Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes are on the brink of Formula One history going into Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix.
With championship leader Hamilton on pole position and Valtteri Bottas second on a track where it is notoriously difficult to overtake, the team look poised to secure a sixth consecutive one-two, which would be an F1 record.
Hamilton is seeking a third career win in Monte Carlo, at a street circuit neither he nor his team would class among their most successful.
But Saturday's qualifying damped the optimism of any F1 fans hoping the race in Monaco would produce a third straight year without a Mercedes driver on the top step of the podium and an end to their emphatic 2019 start.
The Silver Arrows were a class apart again, with Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel a distant third and fourth on the grid, while Charles Leclerc will start in 15th after a Ferrari strategy blunder.
There is a chance of rain on race day, which Hamilton knows is one of the few potential obstacles standing in his way.
Asked about the threats, Hamilton said: "Hopefully the weather stays something like Saturday. I heard that there's a potential chance of rain on Sunday.
"It will be the same for all of us and if anything that makes it more exciting at this track. But ultimately, when you're on pole, you hope it will be just smooth sailing, a dry, safety car kind of day.
"The tyres that we have, it's a one-stop race generally, it has been for a long time here, so it's really just about keeping calm, cool and collected and just delivering on what we've practiced throughout the weekend.
"This race – as you've seen in the previous years – lots of things get thrown at you so we've just got to stay on our toes. But I honestly feel that we're the best prepared, we've had a really solid weekend of preparation. We've had good years of experience too.
"We have to continue to try to pull out something special. Max has been really quick this weekend as well, so anything can happen still, we have still got a good job to do. But there's no better place to start."
TRIBUTE TO LAUDA PLANNED
Hamilton dedicated his pole to the late Niki Lauda after qualifying, and F1 will honour the Austrian with a minute's silence on the starting grid prior to the race.
It was also revealed drivers, dignitaries and a number of Lauda's contemporaries will hold a red cap, which had become synonymous with the three-time world champion.
FERRARI EXPLAIN LECLERC MISTAKE
Leclerc was furious after failing to get out of Q1 and vowed to take overtaking risks in the race while hoping rain could somehow give him a chance to claim meaningful points.
Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto later explained the error that saw his driver remain in the garage as rivals set faster times to knock him out the top 15, blaming it on simulation tools that underestimated the lap time required to advance.
"It is not a good day," Binotto, who also saw his other driver Vettel hit the barriers in FP3, Q1 and Q3, told reporters. "We made a mistake, a misjudgement and a wrong evaluation of the cut-off time."
RICCIARDO A MAN TO WATCH
Daniel Ricciardo looks like a threat for Sunday, with a grid penalty for Pierre Gasly promoting the Renault man up to sixth.
He won last year's race in Monte Carlo and has two pole positions to his name at the track.
Ricciardo is in a good position to become the second Australian (after Mark Webber) to reach 1,000 career points. He must finish at least sixth to do that.
"I am happy," he said after qualifying. "Some variables [on Sunday] could make it interesting and I wouldn't be disappointed if I wake up to rain! But, wet or dry, I’ll be ready."
1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)
3. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
4. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)
5. Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
6. Daniel Ricciardo (Renault)
7. Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso)
8. Pierre Gasly (Red Bull)
9. Carlos Sainz Jr (McLaren)
10. Alexander Albon (Toro Rosso)
2018: Daniel Ricciardo (for Red Bull)
2017: Sebastian Vettel
2016: Lewis Hamilton
1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 112
2. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) 105 (-7)
3. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 66 (-46)
4. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 64 (-48)
5. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 57 (-55)
1. Mercedes 217
2. Ferrari 121 (-96)
3. Red Bull 87 (-125)
Rain is likely to arrive at some point in Monaco on Sunday, but the question is whether it comes quickly enough to impact the race. Afternoon showers are possible, which would liven up a grand prix that often lacks excitement due to the difficulty drivers face with overtaking.
"The latest I've heard is a 60 per cent chance of rain but it keeps changing," Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said immediately after qualifying.
