Exactly 30 seconds before qualifying at the Monaco GP on Saturday, Max Verstappen and rivals such as Lewis Hamilton found themselves blocked by Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz at the exit from Portier’s corner. The session there ended with Charles Leclerc awarded first place, which did not make the Dutchman happy with a missed opportunity to improve his position initially.
– We weren’t fighting for first place, but we were working on second place. On the second lap of Q3 I was faster, but suddenly two cars stopped there. It’s a pity that I’m my teammate, but it’s a pity that everyone who hits is not punished. If you already have a good first lap, and you think, “It’s OK for me to hit the wall tactically,” then it’s possible. It hurts — said the current champion, who will start fourth, behind his fellow RBR.
Max Verstappen after qualifying at Monaco GP – Photo: ANP via Getty Images
Perez lost direction at the Turn 8 exit and was left across the track a few meters from the tunnel entrance. Sainz, who complained to the racing direction for issuing a yellow flag warning of late, was unable to prevent contact with Mexican RBR.
Despite the connection, they both maintained the starting position they gained on the first few laps in the second quarter; The Spaniard will leave on Sunday alongside Leclerc, his Ferrari teammate. Perez remained in third place. The driver of the 11th car explained the accident:
The temperature on my last set of tires wasn’t very good. The second lap in Q3 was a mess. Many riders did not respect the delta, so I had very cold tires. The eighth turn was a tough one for me throughout qualifying so I tried to make it and go faster. But as soon as I stomped on the accelerator, I felt the rear tire not holding it, until I lost it. I was surprised that Carlos shocked me, but Monaco is like that.
Accident between Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz ends Monaco GP qualifying early – Photo: F1
This is not the first time that Verstappen has missed a valuable opportunity on the streets of the principality. In qualifying for 2021, Leclerc crashed in the third quarter, and despite damaging his car, he held onto the top spot.
However, he won’t even be able to start with problems with his Ferrari, as he gave the lead free to Dutch RBR.
– I wouldn’t have been pole position, Charles and Ferrari are so strong. But I would be better off than fourth. Anyway, this is Monaco, a red flag that could happen here. It’s a pity that this happened for the second year in a row – Verstappen lamented.
The base defended by the current F1 champion is in the American classes such as Formula Indy and the IMSA (Prototype Championship). There, the best lap of the driver who caused a red light in qualifying is eliminated.
Dutch head coach at RPR Christian Horner lamented the incident at the end of qualifying, but still considered the result a positive, which will keep his drivers in the second row of the grid.
– I don’t think a launch was possible today, but it’s a shame. Both riders were on their way to getting better. Max was definitely faster. But Checo will be there all weekend and we’ll start third and fourth. Perhaps time will help us. It is disappointing not to have a car in the front row, but we will fight.”
F1 Monaco GP info and schedule – Photo: Infoesporte
“Evil analyst. Explorer. Problem solver. Hardcore zombieaholic. Coffee fan. Writer. Bacon aficionado. Friendly reader.”