Charles Leclerc ensured pole position for this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix, while Max Verstappen could only manage sixth place after crashing into a wall during qualifying.

Leclerc beat Oscar Piastri by 0.154 seconds for his third pole in the last four races in Monaco, where Ferrari have excelled on the narrow track layout, high kerbs and slow-speed corners.

Verstappen was seeking history by surpassing Ayrton Senna for an eighth successive pole in Qualifying, while maintaining his perfect record at the start of the season.

However, the runaway Drivers' Championship leader hit the wall at Sainte Devote on his final lap, and had to settle for sixth on a track where overtaking is regarded as the most difficult on the calendar.

Leclerc now hopes he and Ferrari can now convert their position at the head of the grid into victory, having failed to do so in each of the last two years.

"It was nice. The feeling after a qualifying lap is always very special here," he said. "[I am] really, really happy about the lap, the excitement is so high, but it feels really good.

"But now, I know more often than not, qualifying is not everything. As much as it counts, we need to put everything together on the Sunday. In past years, we did not manage to do it, but we are a stronger team now, and I am sure we can achieve the target."

His Ferrari team-mate Carlos Sainz was third, though he faces an investigation for impeding Williams' Alex Albon in the first session, ahead of Lando Norris and George Russell.

Max Verstappen believes it will be a far from "very easy weekend" at the Monaco Grand Prix, as he looks to extend his lead at the top of the Drivers' Championship.

The three-time world champion has a 48-point advantage at the summit after winning five of the opening seven races this season.

Verstappen could make history by surpassing Ayrton Senna with an eighth successive pole in Qualifying, and maintaining his perfect record at the start of the campaign.

Although, the narrow track layout and high kerbs may present a problem to Red Bull, who struggled with the latter at last year's Singapore Grand Prix, where they failed to finish on the podium for the only time in 2023.

Ferrari's strength in slow-speed corners could also prove crucial, while Lando Norris' challenge appears to be gathering momentum after the McLaren driver finished less than a second behind him in Imola last weekend. 

"In Monaco, you might have some surprises," Verstappen said. "It's one of the more difficult tracks for us.

"In the last few years, Ferrari have always been very, very strong here. Plus, McLaren lately - the last two races - really ramped up in performance. They are, for sure, ones to watch as well.

"I don't think this is going to be a very easy weekend. Our car normally struggles a bit over bumps and kerbs. Monaco is never very straightforward, even when you have the best car. Monaco is a very tricky track to get everything to work.

"For sure, things have closed up [the challenge from Norris], which makes it very important to try to be at our very best. I know that is not always a very realistic possibility, but you always try to get to a certain point and maybe the last few races we haven't been operating at that."

Lewis Hamilton would choose Andrea Kimi Antonelli to take his Mercedes seat when he makes the move to Ferrari next year.

In February, Hamilton stunned the Formula One world by announcing he was exercising a break clause in his contract with the Silver Arrows and would join Ferrari from 2025. 

Several drivers have been linked with the upcoming vacancy at Mercedes, including world champion Max Verstappen, though he is thought likely to stay with Red Bull for next season.

Carlos Sainz – who will lose his Ferrari seat to Hamilton – has also been tipped as a potential candidate, but Hamilton thinks 17-year-old prodigy Antonelli deserves a chance.

"Carlos is a great driver, so wherever he goes I think he would be a positive for any team," Hamilton said of Sainz. 

"Honestly, I have no idea what Toto [Wolff]'s plans are, but for me, taking on a youngster, I would probably take on Kimi."

Antonelli has been part of Mercedes' junior team since 2019 and currently competes for Prema Racing in Formula Two, sitting sixth in the drivers' championship standings after four rounds of the 2024 season.

Speaking at Sunday's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, team principal Wolff hinted the teenager was under serious consideration for next year.

"I guess for the Italians it's super exciting to have Lewis Hamilton in red next year. We will get used to the outfits, but we have got to look at ourselves," he said.

"Maybe there is an option where we can shine more with an Italian in our car, so we're pushing back hard."

George Russell will not "sulk" after giving up sixth place to team-mate Lewis Hamilton at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, where Mercedes failed to arrest their slide.

Hamilton and Russell finished sixth and seventh respectively as Max Verstappen held off a charging Lando Norris for his third successive victory at the Imola event.

Russell was ahead of Hamilton as his tyres began to wear late in the race, leading Mercedes to call him in for a pit stop and bring him out ahead of eighth-placed Sergio Perez.

