Monaco Grand Prix – Lewis Hamilton beat Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas to pole position, but Ferrari were left to rue a Q1 elimination for Charles Leclerc.
Mercedes are in the prime position to challenge for a record-breaking sixth consecutive one-two finish after locking out the front row of the grid in Monaco.
In what turned out to be a battle of the Silver Arrows in the final part of qualifying, Bottas initially led the contest after clocking a 1:10.252.
However, with Hamilton being one of the few front-runners to improve on their final runs, the reigning champion pulled a 1:10.166 out of the bag to take one of the most vital pole positions of the season.
In a highly-anticipated event for Red Bull Racing, Max Verstappen was unable to challenge for his first Formula One pole position, finishing half-a-second down in third place.
Sebastian Vettel had a dramatic qualifying session. After only progressing in Q2 with his final lap, he had a scruffy flying lap in Q3, which prevented him from an opportunity to qualify in the top three.
Ferrari endured a disastrous Q1 session. on top of Vettel’s near-elimination, his quicker lap time eliminated team-mate Charles Leclerc, who wasn’t on track for the final laps and was powerless to watch his time tumble down to 16th place.
The second Red Bull of Pierre Gasly took fifth, with Haas’ Kevin Magnussen leading the midfield runners in sixth.
Daniel Ricciardo enjoyed a successful return to the scene of his last F1 victory by placing his Renault in seventh place on the grid, ahead of Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat, McLaren’s Carlos Sainz, and the second Toro Rosso of Alexander Albon.
Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg missed out on a place in the top ten by just 0.062 of a second, he was joined by McLaren’s Lando Norris, Haas’ Romain Grosjean – who appeared to be blocked by Gasly – and the two Alfa Romeo’s of Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi.
Along with Leclerc, Racing Point’s low-key weekend continued with a double-Q1 elimination, where Sergio Perez out-qualified Lance Stroll. The Williams pair of George Russell and Robert Kubica propped up the field.