F1 Monaco Grand Prix Qualifying: Leclerc Snaps Max Verstappen's Record Pole Streak

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Leclerc Snaps Verstappen's Record F1 Pole StreakRudy Carezzevoli - Getty Images
  • Charles Leclerc, who has not won a Grand Prix since Austria in July 2022, also claimed pole position in Monaco in 2021 and 2022.

  • World Champion Verstappen had been chasing a ninth successive pole position, dating back to last season, to break the record held by Ayrton Senna.

  • Verstappen will start Sunday's F1 Monaco Grand Prix in sixth position on the grid.

Charles Leclerc ended Max Verstappen’s qualifying streak as he claimed pole position for the F1 Monaco Grand Prix around his home streets of Monaco for the third time in his Formula 1 career.

Formula 1 may have introduced new and dazzling venues in recent years—think Las Vegas, Miami—but the spectacle of drivers hurtling between the barriers adjacent to the iconic sun-kissed Riviera remains a beguiling sight. The cars pound the slender strip of tarmac frequented by revelers at night, while thousands clamor from balconies, grandstands and bobbing superyachts for the prime vantage point.


Ferrari driver Leclerc looked fast and confident from the outset around the narrow roads of the tiny Principality, in which he grew up, and he topped the second and third practice sessions across the weekend.

Leclerc safely navigated Q1 and Q2, and posted two lap times fast enough for pole position during the all-important Q3 session, putting himself in the best possible position for Sunday’s 78-lap race.

Leclerc, who has not won a Grand Prix since Austria in July 2022, also claimed pole position in Monaco in 2021 and 2022.

A car failure on his way to the grid in 2021—he crashed at the end of the qualifying session the day before—denied him from taking the start, while in 2022 a Ferrari strategy blunder in the race dropped him to fourth.

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Charles Leclerc celebrates his first pole of the Formula 1 season.ANDREJ ISAKOVIC - Getty Images

“It feels as good as the first one,” Leclerc said. “I think in Monaco the emotions you get, the tension before getting into the car, is so much more than anywhere else in the calendar, so once you finish the lap and hear you’re on pole it’s always special.

“However maybe in the past the emotions were staying longer but having started twice [from pole] and not taking the victory that’s where my mind is, to try and prepare the best way possible.”

Leclerc’s pole margin was 0.154s second—a sizeable advantage for Monaco, a span more than that which covered second through sixth— over impressive McLaren sophomore Oscar Piastri.

Their respective teammates, Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris, will line up from third and fourth on the grid.

World Champion Verstappen had been chasing a ninth successive pole position, to break the record held by Ayrton Senna, but the Red Bull RB20 was never in perfect shape around the bumpy and challenging venue.

Verstappen had still been in the mix up front but glancing the barriers starting his final Q3 lap cost the Dutchman—winner in Monaco in 2021 and 2023—and he will start from only sixth place.

Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez, winner in Monaco in 2022, fared even worse and he was eliminated in Q1, meaning he will take the start from 18th on the grid.

Mercedes showed flashes of pace but once more when it came to the crunch of Q3 neither George Russell nor Lewis Hamilton could live with the front-runners. Russell was fifth, with Hamilton seventh.

Yuki Tsunoda showed excellent speed for RB to take eighth, with Alex Albon similarly impressive for Williams in ninth, while Pierre Gasly delivered struggling Alpine’s first top-10 starting position of the year.

F1 Monaco Grand Prix

Qualifying Results

  1. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, 1 minute, 10.270 seconds

  2. Oscar Piastri, McLaren, +0.154

  3. Carlos Sainz, Ferrari, +0.248

  4. Lando Norris, McLaren, +0.272

  5. George Russell, Mercedes, +0.273

  6. Max Verstappen, Red Bull, +0.297

  7. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, +0.351

  8. Yuki Tsunoda, RB, +0.588

  9. Alex Albon, Williams, +0.678

  10. Pierre Gasly, Alpine, +1.041

  11. Esteban Ocon, Alpine

  12. Nico Hulkenberg, Haas

  13. Daniel Ricciardo, RB

  14. Lance Stroll, Aston Martin

  15. Kevin Magnusesen, Haas

  16. Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin

  17. Logan Sargeant, Williams

  18. Sergio Perez, Red Bull

  19. Valtteri Bottas, Kick Sauber

  20. Zhou Guanyu, Kick Sauber