Vettel claims Monaco pole position

Pérez crashes heavily

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28 May 2011 - 15:53
Vettel claims Monaco pole position

Sebastian Vettel claimed another pole position on Saturday, coming out on top of a disrupted qualifying session in Monaco.

The Red Bull driver edged out McLaren’s Button by four tenths of a second. Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso will line up on the second row of the grid.

Lewis Hamilton could only qualify in 7th position, having had to abort his first flying lap when Pérez crashed his Sauber at the chicane.

He hit the barriers at high speed and the session was red-flagged for nearly 40 minutes as the doctors attended to the Mexican and the marshals tried to repair the barrier. The first reports indicated Pérez was conscious and talking to the doctors.

Michael Schumacher qualified in fifth place ahead of Felipe Massa. Hamilton will share the fourth row with Rosberg. Maldonado was ninth fastest.

How the session panned out :

Q1

D’Ambrosio kicked off the action seconds after the light went green. Cars gently filtered through as teams tried to give their drivers the opportunity to bank a lap in early – in anticipation of heavy traffic or potential yellow-flag periods.

Five minutes in, 21 cars were on track. Button and Hamilton were setting the pace and consistently lowering the benchmark. Vettel progressively gathered speed to split the McLarens before edging them out. He didn’t stay in command for long as Button reacted and beat him by two tenths.

Hamilton responded to both of them by setting the fastest time.

Rosberg thanked the Mercedes’ mechanics effort by setting the fifth quickest time straight out of the box.

Some teams deployed the super soft tyres in the final part of the session.

The first eliminated were the HRT drivers, Liuzzi and Karthikeyan, who didn’t leave the pits. The team was still busy repairing the Italian’s car following his crash in practice, and also had to fix a rear suspension problem on the Indian’s car. They will have to hope for leniency from the stewards to be allowed to start the race.

D’ambrosio, Glock, Alguersuari, Trulli and Kovalainen were also eliminated.

Q2

The seventeen remaining drivers lost no time and immediately got out. Most of them had super soft tyres fitted on their cars.

Hamilton, Button and Webber took the first three places, while Vettel and Alonso tried to get a clear lap. They did so and moved up to 2nd and 3rd respectively. The Red Bull driver found further improvement but ended up 0.002s shy off Hamilton’s mark.

The top five drivers assumed they had done enough and pitted, while the others scrambled for a place in the top ten.

Buemi, Sutil and Petrov were the first to know they were not going to make it through. They were joined in the drop zone by Barrichello, Kobayashi, di Resta and Heidfeld.

Q3

Schumacher and Alonso kicked off the pole shootout. The Mercedes driver posted the early benchmark but was easily beaten by Jenson Button. Webber went 2nd fastest to the Briton while his teammate was nailing a stunning lap to take the provisional pole position.

Hamilton was yet to set a time. As he was about to complete his first flyer, the session was red-flagged. Sergio Pérez had just crashed his Sauber at the exit of the chicane. Just like Rosberg in the morning, the Mexican lost control of his car under braking for the chicane and hit the barrier. His battered car then slid at high speed and crashed in the barrier separating the track and the escape road at the exit of the chicane.

The medical car and an ambulance were sent on the scene to assess the medical condition of Pérez.

It took several long minutes to extract him from the stricken car and stretcher him into the ambulance. As he was taken to the hospital, his car was craned away and the marshals set on repairing the barrier.

The session eventually resumed – with 2’25 remaining – after a lengthy delay. The pressure was on Lewis Hamilton, who had not yet set a time. Unsurprisingly, he was the first to come out. He was followed by his teammate Jenson Button and the seven other drivers. Vettel was the last one out.

Hamilton could only post the seventh fastest time while his teammate made a mistake and cut the chicane. No one improved and Vettel didn’t even need to complete his lap.

The German held on to pole position ahead of Jenson Button, Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso. Schumacher qualified in fifth place ahead of Massa, Hamilton, Rosberg, Maldonado and Pérez.

Pos.DriverTeamQ1 timeQ2 timeQ3 time
01 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Renault 1.15.606 1.14.277 1.13.556
02 Jenson Button McLaren Mercedes 1.15.397 1.14.545 1.13.997
03 Mark Webber Red Bull Renault 1.16.087 1.14.742 1.14.019
04 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1.16.051 1.14.569 1.14.483
05 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP 1.16.092 1.14.981 1.14.682
06 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1.16.309 1.14.648 1.14.877
07 Lewis Hamilton McLaren Mercedes 1.15.207 1.14.275 1.15.280
08 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 1.15.858 1.14.741 1.15.766
09 Pastor Maldonado Williams Cosworth 1.15.819 1.15.545 1.16.528
10 Sergio Perez Sauber Ferrari 1.15.918 1.15.482 -.—.---
---------------- --------------- ---------- ---------- ----------
11 Vitaly Petrov Lotus Renault GP 1.16.378 1.15.815
12 Rubens Barrichello Williams Cosworth 1.16.616 1.15.826
13 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber Ferrari 1.16.513 1.15.973
14 Paul di Resta Force India Mercedes 1.16.813 1.16.118
15 Adrian Sutil Force India Mercedes 1.16.600 1.16.121
16 Nick Heidfeld Lotus Renault GP 1.16.681 1.16.214
17 Sébastien Buemi Toro Rosso Ferrari 1.16.358 1.16.300
---------------- --------------- ---------- ---------- ----------
18 Heikki Kovalainen Team Lotus Renault 1.17.343
19 Jarno Trulli Team Lotus Renault 1.17.381
20 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso Ferrari 1.17.820
21 Timo Glock Marussia Virgin Racing Cosworth 1.17.914
22 Jérôme d’Ambrosio Marussia Virgin Racing Cosworth 1.18.736
23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT F1 Cosworth -.—.---
24 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT F1 Cosworth -.—.---

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