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Verstappen claims Monaco pole in STUNNING shootout

Verstappen claims Monaco pole in STUNNING shootout

Verstappen claims Monaco pole in STUNNING shootout

Verstappen claims Monaco pole in STUNNING shootout

Max Verstappen left it until the final seconds to take a sensational pole position at the Monaco Grand Prix.

In the most important qualifying sessions of the year, thanks to the nature of the circuit making it difficult to overtake, the double world champion finally found a way to overcome a rapid Fernando Alonso.

A time of 1:11:365 was more than good enough to claim pole position, giving him a very good chance of victory and a substantial championship lead.

Alongside him on the narrowest grid of the season will be Alonso, who looked likely to take pole before a stunning final sector from Verstappen.

Charles Leclerc will start third for Ferrari, although he is under investigation for impeding Lando Norris in Q3, alongside Esteban Ocon who was on provisional pole with a couple of minutes to go.

Perez throws it away

With just seven minutes on the clock, Sergio Perez crashed out of qualifying at Sainte Devote, damaging his Red Bull car and bringing out the red flag.

A rear-end slide saw his RB19 slam into the tyre wall and end his qualifying day there and then, even though he was fifth fastest at the time of the crash.

It means starting way down in the field at the most difficult-to-overtake track in the world, leaving the chances of even points slim at best.

READ MORE: F1 Monaco Grand Prix weather forecast

Stroll struggles

The lap times were extremely close throughout the day and Lance Stroll was a major casualty of Q2.

Stroll could not match Alonso's speed in the Aston Martin and qualified 14th on the streets of the principality.

His lack of speed certainly helped Lando Norris who damaged his suspension towards the end of Q2 and couldn't get his final lap in. The Brit did sneak through in 10th.

Cutting it fine

It was a very frantic Q1 session after Perez's Red Bull was cleared away with Lewis Hamilton and Carlos Sainz both cutting it fine.

The Mercedes and Ferrari duo had to put it all on the line on their final laps to make it into Q2 along with their teammates.

Yuki Tsunoda and Alex Albon were the stars of Q1, ending the 18 minutes second and third respectively.

After all of that, it was a fairly standard drop zone, Perez excluded, with Zhou Guanyu 19th behind the two Haas' and Logan Sargeant.

Qualifying Results

1: Max Verstappen, Red Bull - 1:11:365 2: Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin - 1:11:449 3: Charles Leclerc, Ferrari - 1:11:471 4: Esteban Ocon, Alpine - 1:11:553 5: Carlos Sainz, Ferrari - 1:11:630 6: Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes - 1:11:725 7: Pierre Gasly, Alpine - 1:11:933 8: George Russell, Mercedes - 1:11:964 9: Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri - 1:12:082 10: Lando Norris, McLaren - 1:12:254 11: Oscar Piastri, McLaren - 1:12:395 12: Nyck de Vries, AlphaTauri - 1:12:428 13: Alexander Albon, Williams - 1:12:527 14: Lance Stroll, Aston Martin - 1:12:623 15: Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo - 1:12:625 16: Logan Sargeant, Williams - 1:13:113 17: Kevin Magnussen, Haas - 1:13:270 18: Nico Hulkenberg, Haas - 1:13:279 19: Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo - 1:13:523 20: Sergio Perez, Red Bull - 1:13:850

READ MORE: F1 drivers out of contract: Hamilton heads select group

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