Ferrari F1 driver Charles Leclerc claimed a dominant pole position for his home race at the 2022 Monaco Grand Prix. The Monegasque driver looked in imperious form topping all three parts of the weekend’s qualifying session.
The session however was cut short as second and third-placed drivers Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez crashed towards the end of the season, meaning that Q3 was cut short by a little over 30 seconds. The biggest losers of the melee were championship leader Max Verstappen and Mercedes man Lewis Hamilton with both drivers failing to improve on their previous lap time and are now forced to start fourth and eighth respectively.
With Monaco being notorious for its lack of overtaking opportunities the pit strategy employed by the teams will be crucial in ensuring both the driver and car are able to maximize their results.
What are Pirelli saying?
Pirelli have opted to bring their softest compound tires for the weekend with the C5 serving as the soft, the C4’s as the medium, and the C3’s as the hardest compound of the weekend.
Given the radically different cars in 2022 the Italian tyre brand predicts a one-stopped as the way to go, however, given the drastically different nature of the circuit, Pirelli does believe the window to make said stop is a large one.
“Monaco is often described as one of the most unpredictable races of the year, but the truth is that qualifying takes on a particular significance as track position is key here,” Pirelli’s Motorsport Director Mario Isola said.
“As a result of that, understanding how to maximise the softest C5 compound – which has only raced at one event so far this year, in Australia – will be a vital part of free practice.
“With the previous rule requiring drivers to start the race on their fastest Q2 tyre now abolished, we might see some different strategies this year, with some drivers picking harder compounds to begin the race to target running a long first stint, given the difficultly of overtaking.
“Others may choose a more traditional approach by starting on the softest compound, at a race where strategy can make a real difference.
The probability of rain
The weather report indicates that there is a high chance of the Monaco Grand Prix being a damp if not wet event. This means that the aforementioned strategies go out the window with the drivers no longer required to follow protocol by using two different tire compounds over the duration of the race.
With the Monaco Grand Prix’s future in doubt, a wet event could be a blessing in disguise for what is one of F1’s oldest Grand Prix.