(Reuters) – Charles Leclerc will start his home Monaco Grand Prix on pole position, Ferrari confirmed on Sunday after further checks of his car’s gearbox.
The 23-year-old crashed at the end of qualifying for the showcase race, leaving some doubt about whether he would be able to start on pole or require a new gearbox, which would trigger an automatic grid drop.
“Following further in-depth checks this morning, no apparent defects were found,” Ferrari said in a statement.
“Therefore the Monegasque driver will start today’s race from pole position, as per the qualifying result.”
Leclerc will have Red Bull’s title contender Max Verstappen alongside on the front row with Mercedes’ championship leader Lewis Hamilton lining up a distant seventh for the fifth round of the season.
Ferrari have not won a race since 2019 and the only Monegasque to win his home grand prix was Louis Chiron in 1931, long before the Formula One world championship came into existence in 1950.
Overtaking is extremely difficult on the tight and twisty harbourside street circuit, making grid position and strategy of critical importance.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Pritha Sarkar)