Defending world champion Lewis Hamilton denied his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas in the final seconds of qualifying to snatch pole position in the Monaco Grand Prix.
Bottas had the advantage of 0.231 seconds over Hamilton after the first runs in Q3 but was unable to improve on his second set of Pirellis softs.
Hamilton then put in a lap of one minute, 10.166 seconds to outpace Bottas by 0.086 seconds, with his impressive pace through the first sector crucial to sealing the pole.
Bottas held on to second position as Red Bull driver Max Verstappen was also unable to improve and stayed in third postition, 0.475 seconds down.
Sebastian Vettel made a promising start to his lap and looked set to improve, but kissed the wall at the exit of the Tabac right-hander and had to settle for fourth based on his first-run time.
Red Bull driver Pierre Gasly was fifth, 0.875 seconds off the pace, but faces a post-session investigation for impeding Haas driver Romain Grosjean during Q2.
Kevin Magnussen was best of the rest in sixth position and was the only driver outside the top three teams to still have enough tyres for two runs using fresh Pirelli softs.
Having taking sixth position on his first run, he then briefly lost it to Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo, before reclaiming it on the second run.
Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat was eighth fastest, a tenth and a half quicker than McLaren’s Carlos Sainz.
Teammate Alex Albon made Q3 for the first time in his Formula 1 career, but had to settle for tenth and 1.487 seconds off the pace.
Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg was bumped out of the top ten in the final moments of Q2 when Magnussen, who had struggled on his first run after locking up and clipping the inside wall at Mirabeau, improved.
Lando Norris was half-a-tenth behind Hulkenberg in P12 and 0.3 seconds quicker than Grosjean – who complained about traffic over the radio at the end of the session after being impeded by Gasly.
Alfa Romeo pairing Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi were P14 and P15 respectively, with just 0.070 seconds separating the pair.
Leclerc was the quickest of those to fall in Q1 in P16 after completing just one single run and failing to make the top 15 by 0.052 seconds despite being only 0.715 seconds off the pace in the session.
Leclerc had posted a best time of one minute, 12.149 seconds but was not sent back out despite picking up a flat spot on his soft Pirellis during that run as Ferrari felt he was safe to get through.
Leclerc also initially missed the weighbridge when he returned after his run, although was pushed back by the Ferrari team before entering the garage and confirmed he had enough fuel and time to have completed a second run after the time lost to this.
However, the end result was that Ferrari screwed up the situation and the home race hero Leclerc will start the race in P16.
Albon, Hulkenberg and teammate Vettel then ahead of him on their final laps of Q1 to ensure he didn’t make the cut.
Vettel himself had not set a strong enough time on his first run having abandoned the final quick lap on his first run after kissing the wall at the exit of the first left/right at Swimming Pool.
This meant he was among those at risk of elimination before improving on the only fast lap he had time for on his second set of tyres.
Racing Point duo Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll were P17 and P18, with 0.613 seconds separating the pair.
George Russell prevailed in the battle of the Williams drivers to take P19, with Robert Kubica bringing up the back end after lapping 0.274 seconds slower.
So a dramatic and exciting Monaco Grand Prix qualifying session. Lewis Hamilton in a happy mood after scoring that all-important pole from his teammate. As overtaking is near impossible on this street circuit, Hamilton is looking strong for the race victory.
As for Charles Leclerc, this was a disappointing result to get knocked out in the first segment of qualifying. Fingers crossed Ferrari can devise a strategy in helping Leclerc to move up the order and score a championship point in the race.
Monaco Grand Prix, qualifying results:
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m10.166s
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m10.252s
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 1m10.641s
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m10.947s
5 Pierre Gasly Red Bull-Honda 1m11.041s
6 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1m11.109s
7 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1m11.218s
8 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Honda 1m11.271s
9 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren-Renault 1m11.417s
10 Alexander Albon Toro Rosso-Honda 1m11.653s
11 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m11.670s
12 Lando Norris McLaren-Renault 1m11.724s
13 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 1m12.027s
14 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m12.115s
15 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m12.185s
16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1m12.149s
17 Sergio Perez Racing Point-Mercedes 1m12.233s
18 Lance Stroll Racing Point-Mercedes 1m12.846s
19 George Russell Williams-Mercedes 1m13.477s
20 Robert Kubica Williams-Mercedes 1m13.751s