Hamilton victorious at Silverstone for the sixth time

Championship leader and home favourite Lewis Hamilton achieved his sixth victory at the British Grand Prix. The Mercedes driver benefitted from a safety car to jump his teammate Valtteri Bottas to score a popular Silverstone win.

Hamilton overhauled poleman Bottas by running a longer first stint that allowed him to only stop once, and it proved crucial when a safety car emerged after Bottas pit.

That gave Hamilton track advantage and he won comfortably after Bottas made a late second pitstop to use his mandatory second compound, having used mediums in his first two stints.

Charles Leclerc finished third after a dramatic battle for the final podium spot, in which Leclerc had an epic fight with Verstappen – who was later fired into the gravel by Vettel.

Pierre Gasly scored his best result for Red Bull with fourth, while Verstappen managed to get his car out of the gravel and finish fifth, with Vettel down in P16 after needing a new front wing and being hit with a ten-second time penalty.

Bottas led the first part of the race but kicked off the pitstops amongst the leaders while Hamilton extended his stint to lap 20. That was vital for Hamilton, who was already considering switching to the hards and executing a one-stop strategy.

He and Vettel, who struggled in the opening stint down in sixth, but also extended it, then had their persistence rewarded when the safety car emerged.

Antonio Giovinazzi locked the rear wheels on his Alfa Romeo entering the penultimate corner and slid sideways into the gravel.

With the race neutralised Hamilton and Vettel dived into the pitlane, rejoining in first and third respectively and with no further pitstops to make.

In the fight for the win, Bottas was hamstrung by the decision not to pit under the safety car and switch to hard tyres, which locked him into a two-stop strategy.

He was unable to attack Hamilton at the restart and ran a couple of seconds adrift, before eventually pitting seven laps from the end having opened up a big enough gap to the best of the rest.

That meant he still finished second, and looked to claim the fastest lap bonus point as consolation for his lost victory – before Hamilton pumped in an even faster time on the final lap on old hards.

Hamilton’s last-gasp fastest lap meant he extended his points lead to 39.

Behind the Silver Arrows drivers, Leclerc finished third after a thrilling British Grand Prix.

Leclerc held the place early on but had to withstand enormous pressure from Verstappen, who then managed to just jump him in the pitlane as they stopped at the same time.

However, Leclerc quickly retook the place when Verstappen ran wide at The Loop immediately after exiting the pits, before falling back behind after Ferrari opted not to stop him again as soon as the safety car was deployed.

Red Bull reacted quicker and stopped Verstappen swiftly, and he rejoined fifth – behind Vettel and the sister Red Bull of Pierre Gasly, who pit earlier and stuck to a one-stop.

Ferrari’s call to stop Leclerc a lap later dropped him to sixth, and when the race resumed he attacked Verstappen immediately.

Their wheel-to-wheel fight recommenced and peaked when Leclerc attacked on the outside into the final complex of corners just before mid-distance.

They bumped wheels slightly when Leclerc had the inside for the right-hand penultimate turn, and Verstappen took to the run-off on the outside, keeping the position as he rejoined through the final corner.

Leclerc’s challenge faded after that unpenalised incident, while Verstappen passed Gasly for fourth and then caught and attacked Vettel for third.

Max nailed the Ferrari on the outside at Stowe on lap 37, but ran slightly wide and Sebastian tucked into his slipstream on the short run down to Vale – but positioned his Ferrari on the inside, with nowhere to go, and tried to switch back to the outside too late.

Vettel locked and crashed into the back of Verstappen’s car, pitching it airborne over a kerb and into the gravel as the Ferrari ended up facing the wrong way with its rear wheels in the gravel.

They both rejoined, but Verstappen was limited to fifth – fortunately not losing further positions – as Vettel dropped to the back.

Vettel’s elimination from the front allowed Carlos Sainz to take sixth for McLaren, fighting off Daniel Ricciardo’s Renault in a fierce best-of-the-rest fight.

Kimi Raikkonen executed a one-stop strategy to finish eighth, while Daniil Kvyat’s well-timed safety car pitstop allowed him to charge to ninth. Nico Hulkenberg completed the point scorers in tenth position.

The two Haas drivers joined Giovinazzi in retirement – Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen colliding on the first lap and both retiring as a result shortly afterwards.

So congratulations to Lewis Hamilton in achieving a record of six victories to become the most successful British driver winning at Silverstone. Sure, the safety car helped but this is racing. Taking the opportunities in the right moment.

As for the racing, that was pure quality at Silverstone. The battle between Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen was a pure highlight.

British Grand Prix, race results:
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 52 1h21m08.452s
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 52 24.928s
3 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 52 30.117s
4 Pierre Gasly Red Bull-Honda 52 34.692s
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 52 39.458s
6 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren-Renault 52 53.639s
7 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 52 54.401s
8 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 52 1m05.540s
9 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Honda 52 1m06.720s
10 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 52 1m12.733s
11 Lando Norris McLaren-Renault 52 1m14.281s
12 Alexander Albon Toro Rosso-Honda 52 1m15.617s
13 Lance Stroll Racing Point-Mercedes 52 1m21.086s
14 George Russell Williams-Mercedes 51 1 Lap
15 Robert Kubica Williams-Mercedes 51 1 Lap
16 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 51 1 Lap
17 Sergio Perez Racing Point-Mercedes 51 1 Lap
– Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 18 Spun off
– Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 9 Accident damage
– Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 6 Accident damage

Drivers’ standings:
1 Lewis Hamilton 223
2 Valtteri Bottas 184
3 Max Verstappen 136
4 Sebastian Vettel 123
5 Charles Leclerc 120
6 Pierre Gasly 55
7 Carlos Sainz Jr. 38
8 Kimi Raikkonen 25
9 Lando Norris 22
10 Daniel Ricciardo 22
11 Nico Hulkenberg 17
12 Kevin Magnussen 14
13 Sergio Perez 13
14 Daniil Kvyat 12
15 Alexander Albon 7
16 Lance Stroll 6
17 Romain Grosjean 2
18 Antonio Giovinazzi 1
19 George Russell 0
20 Robert Kubica 0

Constructors’ standings:
1 Mercedes 407
2 Ferrari 243
3 Red Bull-Honda 191
4 McLaren-Renault 60
5 Renault 39
6 Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 26
7 Racing Point-Mercedes 19
8 Toro Rosso-Honda 19
9 Haas-Ferrari 16
10 Williams-Mercedes 0

Bottas beats home crowd favourite Hamilton to Silverstone pole

Valtteri Bottas won the qualifying battle over his Mercedes Formula 1 teammate Lewis Hamilton to pole position for the British Grand Prix by six thousandths of a second.

