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Charles Leclerc takes pole in Monaco with Max Verstappen down grid

Leclerc takes pole in Monaco with Verstappen down grid
© Reuters
Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc takes pole at his home Monaco Grand Prix with Championship leader Max Verstappen down the grid.

Charles Leclerc has delivered for Ferrari at his home race by securing pole position for Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix.

For the first seven races of this season, Max Verstappen has gained first spot on the grid, going on to deliver in five races.

On this occasion, Leclerc continued to build on his consistency this campaign by finally finishing at the top of a qualifying session.

Leclerc was 0.154 seconds ahead of Oscar Piastri in the McLaren, with their respective teammates Carlos Sainz Jr and Lando Norris third and fourth respectively.

Verstappen forced to settle for third row

With Monaco offering minimal overtaking opportunities, grid positions could prove crucial, and Verstappen finds himself down in sixth, adrift of George Russell in the Mercedes.

Verstappen hit the wall on the first corner of his final lap, ending his chances of pole there and then, and a place on the third row was the best that he could achieve.

Lewis Hamilton is seventh, with RB's Yuki Tsunoda, Williams's Alex Albon and Alpine's Pierre Gasly completing the top 10.

There were two surprises earlier in qualifying with Fernando Alonso and Sergio Perez bowing out in Q1, only securing 16th and 18th place respectively.

Heading into the eighth race of the season, Verstappen holds a 48-point lead over Leclerc in the Drivers' Standings.

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