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Formula 1

Hakkinen feels fans missed out with Leclerc's Monaco mishap

Max Verstappen cruised to victory at the F1 Monaco GP after polesitter Charles Leclerc was unable to make the grid. Mike Hakkinen wishes things had played out differently for the Ferrari driver.

After Charles Leclerc failed to take the grid for Sunday's F1 Monaco GP, Mika Hakkinen believes it was a pity that fans at the track and at home couldn't see the Ferrari driver in action.

The Monegasque driver looked poised for a strong race at his home track, however those hopes were dealt a serious blow at the end of Q3 when Leclerc ended up in the barriers. While it meant the 23-year-old was able to keep hold of his spot on pole, the damage suffered by his car proved to be too much as he was unable to make the grid despite the Scuderia's assurances his car was ok.

Hakkinen wrote in his column for Unibet that while he was pleased to see Ferrari near the front of the grid once again, Leclerc's small mistake ultimately robbed fans of a better show when it came to Sunday's race.

"It was great to see Ferrari competitive again," Hakkinen said in his column for Unibet. "The Monaco circuit suits their car, which is strong in low speed corners and seems to get its tyres up to temperature very quickly.

"Charles Leclerc’s pole position was really a fantastic lap but, as I said before, keeping your focus on every lap in Monaco is essential. One small mistake and you can be into the wall, which is what happened to him at the end of qualifying.

"We used to have ‘warm up’ practice sessions on Sunday morning in Formula 1, and they were really useful for getting to check the car’s systems, particularly if you had suffered some damage or an engine change after qualifying. It’s such a pity that the fans in Monaco and watching on TV were unable to see Charles take his place at the front of the grid."

As for Leclerc's teammate Carlos Sainz, Hakkinen believes his performance will give Ferrari a boost, though he doesn't expect them to challenge at long and fast circuits.

"It was a brilliant result for Carlos Sainz Jr to finish 2nd, however, and while I do not expect Ferrari to be competitive on the long, fast circuits, at least they have made good progress," Sainz added. "I am sure this result will give them a really significant boost."

F1 2021 Monaco Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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