Formula 1

Ferrari’s Laurent Mekies: “We are very pleased with how qualifying went”

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Credit: Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Laurent Mekies says Scuderia Ferrari can be satisfied with the result of Saturday’s Qualifying session for the Monaco Grand Prix, with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr. locking out the front row for Sunday’s race.

Leclerc took his fifth pole position in seven races, and his second consecutive pole for his home event, with the Monegasque racer showing dominant form when it mattered around the streets of the principality.

And Mekies, the Racing Director at Ferrari, says Leclerc could have gone even quicker on his final attempt had it not been for a crash on track behind him that caused the red flags to fly and the session to be concluded.

“We are very pleased with how qualifying went,” said Mekies. “The Monaco circuit is one of a kind and the fact that, even here the F1-75 was very much on the pace, shows that Maranello has produced a really good car. Congratulations to all the team and the drivers who were excellent.

“The Monaco weekend is always particularly tricky and Charles and Carlos dealt well with the pressure and the traffic, managing to make the car and tyres work at their best. Once again, Charles produced a superlative performance and, but for the red flag, could have gone even quicker.”

Mekies was pleased with the pace of Sainz in the second car as well, with the Spaniard seemingly getting comfortable with the F1-75 straightaway in Monaco, something that has been lacking in some of the other events leading up to this weekend.

However, Sainz crashing into the already crashed car of Sergio Pérez was not in the script, and they will be looking at repairing the damage overnight to ensure the Spaniard has a chance of a good result on Sunday afternoon.

“Right from the start of free practice, Carlos demonstrated that he had a great feeling for the car which allowed him to qualify on the front row, which will be very important for tomorrow,” Mekies added.

“Unfortunately, on his second run in Q3, he spun to avoid Sergio Pérez who had crashed just before the tunnel. There’s no denying we got a fright seeing the two cars stuck across the track and we hoped the red flags would come out as soon as possible.

“Fortunately, neither driver was hurt and now we will give the F1-75 a thorough check to ascertain the extent of the damage.”

Mekies says they will be doing everything they can to prepare for Sunday’s race, whether wet or dry, and he hopes they can give the fans of Ferrari, and in particular Leclerc, something to cheer about.

“We can expect a very long race tomorrow, which could be particularly tricky if it rains,” he said. “Tonight, we will work on preparing for every eventuality.

“There are a lot of fans here supporting us and Charles in particular and we want to give them something to cheer about.”

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Thirty-something motorsport fanatic, covering Formula 1, Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula 3. Feel free to give him a follow on Twitter at @Paul11MSport.
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