Lewis Hamilton set a new Monaco track record on his way to his 85thcareer pole position, with the five time world champion setting a lap of 1:10.166 to edge Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas by 0.086s. Max Verstappen took third place for Red Bull Racing ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
There was a disastrous miscalculation on the other side of the Ferrari garage, however, as the team kept Charles Leclerc in the garage in the final runs of Q1. The Monegasque driver plummeted down the timesheet as the final lap times arrived and after being eliminated from the session he will now start his home grand prix from 16thplace on the grid.
In that opening session, it was Red Bull that set the early pace with Verstappen claiming an early P1 position with a time of 1:11.725, which he soon improved to 1:11.597. Tema-mate Pierre Gasly then took P2 with a time of 1:11.740.
Mercedes then moved ahead, however, with Bottas beating Verstappen by 0.007s. Hamilton edged out both then moved to the top with a time of 1:11.542, while Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat jumped to fifth place ahead of Pierre with a time of 1:11.602.
Ferrari were struggling, however, with Leclerc in P11 and Vettel in P17. It was Leclerc though who would suffer most. But while Vettel crossed the line with seconds to spare to begin a final attempt, Leclerc was in the garage with the team seeming to feel secure in his opening lap time.
Vettel put in an good lap of 1:11.434 to jump to the top of the order but Leclerc was left shaking his head in the garage as Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg edged him out to 16thplace by the tiny margin of five hundredths of a second.
Also eliminated at this stage were 17th-placed Sergio Pérez of Racing Point, followed by team-mate Lance Stroll and the Williams cars of George Russell and 20th-placed Robert Kubica.
In the initial runs in Q2 it was Bottas who set the pace, with the Finn posting an impressive time of 1:10.701, 0.134s ahead of Hamilton. Verstappen took third spot with an first-run time of 1:11.059.
It was Verstappen though who made the most of the second runs, with the Red Bull driver powering to a P1 time of 1:10.618, eight hundredths of a second clear of Bottas, Hamilton and Vettel.
Eliminated at the end of Q2 were: Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg, McLaren’s Lando Norris, Haas’ Romain Grosjean and the Alfa Romeos of Kimi Räikkönen and Antonio Giovinazzi.
In the first runs of Q3, it was Bottas who laid down a strong early marker. The Finn posted a lap of 1:10.252 to head Hamilton by two tenths of a second, as Verstappen grabbed third, just 0.158 behind Hamilton.
Only Hamilton made an improvement in the second runs, however, and his lap of 1:11.166 was good enough to establish a new track record and secure his 85thcareer pole.
Behind him both Bottas and Verstappen failed to engineer perfect warm-up laps and they stayed second and third ahead of Vettel and Gasly. Haas’ Kevin Magnussen qualified sixth ahead of Daniel Ricciardo, Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz. The final top-10 position was taken by Albon.
2019 FIA Formula One Monaco Grand Prix – Qualifying
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:10.166
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:10.252 0.086
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 1:10.641 0.475
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:10.947 0.781
5 Pierre Gasly Red Bull Racing 1:11.041 0.875
6 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:11.109 0.943
7 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1:11.218 1.052
8 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:11.271 1.105
9 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren 1:11.417 1.251
10 Alex Albon Toro Rosso 1:11.653 1.487
11 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:11.670 1.504
12 Lando Norris McLaren 1:11.724 1.558
13 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:12.027 1.861
14 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 1:12.115 1.949
15 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 1:12.185 2.019
16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:12.149 1.983
17 Sergio Perez Racing Point 1:12.233 2.067
18 Lance Stroll Racing Point 1:12.846 2.680
19 George Russell Williams 1:13.477 3.311
20 Robert Kubica Williams 1:13.751 3.585