F1: Charles Leclerc on Monza pole after qualifying mess

Updated: Sep 08, 2019, 10:29 IST | AFP

An unprecedented 'cat-and-mouse' procession as the teams crawled round the circuit, backing each other up to claim good slipstreaming positions, resulted in a farce that saw eight cars timed out by the chequered flag

F1: Charles Leclerc on Monza pole after qualifying mess
Charles Leclerc

Charles Leclerc secured pole for Ferrari in the Italian Grand Prix in shambolic circumstances on Saturday when only two cars participated in the final qualifying showdown laps.

Eight cars timed out

An unprecedented 'cat-and-mouse' procession as the teams crawled round the circuit, backing each other up to claim good slipstreaming positions, resulted in a farce that saw eight cars timed out by the chequered flag.

"A big mess," said Leclerc, who took pole ahead of defending five-time champion Lewis Hamilton. The Monegasque and Carlos Sainz of McLaren were the only drivers to produce final qualifying runs after clocking lap-times on their first runs in Q3. The stewards immediately declared that the shambolic failure at the end of the session was under investigation, the teams having failed to deliver a contest for the paying public.

"Today, to see so many people here feels amazing," said Leclerc, who claimed his maiden victory at last week's tragic Belgian GP where he dedicated his win to the memory of his late friend Anthoine Hubert, who was killed in the previous day's F2 race.

F3 driver Peroni unhurt

Meanwhile, F3 driver Alex Peroni escaped unhurt from a spectacular crash at Monza on Saturday. The Australian lost control of his car on a 'sausage' kerb at the Parabolica curve and was launched, spinning, somersaulting and rolling high into the track-side fencing.

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