Monaco Grand Prix: Charles Leclerc seals provisional pole for Ferrari as Hamilton struggles

verstappen leclerc

Charles Leclerc sealed a dramatic pole position for his home Grand Prix at Monaco, with him ending the session early after sticking his Ferrari in the wall in the final seconds of qualifying.

The most important qualifying session on the F1 calendar, there hasn't been a winner of the Monaco Grand Prix from outside the top three since 1996 when Oliver Panis famously took the chequered flag in his Ligier as only three drivers finished the race.

Indeed, it will be Leclerc's hope that that trend continues in front of his home fans with Ferrari proving strong all weekend so far, though he admitted post-session he is worried about internal damage from the accident potentially handing him a grid penalty via a potential gearbox change.

Time will have to tell as to what happens there, though, and in the meantime, this is how Saturday went down on the streets of Monte-Carlo...

Q1

Mick Schumacher's qualifying was over before it started as his Haas team simply could not repair his car in time after a crash in the final minutes of the third practice session on Saturday morning.

He'll make the race but will start at the back alongside team-mate Nikita Mazepin.

In front of them, the Williams of Nicholas Lafiti and the Alpine of Fernando Alonso - perhaps the surprise elimination from the first session - with the French outfit's Marcin Budkowski revealing to Sky Sports F1 soon after that they'd been struggling with tyre temps all weekend and the Spaniard evidently did here.

Rookie Yuki Tsunoda was the final man to miss out on the second part of qualifying, meanwhile, with him only finishing 16th fastest.

fernando alonso

Q2

The big story of the middle session saw Daniel Ricciardo miss out on the top ten shootout as he could only manage 12th place behind former team-mate Esteban Ocon.

The Aussie has gradually improved in the first few races in his new McLaren car but this weekend has been a real step back for the 2018 winner. Lando Norris has had a few tenths in his pocket over him for most of the weekend and so that proved here - Ricciardo will be eager to do what he can to muscle into the top ten on Sunday.

In 13th, Lance Stroll alongside Kimi Raikkonen in 14th whilst George Russell could only put his Williams in 15th, a shame for a driver that has usually been strong on Saturdays this season and that would have obviously been ideal on this tightest of tracks.

daniel ricciardo

Q3

A dramatic final session saw Leclerc finish on pole for his home Grand Prix but he perhaps didn't achieve it how he would have liked.

A mistake running through the swimming pool section saw him damage his suspension and on the exit chicane, he found himself unable to turn - sending him straight into the wall.

With just seconds left in the session, the red flags flew to end qualifying there and then with both Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas particularly disappointed as they were on improved laps - they'll have to be happy with second and third unless Leclerc has done enough damage to his car to get a grid penalty.

Lewis Hamilton, meanwhile, struggled for the whole session and on his final lap touched the wall before the Portier turn, scuppering his lap time and he'll start in seventh.

Sebastian Vettel, meanwhile, deserves credit for sealing eighth place in his Aston Martin.

leclerc

Full classification:

1 Leclerc

2 Verstappen

3 Bottas

4 Sainz

5 Norris

6 Gasly

7 Hamilton

8 Vettel

9 Perez

10 Giovinazzi

11 Ocon

12 Ricciardo

13 Stroll

14 Raikkonen

15 Russell 

16 Tsunoda

17 Alonso

18 Latifi

19 Mazepin

20 Schumacher

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