Ricciardo crashes to ‘confusing’ new low as paddock prays for rain: Monaco quali wrap

ali mohamed
ali mohamed28 May 2022Last Update : 2 years ago
Ricciardo crashes to ‘confusing’ new low as paddock prays for rain: Monaco quali wrap

Most F1 drivers are based in Monaco, but only one of them can claim with any authority to actually own these streets.

Charles Leclerc, the most successful Monegasque of the championship era, pressed his authority on this year’s Monaco Grand Prix with a thoroughly dominant qualifying performance.

Sergio Perez’s crash may have cut short any final challenges to his superiority, but Carlos Sainz, Max Verstappen or anyone else wouldn’t come close to having Leclerc’s local Monte Carlo knowledge combined with that car that plays so well at the track. suits.

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The only question now is whether it will be enough to overcome the curse that kept him from finishing his entire career at home.

At this point, there may be one final twist: rain is on the radar and the field is filled with desperate drivers hoping to take advantage of the only chance to pass in Monte Carlo.


For the second season in a row, Charles Leclerc had taken pole position for his home Grand Prix after a crash ended Q3 early.

Luckily for him, this year’s crash was not his.

Instead, it was Sergio Perez who threw his car into an awkward crash at Mirabeau, spinning backwards in a futile pursuit of Leclerc’s stranglehold on provisional pole.

He really shouldn’t have worried, because the Monegask was in a league of its own all afternoon.

He had once surpassed the qualifying segment before taking a lead of almost a quarter of a second in the pole shootout. His last flying lap was another 0.2 seconds higher than his best effort, and he estimated he was almost half a second higher when the red flags fluttered and forced him to abandon his lap.

Perez’s first sector was nowhere near it, and even teammate Carlos Sainz, who will join him in the front row, couldn’t hit him.

“It’s very special. I am so very happy,” Leclerc told Sky Sports about his third consecutive pole of the season.

“That last lap before the red flag was really good… it was really on the limit.

“I had quite a bit of oversteer and struggled to get the tires in the right window in the last sector because there was some traffic.

“The rear was a little loose, but the lap time came anyway and I improved quite a bit, I think I was four tenths faster before I stopped, so it was a good lap.

“It has been a very smooth weekend so far. I knew the pace was in the car, I just had to do the work and it went perfectly.”

With qualifying being more than half the battle in Monaco, Leclerc is now in the box to finally finish his home race – and he doesn’t believe in his so-called Monaco curse, having failed to complete his home race his entire racing career.

“I’m not superstitious at all,” he said. “We’ve had a smooth weekend so far and we’re starting in the best possible position for tomorrow’s race, so hopefully we’ll have a clean race tomorrow and finally have a good result at home.”



After the disappointment of being pushed out of the way three times by teammate Max Verstappen in Spain last week, Sergio Perez has made a strong recovery and is the dominant Red Bull Racing driver in Monaco.

The Mexican fought hard all weekend and was fastest in final practice on Saturday morning to warn Ferrari that he was a pole rival. In the end, Leclerc was too strong, although he was just 0.028 seconds slower than Carlos Sainz in the battle for second on the grid.

More notably, though, he qualified for Verstappen – and not only that, but completed a clean slate of the weekend by beating the Dutchman in every session so far.

His crash in late qualifying was the only blemish in his writing, and assuming no damage is found that would cost him a grid penalty when starting in the pit lane, the Perez is a good place to put his advantage in the race, thanks to the difficult overtaking.

“Since FP1, we have always been in the top three,” said Perez. “We were fastest in FP3.

“In the end I was stuck with one of the Ferraris [Leclerc] and my last Q3 lap were too cold tires.

“Overall I felt like the Ferraris were a bit ahead of this weekend, but we’ll see tomorrow. It’s a long race ahead.

“Of course, the starting position here is very important. But overall it was a very competitive weekend.”


But after last weekend’s mild unpleasantness, Perez has to wonder if he can finish ahead of Verstappen if he manages to keep third off the line for him, especially if he’s unable to challenge the Ferrari cars ahead of him and the team has little to race for.