That ensured Hamilton finished above his team-mate for a second straight race, having failed to top him in any of the first five races of 2024.

Russell refused to criticise the team's strategy after the race, though he lamented their continued struggles with their W15 car.

"You're never going to be happy with P6 and P7," Russell told Sky Sports.

"At the end of the day, as a team we scored an extra point. I lost my position to Lewis but I'm not going to sulk over losing a P6."

Asked to explain the decision, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said: "[Russell's] lap times were getting slower and slower, and our forecast saw he was not going to make it to the end and we didn't want to lose the position to Perez.

"Lewis would have probably taken him anyway. The point being that we are racing for P6 and P7 and wanted to keep the Red Bull behind. It was a safety call."

Russell is currently seventh in the drivers' championship standings with Hamilton in eighth, with neither driver managing a podium finish so far this year.

McLaren have emerged as the foremost challengers to Red Bull and Ferrari in recent weeks, leaving Mercedes marooned in a disappointing fourth place in the team standings. 

"This is where we are right now, a little bit in no man's land behind the Ferraris and McLarens but ahead of the midfield," Russell said of their struggles.

"Everyone is still super motivated, the morale isn't dropping at all, which is quite inspiring to say. Everyone is trying to make this work and improve it."

Lando Norris is excited to see McLaren emerging as the foremost challengers to Red Bull, after he narrowly missed out on a second straight win at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Norris started second at Imola on Sunday as a grid penalty dropped his McLaren team-mate Oscar Piastri to fifth. 

It initially looked like Norris might face a battle for second as Charles Leclerc closed on him, but he found extraordinary pace late on as leader Max Verstappen started to struggle.

Verstappen complained of grip problems over team radio as Norris drew within 0.7 seconds of the world champion by the final lap, but he was just unable to pass him in a tense finish.

"It hurts me to say it, but one or two more laps and I think I would have had him," Norris told Sky Sports. 

"It's tough. I just lost out too much to Max in the beginning. He was stronger in the first stint.

"We are at a point now where we can say we are in a position with Ferrari and Red Bull. We have to get used to it. We are fighting for first and second now.

"It is still a surprise to say we are disappointed not to win, but it is what we should start to expect."

Norris has now managed four podium finishes in the last five races, and he sits fourth in the drivers' championship standings, six points behind Sergio Perez in third.

He finished second at the Chinese Grand Prix last month, then beat Verstappen to claim his first race win in Miami in early May, benefitting from effective upgrades to McLaren's MCL38 car.

"Hopefully, it continues like that because it's exciting, it's tough, and it gets you excited every weekend, so I'm looking forward to the next few," he said.

"We also had a second in China, so we've had second, first, second, and I think that’s a good sign."

Max Verstappen held off a charging Lando Norris on the final lap to get back to winning ways at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix on Sunday.

Having equalled Ayrton Senna's record of eight successive pole positions on Saturday, the three-time world champion initially looked set for a comfortable victory.

It looked like third might be the best Norris could manage, but the Briton found great pace late on and ultimately challenged for the win, as Verstappen expressed frustration over Red Bull team radio, saying he was struggling for grip when turning.

Norris pulled within 0.7 seconds of Verstappen on the final lap, but he was ultimately unable to follow up his win at the Miami Grand Prix last time out as the drivers' championship leader clung on.

Charles Leclerc captured third for Ferrari in front of an enthusiastic Italian crowd, with Oscar Piastri finishing fourth after his grid penalty meant he started the race fifth instead of second.

Carlos Sainz was fifth ahead of Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, with Verstappen's team-mate Sergio Perez only managing eighth, meaning he now trails Leclerc in the standings.

Data debrief: Verstappen follows Schumacher 

On Saturday, Verstappen became the first driver with back-to-back poles at Imola since Michael Schumacher in 2002 and 2003. One day later, he became just the second driver to win on three successive visits to the track, after the German achieved that feat between 2002 and 2004.

Verstappen is also into the top six in the all-time F1 charts for podium finishes, his 104th here moving him ahead of Kimi Raikkonen outright in the rankings.

Lando Norris says McLaren still need more time if they want to challenge Red Bull consistently after taking his maiden victory in the Miami Grand Prix.

Norris was helped by a well-timed safety car that allowed him to jump ahead of Max Verstappen in Miami to become just the third different driver to win a Grand Prix this season.