15 de junio 2019
|Goals are pretty hard to come by – Ellis dismisses celebration criticism|
|Huget double leads Toulouse to Top 14 glory|
|Malaga 0 Deportivo La Coruna 1 (2-5 agg): Bergantinos sends Depor into promotion play-off final|
|Venezuela 0 Peru 0: Points shared despite late Mago dismissal|
|Tiger Woods struggles to get going on moving day|
|Tahir has single-handedly made South Africa a strong team - Du Plessis|
|Dream return for Quinlan as Smith gets up and running against Wolves|
|Auger-Aliassime gets walkover into Stuttgart final, rain halts Den Bosch semis|
|Bertens makes first grass final on home soil|
|Ukraine overcome South Korea to win Under-20 World Cup|
|ICC to investigate Sri Lanka news conference no-show|
|De Kock steers Proteas to first win after Afghanistan collapse|
|It is out of the question me and Aguero will leave - Jesus quashes Manchester City exit talk|
|Runaway golf cart injures U.S. Open spectators in freak accident|
|Maybe I can fit in at Manchester United - Brazil forward Everton open to future move|
|Bayern to begin DFB-Pokal defence at Energie Cottbus|
|Finch: Australia could have passed 350|
|Sharks pip Stormers to Super Rugby play-offs with last-gasp turnaround|
|Fabulous Finch and superb Starc fire Australia to fourth win|
|Dzeko-Lukaku duo has ´devastating´ potential for Inter - Vieri|
|Uruguay v Ecuador: Gomez´s men first up for 15-time champions|
|Paraguay v Qatar: Berizzo´s men start Copa America bid against Asian champions|
|MotoGP Raceweek: Tension mounting for Repsol Honda team-mates in Barcelona|
|Kohli challenges ´flexible´ India to stay calm in Pakistan clash|
|I want to play for the team I love – Nelson determined to make Arsenal impact|
|Pakistan aiming to rattle India´s top order - Arthur|
|MotoGP Raceweek: Quartararo claims pole 11 days after surgery|
|Froome ´fully focused´ on getting back to his best after crash|
|India v Pakistan: Fierce rivals hope Manchester stays dry|
|Williams & Nonu could leave the Blues, says MacDonald|
|Murray to face top seeds in Queen´s doubles return|
|Bournemouth issue update on Fraser future amid Arsenal links|
|Brumbies extend streak ahead of play-offs, Hurricanes flatten poor Blues|
|Finch blasts joint-highest score of Cricket World Cup|
|He is definitely the right man - Di Matteo backs Lampard for Chelsea job|
|Coutinho: I have not performed as expected at Barcelona|
|In-form Storm rout Knights as ailing Rabbitohs lose again|
|English clubs are losing popularity - Ceferin hits back at Europa League complaints|
|West Indies all-rounder Brathwaite found guilty of dissent|
|Giampaolo paves way for AC Milan move after leaving Sampdoria|
|It´s the best I´ve felt about my game in a while - McIlroy on a roll at Pebble Beach|
|Watkins to depart Leeds early for Gold Coast Titans|
|Rumour Has It: Beckham´s Inter Miami make Icardi offer|
|Jovic headlines young stars at Under-21 European Championship|
|Braves stun Phillies with walk-off rally|
|Kerr says Warriors are going to look ´a lot different´ next season|
|Allegri: I have no offers after Juve exit|
|We heard the boos! – Tite understands fans after Brazil´s slow start|
|U.S. Open leader Woodland using past experiences in pursuit of major glory|
|Scaloni: I´ll retire if Argentina win Copa America|
|Woodland sinks 50-foot birdie to surge into U.S. Open lead|
|Brazil 3 Bolivia 0: Coutinho brace silences boos in Copa America opener|
|Jaguares seal second spot with final-round rout of Sunwolves|
|The next Luka Jovic? Eintracht Frankfurt sign Dejan Joveljic|
|Rose wary of U.S. Open champ Koepka heading into weekend|
|I´m a little hot right now – Tiger Woods fuming after bogey-bogey finish|
|A gigantic club, broken records and three more titles – Ronaldo´s 2018-19 review|
|Makinson bags treble in Giants hammering, Wigan beat Rhinos|
|Women´s World Cup Review: England, Italy go through as Japan bounce back|
|Auger-Aliassime and Raonic set for Stuttgart showdown|
14 de junio 2019
|Koepka feeling ´great´ in pursuit of hat-trick after back-to-back 69s|
|Bertens wins twice in a day to reach semi-finals on home soil|
|Sri Lanka v Australia: Lions seek upset after washout woe|
|Montella confirmed as Fiorentina´s head coach|
|Root the quiet shining light among England´s batting bravado|
|Du Plessis tells Proteas to rescue themselves as World Cup exit looms large|
|Rose leads by two at Pebble Beach, Woods hanging in there|
|Ligue 1 2019-20 fixtures: PSG start title defence at home to Nimes|
|Venezuela v Peru: 2016 quarter-finalists meet in Group A opener|
|Afghanistan v South Africa: Du Plessis warns South Africa cannot afford another slip|