A devastated Charles Leclerc says it was difficult to be told his hopes of winning a maiden Monaco Grand Prix were dashed before the race even started.
Leclerc had claimed pole position for the race, despite causing qualifying to be red-flagged due to a heavy crash on Saturday, and lingering issues from that crash ended his race before it even began on Sunday.
The Ferrari driver pulled his car into the pits with a problem during the pre-race warm-up and the team initially said he would start from pit lane, before then ruling him out with a drive shaft issue .
“In the garage it was very, very difficult to feel ok,” Leclerc said.
Leclerc was trying to create history and become the first Monegasque driver to win at his home circuit since Louis Chiron in 1931.
The incident was just the latest in a string of failures for Leclerc at the famous street circuit.
His only finish at the race came in 2018 with Sauber, when he finished 18th in his first full season in F1.
Since joining Ferrari he has not finished the race and crashed out on lap 16 of that year’s race.
Leclerc’s bad luck left Red Bull driver Max Verstappen alone on the front row of the grid, with Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas, who qualified third, with a clear run to the first turn from the inside of the grid but Verstappen took the lead into the first corner.
Both Verstappen and Bottas are chasing Drivers’ Championship leader Lewis Hamilton.
Verstappen is 14 points behind Hamilton, who started from sixth, while Australia’s’ Daniel Ricciardo started from 12th on the grid after a poor performance in qualifying.