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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Monaco Grand Prix qualifying results 2024: Leclerc confident after pole, Verstappen sixth

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc said he was “really, really happy” after taking pole position for the Monaco Grand Prix 2024, with driver standings leader and reigning world champion Max Verstappen settling for sixth on the grid.

Home driver Leclerc beat McLaren’s Oscar Piastri by 0.154 seconds, Ferrari team-mate Carlos Sainz claiming third.

“Past qualifying is not everything,” cautioned Leclerc. “As much as it counts, we need to put everything together coming the Sunday.

“In past years, we did not manage to do it. But we are a stronger team now and I am sure we can achieve the target.

“The feeling after a qualifying lap is always very special here. I’m really, really happy… the excitement is so high and it feels really good.”

Red Bull’s Verstappen, who holds a 48-point advantage over Leclerc, had been third before hitting the wall at Sainte Devote on his final lap.

Verstappen’s team-mate, Sergio Perez, is third in the standings but will start in 18th after being knocked out in the first qualifying session.

“It’s a very painful day for myself and my team,” Perez told Red Bull. “There’s a lot we’ve got to learn. [We want to] understand and keep improving because the season is very long.

“We just have to be ‘head-down’ and wait for opportunities, if they are to come. It’s going to be very difficult to make any progress but we’ll see what we are able to do.”

McLaren’s Lando Norris took fourth, immediately ahead of George Russell, whose Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton – the lap record-holder on the circuit – was seventh.

“It was just so close,” observed Norris. “Of course, we would have loved to have been one or two positions higher – especially here, where overtaking is so difficult.

“But I’m happy with it and we’re in a good place. It’s a good job by the team for Oscar to be in P2. We’ve got a good team result and we’ll try to maximise it.”

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