Nico Rosberg has broken Lewis Hamilton’s run of pole positions in today’s qualifying session for the Monaco Grand Prix.

The German guaranteed pole position trying to improve his benchmark effort in the final minute of play when he make a mistake under braking for Mirabeau and slid up the escape road. The localised yellow flags guaranteed no other driver could improve their own times, meaning he beat Hamilton to top spot by less than six-hundredths of a second.

Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel share the second row in their Red Bulls, ahead of the Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Kimi Räikkönen in fifth and sixth respectively.  Jean-Eric Vergne qualified seventh in the Toro Rosso, but it was his rookie team mate, Daniil Kvyat who impressed with his drive.  Kvyat’s shunt in Q1 saw him lose his front wing, but the Monaco debutant battled to Q3 nonetheless, finishing in ninth behind the McLaren rookie Kevin Magnussen and in front of Force India’s Sergio Perez.  Given that it is the Russian’s first trip to the Monte-Carlo circuit in any category, it is an a notable achievement and means that both Toro Rosso’s find themselves in the top ten qualifiers.

Q2 saw Jenson Button outdone by Force India’s Nico Hulkenburg, but he was still in front of Valtteri Bottas’s Williams by over a tenth of a second.    Button was unable to complete a full flying lap and was held up by traffic, an unusual situation for the senior driver.

The second Williams was not as fortunate; Felipe Massa was unable to compete in Q2 and Q3 following an altercation between his car and Ericsson’s around Mirabeau.  The incident is under investigation, but it meant he was forced to stay at 16th.  Grosjean and Maldonado, the two Lotus drivers, came in 14th and 15th.

Unfortunately, the usual suspects found themselves bottom of the grid.  Sauber, with Gutierrez in front of his teammate Adrian Sutil are in the third row from the back, with Marussia’s Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton in the penultimate row and the Caterham’s Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson bringing up the rear.

Ricciardo expressed frustration in the post-qualifying press conference, indicating that the time was not the best it could have been.  “left someting on the table,” he said, sighting an error in turn eight as an example.  The Red Bull was still over three-tenths off the Mercedes’ pace, meaning that even at a track that usually favours the downforce-focused such as Red Bull, the cars are still developmentally trailing the Silver Arrows.

Stewards are investigating the Q1 incidents between Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Massa, as well as the one involving Maldonado and Kvyat.  Reports will come out shortly, all from your trackside Richard’s F1 team! 


2014 Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix – Qualifying Results:

Driver Team / Entry Time Gap Laps
1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W05 1:15.989 26
2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W05 1:16.048 + 0.059 27
3. Daniel Ricciardo Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB10 1:16.384 + 0.395 22
4. Sebastian Vettel Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB10 1:16.547 + 0.558 25
5. Fernando Alonso Scuderia Ferrari F14T 1:16.686 + 0.697 27
6. Kimi Räikkönen Scuderia Ferrari F14T 1:17.389 + 1.400 27
7. Jean-Éric Vergne Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR9 1:17.540 + 1.551 26
8. Kevin Magnussen McLaren Mercedes MP4-29 1:17.555 + 1.566 25
9. Daniil Kvyat Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR9 1:18.090 + 2.101 23
10. Sergio Pérez Force India Mercedes Mercedes VJM07 1:18.327 + 2.338 26
Q3 Cut-Off: 1:17.755 Time Gap* Laps
11. Nico Hülkenberg Force India Mercedes Mercedes VJM07 1:17.846 + 1.492 20
12. Jenson Button McLaren Mercedes MP4-29 1:17.988 + 1.634 20
13. Valtteri Bottas Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW36 1:18.082 + 1.728 20
14. Romain Grosjean Lotus F1 Team Renault E22 1:18.196 + 1.842 23
15. Pastor Maldonado Lotus F1 Team Renault E22 1:18.356 + 2.002 21
16. Felipe Massa Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW36 no time 10
Q2 Cut-Off: 1:18.616 Time Gap** Laps
17. Esteban Gutiérrez Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C33 1:18.741 + 1.184 11
18. Adrian Sutil Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C33 1:18.745 + 1.188 11
19. Jules Bianchi Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03 1:19.332 + 1.775 10
20. Max Chilton Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03 1:19.928 + 2.371 9
21. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham F1 Team Renault CT05 1:20.133 + 2.576 9
22. Marcus Ericsson Caterham F1 Team Renault CT05 1:21.732 + 4.175 9

* Gap to fastest Q2 time of 1:16.354 by Lewis Hamilton

** Gap to fastest Q1 time of 1:17.557 by Jean-Eric Vergne

Image via XPB Images

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Yassmin Abdel-Magied

Two-time Young Australian of the Year finalist, qualified mechanical engineer, social advocate, author and 'petrol head'

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