After eventual pole-sitter Charles Leclerc crashed into the barrier in the closing seconds of qualifying for the FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX DE MONACO 2021, Max Verstappen was left frustrated, having to settle for second place on the grid after the session was red-flagged while he was on his final flying lap.
It could have been worse for the Dutchman, who will still be on the front row in the all-important drag race to the first corner.
Front Row Start For Max Verstappen
Although he was frustrated, Max Verstappen was still satisfied with being able to start on the front row. He will also await news of the repairs to Leclerc’s car, to see if he will move up owing to any gearbox or engine issues that may cause a penalty for the Ferrari driver.
“Qualifying around here is a lot of fun. I did a decent first lap in Q3 but the tyres weren’t quite in the window and I knew it was going to come down to the last run. My last lap felt really good as I was going into the tunnel, but because of the red flag I couldn’t finish it which was frustrating as I felt so comfortable in the car and I knew pole position was on. Obviously Charles is driving very well so I knew it would be tight but everyone back at the factory and here at the track has done an amazing job to get the car to where it is now, especially after we struggled so much on Thursday. I think it’s been a very good weekend so far, we recovered well from practice and we’re starting on the front row tomorrow, which is the most important thing in Monaco, so it’s not too bad. I can be quite happy with second after that red flag and now we just need to finish off the job tomorrow!” said Verstappen.
Poor Qualifying Performance For Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez had a terrible day out during qualifying, and will start from P9, making it very difficult for the Mexican to challenge for the podium.
His first flying run was compromised by traffic going into Rascasse, and he also fell victim to the session being red flagged.
“I was making good progress throughout qualifying and then in Q3, the session I thought was going to be the smoothest, turned into the worst one. Things got really messy and it just didn’t come together. We seemed to go backwards and we didn’t make the progress we hoped or expected to. I was struggling a lot with the dropping temperatures so we changed our approach going into the final session and it just made it worse, and then on my final Q3 run I got traffic in the last sector so I lost the lap. We know how important qualifying is here in Monaco but we’ll try and do the best possible job we can to recover tomorrow,” added Perez.
Delight For Christian Horner
With his Dutch flyer on the front row and title rival Lewis Hamilton down in P7, Horner was disappointed his team missed out on pole, but was delighted with the opportunity in front of his team in the race tomorrow.
“It’s obviously slightly frustrating not to be on pole and Max was on a mighty final lap, two and a half tenths up on his best and up on Leclerc, but unfortunately with the red flag we were unable to see the end of it. Our glass is half full rather than half empty though and to be on the front row in Monaco with Lewis in P7 is hugely important for the championship fight, so we will focus on the positives rather than the negatives. Sergio was just missing that last bit of confidence and was badly compromised in Q3, with three cars ahead of him at Rascasse costing him quite a bit of time. We all know he can hook it up around here and I’m sure he will have good pace in the race, but as we know it’s hard to make progress through the field so he will have a busy afternoon. There is a real opportunity to make an impact on the championship tomorrow and we have to make the most of that. So now it’s down to a good start and then it’s all to play for,” concluded Horner.