Three cars crashed in the final minute of qualifying at the Monaco Grand Prix to leave the session in chaos with red flags waved to bring a premature end to Saturday’s action for the second year in a row.
Charles Leclerc took pole for Ferrari after his own crash in 2021 brought an early end to the qualifying session but this year saw even more chaos, with three cars involved in accidents in the final minute of the session.
Red Bull’s Sergio Perez lost control and spun in the final corner before the tunnel section of the Monaco Grand Prix, hitting the barriers rear-end first and potentially damaging his rear box – with Carlos Sainz then involved in a similar incident seconds later that saw the Ferrari collide with the stationary Red Bull.
That puts the Spaniard at risk of a reprimand as it’s unclear whether he noticed yellow flags being waved and whether he went too fast under caution, which would result in a 10-place grid penalty after already being issued three reprimands this season.
Elsewhere on the track, there was more drama in the final minute of qualifying as there was another accident that would have likely resulted in the session being ended prematurely.
Alpine’s Fernando Alonso went head-on into the barrier at Mirabeau in a frantic period of events in Monte Carlo, which is widely renowned for being extremely difficult to race around due to the extremely narrow circuit and wide Formula One cars.
Leclerc sits alongside teammate Sainz on the front row of the grid, though that could change with a penalty, with Red Bull pair Perez and Max Verstappen on the second row – with the latter not quite finding the pace he would have liked in the session.
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Verstappen currently has a narrow six-point lead in the hunt for the championship following three consecutive victories in Imola, Miami and Barcelona, though it’s Leclerc’s Ferrari that seems to be the most comfortable around the streets of Monte Carlo.
Leclerc set the fastest time in two of the three practice sessions across the weekend being putting up the fastest time in qualifying – and he could have gone even faster as he was up on his time prior to the incident that ended the session.
Further drama in Monaco is on the cards on Sunday, however, with rain forecast and that would make the notoriously difficult circuit even harder to navigate.