Bottas set the pace on the first runs in Q3 at Silverstone, although Hamilton’s time was compromised by the rear stepping out at Brooklands, which meant he ran wide at the exit of the corner.

Although Bottas was unable to improve on his final run in Q3, Hamilton fell just short of grabbing pole in front of his home fans having not been able to match his first-sector pace from the first run.

Ferrari driver Charles Lerclerc was third quickest, within a tenth of Bottas, and a tenth of a second clear of Austrian Grand Prix winner Max Verstappen.

Leclerc looked a threat for pole position, but lost time to the Mercedes drivers in the final sector.

Pierre Gasly was fifth fastest after a strong run during practice, although was 0.314 seconds slower than his Red Bull teammate, while Sebastian Vettel was sixth after a tricky run in Q3 in the Ferrari, lapping six tenths off pole position.

Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo was seventh fastest ahead of the McLaren of Lando Norris.

Alex Albon did well to reach Q3 in the Toro Rosso and ended up qualifying ninth, lapping 0.041 seconds quicker than the Renault of Nico Hulkenberg.

The Mercedes and Red Bull drivers will start the race on medium-compound Pirellis thanks to using that tyre to set their Q2 times, with the rest of the top ten qualifiers using softs.

Alfa Romeo driver Antonio Giovinazzi was quickest of those eliminated in Q2 after being bumped by Vettel at the end of the session.

Giovinazzi was 0.027 seconds of a second quicker than teammate Kimi Raikkonen, who ended up P12 ahead of McLaren driver Carlos Sainz, who failed to improve on his second Q2 run.

Haas driver Romain Grosjean was P14 ahead of the Racing Point of Sergio Perez, who also failed to improve on his second runs.

Kevin Magnussen was eliminated in Q1 and ended up P16 after being jumped by Perez, who was last driver to improve their time in the first segment of qualifying and outpaced the Haas driver by 0.013 seconds.

Magnussen ran through the gravel at the Luffield right-hander on his final lap while “trying to make up for something that wasn’t there”, so was unable to improve on his first-run time.

Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat failed to improve his lap time on his second set of softs, so ended up P17 after what he described over the radio as a “poor” lap on his final attempt.

Racing Point’s Lance Stroll was eliminated in Q1 for the tenth time in 2019 after running wide at the exit of Stowe and Club on his final lap and losing time.

George Russell won the intra-Williams battle for P19, lapping almost half-a-second faster than teammate Robert Kubica.

So congratulations to Valtteri Bottas in achieving his tenth career pole position in Formula 1. Beating the home crowd favourite is an upset and it will be fascinating to see Lewis Hamilton striking back in the race. Bring on the Silverstone action.

Qualifying positions, British Grand Prix:
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m25.093s
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m25.099s
3 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1m25.172s
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 1m25.276s
5 Pierre Gasly Red Bull-Honda 1m25.590s
6 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m25.787s
7 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1m26.182s
8 Lando Norris McLaren-Renault 1m26.224s
9 Alexander Albon Toro Rosso-Honda 1m26.345s
10 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m26.386s
11 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m26.519s
12 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m26.546s
13 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren-Renault 1m26.578s
14 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 1m26.757s
15 Sergio Perez Racing Point-Mercedes 1m26.928s
16 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1m26.662s
17 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Honda 1m26.721s
18 Lance Stroll Racing Point-Mercedes 1m26.762s
19 George Russell Williams-Mercedes 1m27.789s
20 Robert Kubica Williams-Mercedes 1m28.257s

Verstappen wins thrilling race at the Red Bull Ring

That was an epic Austrian Grand Prix as Max Verstappen takes victory from Charles Leclerc in an exciting race, scoring Honda its first win since returning to the sport.

Verstappen fell down to eighth on the opening lap but charged through the race order and caught Leclerc late on before winning a wheel-to-wheel battle to secure the victory.

However, his race-winning pass – which resulted in minor contact and pushed Leclerc to the run-off, denying Leclerc a first Formula 1 win – led to a post-race investigation from the stewards.

Leclerc finished second, with Valtteri Bottas third as Mercedes’ perfect win record at the start of 2019 has finally ended.

Leclerc led from pole position and despite being on a strategy his rivals felt was “risky” managed to keep the lead Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas at length throughout the Austrian Grand Prix.

He then held on to withstand a late assault from Verstappen, who fell from second to eighth on the opening lap but charged back to score Red Bull Racing’s best result of the season with Honda.

Leclerc maintained his pole advantage, aided by the anti-stall kicking in on Verstappen’s Red Bull and dropping the home favourite back to seventh at the first corner.

Verstappen then fell to eighth as teammate Pierre Gasly passed him around the outside at Turn 3, but he retook the position around the outside of the penultimate corner.

As Leclerc built a small lead over Bottas at the front, Sebastian Vettel and Verstappen worked their way up the order.

Vettel started ninth after an engine-related problem in qualifying but was up to fourth by lap six, and Verstappen had made it to fifth three laps later.

Despite being on harder tyres that Mercedes thought would be an advantage to Leclerc’s softs, Bottas was the first driver to pit on lap 21, with Vettel stopping the same lap.

