Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc Vehemently Denies Crashing Deliberately to Secure Monaco GP Pole

Published 05/22/2021, 11:18 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc FIA/Handout via REUTERS


Charles Leclerc produced the fastest lap of this race weekend yet to take pole position for Sunday’s race. However, it wasn’t a smooth ride as he crashed his Ferrari during his last possible flying lap in the final minute of Q3, bringing out the red flag.

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This denied the others an opportunity to have a crack at the pole position. So, the first thing that came to everyone’s mind as soon as he crashed was – Did he do it on purpose?

“If I was doing it on purpose, I would have done it a less bit hard!” Leclerc made his stance clear in the post-qualifying presser.

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This brought back memories of 2014 when Nico Rosberg supposedly intentionally went off at Monaco. Back then, he also brought out the red flag in the dying moments of the final qualifying session while sitting on pole. This had stopped his Mercedes rival, Lewis Hamilton, from dislodging him.

Coming back to the current weekend, Leclerc was at the risk of being overtaken by Max Verstappen for pole. The Red Bull driver was purple in sector one and Leclerc’s shunt in the middle sector prevented him from completing his flying run or, as a matter of fact, having a go once again.

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Charles Leclerc worried about a 5-place grid penalty

That was a massive shunt. At first glance, it looked like his Ferrari had suffered healthy damage to the rear where the gearbox is located. Even he admitted, “For now I’m worried about the rear of the car, I hope it’s OK, but it doesn’t look OK.”

Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – May 22, 2021 The car of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc is recovered after he crashed in qualifying Pool via REUTERS/Sebastien Nogier

Should his gearbox need replacing, it could incur him a five-place drop on the grid for the race. Meaning that after taking pole and showing his impressive pace, he still starts the race in 6th position. On a track where it’s virtually impossible to overtake, that would be detrimental to his chances.

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Bharat Aggarwal

755 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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