Hamilton takes pole and heads Mercedes 1-2 in Monaco

Leclerc eliminated in Q1

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By Olivier Ferret

25 May 2019 - 16:08
Hamilton takes pole and heads (...)

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.

Pos.DriverTeamQ1 timeQ2 timeQ3 time
01 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W10 1:11.542 1:10.835 1:10.166
02 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes W10 1:11.562 1:10.701 1:10.252
03 Max Verstappen Red Bull Honda RB15 1:11.597 1:10.618 1:10.641
04 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari SF90 1:11.434 1:11.227 1:10.947
05 Pierre Gasly Red Bull Honda RB15 1:11.740 1:11.457 1:11.041
06 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari VF-19 1:11.865 1:11.363 1:11.109
07 Daniel Ricciardo Renault RS19 1:11.767 1:11.543 1:11.218
08 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso Honda STR14 1:11.602 1:11.412 1:11.271
09 Carlos Sainz McLaren Renault MCL34 1:11.872 1:11.608 1:11.417
10 Alex Albon Toro Rosso Honda STR14 1:12.007 1:11.429 1:11.653
---------------- --------------- ---------- ---------- ----------
11 Nico Hülkenberg Renault RS19 1:12.097 1:11.670
12 Lando Norris McLaren Renault MCL34 1:11.845 1:11.724
13 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari VF-19 1:11.837 1:12.027
14 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo Ferrari C38 1:11.993 1:12.115
15 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Ferrari C38 1:11.976 1:12.185
---------------- --------------- ---------- ---------- ----------
16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari SF90 1:12.149
17 Sergio Pérez Racing Point Mercedes RP19 1:12.233
18 Lance Stroll Racing Point Mercedes RP19 1:12.846
19 George Russell Williams Mercedes FW42 1:13.477
20 Robert Kubica Williams Mercedes FW42 1:13.751

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