By Robert Haile
After last seasons disappointment Monegasque Charles Leclerc claimed back to back Monaco Grand Prix pole positions.
Though the same as last season’s qualifying the top ten shootout was brought to a premature end with a crash involving a Ferrari.
This time Red Bull’s Sergio Perez crashed before the tunnel and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz did not see the yellow flag collecting the Red Bull bringing the session to an end.
Ferrari’s Leclerc had already set a time topping the table and was on track with a better first section than what would be his pole taking lap.
Pole sitter Leclerc said: “I am very pleased with our overall performance so far this weekend.
“I felt confident in the car and started pushing a bit more in Q3. The first lap was good. I think that the second was one of the best laps I have ever done in qualifying.
“It was so much fun to drive and I was really on the limit. I had a lot of oversteer, so the rear was quite loose. Still, I knew that the lap was coming together nicely and that felt particularly good.
“It’s a shame that I couldn’t finish it, but this is Monaco and we know that the final attempt is always at risk of yellow or red flags.
“We secured pole anyway, so I am really happy. Whatever the conditions are tomorrow, we will start from the best place possible and will do everything to finish the weekend as smoothly as it has gone so far.”
In the glitz and glamour of Monaco the formula one cars are not the most expensive items on show as the cars speed around the street circuit and marina.
With this film-esque backdrop for qualifying the first session provided plenty of drama as the leaderboard constantly shuffled as the teams did their best to get through to the next round.
AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda clipped the Nouvelle Chicane bringing out a red flag with just over two minutes left.
Having made it back to the pits Tsunoda joined the queue as teams in the lower reaches of the leaderboard as they looked to make the second session.
Unfortunately for Williams Alex Albon and Nicholas Latifi, AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly, Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll and Alfa Romeo Zhou Guanyu they couldn’t improve their times enough to make it through.
No red flag in the second qualifying session but last lap drama as Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel, Mercedes’ George Russell and Alpine’s Fernando Alonso all just made it through.
Tsunoda missed out by a tenth of a second to be eliminated along with Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas, McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo, Haas’ Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher.
So Leclerc took pole but where would the rest start.
It was a Ferrari 1-2 as Sainz led both Red Bull’s with Perez ahead of Verstappen.
McLaren’s Lando Norris beat Russell to fifth with Alonso beating former teammate Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton to seventh.
It’s three former champions in a row with Vettle in ninth with Alpine’s Esteban Ocon in tenth.
Monaco Grand Prix Grid
- Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
- Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)
- Sergio Perez (Red Bull)
- Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
- Lando Norris (McLaren)
- George Russell (Mercedes)
- Fernando Alonso (Alpine)
- Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
- Sebastian Vettel (Aston Marin)
- Esteban Ocon (Alpine)
- Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri)
- Vallteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo)
- Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
- Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren)
- Mick Schumacher (Haas)
- Alex Albon (Williams)
- Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri)
- Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)
- Nicholas Latifi (Williams)
- Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo)