Charles Leclerc has opened up after he was unable to start the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday due to issues with his Ferrari after grabbing pole position on Saturday.
The Ferrari driver set provisional pole position during Saturday’s qualifying before crashing his car into the wall at the swimming pool complex.
Ferrari decided on Sunday morning that they would not be changing the gearbox, meaning they avoided a five-place grid penalty.
“Following further in-depth checks this morning, no apparent defects were found on Charles Leclerc’s gearbox, therefore the Monegasque driver will start today’s race from pole position, as per the qualifying result,” the team announced.
An initial assessment of the damage on Leclerc’s car by the team revealed “no serious damage”, but Ferrari confirmed in a statement after qualifying that they would conduct further checks on Sunday and “prioritise reliability over pole”.
However as Leclerc made his way round to the grid on the formation lap, his Ferrari began to slow, with the home hero exclaiming: “No! No! No”” over the radio.
Leclerc limped his way back to the pits and Ferrari then confirmed they would be retiring before the race even started.
“As soon as I felt the issue, I said I think there is a problem with the gearbox, but actually it’s not coming from the gearbox it seems,” Leclerc told Sky Sports F1.
“It seems like something else so we need to check still.
“Obviously I’m pretty sure it’s correlating with my crash yesterday, but we will try and understand from where it’s coming from exactly.
“I think it was coming from the rear left, but I don’t know what exactly.”
However Leclerc was clear to state Ferrari weren’t entirely sure if the issue was something related to the crash or something completely different on the car.
“I wouldn’t think too much because for now I’m not aware of everything, but what I know is it was something not coming from the gearbox, but it’s more coming from the rear left of the car.
“Whether that correlates with the crash we will see with the full investigation after the race, it’s still early days.