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Official Ticketing: Stay tuned for the 2025 Opening Sales       –       Formula 1 Grand Prix de Monaco 2024 : Relive this 81st edition

81st Formula 1 Grand Prix de Monaco
23 - 26 May 2024
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F1 Qualifying: Leclerc on pole after a masterclass

Charles Leclerc really wanted this pole position for the 81stFormula 1 Grand Prix de Monaco. The Monegasque achieved it after a masterclass in qualifying, on Saturday, in his Ferrari. He will be the great favourite at 3pm on Sunday in this prestigious race that he has never yet won.

Since free practice on Friday, everything has been falling into place. Best time in the 2nd session, beating Max Verstappen’s sensational pole position of 2023, Charles continued his preparation work early on Saturday afternoon, again finishing at the top of the timesheet. But there was still room for doubt, as the Dutchman, a three-time reigning world champion, was only two-tenths off the Monegasque.

The qualifying session, which was eagerly awaited by an enthusiastic crowd, allowed Leclerc to build up his pace slowly but surely, while one elimination followed another. Starting with Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) and Sergio Pérez (Red Bull), who were ruthlessly ejected in Q1. There were still two Alpines in the race, but Esteban Ocon didn’t see Q3, while his compatriot Pierre Gasly, who set a sensational 5th fastest time in Q2, boosted the morale of the Franco-English team in one fell swoop. At that point, ten drivers were within half a second of each other, having all done better than Verstappen’s pole in 2023.

An amazing Q3

Q3 was sumptuous, as expected, with ten drivers at the top of their game, capable of going very fast without breaking anything. Leclerc set the first reference time of 1:10.418, ahead of Piastri, Verstappen and Sainz, before everyone returned to the pits for a mini-break, giving the spectators a chance to catch their breath.

Then came the grand finale, the last attempt, the final lap of an extraordinary session, concluded by the long-awaited pole of the local hero, in 1:10.270. Just one tenth off the absolute record set at Circuit de Monaco in 2019 by a Lewis Hamilton who was then on another planet (1:10.166), in a Mercedes team at the height of its domination of F1.

250th pole for Ferrari 

For the scenario to be perfect, a round number was needed: it was the 250th pole position for a Ferrari in F1 since 1950, and it made Charles Leclerc the second most successful Ferrari driver in this very special qualifying exercise, with 24 pole positions in all. That’s one more than the legendary Niki Lauda for the Scuderia, and far fewer than the unrivalled Schumi (58 for Ferrari, out of a total of 68).

Behind two mixed front rows, Leclerc-Piastri and Sainz-Norris, at 3pm on Sunday, there will be a Mercedes (Russell) on the third row, alongside a Red Bull (Verstappen), and three surprise guests around Hamilton (7thfastest today): Yuki Tsunoda (8th) in his Racing Bull, Alex Albon (9th) in his Williams and Pierre Gasly (10th) in his Alpine. That’s seven teams out of ten represented at the top of the grid, so that all the fans can be happy. We cannot wait for Sunday!

Qualifying Session Classification

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