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Monaco Grand Prix Today, Start time 2.10pm LEWIS HAMILTON delivered a brilliant last lap to snatch a crucial pole position for today's Monaco Grand Prix.

An emotional Hamilton, following the death of F1 great Niki Lauda, saw off his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas by 0.086sec with Red Bull's Max Verstappen third on the grid.

Mercedes will be favourites to make it six wins out of six today in what would be the perfect tribute to Lauda, the team's non-executive chairman, who died aged 70 on Monday.

The Silver Arrows have painted the halo on both their cars red, with the message "Niki we miss you" in tribute to the threetime world champion. "It has been a difficult week for the whole team, and personally for me," said Hamilton.

"The pole means so much to me and I can't remember one that means as much as this one.

"We have had a cloud over us all weekend and we have been trying to lift each other up."

But it was another day to forget for Ferrari as their early season-woes continued.

Sebastian Vettel, who had earlier crashed in final practice, could only manage fourth, but Charles Leclerc will start a lowly 16th after another strategic error.

Despite going fastest in final practice, Leclerc was dramatically knocked out of the opening phase of qualifying.

Ferrari thought Leclerc's lap time was strong enough to survive Q1, but Vettel's late salvo bumped his team-mate out in another disastrous miscalculation.

A distraught Leclerc said: "It's a very difficult one to take - we had plenty of time to go out again.

"I need some explanations."

Overtaking is virtually impossible on the Monte Carlo street circuit and Leclerc faces a fight to score a single point at his home track.

"I will have to take a lot of risks, even risking a crash," he added.

MONACO GP GRID 1 Hamilton Mercedes 1:10.166 2 Bottas Mercedes 1:10.252 3 Verstappen Red Bull 1:10.641 4 Vettel Ferrari 1:10.947 5 Gasly Red Bull 1:11.041


CROWD PLEASER: Hamilton celebrates pole with the fans

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 26, 2019
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