Ahead of the weekend he was asked if he was free to race with Verstappen for wins, to which he replied: “It’s very clear – they didn’t have to say it, but it’s clear.

“I think it’s clear on my side of the garage, and within the team, otherwise I wouldn’t be here, so it’s pretty clear.”

We can find out on Sunday how clear it is quite bright.


Daniel Ricciardo needed a clean Monaco Grand Prix weekend. He doesn’t get one.

Despite McLaren admitting that Friday’s crash was more to do with an overly aggressive set-up than driver error, the time lost on track could not be recovered. Those kinds of shortages always tend to spiral in a place like Monte Carlo.

That damage was compounded by Saturday afternoon, with another painful Q2 knockout, this one a humiliating 0.7s slower than teammate Lando Norris.

There’s no sugar coating on the result, and the Australian’s shattered body language as he finally got out of the car said it all.


And in a worrisome throwback to his dark McLaren days, Ricciardo confessed that he was just not sure where his pace had gone as he was feeling optimistic on Saturday morning.

“Not really, to be honest,” he told Sky Sports when asked if during Q2 he thought he had the pace to make the shootout. “You know when it kind of comes together.”

“FP3 was just trying to kind of get into a rhythm again and get up to speed again, and then we also did some car changes for qualifying, and I think we were in a good place.

“Q1, I made some good steps [but] also a few mistakes. So I think, all things considered, it actually looked like we were there – let’s say competitive for where it was.

“And then in Q2 it’s just – you can also see from your delta, you’re just not making the gains you should with the evolution of the track and all this.”

“It just gets really hard eventually to feel where the limit is and how much more to go,” he said. ‘I don’t know what the word is. It’s frustrating.

“It’s just confusing — confusing not to take these kinds of natural steps one should do.”

Monte Carlo is no place to try and rebuild broken confidence, and without some serious luck and some dramatic weather, Sunday looks set to be another demoralizing day in Ricciardo’s renewed McLaren slump.

Photo by Clive Rose/Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images


Mercedes has fluctuated between optimistic and pessimistic about Monaco since the team left Spain buoyed by its upgrades, and qualifying performance around the Principality showed its caution was correct.

George Russell was the lead driver to qualify sixth, but he was three quarters of a second behind McLaren’s Lando Norris, leaving Mercedes firmly in midfield.

Lewis Hamilton fared worse, qualifying eighth and a further 0.4 seconds adrift. The Briton protested that Perez’s red flag cost him places but he was just 0.1s ahead of his previous record when the session was interrupted, which would not have been enough to close the 0.3s lead over Fernando Alonso. bridge.

But Russell still sees himself as within range of the right opportunity, and says his team will employ some risky strategies on Sunday, especially if it rains, to make up for ground.

“If you had told me P6 this weekend I wouldn’t have been too happy,” he said. “But I think my lap was very strong, probably one of the strongest laps I’ve done in qualifying all year.

“That’s what we need in this situation, high risk, high reward.

“We have to go for it. If we lose a P5 or a P6, that’s not ideal, but it’s not the end of the world. We want to risk everything and go for the win.

“I welcome a little rain.”

Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

And rain is the word on everyone’s lips. The skies opened up after qualifying to make the Formula 2 sprint race more exciting, and the official F1 forecast has a 60 percent chance of showers on Sunday, with weather expected to arrive around 10am and last into the early evening .

Mixed conditions are one of the few ways the Monaco Grand Prix tends to spark truly unpredictable action, and a variable prediction will be music to the ears of not only Mercedes drivers, but also the dejected Ricciardo and a few drivers who are out of place. †

Pierre Gasly is the most disappointed among them after qualifying 17 – he was perhaps a second away from setting his fastest lap in Q1 when a bizarre red flag was thrown in front of his team-mate who suffered a harmless puncture.

Valtteri Bottas also expected a lot more from the weekend, but the loss of practice time due to engine problems pushed him into qualifying, leaving him 12th in a car he believed could score important points this weekend.



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