Hamilton Speeds To Monaco Grand Prix Pole

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Lewis Hamilton will start the Monaco Grand Prix from the pole. (Mercedes Photo)
Lewis Hamilton leads the Formula One rankings so far in 2019. (Mercedes Photo)

MONTE CARLO – Lewis Hamilton claimed the pole for the Monaco Grand Prix on Saturday afternoon at Circuit de Monaco.

Hamilton, the Formula One championship leader, bested his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas to earn the top spot for Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix. Hamilton’s 1:10.166 lap in Q3 gave him the pole by .086 of a second over Bottas.

“This is one of the best poles I can remember,” said Hamilton after earning his second Monaco Grand Prix pole. “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 (Lauda). 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.”

Max Verstappen, driving for defending race winners Red Bull Racing, qualified third. Sebastian Vettel qualified fourth after crashing his Ferrari during practice earlier in the day. Pierre Gasly completed the top-five in the second Red Bull.

The rest of the top-10 includes Kevin Magnussen for Haas, defending race winner Daniel Riccardo for Renault, Daniil Kvyat for Toro Rosso, McLaren’s Carlos Sainz and the Toro Rosso of Alexander Albon.

The biggest surprise of the session came in Q1, when Ferrari chose not to send Charles Leclerc out for a final run. The decision proved costly as Leclerc was bumped and failed to advance to Q2. He will start his home Grand Prix from 16th.