Vettel lost a big amount of time because a radio problem for Ferrari’s mechanics meant they did not get the instruction he was pitting.

Leclerc covered Bottas’s stop one lap after his pursuer, releasing Lewis Hamilton into the race lead as the other Mercedes and Verstappen extended their opening stints.

Hamilton pitted on lap 30 after quickly losing a lot of time over the last couple of laps of his first stint thanks to front wing damage likely picked up when he ran wide over the sausage kerb at Turn 1 – now renamed as Lauda Kurve, in honour of Niki.

The time loss and lengthy stop to change his wing meant Hamilton rejoined eight seconds behind Vettel despite the Ferrari driver’s own slow stop, and when Verstappen pitted one lap later he rejoined ahead of Hamilton as well.

While Leclerc held a lead of around four seconds out front, Verstappen – 12.9 seconds off the lead in fourth after stopping – began his charge.

It took him 17 laps to chip away at Vettel’s deficit but once in DRS range he quickly mounted an attack.

Vettel repeatedly struggled to make the apex of the Turn 3 right-hander at the top of the hill and on lap 50 of 71 Verstappen took advantage with a good run out of the corner, and used DRS to get ahead into the braking zone and pass Vettel around the outside into Turn 4.

Once clear of the Ferrari, which immediately made a second stop for soft tyres and rejoined behind a muted Hamilton, Verstappen quickly caught Bottas.

Both Mercedes drivers’ pace was reduced because of temperature management, and Verstappen nailed Bottas for second on the run up to Turn 3 on lap 56 – having only just reported a brief loss of power.

That released him to try to catch Leclerc, six seconds up the road with 15 laps left.

By the time just five laps remained, Verstappen was on the Ferrari’s gearbox and attacked on the outside into Turn 3 and 4, but Leclerc just held on.

The next lap, Verstappen dived inside Leclerc with a brilliant move at Turn 3, but Leclerc just held on around the outside and was able to outdrag the Red Bull down to Turn 4.

With three laps ago Leclerc half covered the inside but Verstappen moved right to the edge of the track, forced Leclerc wide – and the two bumped wheels as Leclerc tried to hang on again on the outside.

Leclerc took to the run-off and complained over the radio, while Verstappen accused his rival of turning in on him.

Verstappen was told to get his head down and escape, which he did – crossing the finishing line almost three seconds clear.

However that incident between the two at Turn 3 is currently being investigated. Hopefully the race results will stand as this is motor racing.

Behind the top three, Vettel used his soft tyres to catch and overhaul Hamilton for fourth.

Championship leader Hamilton was limited to a muted fifth place, but only lost five points to teammate and title rival Bottas.

Lando Norris made up for his heartbreaking end to last week’s race in France by winning the best of the rest battle for McLaren in sixth.

He kept the second Red Bull of Pierre Gasly comfortably at bay to score the best result of his rookie season.

Carlos Sainz executed a long first stint to rise to eighth from the back of the grid, while Alfa Romeo duo Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi completed the point scorers – Giovinazzi finally banking his first Formula 1 point in the process.

Austrian Grand Prix, race results:
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 71 1h22m01.822s
2 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 71 2.724s
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 71 18.960s
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 71 19.610s
5 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 71 22.805s
6 Lando Norris McLaren-Renault 70 1 Lap
7 Pierre Gasly Red Bull-Honda 70 1 Lap
8 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren-Renault 70 1 Lap
9 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 70 1 Lap
10 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 70 1 Lap
11 Sergio Perez Racing Point-Mercedes 70 1 Lap
12 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 70 1 Lap
13 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 70 1 Lap
14 Lance Stroll Racing Point-Mercedes 70 1 Lap
15 Alexander Albon Toro Rosso-Honda 70 1 Lap
16 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 70 1 Lap
17 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Honda 70 1 Lap
18 George Russell Williams-Mercedes 69 2 Laps
19 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 69 2 Laps
20 Robert Kubica Williams-Mercedes 68 3 Laps

Drivers’ standings:
1 Lewis Hamilton 197
2 Valtteri Bottas 166
3 Max Verstappen 126
4 Sebastian Vettel 123
5 Charles Leclerc 105
6 Pierre Gasly 43
7 Carlos Sainz Jr. 30
8 Lando Norris 22
9 Kimi Raikkonen 21
10 Daniel Ricciardo 16
11 Nico Hulkenberg 16
12 Kevin Magnussen 14
13 Sergio Perez 13
14 Daniil Kvyat 10
15 Alexander Albon 7
16 Lance Stroll 6
17 Romain Grosjean 2
18 Antonio Giovinazzi 1
19 George Russell 0
20 Robert Kubica 0

Constructors’ standings:
1 Mercedes 363
2 Ferrari 228
3 Red Bull-Honda 169
4 McLaren-Renault 52
5 Renault 32
6 Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 22
7 Racing Point-Mercedes 19
8 Toro Rosso-Honda 17
9 Haas-Ferrari 16
10 Williams-Mercedes 0

Leclerc scores pole position at the Red Bull Ring

Charles Leclerc achieved his second Formula 1 pole position at the Red Bull Ring for Ferrari, while teammate Sebastian Vettel was hit by a mechanical issue in Q3.

The rising Ferrari star was the class of the field throughout the Austrian Grand Prix qualifying, setting two laps significant enough for pole position in Q3.

Leclerc’s took provisional pole with a time of one minute, 03.208 seconds on his first run, then set the fastest times of all in the second and third sectors to improve to a one minute, 03.003 seconds.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, who complained of not being strong enough on the straights, moved from fourth to second on his final lap – ending up 0.259 seconds slower.

Hamilton will also be investigated after the session for potentially impeding Kimi Raikkonen at Turn 3 during Q1.

If the race stewards do penalised the championship leader, then this will be a major set back for Hamilton.

