Lewis Hamilton has claimed his first pole position at the Monaco Grand Prix, seeing off the challenge put forth to him by team-mate Nico Rosberg who had to settle for second. Sebastian Vettel was third in the Ferrari.

Once the session started it became apparent that traffic would again be a problem, all of the cars quickly took to the track as dark clouds hovered close to the circuit.

The Mercedes and Ferrari drivers were the only ones to stick with the soft compound tyres throughout the entirety of Q1, with the rest of the field eventually all switching to the super soft compound to secure their promotion to Q2.

Felipe Nasr, Valtteri Bottas, Marcus Ericsson, Will Stevens, Roberto Merhi were all eliminated from Q1.

Continuing on from their impressive form all weekend, the two Toro Rosso drivers Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jr. were constantly registering times in the top six. Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat in the sister Red Bull team were also quick around the streets of Monaco, both easily progressing to the final stage of qualifying.

Just like Q1, Rosberg set the fastest time in Q2 ahead of Hamilton and Vettel.

Jenson Button was on track to make Q3 for the first time this season until Rosberg, on a second set of super soft tyres, locked up into Sainte Devote and went down the escape road which brought out the yellow flags in sector one. Fernando Alonso also failed to make Q3 due to mechanical issues, when his engine cut out on the main straight.

Nico Hulkenberg missed the cut off for Q3 despite extracting seemingly everything out of his Force India, pushing the limits of the track and making contact with the wall at Mirabeau.

The two Williams drivers struggled immensely throughout the qualifying session for grip, as neither Bottas nor Felipe Massa made the final section of qualifying.

Eliminated in Q2 were Romain Grosjean, Button, Hulkenberg, Massa and Alonso.

Once Q3 started all the drivers took to the track early to bank a time in case rain fell, as drops were reported to have fallen at some parts of the track.

Hamilton opted to go out onto the track before Rosberg, as it was his turn to choose what track position he wanted. The world champion set a benchmark of 1:15.304, which would remain unbeaten, while Rosberg set a time just over a tenth of a second adrift.

Hamilton went on to consolidate his pole position, improving to a 1:15.098, while Rosberg and Vettel both experienced lock ups on their flying laps and were unable to challenge Hamilton’s time.

Sergio Perez only managed one flying lap which was good enough for seventh place.

Images via Mercedes AMG F1 Petronas

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Josh Kruse

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