|Hamilton now guaranteed victory on Sunday|
Bottas made a mistake, Vettel hit the barrier coming out of Tabac and Verstappen couldn't improve. All of which left pole-master Hamilton to put his car - despite being practically sideways at times - onto pole for the second time this year at Monaco.
It was a ragged lap, but a quick one to boot. Hamilton managed to set a 1m 10.166s, while Bottas aborted his lap after a mistake in the second sector.
"I'm disappointed, I felt I had it today but obviously not," says a downbeat Bottas. "Anything can happen, there's no point giving up after Saturday, there's a long race ahead."
Max Verstappen was third for Red Bull 0.475s behind Hamilton.
Ferrari has turned into the laughing stock of F1. Charles Leclerc was out in Q1 due to plain stupidity and Sebastian Vettel was over 3/4 sec. off pole to start 4th.
Leclerc's Ferrari team told him not to make a 2nd run in Q1 because he was safe, only to find out he was eliminated in the waning minutes.
If you thought Ferrari was bad under Arrivabene, they have turned into a dumpster fire under Binotto - making strategy errors every single race.
Behind, Kevin Magnussen occupied P6 for Haas after impressing throughout qualifying to finish ahead of Monaco specialist Daniel Ricciardo, seventh in the Renault, with Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat, McLaren’s Carlos Sainz and the second Toro Rosso of Alex Albon rounding out the top 10.
One of the biggest shocks of the session occurred in Q1, however, when Charles Leclerc found himself out in the first part of qualifying after Ferrari neglected to put him back on track as others were improving, leaving the home hero – and one of the favorites for pole – down in 16th on the grid. Unsurprisingly, Leclerc was one very unhappy Monegasque as he headed into Saturday evening…
Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has provided insight as to why Charles Leclerc failed to progress past the opening stage of qualifying on Saturday.
Leclerc was eliminated from the session as he sat in the garage while others below him improved, sending him further down the order.
It was eventually Leclerc's teammate Sebastian Vettel, who had his troubles during the qualifying session, that improved to send Leclerc out of qualifying in P16.
Binotto says that a couple of factors were behind Leclerc's early exit, which include not anticipating the track improvement and also the driver needing to be weaned into Monaco.
“The cut-off time is calculated in real-time based on what we may see on the track, the real-time sectors of all our competitors and other drivers," Binotto said.
"When the cut-off time is calculated we normally have a margin on top of it. The margin is good enough to afford for any tolerances, uncertainty that we may have.
“Certainly what happened today is that the margin was not sufficient, or very little. The reasons are two; The first that the track improvement has been very significant and important by the end of Q1. That’s first.
"The second is that probably our margin was not considering enough the ability to improve by drivers gaining confidence in Monaco. And certainly, in Monaco that margin needs to be increased, no doubt.”
Ferrari taking risks to catch Mercedes
|Ferrari's inferior car means they have to take risks to try and win|
Binotto added that Ferrari's large gap to Mercedes in the championship led it to taking risks in order to close up to the Silver Arrows.
"We may argue that at Ferrari these mistakes shouldn’t happen. I think that as Ferrari we are facing a situation where we need to catch up points in the championship, we need to catch up to our competitors.
“When we catch up we need to take some risks as well. And obviously by taking margin on everything we are doing.
“In the case of today taking margin to leave a set of tires for Q2 and Q3, and for us today taking some risks was key to perform as well as we could in Q2 and Q3 so somehow be challenging our main competitors in Q3 together with Charles and Seb.
"No doubt that when you look at all of that the implications, not being in Q2 is even bigger than trying to challenge them in the final part of quali three."
- After their one-two in Monaco qualifying Mercedes have a record-equalling 62nd front-row lockouts in Formula 1, equalling the McLaren, Williams and Ferrari teams
- Not such a great day for Racing Point. P17 and P18 for Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll gave the team their first double Q1 elimination in Monaco since – in their Force India guise – 2008
- Despite that, Perez is one of only three men to have out-qualified his team mate at every 2019 round to date, the others being George Russell at Williams and Max Verstappen at Red Bull
- Verstappen's team mate Pierre Gasly - subject to a possible penalty for blocking Romain Grosjean - tied his career-best starting position, matching his fifth place on the grid in Bahrain last year
Verstappen gave Red Bull their first top-three start of 2019. The Dutchman has never previously started higher than fourth in Monaco
- In his Red Bull days Daniel Ricciardo acquired his reputation as a Monaco specialist. On Saturday with Renault he was seventh – his worst starting slot here since 2013, but equalling his best qualifying performance of the season for his new team.
