No major damage on Leclerc's gearbox after initial check

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Scuderia Ferrari noted on Saturday evening that the initial inspection did not reveal any major damage on Charles Leclerc's gearbox, but the team will only decide on Sunday morning whether the Monegasque can race with it.

The qualifying session for the Monaco Grand Prix ended in a somewhat unusual way after the final run saw Leclerc clip the barrier at the exit of the Swimming Pool, breaking his suspension before cannoning into the wall and bringing out the red flags. The incident prevented his main rival Max Verstappen from improving his previous lap time with the Monegasque ending the session fastest despite his crash.

However, the severity of the crash meant that there are still question marks whether the crash incure a grid drop penalty for a possible gearbox change.

"An initial inspection of the gearbox in Charles_Leclerc’s car has not revealed any serious damage. Further checks will be carried out tomorrow, to decide if the same gearbox can be used in the race," said the Scuderia via a Twitter message.

Following the qualifying session for the Monaco Grand Prix, Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto confirmed that his team will not take any risks with Leclerc’s gearbox. “No, we will not gamble,” the Swiss-Italian added.

“I think for us what's important after such a quali is to try to maximise the number of points for the championship, and obviously to maximise we need to finish the race. So reliability is key, reliability remains the priority. If we have any doubts, we will certainly change and fix it," he said.

“It was a shame to finish in the wall!” said Leclerc after securing the eighth pole position of his career. "I have mixed feelings a little bit, because with the crash I don't know where I'm starting tomorrow yet, it depends on the damage on the car so I really hope that… we won’t be starting from the back. If it's not the case, then of course I'm incredibly happy with whatever happened before the crash.

“It wasn't a great lap I was on in the last one and I tried to do a bit more for the last sector,” Leclerc explained, “but obviously there was too much time to recover, and I just did too much and I just touched the wall on the inside and went straight into the wall.

“So it's a shame how it ended up, but obviously it was very difficult for me to manage the whole session. I was very emotional after Q2 obviously, because I've seen that there was actually an opportunity to do pole position here, then I calmed myself down, did a great lap in Q3 run one and then what happened, happened," the Monegasque concluded.