MONACO – Lewis Hamilton, Reuters reports, celebrated an emotional pole position for Mercedes ahead of the 2019 Monaco F1 GP with team-mate Valtteri Bottas rear-gunning for him in second.
Ferrari, the agency said, got its maths wrong…
The record-extending 85th pole for the Briton’s, his second this year, was overshadowed by the death earlier in the week triple World champion and latterly Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda.
Hamilton and Bottas intend to give Lauda a stellar send-off with their sixth consecutive 1-2 finish since the start of the 2019 F1 season.
“This is definitely one of the best poles I can remember,” said Hamilton, who denied Bottas a fourth consecutive 2019 top slot with a final lap 0.086sec quicker than the Finn on the narrow streets of the money and holiday paradise.
“This one’s for Niki,” said five-times World champion Hamilton who is seven points ahead of Bottas in the championship war.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen qualified third, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel fourth after hitting the wall during final practice.
Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto told reporters the team needed to take risks in the battle against Mercedes.
Weather forecasts indicate dry conditions on Sunday.
Verstappen’s team mate Pierre Gasly qualified fifth then was dropped three slots for impeding Haas driver Romain Grosjean, which also promoted Kevin Magnussen and Daniel Ricciardo, 2018 Monaco winner for Red Bull – this year he will start sixth.