Sports Desk, May 27 (EFE).- Reigning two-time Formula One champion Max Verstappen (Red Bull) finished first Saturday in qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix, beating out another double-champion, Spaniard Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin), by less than a tenth of a second.
The Dutchman made it around the Monte Carlo Circuit in 1:11.365 to secure pole position for the 23rd time in his career.
Monaco’s own Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) took third place and will be joined Sunday on the second row by Frenchman Esteban Ocon (Alpine).
The other Ferrari driver, Carlos Sainz of Spain, was the fifth-fastest in Q3, while British seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) came back from an accident in the final practice to grab sixth place on the grid.
Fourth row will be shared by France’s Pierre Gasly (Alpine) and Hamilton’s teammate and countryman, George Russell.
Rounding out the top 10 were Japanese driver Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) and Briton Lando Norris (McLaren).
Mexico’s Sergio “Checo” Perez (Red Bull) will start from P20 on Sunday after crashing out of Q1.
Heading into Round 7 of the season, Verstappen leads the driver standings with 119 points, followed by Perez (105), Alonso (75), Hamilton (56), Sainz (44), Russell (40), and Leclerc (34).
Verstappen has won three of the first five races and Perez claimed the other two. Round 6, the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix, was canceled due to catastrophic flooding in northern Italy.