There were just 19 cars on track this afternoon for Qualifying after Mick Schumacher damage his VF-21 crashing out at Casino Square during FP3.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc came away with pole position, however, the monegasque driver brought the session to an early close after hitting the barriers exiting the swimming pool complex with just 18s left in Q3.
The 25-year-old faces a five place grid penalty if there is damage to his SF-21’s gearbox.
Speaking after the session, he said; “It’s a shame to finish in the wall, it doesn’t feel the same.
“But at the same time, I’m incredibly happy about my first timed lap.
“It’s a big surprise for everyone to be on pole for the race.”
Q1 saw a swift end to the day for AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda, Alpine’s Fernando Alonso, Williams’ Nicholas Latifi, and the second Haas driver, Nikita Mazepin.
Mercedes’ Bottas held the early fastest lap in 1:10.930s, followed by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc .175s off the pace amid another great showing from the prancing horses.
Meanwhile, Verstappen was in third at the end of Q1, 0.186s behind, more surprisingly at this point in the weekend, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton was in 7th, behind the second Ferrari of Carlos Sainz and Pierre Gasly in 5th and 6th respectively.
At the end of Q2 Esteban Ocon, Daniel Ricciardo, Lance Stroll, Kimi Raikkonen and George Russell were all out – marking an extremely disappointing end to Qualifying for McLaren’s Ricciardo who failed to improve his time on a final flying lap this afternoon.
Tomorrow’s grid was sealed in the final shootout this afternoon with Charles Leclerc taking pole position after a lap of 1:10.346s – moments later he ended up in the wall, bringing the session to a stop.
Lining up in P2 will be Red Bull’s Verstappen after a desperate attempt to improve his time which ended prematurely when the session was red-flagged – he remained 0.230s off the pace.
P3 will be filled by the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas, followed by the second Ferrari of Carlos Sainz taking off from P4.
McLaren’s Lando Norris will start in fifth followed by Pierre Gasly in sixth, and the second Mercedes of Hamilton in a surprising seventh.
Closing out the top ten on the grid tomorrow is Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, and the Alfa Romeo of Antonio Giovinazzi in P8, P9 and P10 respectively.
Lights out in Monaco on Sunday, May 23 is at 2:00 pm Irish time.