Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position for the Monaco Grand Prix in his last attempt, while a Ferrari mistake led Charles Leclerc to be eliminated in Q1.
Hamilton was 0.2 seconds slower than team-mate Valtteri Bottas after the first runs in the 3rd quarter but was one of the few riders to improve on his last lap, setting a new lap record of 1'10.166.
Bottas gave in on his last attempt as he struggled to improve. Max Verstappen finished third because he could not drive faster and eventually lost almost half a second.
Ferrari continued to stumble over himself when team-mate Vettel Leclerc knocked out. The home favorite was the fastest on FP3 and was lucky enough to miss a grid because he had run too fast in the Virtual Safety Car, but the chance to fight for the pole position disappeared due to strategic mistakes.
Vettel – who crashed in FP3 – touched the wall on the outside of the pool and canceled a late attempt, returning to the pits to have the car checked. 90 seconds before the end, Vettel was in the drop zone, but the focus on the Germans seemed to make Ferrari forget his team-mate.
Leclerc dropped out in the overall standings as the track got faster than Ferrari did not send him. When Vettel approached the last sector and drove fastest, Leclerc slipped to 15th, and when Vettel finished his lap, he eliminated the Monegasque, who was visibly angry in the garage.
"I had no explanation from The team is still in qualifying with Seb," Leclerc said immediately afterwards.
Nico Hülkenberg retired in the second part of the qualifying session with only 0.062 seconds, and Lando Norris was also close to the Renault in twelfth place. Romain Grosjean was the 13th most frustrated after being stopped by Gasly. The Haas driver made a series of explosions over team radio, and the stewards examined the incident in which Grosjean blocked his front tires when leaving the Casino Square so as not to run into the rear of the Red Bull.
Both Alfa Romeo cars got off Q2 after looking so competitive earlier in the day and none of the riders in the first part of qualifying could improve their times and Antonio Giovinazzi was facing an investigation for obstructing Hulkenberg.
Apart from Leclerc, there were no real shocks in Q1. Both Racing Point vehicles dropped out in 17th and 18th place – Sergio Perez was the fastest of the pair and just 0.8 seconds behind the fastest time in a tight session – ahead of George Russell and Robert Kubica.