9270.35812
61Max VerstappenRed BullRB181’12.9930.4249
711Sergio PerezRed BullRB181’13.0040.4359
820Kevin MagnussenHaas-FerrariVF-221’13.0690.50011
922Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Red BullAT031’13.1100.54110
105Sebastian VettelAston Martin-MercedesAMR221’13.3130.74412
113Daniel RicciardoMcLaren-MercedesMCL361’13.3380.76912
1214Fernando AlonsoAlpine-RenaultA5221’13.3940.82511
1344Lewis HamiltonMercedesW131’13.4440.87512
1447Mick SchumacherHaas-FerrariVF-221’13.4690.90010
1577Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo-FerrariC421’13.5410.9729
1623Alexander AlbonWilliams-MercedesFW441’13.6111.04214
1710Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Red BullAT031’13.6601.09110
1818Lance StrollAston Martin-MercedesAMR221’13.6781.10911
196Nicholas LatifiWilliams-MercedesFW441’14.4031.83413
2024Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo-FerrariC421’15.6063.0379

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The second session began with intense competition likely over earning a place in the third and final phase of qualifying. Red Bull and Ferrari did not waste time, heading out onto the circuit to set their first lap times of the session.

Perez was the quickest of the four, less than half a tenth of a second ahead of the Ferraris of Sainz and Leclerc behind him. Verstappen’s first effort was only good enough for fourth, almost half a second behind his team mate.

Leclerc then jumped to the top of the standings with the fastest overall time of the weekend, breaking into the 1’11s for the first time with a 1’11.864. However the Ferrari driver failed to spot he was summoned to stop at the FIA weighbridge his return to the pits, and his mechanics had to push his car back up the pit lane for his car to be weighed.

With five minutes remaining, the drop zone consisted of Kevin Magnussen, Valtteri Bottas, Yuki Tsunoda, Daniel Ricciardo and Mick Schumacher slowest in 15th having not yet set a truly representative time. Ricciardo improved, but not by enough to move him out of the drop zone. Magnussen moved out of danger, but team mate Schumacher could only manage 13th, sealing his elimination.

Ocon and Vettel had both fallen into the drop zone but manged to go quicker on their final laps, dropping Tsunoda and Magnussen out of the session. Bottas improved on his final lap, but his effort was only good enough to jump from 15th to 12th, and the Alfa Romeo driver was also knocked out at the chequered flag.

Vettel, Russell and Alonso just squeezed through into the top ten to secure their places in the final shoot-out for pole position.

Q2 result

116Charles LeclercFerrariF1-751’11.86418
211Sergio PerezRed BullRB181’11.9540.09018
355Carlos Sainz JnrFerrariF1-751’12.0740.21020
41Max VerstappenRed BullRB181’12.1170.25318
54Lando NorrisMcLaren-MercedesMCL361’12.2660.40220
631Esteban OconAlpine-RenaultA5221’12.5280.66417
744Lewis HamiltonMercedesW131’12.5950.73122
85Sebastian VettelAston Martin-MercedesAMR221’12.6130.74921
963George RussellMercedesW131’12.6170.75320
1014Fernando AlonsoAlpine-RenaultA5221’12.6880.82417
1122Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Red BullAT031’12.7970.93320
1277Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo-FerrariC421’12.9091.04517
1320Kevin MagnussenHaas-FerrariVF-221’12.9211.05720
143Daniel RicciardoMcLaren-MercedesMCL361’12.9641.10021
1547Mick SchumacherHaas-FerrariVF-221’13.0811.21717

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Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Monaco, 2022
Perez’s crash brought proceedings to a stop
The most important 12 minutes of qualifying of the entire season got underway with Monaco’s own Charles Leclerc leading the field out of the pit lane ahead of the two Mercedes of Hamilton and Russell, with Sainz behind them. Sainz was told he would be going for an immediate push lap, rather than a preparatory lap, meaning he would have to pass Russell during his flying lap.

Leclerc’s first effort was a 1’11.376, with Sainz unable to match his team mate, two tenths slower with his first lap of the session. Then it was the Red Bulls’ turn to put in their first flying laps, with Perez yet again quicker than Verstappen, but the pair both unable to match Leclerc’s provisional pole time and having to settle for third and fourth.

After a preparatory lap, the Mercedes of Hamilton and Russell could only manage sixth and seventh, respectively. The pair were beaten by Norris in the McLaren, who took fifth place after his first lap, until he was beaten by Alonso, who went two tenths quicker than Norris’s first time.

With five minutes remaining, Red Bull sent out Verstappen to take advantage of a clear track on a fresh set of soft tyres. But a poor first sector saw him drop two tenths to Leclerc, before failing to even improve on his own first lap by the time he had crossed the finish line. Meanwhile, both Norris and Russell improved to jump ahead of Alonso.

Leclerc was unhappy to be behind the two Mercedes for his final effort, but managed to give himself enough space to start his lap. However, he would not finish his lap after Perez spun at Portier and was collected by Sainz who rounded the corner directly behind him.

