Binotto: It will be difficult to win from pole

binotto charles leclerc ferrari 2021 monaco

As Tifosi, and indeed, Formula 1 celebrate the much-needed pole position by Charles Leclerc for today’s Monaco Grand Prix, team boss Mattia Binotto is playing down their chances of winning the sport’s most famous race.

Leclerc surprised all and sundry, including everyone in Red, by claiming the top spot start despite crashing out in the final stages of qualifying. His incident triggered a red flag which in turn prevented anyone going faster on their final fast laps.

What followed was checking the car, as a gearbox issue would have meant a five-place grid penalty. But Maranello’s engineers decided the car is good to go and the Monegasque will start his home race, wearing a Louis Chiron tribute helmet.

Netflix does not need a scriptwriter for this one!

But race day could be a different prospect altogether as the scarlet Ferrari lines up next to a rampant Red Bull of Max Verstappen, guaranteeing fireworks into Turn 1 as track position thereafter will be paramount.

Clearly the pace unleashed at Monaco was unexpected, even by Ferrari as Binotto explained: “Being on pole was not expected but after Thursday, we were happy with the car’s performance. It’s good to see Carlos be so fast and we are getting more confident.

“Overall we are happy with the car performance more so than the pole. After our performance last year it is a huge step forward. I think it is a good reward for the team.

“It will be difficult to win from pole. Max Verstappen is very, very fast and I’m sure will give us a hard time,” added Binotto.

A win is exactly the boost Ferrari need as they claw their way out of a slump that has seen them on a losing streak since Sebastian Vettel last won the 2019 Singapore Grand Prix for them.

Leclerc is also playing down his chances of a home win:

As Tifosi, and indeed, Formula 1 celebrate the much-needed pole position by Charles Leclerc for today’s Monaco Grand Prix, team boss Mattia Binotto is playing down their chances of winning the sport’s most famous race.

Leclerc surprised all and sundry, including everyone in Red, by claiming the top spot start despite crashing out in the final stages of qualifying. His incident triggered a red flag which in turn prevented anyone going faster on their final fast laps.

What followed was checking the car, as a gearbox issue would have meant a five-place grid penalty. But Maranello’s engineers decided the car is good to go and the Monegasque will start his home race, wearing a Louis Chiron tribute helmet. Netflix does not need a script writer for this one!

But race day could be a different prospect altogether as the scarlet Ferrari lines up next to a rampant Red Bull of Max Verstappen, guaranteeing fireworks into Turn 1 as track position thereafter will be paramount.

Clearly, the pace unleashed at Monaco was unexpected, even by Ferrari as Binotto explained: “Being on pole was not expected but after Thursday, we were happy with the car’s performance. It’s good to see Carlos be so fast and we are getting more confident.

“Overall we are happy with the car performance more so than the pole. After our performance last year it is a huge step forward. I think it is a good reward for the team.

“It will be difficult to win from pole. Max Verstappen is very, very fast and I’m sure will give us a hard time,” added Binotto.

Leclerc was singing from the same hymn sheet of modesty: “I believe that it’s a bit of a one-off as the track suits the characteristics of our SF21 really well. That’s why we were so competitive.

“We have to keep in mind that we are still not at the level of the two teams leading the championship, but for now, it does feel great to have extracted the maximum in qualifying.

“It feels great to be at home and to see all the fans around the track. It’s Monaco, it’s very unpredictable, and also challenging for us drivers, especially in the race with so many laps.

“It’s a great challenge and we will try to put everything together to get a good result. Whatever the outcome, I will give my all,” added Leclerc.

His all and a win is exactly the boost Ferrari need as they claw their way out of a slump that has seen them on a losing streak since Sebastian Vettel last won the 2019 Singapore Grand Prix for them.

The last time a Red car won in Monaco was also with Vettel, back in 2017.