Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc achieved back-to-back pole positions at home at the Monaco Grand Prix as a dramatic finale saw Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez go head-to-head.
Monte Carlo-born Leclerc was untouchable from the start and will start Sunday’s race at the front of the grid once again, where he will be followed by team-mate Sainz, who ended the session with a shock collision.
Red Bull’s Perez did enough to start third, despite the disorderly end to Saturday’s qualifying at an iconic track whose future in the F1 calendar has been thrown into question in recent weeks.
The Mexican was on a flying lap as the rest of the grid tried to match Leclerc’s time of 1:11.376, but slipped into the barriers at Portier.
With the Red Bull knocked sideways on the track, Sainz followed close behind and managed to react to avoid what could have been an unpleasant accident as the rear of his car flipped and hit the front of Perez’s. .
Championship leader and defending champion Max Verstappen was deprived of the chance to improve on his fourth place due to the crash, and will start Sunday’s showpiece race – which attracts a host of big names – on the second line.
Lando Norris, a podium last year, was again impressive on the streets of Monte Carlo, planting his McLaren in fifth position.
He was followed by fellow Briton George Russell in sixth, whose teammate Lewis Hamilton was unlucky to move up from eighth.
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A close Q2 saw experience prove essential as former champions Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso both slipped into the top 10 when the flag fell.
Daniel Ricciardo’s poor form continued with a 14th place finish, while Valtteri Bottas failed to break into the top 10 for only the second time this season, joined by both Haas cars.
The first qualifying session ended prematurely when a seemingly unnecessary red flag was caused by a puncture for Yuki Tsunoda and left a number of riders wasting their luck.
Pierre Gasly was unable to get a quick final lap from his Alpha Tauri when he was usually a fit driver in Monte Carlo, while Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll let out a cry of frustration on team radio when told he would start in 18th place.
Monaco Grand Prix qualifying results:
- Charles Leclerc (My) Ferrari 1min 11.376secs
- Carlos Sainz Jr. (Spain) Ferrari 1:11.601
- Sergio Perez (Mexico) Red Bull 1:11.629
- Max Verstappen (Ned) Red Bull 1:11.666
- Lando Norris (Gbr) McLaren 1:11.849
- George Russell (Gr) Mercedes GP 1:12.112
- Fernando Alonso (Spa) Alpine 1:12.247
- Lewis Hamilton (Gr) Mercedes GP 1:12.560
- Sebastian Vettel (G) Aston Martin 1:12.732
- Esteban Ocon (Fra) Alpine 1:13.047
- Yuki Tsunoda (Jpn) Scuderia Alpha Tauri 1:12.797
- Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Alfa Romeo Racing 1:12.909
- Kevin Magnussen (Den) Haas F1 1:12.921
- Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) McLaren 1:12.964
- Mick Schumacher (Germany) Haas F1 1:13.081
- Alexander Albon (Tha) Williams 1:13.611
- Pierre Gasly (Fra) Scuderia AlphaTauri 1:13.660
- Lance Stroll (Can) Aston Martin 1:13.678
- Nicholas Latifi (Can) Williams 1:14.403
- Guanyu Zhou (Chn) Alfa Romeo Racing 1:15.606