- Ricciardo’s former team mate Daniil Kvyat made his third consecutive Q3 appearance of 2019. The Russian Toro Rosso driver has never started lower than ninth in five Monaco starts
- With Kvyat’s team mate Alex Albon also making the Q3 cut – a first for the Thai driver – both Toro Rossos were in the top 10 in Monaco for the fourth time in the last six years
- Their engine partners Honda had more power units in the top 10 than any other supplier – four – the others being in the back of the two Red Bull cars
- Kevin Magnussen’s sixth place marks his and the Haas team’s best-ever Monaco qualifying. On the flip side, team mate Grosjean – seemingly blocked by Gasly – failed to reach Q3 for the sixth time in his last seven Monaco outings
|Hamilton and Bottas should be 1-2 on Sunday|
This is one of the best poles I can remember. We've had a lot of success over the years, but I can't really remember a pole that means as much as this one. It's been such a difficult week for the whole team and me personally. It's amazing that we've turned up here as a team, continuing to take strides forward together collectively, get stronger and improve our performance weekend in, weekend out. I'm just so proud of everyone. We have a cloud over us this weekend, so we're really trying to lift each other up and we're trying to deliver for Niki. I have not had a huge amount of success in Monaco over the years, I never quite got that perfect lap, but I think today was as close as I can get to it. This one is for Niki.
I definitely felt like I had the speed to take pole today. My first run in Q3 was quick, but I had two or three tenths in my pocket. I was stuck in traffic on my final out lap in Q3, so my tires weren't warm enough for the second run. As soon as I started the lap I could feel that they weren't gripping and I saw during the lap on the screens that Lewis took pole. For me personally that's annoying, but for the team it's another incredible result. We have a long race ahead of us and anything can happen tomorrow. The run into Turn 1 is very short in Monaco, so it's tricky to make a difference there, but I will keep pushing and use every opportunity that might come up.
I'm really happy. We struggled a bit to understand how to best prep the tire to warm them up and get them into the temperature window. We had to decide between two laps or one lap to prepare them, but in the end we found the right formula. Valtteri had a sensational first lap in Q3, but he hit some traffic on the out lap for his second run, so his tires were a bit too cold and he didn't have enough grip. Lewis put in a fantastic second lap and managed to get pole. It's a shame for Charles; I think he had it in him for to fight for front row in his home race. The weather forecast keeps changing, but the latest I heard was that there's a 60 percent chance for rain in the race, so it should be exciting tomorrow.
Well done to the team on another front row and to Lewis on a great lap for pole. I'm fairly sure that it would have looked more straightforward from the outside than it really was. The Soft compound is not easy to get going here and we'd realized on Thursday that we would need a fast out lap; which in Monaco means an out lap in free air. Everyone seemed to run early in the first qualifying session, so we were too cold starting the first lap, both cars were then struggling to get clean laps until much later in the run when the tires were well past their best. The second session is always a bit more straightforward with fewer cars on track and Valtteri started to put some really nice laps in. Lewis was finding it hard to get the tires to work for lap one, his second session was a bit messy. We hadn't quite decided what we were doing by the final session, Lewis trying lap two, Valtteri lap one, but the time Valtteri put in made it clear we needed to go for the first lap. The final lap in qualifying is so important here and so it proved today. Lewis was able to get the tires into the right range and put together a good lap for pole, Valtteri was held up on the out lap by the cars around him and started the lap a bit cool, which ultimately meant he couldn't improve. Whilst the front row is important here, it's also Monaco and anything can happen. The tires are also quite marginal for a one stop so we're not assuming that we will have an easy time tomorrow and will work hard overnight to make sure we are as well prepared as we can be.
|3||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:11.597||1:10.618||1:10.641||19|
|5||10||Pierre Gasly||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:11.740||1:11.457||1:11.041||24|
|6||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||1:11.865||1:11.363||1:11.109||24|
|8||26||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||1:11.602||1:11.412||1:11.271||30|
|9||55||Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren Renault||1:11.872||1:11.608||1:11.417||30|
|10||23||Alexander Albon||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||1:12.007||1:11.429||1:11.653||31|
|12||4||Lando Norris||McLaren Renault||1:11.845||1:11.724||-||22|
|13||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||1:11.837||1:12.027||-||21|
|14||7||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:11.993||1:12.115||-||21|
|15||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:11.976||1:12.185||-||22|
|17||11||Sergio Perez||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||1:12.233||-||-||11|
|18||18||Lance Stroll||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||1:12.846||-||-||11|
|19||63||George Russell||Williams Mercedes||1:13.477||-||-||13|
|20||88||Robert Kubica||Williams Mercedes||1:13.751||-||-||13|