The 24-year-old currently sits fourth in the F1 drivers’ standings after three podium finishes, and he expects another competitive race at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix on Sunday.

"I'm confident we can make steps forward, but I've made it clear we're not going to be there every weekend," Norris said.

"We need more if we are to challenge Red Bull and Ferrari more consistently.

"We definitely took a step forward, but other teams have upgrades, too. So, we're not getting ahead of ourselves.

"I still think we’re the third-best team at the moment, but that could change if we have another good weekend here, and I'm confident with our rate of development that by next year we can challenge a lot more often for wins and, in the big picture, challenge for the title."

Norris’ victory in Florida followed a major aerodynamic development to the McLaren, and he believes it will be an even better match to the track on Sunday.

"We are just better suited for Imola, potentially the upgrade a little bit as well,” he added.

"Imola has generally been one of our more successful tracks - and for me as driver."

Adrian Newey admits for the first time that he expects to join another F1 team when he leaves Red Bull.

The legendary designer will depart the team in early 2025 after 19 years and is free to join a rival outfit ahead of the 2026 season.

While he did not reveal where he might go, Ferrari are regarded as favourite to land Newey as he is known to have had conversations with a Ferrari representative, while other teams have also reportedly made their interest known.

In an interview with his manager Eddie Jordan, Newey admitted he is "seriously considering changing teams, going somewhere else and doing another four or five years or whatever."

He added: "I feel a bit tired at the moment, but at some point, I’ll probably go again."

Newey’s decision to leave Red Bull was influenced by the tumultuous period behind the scenes for the Formula One constructors’ champions.

Controversy surrounded team principal Christian Horner at the start of the season as he was accused of engaging in inappropriate controlling behaviour towards a female member of staff, accusations he denied and was cleared of following an independent investigation.

Newey reflected on the decision to leave after almost two decades with the club.

"To walk away from Red Bull was a very hard decision but it was one I needed to take for a whole host of reasons. They had been my family," he continued.

"I never really thought it would be big news so for it to be in all the flipping papers and on the telly was a bit of a shock."

Alex Albon has signed a new long-term deal with Williams, until the end of the 2026 season at least.

The Thai driver, whose existing contract was due to expire at the conclusion of the 2025 campaign, has put pen to paper on fresh terms with the team he joined in 2022.

After finishing seventh in last season's World Constructors' Championship standings, Williams are ninth after a slow start to 2024.

While the length of the new deal is uncertain, it will take Albon into Formula One's new regulation period, which begins in 2026, and the 28-year-old is excited by Williams' future.

"This is a long-term project that I really believe in and want to play a key role in, which is why I have signed a multi-year contract," he said.

"The journey will take time, but I am confident we are building the right team to move forward and achieve great things in the years to come.

"It has been a difficult start to the year, but since joining Williams, we have made significant progress together, and I have seen huge changes happening behind the scenes to take us back to the front of the grid."

Team principal James Vowles added: "We are delighted to secure Alex's long-term future with Williams Racing.

"He has exceptional talent, technical input and dedication to the cause and this is a huge vote of confidence in Williams and the journey back to competitiveness that we are on.

"Since joining, Alex has consistently demonstrated his ability to perform under pressure, and signing him for the long-term is a big piece of the puzzle of moving us up the grid."

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has refused to rule out meeting with Max Verstappen to discuss a potential switch from Red Bull, though he says the Silver Arrows are also looking at other drivers.

Verstappen looks unlikely to be denied a fourth straight world championship after starting 2024 with four wins from six races, though he was beaten by Lando Norris at Sunday's Miami Grand Prix.

However, the Dutchman's future has become a subject of discussion amid a difficult period for Red Bull behind the scenes.

Team principal Christian Horner was accused and later cleared of engaging in controlling behaviour towards a female employee earlier this year, while chief technical officer Adrian Newey is stepping back from his role and will be free to join another team in early 2025.

While Verstappen's contract with Red Bull runs through 2028, reports have suggested he could follow in the footsteps of Lewis Hamilton and exercise a break clause to push through a huge move.

Ferrari's Carlos Sainz has also been linked with Mercedes after seeing the Scuderia promise his 2025 seat to Hamilton, and Wolff says the team have plenty of irons in the fire.

Asked if he was keen to meet with Verstappen, Wolff said: "There's always plenty of meetings. I can't really say about the second driver. I think we've talked about the possibilities. 

