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Ferrari finds "no serious damage" to Leclerc's gearbox

Ferrari has found that Charles Leclerc’s gearbox sustained “no serious damage” in his Monaco Formula 1 qualifying crash, but will make a final decision on changing it on Sunday morning.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21, crashes out towards the end of Qualifying

Photo by: Jean Petin / Motorsport Images

Leclerc scored Ferrari's first pole position for 18 months after topping qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix on Saturday.

But the session ended under a red flag after Leclerc crashed at the exit of Swimming Pool, preventing any other cars from improving their laptimes and inadvertently giving him pole.

Leclerc admitted after the session that he was concerned the crash had caused damage to the gearbox on his Ferrari SF21 car that could result in a grid penalty if a change was required.

Ferrari issued a statement on Saturday evening saying it had completed its initial checks on Leclerc's gearbox, and while no major damage was found, it would only decide whether or not to change it on Sunday morning.

"An initial inspection of the gearbox in Charles Leclerc's car has not revealed any serious damage," a short statement from Ferrari reads.

"Further checks will be carried out tomorrow, to decide if the same gearbox can be used in the race."

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The news will come as some welcome relief for Ferrari, but team principal Mattia Binotto said after qualifying that it would not take any risks on reliability.

"No, we will not gamble," Binotto said.

"I think for us what's important after such a qualy 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."

Should Leclerc be forced into a gearbox change, he would drop to sixth place on the grid, promoting Red Bull's Max Verstappen onto pole.

Any demotion would also hand places to Valtteri Bottas, Carlos Sainz Jr, Lando Norris and Pierre Gasly, would qualified on the front three rows.

Leclerc was left sweating for news on the condition of his gearbox after the crash, admitting that he felt "quite shit" in the aftermath of the incident for fear pole could be thrown away.

"I'm just waiting for the gearbox and that's it," he said. "For now, I can't enjoy that qualy as I would like to."

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