Charles Leclerc claimed pole for the 2022 Monaco Grand Prix after a dramatic qualifying session was called off early after a crash from Red Bull’s Sergio Perez.
With overtaking virtually impossible around Monte Carlo’s twisty streets, qualifying here is the most crucial of the season and it is local boy Leclerc who takes a big advantage into Sunday’s race.
The Monagasque’s Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz will be alongside him on the front row of the grid, with Perez in third and Max Verstappen down in fourth.
World champion Verstappen holds a six-point lead over Leclerc in the title race but will have it all to do to deny the Ferrari driver a maiden win on his home circuit.
Starting grid for Monaco Grand Prix 2022
- 1st: Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
- 2nd: Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)
- 3rd: Sergio Perez (Red Bull)
- 4th: Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
- 5th: Lando Norris (McLaren)
- 6th: George Russell (Mercedes)
- 7th: Fernando Alonso (Alpine)
- 8th: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
- 9th: Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin)
- 10th: Esteban Ocon (Alpine)
- 11th: Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri)
- 12th: Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo)
- 13th: Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
- 14th: Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren)
- 15th: Mick Schumacher (Haas)
- 16th: Alex Albon (Williams)
- 17th: Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri)
- 18th: Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)
- 19th: Nicolas Latifi (Williams)
- 20th: Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo)
The Monaco Grand Prix 2022 starts at 2pm on Sunday, with UK TV coverage on Sky Sports F1
How each session played out
Q1: Qualifying opened with a dramatic opening session which was suspended with just over two minutes to go when AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda clipped the barrier at the Nouvelle Chicane.
Leclerc and his Ferrari teammate Sainz had set the pace until that point and sailed through but the red flag caught several teams cold, with Hamilton, Gasly and Zhou Guanyu all failing to make it out for another lap.
Norris, Ocon and Daniel Ricciardo all set their fastest laps after the stoppage, which condemned Gasly to 17th and Zhou to last place, although Hamilton snuck through to Q2 with the 13th fastest time.
The Williams pair of Alex Albon and Nicolas Latifi also headed back to the pits, alongside Aston’s Lance Stroll who let out a roar and several expletives over the team radio after being told he had only managed P18.
Q2: Verstappen was struggling to find his fastest form, with the two Ferraris and teammate Perez regularly ahead of him, while Hamilton wasn’t happy about Mercedes’ tactics or his car.
At the back it was the Haas pair of Mick Schumacher and Kevin Magnussen who were pushed out of the second session after Sebastian Vettel saved his best lap till last.
Bottas couldn’t repeat the German’s trick though and was elimated alongside Tsunoda, Valtteri Bottas and Ricciardo.
Meanwhile at the front there were just four tenths of a second separating the top four, with Leclerc still fastest but Perez splitting the Ferraris and Verstappen still the back marker of that leading group.
What happened in practice?
Red Bull’s Perez edged out Leclerc to finish fastest in final practice for the Monaco Grand Prix.
Home favourite Leclerc, quickest in both outings on Friday, had to settle for second in the concluding action before Saturday afternoon’s all-important qualifying session.
Perez finished 0.041 seconds ahead of Leclerc. Sainz was third in the other Ferrari, one place ahead of world champion Verstappen.
Hamilton ended Friday’s running in 12th, but the Mercedes driver improved to seventh on Saturday, albeit nine tenths back. Hamilton’s team-mate George Russell was ninth.
Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll limped back to the garage with a wounded machine when he made heavy impact with the wall after riding the kerb through the Swimming Pool chicane, while Lando Norris, battling tonsillitis this weekend, took sixth.
Additional reporting by agencies