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F1: Bizarre Scenes As Perez And Sainz Crash To Bring End To Monaco Qualifying

F1: Bizarre Scenes As Perez And Sainz Crash To Bring End To Monaco Qualifying
By Eoin Harrington
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Charles Leclerc took the 14th pole of his F1 career after a bizarre end to qualifying in Monaco, that saw his teammate Carlos Sainz crash into the stationary Sergio Perez.

The incident came at the entry of the tunnel, as the drivers made their final fast runs in Q3. Perez first spun in to the wall, before Sainz arrived on the scene and, after slamming on the brakes, spun in sympathy and crashed into the stricken Red Bull.

The crazy incident prevented anyone from improving from their first qualifying runs, and sealed pole position for Monaco native Charles Leclerc for Ferrari.

Charles Leclerc takes pole after strange end to Monaco Grand Prix qualifying

Sergio Perez looked as though he would contend for pole position after the final F1 practice session on Saturday morning in Monaco. The Mexican driver took first place in FP3, and seemed to hint that he would be able to contend with the Ferrari cars of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.

After the first runs in the final segment of qualifying, it was advantage Leclerc after a mega lap put him almost a quarter of a second ahead of his teammate Sainz and the chasing Red Bulls of Perez and Max Verstappen.

As the drivers set out on their final runs, disaster struck at the Portier corner.

Coming into the downhill corner, Perez lost control of the rear end of his Red Bull, and slammed into the barrier at the side of the track. Sainz reacted too late, and spun the rear tyres of his Ferrari as he tried to avoid the Red Bull sitting on the edge of the track.


Sainz may be called to the F1 stewards for the accident, as the onboard camera replays appeared to show him failing to slow down when he saw yellow flags waved for the incident.

It was a bizarre incident, and saw the corner blocked as Sainz and Perez's cars took up the entire width of the track. Perez's Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen was the next car on the scene, and the defending F1 champion was prevented from setting another time to catch up to Leclerc.

The session was ended by the crash, sealing pole position for Monégasque Leclerc, with Sainz to line up in P2 and Perez P3 ahead of Verstappen.


Speaking after qualifying, Sainz explained what had happened:

Perez crashed in front of me and I was on my flying lap. I saw the yellow flag coming into the corner at turn 8. I had to hit the brakes and try to avoid him the best I could, but it's a shame.

I think so [that he could have contended for P1]. We've had really good pace all day, I was just building it up for quali. We will never know, so it's impossible to say. I was feeling good with the car today.

Amazingly, at the same time as Perez and Sainz's crash, Fernando Alonso also went into the wall at the Mirabeau corner, sliding his Alpine car straight on after locking up his tyres.

Curiously, it is the second year in a row that Charles Leclerc has taken pole at Monaco as a result of a Ferrari crash late in qualifying. Last year, Leclerc himself hit the barriers after setting the fastest time in Q3, preventing any improvements from down the fields.

Last year, the damage from the crash prevented Leclerc from starting on pole. If he is to retake the lead of the F1 championship from Max Verstappen, he will hope that his run from pole position is smoother in 2022.

With rain forecast on race day, it could be a thrilling Monaco Grand Prix.

SEE ALSO: 'Without Monaco Is Not F1' - Leclerc Keen To Keep Home Race On Calendar

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