Charles Leclerc was looking to revive Formula 1 championship racing at his track after securing pole position for Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix.
Runaway points leader Max Verstappen will have to try and work his way forward again – albeit this time only from seventh place – after being among many drivers to be hit with grid penalties.
Leclerc – who said he risked it all in the end – set the fastest time on his final lap in qualifying on Saturday and knew he would start at the front of the grid even before Verstappen crossed 0.145 seconds slower meaning the Ferrari driver got pole on merit and not just because of his rival’s grid penalties.
Despite a brilliant start to the season, Ferrari had a difficult campaign full of mistakes. Leclerc, who trails Verstappen by 109 points in the standings, admitted it was a “surprise” for the top qualifier.
“It’s really, really good,” said Leclerc, who will try to emulate his triumph at Monza in 2019. surprise given where we come from. We didn’t expect to fight for the poles here.
Footballers Zlatan Ibrahimovich, Olivier Giroud and Patrice Evra were among the celebrity guests gathered in Monza to watch the drama of the race. To see a gallery of stars at the grand prize, click on the gallery above.
Updated: September 11, 2022, 1:20 p.m.