Max Verstappen was third fastest, 0.436 seconds down, ahead of Valtteri Bottas.

Both Mercedes drivers and Verstappen will start the race on medium-compound Pirellis having used those tyres to set their Q2 times, with the rest of the top ten using softs.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner explained the decision to use mediums, which he believes will be the best race strategy for his team.

“That soft won’t have the range and that puts a lot of stress on that last [stint] tyre,” said Horner.

“Ferrari generate their lap time differently, they go slower round the corners and faster down the straights, so they might feel confident that they can make that work because they don’t put as much heat into the tyres in the corners.”

Kevin Magnussen, who made Q3 despite locking up and running into the gravel at Turn 4 on his final Q2 lap, was fifth quickest – three hundredths faster than the McLaren of Lando Norris.

But the Haas driver has a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change, so will lose his third-row starting slot.

Alfa Romeo duo Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi were seventh and eighth, while Pierre Gasly was only ninth for Red Bull after failing to improve on his second Q3 run.

Vettel was unable to take to the track in Q3 thanks to what Ferrari called a problem with the air pressure line to the engine, meaning he ended up P10.

Romain Grosjean was P11 after lapping 0.024 seconds slower than Haas teammate Magnussen in Q2.

Grosjean set two lap times separated by just one thousandth of a second on his second run, but it wasn’t enough to overhaul Magnussen.

Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg failed to improve on his second run in Q2 and ended up P11 thanks to being in the queue of cars slower by Magnussen’s Turn 4 off.

Hulkenberg also has a five-place grid penalty.

Toro Rosso driver Alex Albon was P13, but has to serve a back-of-the-grid penalty thanks to taking the ‘Spec 3’ Honda power unit and latest turbo charger.

Daniel Ricciardo only had one run in Q2 and ended up P14, ahead of the McLaren of Carlos Sainz.

Sainz did not set a serious time in Q2 as he also has a back-of-the-grid penalty thanks to engine component changes caused by switching to the ‘spec B’ Renault power unit.

Sergio Perez was the fastest of those eliminated in Q1 after jumping Racing Point teammate Lance Stroll at the end of Q1.

Perez lapped 0.043 seconds faster than Stroll, with the Racing Point driver briefly lifting himself out of the drop zone in the final minutes of Q1 before being shuffled back as others improved.

Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat was P18, half-a-second slower than Stroll, after traffic ruined what should have been his best lap.

Kvyat turned into Turn 9 and encountered George Russell – who was slow ahead of starting a lap and behind a queue of cars that included Albon – forcing him to run very wide as he passed.

The stewards will investigate the incident after the session, with Kvyat saying “I almost killed someone” over the radio after having to avoid the queue of cars.

George Russell was fastest of the two Williams drivers, three tenths ahead of teammate Robert Kubica, although both will move off the back row thanks to penalties for Albon and Sainz.

So grid penalties can affect the line up of the Austrian Grand Prix but for the quickest driver Charles Leclerc, this was an impressive result for the Scuderia Ferrari. Hopefully Leclerc can achieve that maiden victory come race day.

Austrian Grand Prix, qualifying positions:
1 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1m03.003s
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m03.262s
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 1m03.439s
4 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m03.537s
5 Lando Norris McLaren-Renault 1m04.099s
6 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m04.166s
7 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m04.179s
8 Pierre Gasly Red Bull-Honda 1m04.199s
9 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari –
10 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1m04.072s
11 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 1m04.490s
12 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1m04.790s
13 Sergio Perez Racing Point-Mercedes 1m04.789s
14 Lance Stroll Racing Point-Mercedes 1m04.832s
15 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Honda 1m05.324s
16 George Russell Williams-Mercedes 1m05.904s
17 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m04.516s
18 Robert Kubica Williams-Mercedes 1m06.206s
19 Alexander Albon Toro Rosso/Honda 1m04.665s
20 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren-Renault 1m13.601s

Hamilton and Mercedes masterclass in France

Defending Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton produced a masterclass performance at Circuit Paul Ricard, leading every lap and extending his championship advantage by 36 points.

Hamilton comfortably defeated his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas with Charles Leclerc completed the French Grand Prix podium for Ferrari, whose lead driver Sebastian Vettel is now 76 points behind Hamilton after finishing fifth position.

Vettel failed to make much progress from starting seventh on the grid, although a bonus point for fastest lap after making a late pitstop for fresh set of Pirelli provided one sign of hope.

Hamilton held the lead at the start and only edged clear by a small margin over the first half of the opening stint.

However, the longer the drivers eked out their medium tyres, the bigger Hamilton’s advantage became.

He was more than eight seconds clear when Bottas pitted first for the hard tyres on lap 23.

Hamilton stayed out an extra lap, Mercedes having extended their drivers’ stints to make sure they were far enough ahead of Vettel to rejoin ahead, as the Ferrari stayed out even longer.

After the pitstops, Hamilton stretched his advantage further and, after a brief back and forth battle with Bottas for fastest lap, the gap extended to 18 seconds by the chequered flag.

At least Bottas returned to the runner-up position for the first time in three races, although the damage is done by Hamilton’s fourth consecutive victory.

Behind the Silver Arrows, Leclerc hung onto Bottas’s tail in the first of the Ferraris.

Leclerc hounded Bottas to the flag, though always a few seconds adrift, as he scored his second podium finish in a row.

The Ferrari driver had to overcome a fierce first-lap challenge from Max Verstappen, after the two ran side-by-side down to Turn 3 for the first time.

Leclerc was boxed in by Bottas into Turn 2, which gave Verstappen momentum around the outside before Leclerc edged clear as they approached the next corner.

After that point, Verstappen gradually slipped back from Leclerc and his attentions turned to keep Vettel at bay.

Vettel closed to just three seconds behind in the first stint but after pitting several laps later than the Red Bull he rejoined 5.9 seconds adrift and drop away.

