Monaco Quali sees Max P3 and Pierre P5

Highlights

  • Max quickest in Q2
  • Max takes P3 in Q3 behind all Mercedes front row
  • Pierre to start in P5, behind Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel
  • Local hero Charles Leclerc ruled out after Q1.

Max will start the Monaco Grand Prix from third place, while Pierre will start from the front of row three, after both drivers made the most of the crucial qualifying session on the narrow streets of the Principality.

In the opening session, Max and Pierre were swiftly into the groove with the Dutch driver immediately claiming an early P1 position with a time of 1:11.725, which he soon improved to 1:11.597. Pierre initially sat in P6 with an opening lap of 1:12.362, but he too quickly improved, getting down to 1:11.740 to hold P2.

Mercedes then moved ahead, however, with Valtteri Bottas edging Max by the tiny margin of 0.007s. Lewis Hamilton slotted into third place, five hundredths of a second behind Max and a tenth clear of Pierre. Hamilton then moved to the top with a time of 1:11.542, while Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat jumped to fifth place ahead of Pierre with a time of 1:11.602. 

Ferrari were struggling at this point, with Charles Leclerc in P11 and Sebastian Vettel in P15. It was Leclerc though who would suffer the most. 

Vettel slumped to P17 before crossing the line with seconds to spare to begin a final attempt. Leclerc though was already in the garage with no time to make another run. 

Vettel put in an excellent lap of 1:11.434 to vault straight to the top of the order, a tenth clear of Hamilton, but Leclerc was left shaking his head in the garage as Renault’s Nico Hülkenberg edged him out to 16th place by the tiny margin of five hundredths of a second. 

Also eliminated at this stage were 17th-placed Sergio Pérez of Racing Point, followed by team-mate Lance Stroll and the Williams cars of George Russell and 20th-placed Robert Kubica.

With Vettel rising to the top, Max therefore progressed in fourth place with his lap of 1:11:597, while Pierre booked his Q2 slot in P6, 0.138s behind Kvyat. 

In the initial runs in Q2 it was Bottas who set the pace, with the Finn posting an impressive time of 1:10.701, 0.134s ahead of Hamilton. Max took third sport with an opening run time of 1:11.059. 

Pierre though was slower on his opening run than he had been on his quickest Q1 run and his 1:11.807 left him in P7 behind fourth-placed Kvyat, Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo and McLaren’s Carlos Sainz. 

It was Max though who made the most of the second runs with the Dutchman powering to a P1 time of 1:10.618, eight hundredths of a second clear of Bottas, who stayed on his opening run time to finish ahead of Hamilton and Vettel. 

Pierre, meanwhile, improved to a time of 1:11.457 but in the end that was only good enough for P8 as he was eclipsed by fifth-placed Haas driver Kevin Magnussen, Kvyat and Alex Albon in the second Toro Rosso.

With the final Q3 berths being booked by Ricciardo and Sainz the five eliminated at the end of Q2 were: Renault’s Nico Hülkenberg, McLaren’s Lando Norris, Haas’ Romain Grosjean and the Alfa Romeos of Kimi Räikkönen and Antonio Giovinazzi.

In the first runs of the final top-10 shootout, it was Bottas who laid down a strong early claim to pole position. The Finn posted a lap of 1:10.252 to lead Hamilton by 0.231s. Max took third place, just 0.158 behind Hamilton. 

Vettel grabbed fourth place three tenths behind Max with Pierre in fifth place with an opening run best of 1:11.041, less than a tenth behind Vettel.

Only Hamilton made an improvement in the second runs, however, and his lap of 1:11.166 was good enough to establish a new track record and secure him his 85thcareer pole. 

Behind him both Bottas and Max were unable to get in the ideal warm-up lap and with tyres not at their best for the flying lap neither found an improvement. 

Pierre, too, failed to find an improvement on his lap and he will start from the front of row three, behind Sebastian Vettel and ahead of sixth-placed Kevin Magnussen. The Haas driver finished ahead of Ricciardo, Kvyat and Sainz, and the final top-10 position was taken by Albon.

Quali Stats:

3 – Third is set to be Max’s best grid slot in five Monaco weekends. His previous best was a fourth-place start in 2017. On that occasion he finished in P5. 

5 – Pierre went 50% better this year in qualifying compared to last year. In 2018 he qualified 10th and finished in P7. If he manages the same progress this year he’ll score his first podium.


Monaco Grand Prix - Qualifying Top 10:

1. Lewis Hamilton
2. Valtteri Bottas
3. MAX VERSTAPPEN
4. Sebastian Vettel
5. PIERRE GASLY
6. Kevin Magnussen
7. Daniel Ricciardo
8. Daniil Kvyat
9. Carlos Sainz
10. Alex Albon