Scuderia Ferrari Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc has shown many times that he can express his best potential when under pressure, and just as many times he has shown an impressive ability to find performance on a flying lap, but the pole position of the 2022 Monaco Grand Prix is something special. In Monaco, the front row will be all red for the race, and things could not have gone better on Saturday in the Principality for the team from Maranello.
The F1-75 shows one of his best qualities, traction, combined with a lot of power and excellent mechanical balance. With the temperatures falling, the balance on the tires became more and more critical during the session, but the base set by Ferrari continued to work well, so much so that for the last attempt the double warm-up lap was not even necessary to find the perfect operational window. A peculiarity of the F1-75 is certainly to have a formidable traction despite a rear that is lighter than in free practice. The reality is probably that, by taking the car to the extreme limit, the DNA of a car with a tendency to oversteer emerges and the rear starts to move more often. Despite this, however, the temperatures of the rear tires remained in control, with the cue coming out of the corners that made a difference in almost every part of the track. For his part, Charles Leclerc did something special, and he was about to do something incredible if the last lap hadn’t been interrupted by the red flag.
F1 technical expert Federico Albano looks at the data by comparing the last lap on the track and that of his pole. The result is that Charles’ last lap would have had an advantage of over 6 tenths as compared to his pole lap.
As explained by Federico Albano for formulapassion.it, clearly the algorithm can return a value that is not entirely precise and this number must certainly be taken with a grain of salt, but the advantage that Charles Leclerc had over his own time was certainly substantial. The data also reflects the time inside the tunnel and there was a gap of about 4 tenths of a second, which is what Charles Leclerc then reported in the final interviews, saying he saw it on the wheel.
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Considering that in a lap of this kind the distance of the tunnel is one of the few moments in which a driver is able to look at the steering wheel, the final figure still seems congruent with what is reported by the software and gives the dimension of a lap that would have been absolutely incredible. Max Verstappen was also improving on his latest attempt and would likely have challenged Carlos Sainz for second on the grid.
The image above also includes a simple table to show who was improving in the first sector at the time of the red flag, and it emerges that Charles Leclerc was indeed flying, but also Nax Verstappen was making an important improvement in his lap (although this time not close to Charles Leclerc’s level).
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