That gave Verstappen, who struggled with some lag on the throttle early on, some breathing space and meant Vettel had too much time to make up when he started to close in again in the final few laps.

Ferrari therefore pitted Vettel with two laps to the finish, getting a fresh set of soft tyres and released him to chase the fastest lap.

Vettel pumped in a one minute, 32.740 seconds on the final lap to steal the bonus point from Hamilton by just 0.024 seconds – after Hamilton had set a new fastest lap on the final lap as well.

Behind the Ferrari, McLaren won the best-of-the-rest battle with Carlos Sainz in sixth position.

Sainz jumped teammate Lando Norris on the opening lap when Norris found himself with nowhere to go at Turn 1 and had to back out, handing Sainz momentum and the position.

Norris did well to even finish after battling a hydraulics problem that got worse as the race progressed and presented braking and steering problems.

Lando ran seventh until the very last lap, when his problems became too much to overcome and he slipped behind Daniel Ricciardo’s Renault, the Alfa Romeo of Kimi Raikkonen and Nico Hulkenberg.

Ricciardo attacked the ailing Norris on the outside at the chicane but ran deep, so Norris squirted the throttle and tried to re-pass him through the second part of the corner but went too wide after Ricciardo squeezed him, and took to the run-off.

That triggered multiple cars running side-by-side as Raikkonen and Hulkenberg got in on the battle, with Ricciardo claiming seventh ahead of Raikkonen, Hulkenberg and the defeated Norris.

This was a late race drama in an otherwise dull French Grand Prix. The lack of action was a real issue but the performance by Mercedes must be applauded with this brilliant race result. Congratulations Lewis Hamilton in winning at Circuit Paul Ricard.

French Grand Prix, race results:
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 53 1h24m31.198s
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 53 18.056s
3 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 53 18.985s
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 53 34.905s
5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 53 1m02.796s
6 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren-Renault 53 1m35.462s
7 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 52 1 Lap
8 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 52 1 Lap
9 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 52 1 Lap
10 Lando Norris McLaren-Renault 52 1 Lap
11 Pierre Gasly Red Bull-Honda 52 1 Lap
12 Sergio Perez Racing Point-Mercedes 52 1 Lap
13 Lance Stroll Racing Point-Mercedes 52 1 Lap
14 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Honda 52 1 Lap
15 Alexander Albon Toro Rosso-Honda 52 1 Lap
16 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 52 1 Lap
17 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 52 1 Lap
18 Robert Kubica Williams-Mercedes 51 2 Laps
19 George Russell Williams-Mercedes 51 2 Laps
– Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 44 Retirement

Drivers’ championship:
1 Lewis Hamilton 187
2 Valtteri Bottas 151
3 Sebastian Vettel 111
4 Max Verstappen 100
5 Charles Leclerc 87
6 Pierre Gasly 36
7 Carlos Sainz Jr. 26
8 Daniel Ricciardo 22
9 Kimi Raikkonen 17
10 Kevin Magnussen 14
11 Nico Hulkenberg 14
12 Lando Norris 13
13 Sergio Perez 13
14 Daniil Kvyat 10
15 Alexander Albon 7
16 Lance Stroll 6
17 Romain Grosjean 2
18 Antonio Giovinazzi 0
19 George Russell 0
20 Robert Kubica 0

Constructors’ championship:
1 Mercedes 338
2 Ferrari 198
3 Red Bull-Honda 136
4 McLaren-Renault 39
5 Renault 36
6 Racing Point-Mercedes 19
7 Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 17
8 Toro Rosso-Honda 17
9 Haas-Ferrari 16
10 Williams-Mercedes 0

Hamilton scores 86th career pole in France

Defending Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton achieved his 86th career pole position in the sport with a fine qualifying result at Circuit Paul Ricard.

Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas had the edge initially after setting the timesheets in both Q1 and Q2, but Hamilton stepped up a gear with a run to the top spot on the first runs in Q3 with a lap of one minute, 28.448 seconds.

Hamilton then improved to a one minute, 28.319 seconds on his second lap to secure pole position, and set the fastest times of all in each of the three sectors across his two laps.

Bottas had a scruffy lap and was unable to improve on his first run pace, meaning he ended up 0.286 seconds behind Hamilton.

Charles Leclerc was the lead Ferrari, 0.646 seconds off the pace in third and yet well ahead of fourth-placed Max Verstappen.

The Red Bull driver struggled during qualifying, ending up more than four tenths slower than Leclerc and only 0.009 seconds quicker than the McLaren of Lando Norris.

Carlos Sainz Jr was sixth fastest, just over a tenth slower than his teammate, to signal McLaren’s strong performance throughout practice and qualifying.

This was a fine qualifying performance for McLaren. Two drivers in the top 6. Kudos to Norris and Sainz with this excellent result.

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel was only seventh, 1.480 seconds off the pace, having abandoned his first qualifying run.

Vettel reported a missed upshift gear change, and also had a moment at Turn 1 and a later off-track excursion on his first run, then was not able to string together a strong lap on his second set of soft tyres.

This was a disappointing result for the four-time champion. Seems Vettel is not in the right frame of mind considering the controversial moment in Canada and the constant media pressure.

Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo was eighth, just over a tenth slower than Vettel and ahead of Pierre Gasly.

Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi was P10, although his one attempt in Q3 did not go well after his late lap in Q2 allowed him to make the final stage of qualifying.

Eight of the top ten will start the race on mediums having used that tyre to set their Q2 times, the exceptions being Giovinazzi and Gasly – who both used softs.

Toro Rosso driver Alex Albon was bumped down to P11 at the end of Q2 by Gasly, who nicked the final Q3 slot by just four-hundredths of a second.

Kimi Raikkonen was unable to match teammate Giovinazzi’s late-session pace and ended up P12, just ahead of Nico Hulkenberg – who attempted to make it through to the top ten shootout using mediums on his second run.

Racing Point’s Sergio Perez was P14, seven-tenths faster than the Haas of Kevin Magnussen.

