A frustrating end to qualifying saw Max miss out on a good chance of pole position due to a red flag in Monaco, although second place on the time sheet for the Dutchman makes this Honda’s first front row start at Monaco since Jenson Button also lined up on the number two grid position in 2004.
The first part of qualifying was a hectic session as drivers found that constant lapping would see times dropping the longer running went on. Max, Sergio and Pierre all advanced safely but Yuki was unfortunate to drop out in Q1 on his first visit to Monaco, as he was just 0.018s behind four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel and will start from 16th on the grid.
In a sign of how competitive qualifying in Monaco is this year, not only were the times close but drivers from seven different teams progressed to the final top ten shoot-out, including Max in second place, Sergio fifth and Pierre eighth.
After the first runs, Charles Leclerc was on provisional pole ahead of Max, but the Red Bull Racing driver was flying on his final attempt and had set the fastest first sector when Leclerc crashed at the Swimming Pool chicane, bringing out the red flags that meant Q3 ended and Max was unable to complete his lap to improve.
That also locked in Pierre in a very impressive sixth place after a strong run, while Sergio was also left frustrated after encountering a lot of traffic at Rascasse on his final attempt and being restricted to ninth on the grid.