Webber takes pole in front of Kubica in Monaco
Following straight on from his victory in Barcelona, Mark Webber (1:13.826) took a superb pole position for the Monaco Grand Prix, the only driver to dip below 1m14s. Team mate Sebastian Vettel (1:14.227) pulled out a lap right at the end to go third quickest, the Red Bull pair split by the impressive Robert Kubica (1:14.120) in the Renault.
As ever the Monte Carlo qualifying session was hard fought and spectacular, with just over a second covering the top 10 on the grid.
Talking through the lap which put him on pole by fully three tenths, Webber said: “I didn’t know if my previous lap was going to be enough. The way the tyres were on our car, laps three and four were the ones to try and murder and we elected to do one run. Today it all came together on that last lap, the heart rate was up and taking pole in Monaco is a great feeling. I’ll wake up happy in the morning but it’s a long race on a narrow track which evolves a lot during the grand prix. I’ll used my experience and hope for a nice clean race but, as for today, I’m delighted.”
Kubica headed Q3 until Webber produced his wonder lap, and explained: “We took a different approach and saved two sets of new option tyres for Q3. I don’t think I could have done better although the final run was not ideal. On the second lap I set the fastest first sector but by sector two the tyres had gone off and I struggled at the end of the lap.
“The balance was a bit better today than it was on Thursday. We made some changes this morning and it was good, but we were a bit scared that in race trim the car might bottom out, so we put up the ride height a little. That might have disadvantaged me in qualifying but it should be good for the race. I have to be happy because when you are 1.5s behind the Red Bulls in Barcelona you cannot expect to outqualify them, and so being just three tenths behind is okay. ”
Vettel, outqualified by his team mate for the second time in eight days, said: “It wasn’t ideal for using the tyres properly because there was traffic even though there were only 10 cars out there in Q3. All in all though it’s a good result so compliments to the team and to Renault. It may not be the strongest engine but the driveability counts for a lot here and for Renault to have the first three on the grid is a good result.”
With Fernando Alonso destined to start the race from the pit lane after missing qualifying due to his accident at Massenet in free practice, it was left to Felipe Massa to uphold Ferrari honour and the Brazilian responded with fourth fastest lap (1:14.283).
Monaco expert Lewis Hamilton had to be satisfied with fifth fastest (1:14.432) in the first of the McLarens, just edging out the Mercedes pair. Nico Rosberg set a Q2 time that was quicker than Hamilton’s qualifying mark but had to content himself with a 1:14.544 in Q3, which was five hundredths quicker than five time Monaco winner Michael Schumacher (1:14.590).
Jenson Button (1:14.637) was unable to match his sensational Monaco qualifying performance of 2009 but starts eighth, ahead of an impressive performance from Rubens Barrichello (1:14.901), who put his Williams-Cosworth into the top 10 for the third time in six races. Vitantonio Liuzzi (1:15.170) outqualified Force India team mate Adrian Sutil for the first time this season and completed the top 10.
Here are the full results;
|6||4||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes GP||1:15.188||1:14.375||1:14.544||18|
|7||3||Michael Schumacher||Mercedes GP||1:15.649||1:14.691||1:14.590||23|
|10||15||Vitantonio Liuzzi||Force India-Mercedes||1:15.397||1:15.061||1:15.170||27|
|12||14||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1:15.445||1:15.318||18|
|15||22||Pedro de la Rosa||BMW Sauber-Ferrari||1:15.908||1:15.692||20|
|16||23||Kamui Kobayashi||BMW Sauber-Ferrari||1:16.175||1:15.992||21|
|21||25||Lucas di Grassi||Virgin-Cosworth||1:17.864||12|
|24||8||Fernando Alonso||Ferrari||No time||0|