Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Monza, 2022

Leclerc took “much more risks” on Monza pole lap to beat Verstappen

2022 Italian Grand Prix

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Charles Leclerc said he had to take more risks through the two Lesmo corners in order to find an advantage over Max Verstappen.

Leclerc did not get a tow from team mate Carlos Sainz Jnr during his final Q3 run as the two Ferraris did not end up out on track together due to being split by Lando Norris. Consequently, both drivers said they took extra risks in order to post competitive lap times for pole.

Leclerc, who emerged the with the fastest time in qualifying with a 0.145s advantage over Verstappen, described secured pole at Monza as “amazing”.

“It wasn’t an easy qualifying session,” he said. “I knew there was quite a lot of potential in the car but didn’t put everything together.

“I knew that in this last lap in Q3 I had to put everything together and I managed to do it. So I’m very happy with the lap, very happy with the performance, it’s been a great weekend up until now,” continued Leclerc. “The feeling with the car is amazing and I really hope that we can do just like 2019 tomorrow.”

To explain how he had found time on his pole lap, particularly through the Lesmos, Leclerc said he “just took much more risks.”

“It was the last lap and I knew I had to find quite a lot of performance there and I just went for it and it worked out,” he explained.

Leclerc’s team mate Carlos Sainz Jnr was also positive about his qualifying, calling it “honestly a very good quali session.”.

“I was feeling very well and was pushing flat out in Q1, Q2. In Q3 the only issue is that I didn’t have a tow and this probably cost me those two, three tenths to battle for pole position.”

However, Sainz has a grid penalty for power unit parts replacement which means he will not start where he qualified, in third. “I’m starting last anyway tomorrow so it’s not like it changes my life,” the Ferrari driver said. “But yes, very good lap, I had to take a lot of risks to compensate for the lack of tow, I was quicker in every corner but slower in every straight so in the end I couldn’t improve much.”

Having to be relegated to the back of the grid at Ferrari’s home race was painful, Sainz said. “I’m not going to lie, it hurts to be starting at the back tomorrow especially with how competitive the car is this weekend, how good I’m feeling [about] the car, especially after quali and to know that I’m starting at the back.

“I will do my best and I’ll try to put on a good show and make my way back through the field because the pace is there, but I wish I could be there at the front with Charles.”

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2022 Italian Grand Prix

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Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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4 comments on “Leclerc took “much more risks” on Monza pole lap to beat Verstappen”

  1. He just had a tow. Verstappen and Sainz didn’t. Having a tow was the way to go.

    1. Did you read the article?

      1. Yes, he says he doesn’t have a tow. Well, he does have a tow. Check his telemetry vs Sainz 5km faster on the straights. You can see it on his pole video assuming you are using your eyes.

  2. Hmm this worries me. He better not have another off tomorrow when he’s leading again.

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