Qualy: Hamilton on pole as Ferrari gaffe costs Leclerc

Michelle Foster
Lewis Hamilton: On pole in Monaco

Lewis Hamilton: On pole in Monaco

Lewis Hamilton bagged the second Monaco GP pole position of his career while Charles Leclerc failed to make it out of Q1 at his home race.

Saturday’s all-important qualifying session, arguably the most important qualifying of the season, began with the track temperature sitting at 44’C, the hottest it has been all race weekend.

Sebastian Vettel ventured out for his first lap of Q1, thanking his Ferrari mechanics for the repair job in the wake of his FP3 crash.

Antonio Giovinazzi landed up under investigation for blocking Nico Hulkenberg and was later handed a three-place grid drop for his troubles,

Sergio Perez brushed the wall and Leclerc almost binned it when he locked up at Rascasse before later missing the weighbridge.

Ferrari noted he was meant to stop and pushed him back to the bridge before any work was done on the car.

Ferrari’s troubles continued – again – as Vettel, down in P11 at the time, slid into the wall and pitted. He returned to the track with 1:40 on the clock having fallen to 17th place.

His do-or-don’t final hot lap put him fastest of all with a 1:11.434. Vettel’s jump to the top of the timesheets put Leclerc out of qualifying. P16 for the Monaco driver who sat in the pits for the final few minutes of Q1.

Giovinazzi’s grid drop moves Leclerc up to P15 on Sunday’s grid. Get the champagne…

Perez, Lance Stroll, George Russell and Robert Kubica also failed to get into Q2.

Mercedes upped the pace in Q2 with Bottas straight out and laying down a new lap record, one that was later beaten by Max Verstappen. A 1:10.618 for the Red Bull driver.

Kevin Magnussen had to pit for a new front wing after tagging the wall at Turn 5 while there was more drama over at Ferrari.

Vettel was P9 after his first run and had to put in a second to try for a spot in Q1. Vettel moved up to fourth, escaping the cut.

Out went Nico Hulkenberg, Lando Norris, Romain Grosjean, Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi.

Grosjean was not impressed with traffic in the form of Pierre Gasly, who joined Giovinazzi in being under investigation for impeding the Haas driver out of Casino Square.

Into Q3, Bottas and Verstappen set the early pace while Hamilton struggled in the first sector. His first hot lap was a 1:18 to Bottas’s 1:10.252 – the third time the lap record was broken on Saturday afternoon.

Hamilton found pace and made it a Mercedes 1-2 ahead of Verstappen, Vettel, Gasly and Magnussen.

On a day when nothing was going right for Ferrari, Vettel’s second attempt at pole saw the German whack the barrier at Tabac and stay fourth.

Hamilton laid down purple sectors, and a fourth lap record for the day, as he jumped to the front with a 1:10.166.

With Bottas off the pace, the Finn opted to pit instead of challenge with Hamilton taking his second Monaco GP pole position by 0.086s ahead of his team-mate.

Verstappen was third with Vettel fourth.

Gasly finished qualifying fifth fastest ahead of Magnussen, 2018 Monaco GP winner Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat.

But the Frenchman will be starting behind the aforementioned trio after blocking Romain Grosjean in Q2. He will drop three places from P5 to P8.

Carlos Sainz and Alex Albon completed the top ten.

1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:10.166
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 0.086s
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull 0.475s
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 0.781s
5 Pierre Gasly Red Bull 0.875s*
6 Kevin Magnussen Haas 0.943s
7 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1.052s
8 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1.105s
9 Carlos Sainz McLaren 1.251s
10 Alex Albon Toro Rosso 1.487s
11 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:11.670
12 Lando Norris McLaren 1:11.724
13 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:12.027
14 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 1:12.115
15 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 1:12.185**
16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:12.149
17 Sergio Perez Racing Point 1:12.233
18 Lance Stroll Racing Point 1:12.846
19 George Russell Williams 1:13.477
20 Robert Kubica Williams 1:13.751

*three place penalty to be enforced for blocking
**three place penalty to be enforced for blocking

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