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Piastri on front row as Leclerc takes Monaco pole

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc has ended Max Verstappen's record-equalling run of Formula One pole positions in style to make himself favourite to become the first home winner of the Monaco Grand Prix since 1931.

But Australia's Oscar Piastri will also be dreaming big after finishing second in qualifying in the sport's most famous race on Saturday.

The pole was Leclerc's third in Monaco and 24th of his career, but he has yet to stand on the podium in front of his home crowd.

Piastri, in his ever-improving McLaren, will start alongside the 26-year-old on the front row in Sunday's (Monday AEST) race.

"We need to put everything together for Sunday's race," said Leclerc, who can become the first Monegasque to win since Louis Chiron drove a Bugatti to victory in the early years of an event that now stands for glamour and history.

"In the past here we didn't manage to do so, but we are in a stronger position and we are a stronger team. I'm sure we can achieve great things tomorrow and the win is the target."

Red Bull's triple world champion Verstappen, chasing an unprecedented ninth successive pole and eighth of the season, will line up only sixth after pushing too hard and paying the price.

"I've hit the wall," the championship leader, winner of five of seven races so far this year, exclaimed over the team radio.

Verstappen had been third fastest after the initial round of fast laps in the final top 10 shootout, with Leclerc setting a time of one minute 10.418 seconds and Piastri 1:10.444.

Leclerc improved on his time with his final effort of 1:10.270, while Piastri also shaved 0.020 of a second off his previous best.

Verstappen, who has been wrestling with his car since Friday practice, threw everything at it but his mistake effectively cost him three places on a circuit where overtaking is very difficult and races are often processional.

Ferrari's Carlos Sainz qualified third and McLaren's Lando Norris fourth.

Mercedes George Russell will share the third row with Verstappen.

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton secured seventh, a disappointment after the Briton's strong showing in practice, with RB's Yuki Tsunoda eighth and his Australian teammate Daniel Ricciardo 13th.

Alex Albon qualified ninth for Williams and Pierre Gasly a morale-boosting 10th for struggling Renault-owned Alpine in the closest thing to a home race for the Frenchman.

Verstappen's team mate Sergio Perez was the big casualty of the first phase of qualifying with the Mexican set to line up only 18th.

Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso, another past Monaco winner, also had a bad day and starts 16th.