MONACO: Max Verstappen showcased his exceptional skills by claiming his first-ever pole position at the Monaco Grand Prix in a nail-biting qualifying session. The Red Bull driver delivered a stunning final sector to edge out Fernando Alonso and secure the top spot for Sunday’s race.
The qualifying session proved to be a thrilling battle from start to finish, with Verstappen initially sitting sixth in the timing sheets in the closing stages of Q3.
Alonso, a two-time World Champion, had set an impressive benchmark, and Verstappen was trailing by two-tenths of a second on his final flying lap after the second sector.
However, a remarkable performance in the final part of his lap propelled Verstappen ahead of his fellow competitor, securing pole position. Local boy Charles Leclerc narrowly missed his third consecutive home pole position and will start from third place on the grid.
Esteban Ocon of Alpine was impressed with an upgraded A523 and secured a fantastic fourth place. The qualifying session was a mixed bag for Red Bull, as Sergio Perez, Verstappen’s teammate, will start from the back of the grid due to a heavy crash in Q1.
Perez carried too much speed into the first corner at Sainte Devote, causing a significant impact and rendering his car undrivable.
Qualifying in Monaco is always a standout event, with drivers pushing the limits on the tightest circuit of the season.
However, the session presented its own challenges, particularly with the bottleneck at the penultimate corner, Rascasse, where faster cars had to navigate around slower ones. Verstappen’s pole position marked a remarkable achievement, considering the intense competition and the unique demands of the Monaco circuit.
With the top six drivers separated by only 0.206 seconds, the final moments of qualifying epitomized the excitement and unpredictability of racing in Monaco. Sunday’s race promises to be a captivating spectacle as Verstappen aims to convert his pole position into a victory.
Alonso, Leclerc, and the other top drivers will aim to challenge him and secure a coveted win in the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix, where overtaking is notoriously difficult.