Ferrari not convinced Leclerc's Monaco GP issue related to qualifying crash

Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto says the issue which prevented Charles Leclerc from starting the Monaco Grand Prix from pole position could be completely unrelated to his crash in qualifying.

Leclerc claimed pole in bizarre circumstances on Saturday, crashing at the end of qualifying when he had the quickest time on the board. The session did not restart, leaving Leclerc top of the order.

The collision prompted fears of gearbox damage -- a change would have resulted in a five-place grid penalty for Leclerc.

A pre-race investigation found no damage and Ferrari did not make the change.

Leclerc immediately encountered issues after leaving the garage on Sunday afternoon, reporting what he believed to be a gearbox issue on his first lap to the grid.

He returned his car to the garage and the team did not have time to fix the issue, which it later confirmed to have been driveshaft related.

"We need to fully understand what happened," Binotto said after the race.

"The failure is on the driveshaft into the hub on the left-hand side. So it's not a gearbox problem we had. The gearbox had been inspected yesterday evening, it has been reviewed, and I think the gearbox was OK for the race.

"What happened is on the opposite side compared to the accident. So it may be completely unrelated to the accident.

"But something which we need to carefully understand and analyse, and we have no answer right now."

On whether Ferrari had made an unnecessary gamble with the gearbox, Binotto reiterated that the problem was not on that part of the car:

"As I said, it has not been a gearbox failure. There was no gamble on the gearbox.

"We are confident the gearbox would have been OK for the race. But again, what happened needs an explanation, that we do not have right now."

The driveshaft issue continued Leclerc's run of bad luck at his home race, where he is yet to finish. Leclerc lined up for Monaco's national anthem knowing he would not be taking part.

The Ferrari driver said it was hard to take.

"In the garage, it was very, very difficult to feel OK," Leclerc said.

"But yeah, I guess now I'm getting used to this feeling here [in Monaco], unfortunately. I've never finished a race here. This year I don't start it, starting from pole.

"It's a difficult one to take. But I also feel for the team to be honest, the mechanics have done such a hard job yesterday to try and check everything.

"The mechanics were finally a bit happy this morning to see that everything seems fine, and all of the parts were fine. And then this happened. It's a shame for everyone."

It proved to be a bittersweet race for Ferrari, with Leclerc's teammate Carlos Sainz finishing second for the team's first podium finish of the season.