Mark Webber will start tomorrow's Monaco Grand Prix from
pole position, edging out Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton and Romain
Grosjean on the all important front two rows.
Despite fears of rain, the first session began at 2pm local time
in perfect conditions. However, it wasn't long before the first
interruption: after just five minutres, Sergio Perez suffered a
suspected steering failure coming out of Piscine. He subsequently
lost a wheel, prematurely ending his qualifying and causing an
early red flag. When the session resumed, Nico Hulkenberg went
fastest for Force India whilst Kovalainen, Petrov, Glock, de la
Rosa, Pic, Karthikeyan and the unfortunate Perez dropped out.
Minutes later, the second segment of qualifying got underway. With
the field reduced to just seventeen runners, there were
fractionally fewer incidents - and no stoppages. That didn't
prevent Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne losing control over the
notorious bump exiting the tunnel and losing his front wing against
the armco barrier and briefly producing yellow flags. Ferrari's
Felipe Massa maintained his much improved form from the morning's
practice session to head up the field whilst Q1 pacestter
Hulkenberg, Kobayashi, Button, Senna, di Resta, Ricciardo and
Vergne failed to make it into the shootout.
The pole position shootout began shortly afterwards, but two
runners participated in the knowledge that they would recieve grid
penalties. Spanish Grand Prix winner Pastor Maldonado would lose
ten places for an earlier clash with Perez, whilst Mercedes'
Michael Schumacher would drop five slots for running into the back
of Bruno Senna a fortnight ago in Spain. This turned out to be
highly significant, as it was the seven times world champion who
emerged from the frantic final minutes as the fastest man.
Unfortunately, his punishment denied him a first pole position in
six years - and Mark Webber assumed his place at the very front of