Daniil Kvyat, who must start at the back thanks to grid penalties for taking Honda’s ‘Spec 3’ turbocharger and V6 – on top of other engine component offences – was fastest of those eliminated in Q1.

Kvyat was bumped in the final moments of the session by Toro Rosso teammate Albon, who is not running the latest-spec components.

Haas driver Romain Grosjean was knocked into the dropzone by improvements from Perez and Ricciardo, with his attempt to escape by the rear stepping out in the chicane and spitting him off track.

Lance Stroll continued this season’s run of Q1 eliminations in P18 place having jumped back ahead of the Williams of George Russell on his final attempt.

Russell is carrying two 10-place grid penalties after the Williams team was forced to change his Mercedes control electronics and energy store following an electrical power loss that restricted him to four laps in final practice.

He qualified P19 after moving onto his third control electronics and energy store of the season, having already changed both following his bizarre drain strike during Azerbaijan Grand Prix practice.

Russell outpaced team-mate Robert Kubica by 0.416 seconds in the battle for P19, but Kubica is set to start P18 thanks to penalties for others.

So congratulations to Lewis Hamilton with the French Grand Prix qualifying result. Another Mercedes front row with Valtteri Bottas joining his Silver Arrows colleague at the front. Going to be fascinating race in terms of the championship.

French Grand Prix qualifying results:
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m28.319s
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m28.605s
3 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1m28.965s
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 1m29.409s
5 Lando Norris McLaren-Renault 1m29.418s
6 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren-Renault 1m29.522s
7 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m29.799s
8 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1m29.918s
9 Pierre Gasly Red Bull-Honda 1m30.184s
10 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m33.420s
11 Alexander Albon Toro Rosso-Honda 1m30.461s
12 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m30.533s
13 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m30.544s
14 Sergio Perez Racing Point-Mercedes 1m30.738s
15 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1m31.440s
16 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 1m31.626s
17 Lance Stroll Racing Point-Mercedes 1m31.726s
18 George Russell Williams-Mercedes 1m32.789s
19 Robert Kubica Williams-Mercedes 1m33.205s
20 Daniil Kvyat Toro RossopHonda 1m31.564s

Hamilton takes controversial victory following Vettel penalty

Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari were denied a first victory of the 2019 Formula 1 season following a five-second time penalty for forcing a driver off track. This handed the Canadian Grand Prix victory to rival Lewis Hamilton.

Vettel led the majority of the race at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve but was demoted to second position by a penalty picked up after running wide at the first chicane and almost colliding with Hamilton as he rejoined.

That handed Hamilton his fifth win of the season and maintained Mercedes’ perfect winning record after seven races.

Vettel had a big enough advantage to hold on to second position, as Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc completed the podium.

Ferrari was in contention to end its winless start to the season after Vettel kept Hamilton at bay through the opening stint, then came under increasing pressure in the second half of the race.

Hamilton dropped to almost five seconds behind Vettel of extending his first stint by a couple of laps, but had stronger pace on the hard tyres and quickly caught the Ferrari.

In nine laps he reduced Vettel’s lead and moved within DRS range, then briefly fell out of it again after a lock-up at the hairpin.

But the two started lap 48 of the 70 Hamilton was closer to Vettel again, and Vettel took to the grass at the first chicane after briefly losing the rear of his car on corner entry.

Vettel took a trip over the grass and rejoined just as Hamilton tried to move into the gap between the scrambling Ferrari and the wall on the exit of the corner.

Hamilton backed out to avoid a collision and Vettel maintained his lead, but was punished after a lengthy investigation by the race stewards.

Vettel never came close to building a big enough gap to cancel out the penalty and complained over the race that the officials were “stealing the race” from Ferrari.

Hamilton finished 1.4 seconds behind at the flag, which became a 3.6 seconds winning margin and extended his points lead to 29 points – after a pre-race scare when his team rushed to replace his car’s hydraulics system.

Leclerc ended up one second behind Vettel in the final race results, with Ferrari’s first double podium finish of the season scant consolation for the Italian team.

Valtteri Bottas was left a distant fourth place as a Mercedes driver finished off the podium for the first time in 2019.

Bottas only qualified sixth and fell behind the second Renault of Nico Hulkenberg on lap one, then struggled to make progress on medium tyres with his immediate rivals on softs.

He eventually worked his way through to fourth and picked up a bonus point for fastest lap after building up a big enough gap for a free second pitstop near the end.

Max Verstappen recovered to fifth place after starting ninth, running a long first stint on hard tyres before passing the Renaults of Daniel Ricciardo and Hulkenberg after switching to mediums at the end.

Ricciardo withstood a late assault from Hulkenberg to finish sixth, with Pierre Gasly only eighth for Red Bull despite starting fifth – having lost ground in traffic after an early pitstop.

Lance Stroll fought through to ninth and banked two points in his home grand prix, despite his Racing Point being fitted with an older-spec engine after a fiery failure in final practice.

Daniil Kvyat completed the point scorers for Toro Rosso.

Despite an ultra-hot day that prompted major braking and temperature problems for the teams, there were only two retirements.

Lando Norris was first to stop, suffering a peculiar failure after eight laps that left his McLaren on three wheels, while Alex Albon – who picked up wing damage at the start – retired 11 laps from the finish.

So a controversial Canadian Grand Prix, with the deserved winner was denied race victory. Sebastian Vettel feels angry with the race stewards’ decision and just heartbroken that the sport of racing has been ruined.

As for Lewis Hamilton, congratulations in winning the race for the seventh time. The Mercedes driver is now the most successful Canadian Grand Prix winner.

