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Hamilton takes storming Monaco pole after Ferrari fail Leclerc

Hamilton takes storming Monaco pole after Ferrari fail Leclerc

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Hamilton takes storming Monaco pole after Ferrari fail Leclerc

Hamilton takes storming Monaco pole after Ferrari fail Leclerc

Lewis Hamilton will start the Monaco Grand Prix on pole position after a qualifying session which saw Ferrari's farcical campaign sink to new depths as Charles Leclerc was eliminated in Q1. Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen joined the pole-sitter in the top three after a typically manic Saturday in Monte Carlo.

Hamilton dragged out a track-record 1:10.166 at the very last of Q3 to take his 85th pole position, and just his second around these famous streets.

Bottas had looked on for a fourth pole in sequence, but will start alongside Hamilton on the first row after his final Q3 lap was hampered by a slight mistake.

Verstappen was unable to quite match the Mercedes as he took third, but the Dutchman was rarely troubled by Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari's sole competitor in the top-10 shootout after Leclerc qualified 16th.

Ferrari made a truly bizarre decision to keep Leclerc in the pits at the end of Q1 as times tumbled, and it was ultimately Vettel - desperately trying to scrape through after a mistake - who consigned his team-mate to a midfield start.

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It's the latest in a long litany of Ferrari mistakes in 2019 and Mercedes are now set for a sixth one-two finish from as many races.

Pierre Gasly qualified fifth but is likely to take a grid penalty for blocking Romain Grosjean in Q2, with the other Haas of Kevin Magnussen the first man in line to benefit.

Last year's winner Daniel Ricciardo was seventh-fastest, with Daniil Kvyat, Carlos Sainz and Alexander Albon rounding out the top 10.

Q2

Vettel once again struggled in Q2, but managed to get through with a late lap. Grosjean was unfortunate to see a lap that looked enough for Q3 curtailed by Gasly trundling on the racing line ahead of him. Nico Hulkenberg, Lando Norris and the Alfa Romeos went out with the Haas Frenchman.

Q1

Ferrari's latest strategy blunder stole headlines as Leclerc sat watching while he fell into the drop zone. He was actually demoted by a last-gasp effort from team-mate Vettel, who only just made it through himself at the last moment after clipping the barriers.

The Racing Point pair and Williams drivers also dropped out with the home favourite.

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