Leclerc does not shy away from his pleasure

Leclerc does not shy away from his pleasure

Find the drivers’ reactions at the end of the qualifying session for the Monaco Grand Prix, dominated by Charles Leclerc ahead of Oscar Piastri and Carlos Sainz Jr.

Charles Leclerc (MCO/Ferrari) – Pole position

” It was nice. The feeling after a qualifying round is always very special here. I’m really happy with this round, the excitement is at its peak. I feel really good, but I know from experience now that qualifications are not everything. Even though they are very useful for the race, we will still have to put everything together tomorrow (Sunday). In previous years we have not succeeded. But we are a stronger team, in a better position, and I am confident that we can achieve great things. Victory will obviously be my goal. I’ll need to get off to a good start. I hope Carlos Sainz Jr can follow me and get behind me. If we are first and second we can control the race as a team, that would be the ideal scenario. But no matter what happens, we absolutely have to bring home the victory. »

Oscar Piastri (AUS/McLaren) – 2nd

“If we take the second half of my first lap of Q3 and the first half of the second, that would have been enough for pole. But I made a few small mistakes at the end, and Charles Leclerc was incredibly fast all weekend, so bravo to him. I didn’t think I would be this close to him and it’s good to be on the front line. The weekend is good in terms of dynamics. A good start can only help us. If you can take the lead, it’s pretty easy to control the race on this circuit. This will be my first objective and, if not, it will take a good strategy. I want to be optimistic, but it won’t be easy to overtake here. We will do our best, we are starting from a good position and we can hope to have a good day tomorrow (Sunday). »

Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP/Ferrari) – 3eme

“It’s a progression for me because I suffered throughout the weekend, with little confidence in the car. So it’s a step up from being third. I’m not entirely satisfied because I would have liked to fight for pole but Charles Leclerc did an exceptional job. The car was great all weekend and he got the most out of it, so I’m happy for him. Yesterday (Friday) I looked very fast on the long runs but struggled on the shorter runs this weekend. We will have to understand why but I am confident of having a good pace for the race. Grid position is important and it’s not the best place, but anything can happen in Monaco, as always. We will give our best, but the priority will be to win with Charles tomorrow (Sunday). »

Lando Norris (GBR/McLaren) – 4th

“It was difficult, as always here in Monaco. It’s a chaotic track, there’s a lot going on, and the closer you are to crashing, the closer you are to the limit. As soon as you cross the line, there’s a lot of adrenaline, and you feel like it’s over. We want to reach that point where we’re piloting, where we’re comfortable with the level of fear and risk, and it’s by being comfortable with that that we do the best work. All weekend Ferrari have been very fast, because they are the best in the slow corners. So it was beyond our expectations, and to be in front of Red Bull Racing, in front of Mercedes, it shows that we are strong, and it’s a good sign for us. »

George Russell (GBR/Mercedes) – 5eme

“I’m very satisfied, it was difficult yesterday (Friday), I didn’t have a good feeling and I had huge vibrations on the car. Those two things together are not what you want in Monaco, but the car came to life during qualifying and it was very close, 20 thousandths from third place. Two places better on the grid would have been a big advantage to succeed in doing what we want. But the most important thing is that the team worked very hard to bring developments ahead of schedule. The team is working hard at the factory, and the mechanics worked really hard last night to try to remove these vibrations from the car. There is a lot of work everywhere, and this result proves that we are making progress. »

Max Verstappen (PBS/Red Bull Racing) – 6eme

” It’s like that. We have to try everything here but I don’t think we could have taken Charles Leclerc’s time. But the Top 3 was possible. We have a very difficult car to drive here, we managed to calm it down compared to yesterday (Friday) but several corners give us problems and do not allow us to get the last tenths. 6th is not great for tomorrow (Sunday), let’s hope for a somewhat lively race up front but Ferrari and McLaren have great pace. If it’s a simple race, there’s not much you can do. The cars are so wide and big that you can’t overtake. We will try to stay with them. We don’t have the fastest car. I’m not disappointed with our position, I’m disappointed with our performance. This was not a surprise to me because I knew our limits this weekend. It was bad. I can’t take any vibrators. It was very difficult for us. I felt really comfortable in high speed corners, at least it was nice, but at low speed we lose too much, where it’s bumpy and the car jumps. »

Pierre Gasly (FRA/Alpine) – 10eme

“I am very happy to have reached Q3 for the first time this year today (Saturday). I took a lot of risks and hit the wall one too many times, but you have to take your chances in qualifying in Monaco. In the end, I’m happy with the result even though we could have done better. We had to work hard yesterday (Friday) and the team at the Enstone simulator did a great job trying out a few things and suggesting changes to improve the car. We know that Monaco is a circuit full of opportunities and we have put ourselves in a position to score points tomorrow. A long race awaits us and we will have to prepare for different scenarios with the objective of leaving with points for the team. »

Esteban Ocon (FRA/Alpine) – 11th

“This day was very intense in Monaco and I have clearly mixed feelings for my part. There are positives because we have made good progress with the car to really be in contention for the top ten in qualifying. We got through Q1 comfortably, but I made a mistake on my fastest lap in Q2 by locking a wheel in the first corner. This probably costs us a place in Q3. We had the pace and I looked for the limits to optimize what we had in our hands and then mistakes can happen. We start close to the points and Monaco always offers opportunities. We will give everything from the start with the ambition of scoring points for the team. »

Sources: official Formula 1 interviews, Canal+, Sky Sports

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