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Oscar Piastri

Piastri fires Leclerc warning as he hunts maiden F1 win

Oscar Piastri qualified second for the Monaco Grand Prix behind Charles Leclerc as they share the front-row.

Piastri Leclerc Quali Monaco
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Oscar Piastri's "first goal" in the Monaco Grand Prix is to try and steal the lead from pole-sitter Charles Leclerc. 

Leclerc edged Piastri for a third pole position at his home grand prix, with Piastri on the front-row, with both drivers beating their team-mates, with Piastri qualifying second fastest for the second straight race.

Overtaking is difficult at Monaco, with the short-run to Turn 1 at the start often the best chance drivers have of making up places, with Piastri eyeing the charge to Sainte Devote at lights out as his chance to pass Leclerc. 

"A good start always helps, and if you can get into the lead, then you can control it very easily around here," he said.

"That is probably the first goal and if not, then the strategy, because as optimistic as I want to be, overtaking around here is not easy.

"We will try our best from a good starting spot and it is a chance for a good day."

Piastri was pipped by 0.154s by Leclerc, who found more time on his second lap than Piastri was able to - the duo separated by less than half a tenth after the first runs. 

The Australian felt combining his two laps would have earned pole - but was pleased to be even close to Leclerc following a dominant showing through practice by the home driver.

"If you took the second half of my first lap in Q3 and then the first half of the second one, it would have been good enough [for pole]," Piastri explained.

"There were just a couple of mistakes at the end, but credit to Charles - he's been incredibly quick all weekend and at certain points, I don't think anyone thought we were going to get close to him. 

"It is nice to be starting on the front-row, it feels like it has been a good weekend in terms of building momentum - and what better colours to do it than this," he added, referring to the Ayrton Senna special livery race suit and car McLaren has.

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RESULTS 2024 F1 Spanish Grand Prix - Qualifying