1.30pm: Here’s what Hamilton, the last race winner in Monaco back in 2019, had to say yesterday after qualifying only seventh.
“It didn’t feel too bad on Thursday and we made some changes and it was pretty terrible today,” he told Sky Sports F1. “We go back to the drawing board.
“It’s almost impossible to overtake here so…. Up front where we are it’s pretty much the case when everyone is on the same speed. Saturday is the day [in Monaco], so obviously that really does put for sure the win out of reach.
“I guess the minimum would be hopefully seventh and then we’ve got to somehow see how we can move forwards.”
He added on social media: “Failure never feels good but it provides us with opportunities for growth. We have struggled this weekend, for many different reasons but we win and we lose together.
“Tomorrow will be tough, so if you got time, do a little rain dance for me. Let the heavens open.”
1.20pm: Leclerc’s collision with the barriers, which left him with front and side damage, means today’s starting grid looks like this…
1st: Charles Leclerc, 2nd: Max Verstappen
3rd: Valtteri Bottas, 4th: Carlos Sainz
5th: Lando Norris, 6th: Pierre Gasly
7th: Lewis Hamilton, 8th: Sebastian Vettel
9th: Sergio Perez, 10th: Antonio Giovinazzi
11th: Esteban Ocon, 12th: Daniel Ricciardo
13th: Lance Stroll, 14th: Kimi Raikkonen
15th: George Russell, 16th: Yuki Tsunoda
17th: Fernando Alonso, 18th: Nicholas Latifi
19th: Nikita Mazepin, 20th: Mick Schumacher
It’s certainly an intringuingly mixed grid. Might we get some Monaco drama after all? Let’s hope so.
1.10pm: Ferrari’s social media statement on pole-sitter Leclerc earlier was as follows…
“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.”
1pm: Good afternoon and welcome to Express Sport’s live coverage of the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix!
Charles Leclerc starts on pole after Ferrari confirmed no gearbox damage to his SF21 despite his shunt into the wall at swimming pool at the end of qualifying.
The Ferrari crash meant Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas were denied a chance to snatch pole as the session was red-flagged.
And that means it’s advantage to the Monegasque in Monaco, a tricky notoriously tricky to overtake on.
Of the other big stories, reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton starts well down in seventh after a dreadful Saturday.
The Briton has ruled out taking a race win today but he’ll hope to lessen the damage as Verstappen looks to cut the gap to the championship leader.
Today’s race gets underway at 2pm and we’ll have live lap-by-lap updates for you once the lights are out.