WATCH: Heartbreak for polesitter Leclerc as he is ruled out of the Monaco GP before the start


Charles Leclerc took a brilliant pole position for his home race in Monaco, before crashing his Ferrari and preventing any other driver from knocking him off top spot in Saturday qualifying.

Already sitting on provisional pole, the Monegasque was trying to better his lap time late in Q3 when he hit the wall at the exit of Swimming Pool.

He then faced an anxious wait to see if he would incur a grid penalty, should Ferrari have to change his gearbox or any other major parts. They elected not to, saying on Sunday morning that “no apparent defects were found” on the gearbox following checks.

But as Leclerc made his way around the track to take his place on the grid, he could be heard saying "No no no - the gearbox guys" over his radio.

2021 Monaco GP Qualifying: Leclerc crash secures stunning pole position

He immediately returned to the Ferrari garage, where his mechanics swarmed around the car trying to diagnose and fix the problem.

With just minutes until he had to be in place in his grid slot, there was still a chance he could start the race from the pit lane, even if he couldnt start from the pole position he'd earned the day before.

But there was heartbreak for the home favourite when he was seen getting out of his car, signalling he was out of the race.

Ferrari then confirmed the news, saying: "Charles will not start the race due to an issue with the left driveshaft which is impossible to fix in time for the start of the race."

It meant Red Bull's Max Verstappen effectively started from pole - though he still lined up in the P2 slot, with Leclerc's pole slot left empty.

Follow all the action from the race in our live blog here.


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