As previously announced, qualifying was the most exciting and fascinating part of the weekend in Monte Carlo.


One qualifying session was run on the cusp of thousands and hundredths of a second. In Q2 we had 15 cars within little more than nine tenths of a second. Between Norris, first, and Albon ninth, there were barely 484 thousandths of a second, with even the first four (Norris-Verstappen-Piastri-Leclerc) within 93 thousandths.

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, together with Oscar Piastri in particular, did an excellent job. The Australian confirmed he is a driver of excellent quality with the right class to make people talk about him in the near future.

Leclerc took Ferrari’s first win of the season, and he did it with a perfect race in his Monaco, perfect from the first to the last of the 78 laps. Perfect also in the two starts, managing to stay in front of an excellent Piastri, second in the McLaren. A good sign in view of Montreal, another track where overtaking is not easy.

After the first catastrophic lap, characterized by three collisions with the consequent red flag, the second start was clean, and all were very good at not making other mistakes, lapping strongly. Certainly, without variables Monte Carlo confirmed it is a Grand Prix with little to tell. Overtaking is practically impossible as was shown by the Russell-Verstappen tussle. These cars are too long and wide for the Principality’s narrow streets, but they gave us exceptional laps, just avoiding the guardrails without making mistakes. This is the beauty of Monte Carlo.

As I said before, the start was conditioned by three very different collisions.  Sergio Perez punctured his left front wheel after a collision with Oscar Piastri, rightly readmitted into the race following the red flag waved before the conclusion of the first lap.

A Red Flag caused by the incredible collision between Kevin Magnussen and the blameless Sergio Perez that also involved Nico Hulkenberg. Once again Magnussen messed it up in a big way. Luckily nobody got hurt.

The third collision, perhaps the most serious because it was between two teammates, saw Ocon and Gasly as the protagonists. As often happens, Esteban Ocon did not hold back, especially when it involves a teammate. He will rightly be penalized next weekend. Luckily for him Gasly managed to go back onto the grid, giving the team a point and tenth place.

For the first time we saw a Red Bull in difficulty, which paid the price with both Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen. Following a very small mistake in qualifying, the Dutchman could not manage to go beyond sixth place on the grid. It is a Red Bull that is suffering, and when you suffer it is easier to make mistakes.

Yuki Tsunoda was also very good, eighth across the finish line and the first of the others, after the giants Ferrari, Red Bull, McLaren, and Mercedes. Four very important points for both him and the team which consolidates sixth place on the ladder. He has singlehandedly took the team higher by nibbling four points away from Aston Martin.

Just as good was Alexander Albon, ninth across the finish line. He gave Williams their first two points of the season, leaving only Sauber.

Gian Carlo Minardi