Canadian Grand Prix, race results:
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 70 1h29m07.084s
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 70 3.658s
3 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 70 4.696s
4 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 70 51.043s
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 70 57.655s
6 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 69 1 Lap
7 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 69 1 Lap
8 Pierre Gasly Red Bull-Honda 69 1 Lap
9 Lance Stroll Racing Point-Mercedes 69 1 Lap
10 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Honda 69 1 Lap
11 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren-Renault 69 1 Lap
12 Sergio Perez Racing Point-Mercedes 69 1 Lap
13 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 69 1 Lap
14 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 69 1 Lap
15 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 69 1 Lap
16 George Russell Williams-Mercedes 68 2 Laps
17 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 68 2 Laps
18 Robert Kubica Williams-Mercedes 67 3 Laps
– Alexander Albon Toro Rosso-Honda 59 Retirement
– Lando Norris McLaren-Renault 8 Brakes

Drivers’ standings:
1 Lewis Hamilton 162
2 Valtteri Bottas 133
3 Sebastian Vettel 100
4 Max Verstappen 88
5 Charles Leclerc 72
6 Pierre Gasly 36
7 Carlos Sainz Jr. 18
8 Daniel Ricciardo 16
9 Kevin Magnussen 14
10 Sergio Perez 13
11 Kimi Raikkonen 13
12 Lando Norris 12
13 Nico Hulkenberg 12
14 Daniil Kvyat 10
15 Alexander Albon 7
16 Lance Stroll 6
17 Romain Grosjean 2
18 Antonio Giovinazzi 0
19 George Russell 0
20 Robert Kubica 0

Constructors’ standings:
1 Mercedes 295
2 Ferrari 172
3 Red Bull-Honda 124
4 McLaren-Renault 30
5 Renault 28
6 Racing Point-Mercedes 19
7 Toro Rosso-Honda 17
8 Haas-Ferrari 16
9 Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 13
10 Williams-Mercedes 0

Vettel scores his first pole of 2019 in Canada

Sebastian Vettel achieved his first pole position of the 2019 Formula 1 season in qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix by snatching the top spot in the final moments of Q3.

The Scuderia Ferrari driver was second fastest after the first runs in Q3, but put in a superb lap to jump ahead of title rival Lewis Hamilton and take pole by 0.206 seconds.

Hamilton did improve on his second run, but only by 0.047 seconds, which was more than enough to ensure he retained a front-row starting position.

As for Charles Leclerc, he had a slow run in the final sector on his final lap and ended up almost four tenths slower than Hamilton in third position.

The Ferrari driver faces an investigation after the session for rejoining the track at Turn 8/9 after driving on the wrong side of the marker bollard earlier in qualifying.

All of the top three will start on medium-compound Pirellis having used that tyre spec in Q2, as will Valtteri Bottas.

Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo claimed an impressive fourth on the grid, beating Red Bull’s Pierre Gasly by just 0.008 seconds.

Bottas abandoned his first run in Q3 after spinning exiting Turn 2 and had a difficult lap on his second set of tyres. The Mercedes driver suffered several lock-ups and ended up down in sixth, 0.861 seconds off the pace.

Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg was seventh ahead of the McLaren duo of Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz.

Sainz was 2.1 seconds slower than Norris after aborting his final lap having had to run on a used set of softs to set his time on the first run.

Sainz will be investigated after the qualifying session for impeding Toro Rosso driver Alex Albon in Turn 2 during Q1.

Kevin Magnussen was tenth but was unable to take part in Q3 following a crash on the exit of the final corner on his final push lap in Q2 and bringing a premature end to the session.

The Haas driver lost the rear out of the final part of the chicane and tagged the wall before spinning heavily into the pitwall on the inside of the track.

Magnussen’s crash led to the elimination of Red Bull driver Max Verstappen in Q2 in P11, as he was on a lap on soft Pirellis at the time that would have got him comfortably into the top ten shootout.

Verstappen had used mediums for his first run in Q2 in the hope of being able to start on the more durable tyre, but didn’t hook up a strong enough lap and complained about traffic, forcing him to go again.

Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat only had one set of fresh softs for Q2, putting in a lap good enough for P12 and beating Alfa Romeo driver Antonio Giovinazzi.

Alex Albon was P14 fastest ahead of the Haas of Romain Grosjean and suggested his tyre preparation was compromised by having to rush out at the start of his final run after being delayed by the weighbridge.

Grosjean did not set a time in Q2 thanks to only having one set of fresh softs and then being caught out by Magnussen’s crash ahead of him on his quick lap.

Racing Point driver Sergio Perez didn’t improve by enough as he took the chequered flag in Q1 to escape the drop zone.

He jumped up to P16, 0.033 seconds faster than Alfa Romeo driver Kimi Raikkonen – who had been bumped by teammate Antonio Giovinazzi a few seconds earlier.

Lance Stroll continued his run of Q1 exits in P18, although he switched to his early-season engine after suffering a failure of his new ‘Phase 2’ Mercedes in Saturday’s practice session and lapped just 0.069 seconds slower than teammate Perez.

As usual, the Williams drivers battled it out for last place with George Russell P19 and 1.351 seconds behind Stroll.

While the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix winner Robert Kubica will start last after lapping 0.776 seconds slower than his teammate.

So a fantastic pole position for Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari. This is what Formula 1 needed after the dominance of Mercedes. Fingers crossed the fight back by the Scuderia begins, for the sake of the championship.

Canadian Grand Prix, qualifying positions:
1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m10.240s
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m10.446s
3 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1m10.920s
4 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1m11.071s
5 Pierre Gasly Red Bull-Honda 1m11.079s
6 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m11.101s
7 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m11.324s
8 Lando Norris McLaren-Renault 1m11.863s
9 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren-Renault 1m13.981s
10 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari –
11 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 1m11.800s
12 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Honda 1m11.921s
13 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m12.136s
14 Alexander Albon Toro Rosso-Honda 1m12.193s
15 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari –
16 Sergio Perez Racing Point-Mercedes 1m12.197s
17 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m12.230s
18 Lance Stroll Racing Point-Mercedes 1m12.266s
19 George Russell Williams-Mercedes 1m13.617s
20 Robert Kubica Williams-Mercedes 1m14.393s

Hamilton resists pressure to score Monte Carlo victory

Defending world champion Lewis Hamilton resisted huge pressure and a late contact with Max Verstappen to take victory in Formula 1’s most glamorous race, the Monaco Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver kept focus despite tyre graining. Lewis resisted more than 60 laps of pressure from Max to hold on to win despite having to manage softer tyres than his pursuers.

