Max Verstappen edges out Fernando Alonso to take Monaco F1 GP pole

On the narrow, twisting streets of Monte Carlo against the backdrop of the lowering cliffs of the principality and framed against the looming walls of the circuit, the sudden death drama, the tense, gripping draw of the single lap challenge is surely nowhere writ more large. It was Max Verstappen who took pole for Red Bull but only with the most magnificent final sector of his final lap to pip Fernando Alonso’s Aston Martin into second. Verstappen, still on track, was a full three-tenths down on the Spaniard’s time as he entered the final sector. It was a final third as memorable as perhaps any at this historic circuit and enough to give him the major advantage required. The finale was heartbreaking for Alonso but the Spaniard was content enough to at least be starting on the front row in a race he has not won since 2007 and from where he is well placed to take advantage should anything befall Verstappen. For Hamilton, Russell and the team this was perhaps much as they had expected.

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