Hamilton beats out Bottas as Leclerc suffers Monaco nightmare

Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position for the Monaco Grand Prix as Charles Leclerc endured a qualifying nightmare for his home race.

Hamilton set a new lap record of 1:10.166 around the street circuit to edge out team-mate Valtteri Bottas by just 0.086 seconds as Mercedes locked up the front row for a fifth time in six attempts in 2019.

Bottas had seemed set to be on pole for a fourth straight race, breaking the record twice himself before he was overhauled in the closing seconds of Q3.

While Mercedes once again dominated, Ferrari's decision to save their tyres for the closing stages in the hope of competing at the end of the session backfired spectacularly, with Leclerc failing to even make it out of Q1.

Sebastian Vettel pushed his colleague the wrong side of the cut line with one last charge, meaning the local favourite, who showed his frustration as he was stranded in the team garage, languishes down in 16th on the grid.

German Vettel twice came into contact with barriers but still ended up in fourth, meaning he will start Sunday's race alongside Max Verstappen's Red Bull on the second row.

Pierre Gasly in the other Red Bull was fifth, ahead of Haas' Kevin Magnussen, who was the last driver within a second of Hamilton's pace. 

Toro Rosso duo Daniil Kyvat and Alexander Albon both made it to Q3, taking eighth and 10th respectively.

At a venue where overtaking is tough, Hamilton will have high hopes of extending his lead in the title race as he and Bottas look set to battle it out.

"It doesn't matter how many times you come here, it's still a dream. It means so much to me, I had to dig deeper than ever," the reigning world champion said after clinching the 85th pole of his Formula One career.

Mercedes will set off in pursuit of a sixth straight one-two result, which would be the best streak in F1 history. After Saturday's events, there is little to suggest their dominance will come to an end in the principality.



1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:10.166secs
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 Kyvat (Toro Rosso) +1.105s
9. Carlos Sainz (McLaren) +1.251s
10. Alexander Albon (Toro Rosso) +1.487s

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