"I want to be fair to these guys and not make it look like we are playing chess with humans, because we are not doing that.

"I think we want to take our time, see where Max's thinking goes, and at the same time monitor the other drivers. Carlos was very strong in Miami again and that's why we are a little bit on observation mode at the moment."

Verstappen has said the strength of teams' cars after regulation changes are implemented in 2026 will inform any decision on his future, and Wolff says the Dutchman is right to bide his time. 

"I was him I wouldn't leave, at least for 2025, but he's the leading driver, he's the top guy at the moment and that's why it's for him to take those decisions," Wolff said.

"There may not be any decisions to take, maybe everything continues like it is, but that is then also guidance for us."

Lewis Hamilton was delighted to see his former team McLaren back on top as Lando Norris claimed his first Formula One victory at the Miami Grand Prix on Sunday.

Norris raced from fifth on the grid to beat Max Verstappen by seven seconds at the Miami International Autodrome, becoming just the second driver – after Ferrari's Carlos Sainz – to overcome the three-time world champion this year.

Norris' victory made him the 21st British driver to win an F1 race but the first since George Russell took the honours at the 2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix, while Russell's Mercedes team-mate Hamilton has not recorded a victory since the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Hamilton won the first of his seven drivers' championships with McLaren in 2008, and he is pleased to see his former team challenging the dominance of Red Bull.

"I'm really happy for Lando," Hamilton told Sky Sports after the race. "I just told him he needs to stay tonight, he's got to change his flight home – he just won a race!

"It's a special moment to win your first Grand Prix. I started at McLaren and I'm really happy to see them back at the top. It's been a long time."

McLaren are third in the constructors' championship standings with 124 points through six races of the season, 63 behind Ferrari in second and 60 clear of fourth-placed Mercedes.

A gap of over 18 seconds separated the two Silver Arrows on Sunday as Russell finished eighth, two places behind Hamilton, and he was at a loss to explain his lack of pace.

"I don't think it caught us off guard. I just had no pace at all. It was just a lot worse than expected," Russell said.

"My race pace has been pretty strong this year but compared to Lewis I was nowhere. We need to check and see what happened and go from there.

"We lost even more points but as I said yesterday, we know where we are as a team. We're a long way from where we want to be."

Max Verstappen believes Lando Norris' victory at the Miami Grand Prix will not be his last in Formula One, having been unable to match the McLaren star's pace in Florida.

Norris took his maiden F1 victory at the Miami International Autodrome, racing from fifth on the grid to finish seven seconds clear of three-time world champion Verstappen.

Verstappen started on pole but struggled to match Norris' pace on the hard tyres as he failed to win a race for just the second time this season.

The Red Bull driver has four victories in six outings in 2024, having retired at the Australian Grand Prix in March as Ferrari's Carlos Sainz took the spoils.

Speaking after Sunday's race, Verstappen said: "You win, you lose. We're all used to that in racing, right? Today was a bit tricky.

"I think already on the medium tyres it didn't feel fantastic, we were pulling away but not like it should be. Then once we made a pit stop I heard the lap times McLaren were doing and I was like, 'Well, that's pretty quick!'

"Once they also switched onto the hard tyre, they just had more pace, especially Lando – he was flying. It was incredibly difficult for us on that stint, but if a bad day is P2 I'll take it.

"I'm very happy for Lando, it's been a long time coming and it's not going to be his last one, so he definitely deserves it today."

Some have suggested McLaren may be the most likely team to challenge Red Bull's dominance this year, having arrived in Miami with a raft of upgrades to their MCL38 car.

Asked whether Sunday's race was a true representation of McLaren's pace, Verstappen said: "I hope not! 

"They came with an upgrade, for sure it looks like it works so we have a bit of work to do from our side.

"I think it definitely wasn't our strongest weekend in terms of race pace, but we'll analyse it all and try to come back stronger."

Adrian Newey acknowledged Lewis Hamilton's interest in working with him at Ferrari came as a flattering compliment for the outgoing Red Bull designer.

Hamilton will complete his switch to Ferrari next season as the Italian team managed to convince the seven-time world champion to leave Mercedes.

Newey will also be on the move early next year and is free to join a rival team ahead of the 2026 season.

Hamilton said working with Newey would be a "privilege", with one of the best designers in Formula One history at the top of his list of people to work with.

Those comments did not go unnoticed by Newey, who spoke to Sky Sports about a potential link-up with Hamilton ahead of the Miami Grand Prix on Sunday.

