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Qualifying report
Formula 1 Monaco GP

F1 Monaco GP: Leclerc beats Piastri to crucial pole

Charles Leclerc beat Oscar Piastri to claim his third Monaco Grand Prix pole, as Max Verstappen's hopes of setting Formula 1's consecutive poles record ended after a brief wall hit.

Pole man Charles Leclerc, Scuderia Ferrari, celebrates on arrival in Parc Ferme

Monegasque Leclerc dazzled throughout the Friday and Saturday sessions in Monaco, and built up his speed over the sessions to eventually land on a 1m10.270s - a tenth shy of Lewis Hamilton's record pole time set in 2019.

"It was nice, the feeling after a qualifying lap is always very special here," Leclerc said. "I'm really happy about the lap.

"Qualifying is not everything, as much as it helps Sunday's race we need to put it all together tomorrow.

"I need a good launch and when we do that, hopefully Carlos [Sainz] can follow me and put us in a 1-2. If we are 1-2 we can control the race."

McLaren's Piastri ran the Ferrari driver close and became the closest competitor to Leclerc, but was just shy of gazumping him in the battle for pole.

Verstappen struggled throughout the weekend with the ride of his Red Bull throughout the final two sectors, but ultimately came unstuck in the opening sector of his final lap where he narrowly survived a scuffle with the Sainte Devote exit barrier. This nonetheless forced the championship leader to abort his lap, and he thus suffered a drop down the order.

Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL38

Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL38

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Carlos Sainz grabbed third place, while Lando Norris made it into the top four after recovering from a late breakout from the Q1 relegation zone.

George Russell also outqualified Verstappen as Mercedes seemed in stronger form throughout the Monaco weekend thus far, although Hamilton could not quite leapfrog the Dutchman and had to be content with seventh.

Yuki Tsunoda took eighth over Alex Albon, who ran off-sequence in Q3 to claim a lap good enough for ninth, as Pierre Gasly completed the top 10.

Gasly knocked out Alpine team-mate Esteban Ocon in Q2 with a late lap that booked the ex-AlphaTauri driver's place in the top 10 shoot-out. Ocon joined Nico Hulkenberg, Daniel Ricciardo, Lance Stroll, and Kevin Magnussen in the bottom five of the intermediate session.

Fernando Alonso and Sergio Perez were the biggest scalps claimed in Q1, as both drivers were left exposed towards the end of the session by their inability to find a competitive lap.

Alonso's final lap initially set him into 13th, but he slipped down the order as a host of other drivers shook off the pressure to improve at the death of the 18-minute session. This thrust the Aston Martin driver, who came within a whisker of securing pole last year, down into 16th.

Perez spent the majority of the session floundering towards the back of the order and, after falling into the drop zone, could not climb out as his final lap of the session failed to yield performance.

The two were separated by Logan Sargeant, as Sauber duo Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu propped up the order.

F1 Monaco GP Qualifying Results

   
1
 - 
3
   
   
1
 - 
2
   
Cla Driver # Chassis Engine Time km/h
1 Monaco C. Leclerc Ferrari 16 Ferrari Ferrari

1'10.270

170.957
2 Australia O. Piastri McLaren 81 McLaren Mercedes

+0.154

1'10.424

170.583
3 Spain C. Sainz Ferrari 55 Ferrari Ferrari

+0.248

1'10.518

170.356
4 United Kingdom L. Norris McLaren 4 McLaren Mercedes

+0.272

1'10.542

170.298
5 United Kingdom G. Russell Mercedes 63 Mercedes Mercedes

+0.273

1'10.543

170.296
6 Netherlands M. Verstappen Red Bull Racing 1 Red Bull Red Bull

+0.297

1'10.567

170.238
7 United Kingdom L. Hamilton Mercedes 44 Mercedes Mercedes

+0.351

1'10.621

170.108
8 Japan Y. Tsunoda RB 22 RB Red Bull

+0.588

1'10.858

169.539
9 Thailand A. Albon Williams 23 Williams Mercedes

+0.678

1'10.948

169.324
10 France P. Gasly Alpine 10 Alpine Renault

+1.041

1'11.311

168.462
11 France E. Ocon Alpine 31 Alpine Renault

+1.015

1'11.285

168.523
12 Germany N. Hulkenberg Haas F1 Team 27 Haas Ferrari

+1.170

1'11.440

168.157
13 Australia D. Ricciardo RB 3 RB Red Bull

+1.212

1'11.482

168.059
14 Canada L. Stroll Aston Martin Racing 18 Aston Martin Mercedes

+1.293

1'11.563

167.868
15 Denmark K. Magnussen Haas F1 Team 20 Haas Ferrari

+1.455

1'11.725

167.489
16 Spain F. Alonso Aston Martin Racing 14 Aston Martin Mercedes

+1.749

1'12.019

166.805
17 United States L. Sargeant Williams 2 Williams Mercedes

+1.750

1'12.020

166.803
18 Mexico S. Perez Red Bull Racing 11 Red Bull Red Bull

+1.790

1'12.060

166.711
19 Finland V. Bottas Sauber 77 Sauber Ferrari

+2.242

1'12.512

165.671
20 China Z. Guanyu Sauber 24 Sauber Ferrari

+2.758

1'13.028

164.501

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