As Verstappen was not able to get past the Mercedes and edge clear – despite a late dive at the chicane two laps from the end – he fell from second to fourth at the flag because of a five-second time penalty.

Verstappen picked that up for an unsafe release in the pits that had got him ahead of Bottas, who he made light contact with and forced into the wall.

Verstappen fell behind both Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari and Bottas, who completed the podium despite needing to make a second pitstop under the safety car after his brush with the wall caused a puncture.

Poleman Hamilton retained his advantage at the start ahead of Bottas, despite Verstappen having a look inside Bottas the Sainte Devote on the first lap.

The leaders held station for the opening stint, which was cut short by a safety car after Charles Leclerc – who started in P15 following Ferrari’s qualifying error – littered the track with debris from a dramatic puncture.

Leclerc hit the inside wall at Rascasse and half-spun after trying to pass Nico Hulkenberg for P11.

He tried to continue but picked up a puncture and scattered a large amount of debris as the rubber fell apart around the rest of the lap.

Mercedes opted to pit both its cars under the safety car period and Bottas dropped back behind Hamilton to try to give enough of a gap to avoid losing time.

When they stopped, Verstappen was released just as Bottas was coming past, and though Verstappen was a nose ahead a small amount of contact forced Bottas to kiss the wall on the right-hand side.

The incident damaged Bottas’s wheel rim and caused a slow puncture, but with the safety car still deployed he only dropped behind Vettel to fourth – and eventually Verstappen was awarded a five-second penalty for the unsafe release.

Once the race resumed, Verstappen hounded Hamilton for more than 60 laps, but only got close enough to start attacking the five-time world champion in the final ten.

He had a brief look to the outside of the hairpin on lap 70 but was not close enough on the exit of Portier to get a proper run at Hamilton into the chicane.

On lap 76 he lunged Hamilton, but Hamilton moved across. Verstappen locked up and they made minor wheel-to-wheel contact – Verstappen’s right-front to Hamilton’s left-rear – and Hamilton took to the escape road, but both continued without damage.

Hamilton’s win extended his championship lead over Bottas to 17 points, while Vettel and Bottas were slightly adrift but within five seconds, significent enough to drop Verstappen down to fourth.

Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate Pierre Gasly finished in fifth, his best result since his move to the senior team, and earned fastest lap after building enough of a gap to make a late, free pitstop for fresh tyres.

Behind, Carlos Sainz earned his best result for McLaren in sixth place after opting not to pit under the early safety car.

That strategy was replicated by Daniil Kvyat and Alex Albon, who used it to great effect to finish seventh and eighth for Toro Rosso.

Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo finished ninth, the lead midfield runner who did pit under the safety car.

Romain Grosjean, who opted for the same strategy as Sainz/Kvyat/Albon, completed the points scorers for Haas.

Leclerc was the only retirement from the Monaco Grand Prix. A big shame for the home hero.

There was a separate Rascasse incident shortly after the safety car, when Antonio Giovinazzi hit Robert Kubica and spun the Williams.

The track was briefly blocked, holding up a few cars, but Kubica was able to reverse and get out of the way quickly, which avoided anything worse than localised yellow flags.

So an entertaining Monaco Grand Prix with Lewis Hamilton relieved to take the chequered flag after big pressure from Max Verstappen and graining tyres. Unfortunate for Charles Leclerc. A poor weekend for the Ferrari driver in his home race. Better luck next year.

Monaco Grand Prix, race results:
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 78 1h43m28.437s
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 78 2.602s
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 78 3.162s
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 78 5.537s
5 Pierre Gasly Red Bull-Honda 78 9.946s
6 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren-Renault 78 53.454s
7 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Honda 78 54.574s
8 Alexander Albon Toro Rosso-Honda 78 55.200s
9 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 78 1m00.894s
10 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 78 1m01.034s
11 Lando Norris McLaren-Renault 78 1m06.801s
12 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 77 1 Lap
13 Sergio Perez Racing Point-Mercedes 77 1 Lap
14 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 77 1 Lap
15 George Russell Williams-Mercedes 77 1 Lap
16 Lance Stroll Racing Point-Mercedes 77 1 Lap
17 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 77 1 Lap
18 Robert Kubica Williams-Mercedes 77 1 Lap
19 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 76 2 Laps
– Charles Leclerc Ferrari 16 Accident damage

Drivers’ standings:
1 Lewis Hamilton 137
2 Valtteri Bottas 120
3 Sebastian Vettel 82
4 Max Verstappen 78
5 Charles Leclerc 57
6 Pierre Gasly 32
7 Carlos Sainz Jr. 18
8 Kevin Magnussen 14
9 Sergio Perez 13
10 Kimi Raikkonen 13
11 Lando Norris 12
12 Daniil Kvyat 9
13 Daniel Ricciardo 8
14 Alexander Albon 7
15 Nico Hulkenberg 6
16 Lance Stroll 4
17 Romain Grosjean 2
18 Antonio Giovinazzi 0
19 George Russell 0
20 Robert Kubica 0

Constructors’ standings:
1 Mercedes 257
2 Ferrari 139
3 Red Bull-Honda 110
4 McLaren-Renault 30
5 Racing Point-Mercedes 17
6 Haas-Ferrari 16
7 Toro Rosso-Honda 16
8 Renault 14
9 Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 13
10 Williams-Mercedes 0

Hamilton wins Monaco street fight qualifying from Bottas

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