"F1 is all-consuming. I've been at it for a long time now," Newey said of his decision to leave Red Bull after joining the team in 2006.

"2021 was a really busy year because of the tight battle with Mercedes, through the championship and at the same time, putting all the research into the RB18 [the 2022 car].

"There comes a point where I just felt, as Forrest Gump said, 'I'm feeling a little bit tired'.

"It's very kind of Lewis to say that. I'm very flattered. At the moment, it's just take a bit of a break and see what happens next."

Newey's decision to part ways with Red Bull was announced on Wednesday, though the acclaimed designer says it has been on his mind for a while.

"A little while now. I guess over the winter a little bit," Newey said when asked about his intentions to depart.

"Then as events have unfolded this year, I thought, I'm in very lucky position where I don't need to work to live. I work because I enjoy it.

"I just felt now is a good time to step back a bit, take a break and take stock of life.

"Then maybe at some point I will stand in the shower and say 'right, this is going to be the next adventure'.

"But right now, there is no plan."

Lewis Hamilton says it would be "a privilege" to work with Adrian Newey if the designer chooses to join Ferrari following his departure from Red Bull.

Newey, who has been with Red Bull since 2006, will leave the team in early 2025 and is free to join a rival team ahead of the 2026 season.

Ferrari are thought to be favourites to get his signature ahead of the impending arrival of seven-time world champion Hamilton.

Asked about the possibility of pairing up with Newey, who is widely regarded as the greatest designer in Formula One history, Hamilton said: "If I was to do a list of people I would love to work with, he would absolutely be at the top of it.

"Any team would be fortunate to have the opportunity to work with him.

"Adrian has got such a great history and track record. He's obviously done an amazing job through his career and engaging with teams and the knowledge he has. I think he would be an amazing addition.

"Ferrari have already got a great team. They are already making huge progress and strides – their car is quicker this year.

"He [Newey] would be a privilege to work with."

Newey informed Red Bull he wanted to leave after a tumultuous period behind the scenes for the Formula One constructors' champions.

At the start of the season, controversy surrounded team principal Christian Horner as he was accused of engaging in inappropriate controlling behaviour towards a female member of staff, accusations he denied and was cleared of following an independent investigation. 

World champion Max Verstappen said he does not blame Newey for leaving Red Bull.

"I would have preferred, of course, for Adrian to stay," Verstappen told Sky Sports.

"But at the end of the day, and that's what I also said to Adrian, you have to do what you think is best for yourself, because at the end of the day, F1 is a bit of a shark tank. And I think it's very important that you do think about yourself, that you make the right decisions for yourself and your family.

"So I also don't blame him. If someone wants to leave, you go and pursue other goals or things in life, so that's absolutely fine."

Red Bull have confirmed chief technical officer Adrian Newey will leave the team in early 2025, with the legendary designer free to join a rival outfit ahead of the 2026 season.

Newey informed Red Bull he wished to leave after a tumultuous period behind the scenes for the Formula One constructors' champions.

At the start of the season, team principal Christian Horner was accused of engaging in inappropriate controlling behaviour towards a female member of staff, accusations he denied and was cleared of following an independent investigation. 

The controversy surrounding Horner even led to suggestions three-time world champion Max Verstappen could leave the team, with Mercedes linked with a huge move for the Dutchman.

On Wednesday, it was confirmed that Newey – who has been with Red Bull since 2006 and is widely regarded as the greatest designer in Formula One history – will leave the team.

In a statement, Red Bull said Newey will "step back from design duties to focus on final development and delivery of Red Bull's first hypercar, the hugely anticipated RB17".

Newey said: "Ever since I was a young boy, I wanted to be a designer of fast cars. My dream was to be an engineer in Formula One, and I've been lucky enough to make that dream a reality. 

"For almost two decades it has been my great honour to have played a key role in Red Bull Racing's progress from upstart newcomer to multiple title-winning team. 

"However, I feel now is an opportune moment to hand that baton over to others and to seek new challenges for myself."

Newey has played a key role in all six of Red Bull's constructors' championships and is certain to attract interest from several teams. 

Reports suggest the 65-year-old will not have to serve a period of gardening leave and will be able to join another team in the first quarter of 2025, allowing him to oversee development of a 2026 car.

Though it is not thought that Newey has already agreed to join another team, Ferrari are seen as favourites for his signature as they bid to partner him with seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.

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