The accident left the track completely blocked approaching the tunnel and the session was unsurprisingly stopped with a red flag. In a separate incident, Alonso crashed his Alpine into Mirabeau, leaving his car nose-first into the barriers.

That secured Leclerc his fourth consecutive pole position and his second in a row at his home grand prix. Sainz will line up alongside his team mate in an all-Ferrari front row, with Perez ahead of Verstappen on the second row.

Norris will start fifth for McLaren, ahead of Russell’s Mercedes in sixth. Alonso starts ahead of Hamilton in seventh, with Vettel and Ocon completing the top ten.

Q3 result

116Charles LeclercFerrariF1-751’11.37624
255Carlos Sainz JnrFerrariF1-751’11.6010.22525
311Sergio PerezRed BullRB181’11.6290.25325
41Max VerstappenRed BullRB181’11.6660.29025
54Lando NorrisMcLaren-MercedesMCL361’11.8490.47327
663George RussellMercedesW131’12.1120.73627
714Fernando AlonsoAlpine-RenaultA5221’12.2470.87122
844Lewis HamiltonMercedesW131’12.5601.18429
95Sebastian VettelAston Martin-MercedesAMR221’12.7321.35628
1031Esteban OconAlpine-RenaultA5221’13.0471.67122

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2022 Monaco Grand Prix

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Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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18 comments on “Leclerc heads all-Ferrari front row in Monaco after Perez-Sainz crash blocks track”

  1. The ending was slightly funny as a rival team driver guaranteed a Ferrari pole via late red this time around, albeit the red for Tsunoda’s barrier contact was unnecessary.
    Ricciardo, I don’t know how to feel about his situation anymore.

    1. Leclerc just takes another majestic pole on home soil. Enjoy it.

  2. Whoever predicted someone would bin it in qualifying…. I thought it would be someone outside Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes… But when I saw Perez, I could not hold the laughter after what happened last season here and the amount of memes of Monaco incidents in qualifying… It’s almost like it’s guaranteed already..

  3. Why do I still feel like we will end up with a RB 1-2 come Sunday? I hope Ferrari hold it together. There won’t be many better opportunities to outscore Verstappen this year.

    Meanwhile the rub of the green still eludes Lewis. He could have done with another crack at a decent lap.

    1. LOL! Lewis just can’t get a break can he.

      He just needs to realise that it’s just like 2011 – but at least he’s not crashing into everyone this time.

  4. The Skeptic (@)
    28th May 2022, 16:47

    The second lap of Q3 is very accident prone. With a banker in place, drivers unleash…. And overstep the limit.

    This time it was Perez and Alonso. Both incidents were enough to cause a red flag.

    I wonder about Mercedes. Why did they send the cars out on used tyres for the first run? As a result of the red flag Hamilton missed out on his new tyre run on Q3. Wouldn’t it be smarter at Monaco to use the new tyre to get the best time on the first time of asking?

    1. Anon A. Mouse
      28th May 2022, 16:58

      They were trying a prep/push strategy through qualifying up until that point, which never really paid off for them. In the final run it was a lap 1 push. Hamilton made a mistake or two and ultimately backed out, effectively turning his final run into a prep/push.

  5. Sainz crashed into Perez 5 seconds later. Did he missed a yellow flag or was there no yellow on time?

    1. @seth-space Yellow appeared on the light panel too late for him to reach & avoid contact.

  6. Isn’t Perez outqualified angry Max more than usual this season. Either Max is doing little errors in his fast laps or Perez is just being faster.

    1. Noframingplease (@)
      28th May 2022, 18:09

      Yeah, he better be, otherwise the Lewis fans are the first to say that car is build around Max and it is the knly reason way he wins. Last year it was 20/2 for Max. I think you’r celebrating a bit to early. I may wake me up when Perez wins 60% of the qualy’s. Oh,… and besides, it would be great if he does.

    2. Wrong.
      Qualifying battle between Verstappen and Perez is currently 5 against 2, after Monaco.

  7. Fer sent to back row due to fuel flow limit violation during qualifying.

    Aprils fools

  8. I think we’ll see Max start second. RB will take a penalty for Perez and I’m sure Christian’s on the phone pleading for a Sainz penalty for yellow flag. They got one last year.

    1. Agreed.

    2. If SAI gets a penalty, PER definately should be disqualified. Not to think about crashing on purpose would be insane.

    3. @jimfromus Nothing can realistically get a penalty for Perez, while Sainz couldn’t have done anything differently, given yellows appeared too late for him to react & avoid in time, so nothing penalty-worthy.

  9. Checo really degraded RedBull’s and himself’s chances here. Not only did he help Ferrari block the front row but also one of the arguments Horner had, considering the budget gap was that his drivers are not crashing and well… he crashed out pretty hard.

    He would still get P3 but now it’s Max behind him and if he is slower he is gonna lose his position to team orders.

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