F1 2019: Hamilton leads front row lockout for Mercedes at Monaco, Leclerc eliminated in Q1

Mercedes-AMG dominated qualifying again to lockout the front row for the sixth consecutive time this season as Ferrari’s conservative approach bears unfruitful as Leclerc is eliminated in Q1.

By: | Published: May 25, 2019 8:20 PM

Valtteri Bottas was all set to start the race on Sunday with an advantage of 0.231s over Mercedes teammate, Lewis Hamilton in the closing stages of Q3. But Bottas unable to improve on his time in his second run. Hamilton came from behind and outpaced Bottas’ time by 0.086s with a near perfect lap, despite an error at La Rascasse. Hamilton will now start the 2019 Monaco Grand Prix from pole with a time of 1:10.166 leading the Mercedes charge as they lock out the front row.

The Dutchman, Max Verstappen will start third on the second row, alongside Sebastian Vettel in his Ferrari who had moments in qualifying as he clipped the barriers multiple times. On his hot lap in his final run on Q3, Vettel ran wide and missed the outside barrier at the Tabac right-hander. Vettel only managed a 1'10.947 to stay ahead of the second Red Bull of Piere Gasly in fifth.

Vettel’s Ferrari teammate, Charles Leclerc, in his home Grand Prix will have a struggle for tomorrow’s race at Monte Carlo after a mistake at La Rascasse, and Ferarri’s complacent strategy had eliminated Leclerc in the first session of qualifying itself. Leclerc qualified 16th, however, the 21-year-old driver might move up a spot for the race as some driver might receive penalties.

Kevin Magnussen was the best of the rest qualifying sixth for Haas ahead of Daniel Ricciardo’s Renault in seventh. Daniil Kvyat qualified in eighth ahead of Carlos Sainz in ninth and Alex Albon in 10th for Torro Rosso.

In Q2, Nico Hulkenberg, Lando Norris Romain Grosjean and the two Alfa Romeo’s of Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi were eliminated and qualified in that order from 11th to 15th. With Leclerc eliminated in Q1, he will start ahead of the two Racing Point cars of Sergio Perez in 17th and Lance Stroll in 18, with the two Williams of George Russell and Robert Kubica bringing up the rear.

Starting further back than a Ferrari is expected to, Leclerc has an uphill climb which in Monaco is a tall order. The narrow street circuit leaves very little room for overtaking. Leclerc’s only hope of a good home Grand Prix finish now is if it rains tomorrow at the circuit or incidents on track that bring on the safety car and shuffle everyone’s strategies.

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