Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button, Monaco, 2011

Vettel takes pole in disrupted qualifying

2011 Monaco GP qualifyingPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button, Monaco, 2011
Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button, Monaco, 2011

Sebastian Vettel took his fifth pole position of the year in Monaco.

The Red Bull driver shares the front row of the grid with Jenson Button.

The session was stopped for almost 40 minutes following a crash involving Sergio Perez.


Nico Rosberg was able to join in the session following his crash in morning practice.

But HRT decided the damage to Vitantonio Liuzzi’s car couldn’t be fixed in time and didn’t send him out. Nor did Narain Karthikeyan complete a lap during the session.

The two McLarens headed the times, both drivers using a single set of soft tyres to make it through. Sebastian Vettel, third, and Fernando Alonso, seventh, did likewise.

Mark Webber and Felipe Massa chose to do an extra run each.

The two Lotuses were half a second off making it into Q2, Heikki Kovalainen only fractionally faster than Jarno Trulli.

Jaime Alguersuari collided with Kamui Kobayashi at Rascasse and dropped out in 20th place, ahead of the two Virgins.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

18 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1’17.343
19 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1’17.381
20 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’17.820
21 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’17.914
22 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1’18.736
23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT No time
24 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT No time


Hamilton headed the times in Q2 as well as Vettel got within two thousandths of a second of the McLaren.

Neither Renault made it into the final ten, having been on the front row last year.

A late improvement from Pastor Maldonado got him into Q3 at the expense of his team mate.

Sergio Perez also made it through in ninth place, while team mate Kobayashi was eliminated in 13th.

Both Force Indias were eliminated, with Paul di Resta in front of Adrian Sutil. Sebastien Buemi also failed to progress in the Toro Rosso.

Drivers eliminated in Q2

11 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’15.815
12 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’15.826
13 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’15.973
14 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’16.118
15 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’16.121
16 Nick Heidfeld Renault 1’16.214
17 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’16.300


Jenson Button set the fastest time to begin with but Sebastian Vettel found four-tenths of a second to beat Button’s time.

The other Red Bull of Mark Webber was the best part of half a second slower than his team mate.

Lewis Hamilton did not join in the early runs but lost time on his first run when he caught Felipe Massa’s Ferrari.

Sergio Perez was doing his first run of the session when his car snapped out of control as he dropped towards the chicane.

The Sauber made heavy contact with the TecPro barrier, which was moved back several metres in the impact. The session was red-flagged while Perez was recovered.

Qualifying restarted 35 minutes after it was originally supposed to end, with Lewis Hamilton getting to the pit lane exit early to ensure a clear lap.

But he could only manage a 1’15.280 for seventh on the grid, confirming Vettel on pole position.

Top ten in Q3

1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’13.556
2 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’13.997
3 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’14.019
4 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’14.483
5 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’14.682
6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’14.877
7 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’15.280
8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’15.766
9 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1’16.528
10 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari No time

2011 Monaco Grand Prix

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140 comments on “Vettel takes pole in disrupted qualifying”

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  1. Wonder why Lewis’ lap was accepted. He cut through the chicane.

    1. I think that was Button…

      1. yeah it was button, well done to him for P2 but not well done to massa; he knew exactly what he was doing when he came out the pits ahead of lewis, im absolutely foaming!

        1. Massa was way ahead when he came out. He moved out the way when the fast lapping car was within distance. The camera shot was very misleading.

          1. My impression was he slowed down hugely, almost waiting for Hamilton. Given the track in front of Massa was clear, this should have been examined by the stewards. Deliberate disruption.

        2. I don’t even think Ferrari are like that. They were doing their own thing.

          1. Well having a picnic on track would be ‘doing their own thing.’

          2. Yeah but they must have known when they sent Massa out that Lewis would encounter him in a place that would adversely affect his lap time. 10s later and Lewis would have passed him up the hill, no harm done.

        3. Absolutely revolted by Ferrari and Massa. There was a huge gap either side of Hamilton and they chose to put Massa out ahead, there’s absolutely no excuse for that. To Make it worse, rather than pull over completely to one side he waited until he was past the Casino before slowing, forcing Hamilton over the bump. Really bad sportsmanship from the Scuderia, Massa ought to get a 5 second penalty.

          1. Yeah, Lewis’ lap was totally ruined.

          2. It’s always the same dreary scenario, Alonso team mate out to scupper the opposition.

    2. I think that was Button.

    3. I think that was Button. He wasn’t on a hot lap.

    4. worst Q3 ever. i regret predicting hamilton to win. hopefully webber can get enought points to jump him in the standings. should be a good race tommorow

      1. Let me get this straight. You predicted Hamilton to win, but now you’re angry at him, because some random events ruined his Q3. Is that right?

        1. he didn’t say he was angry. he just said he regretted picking hamilton to win…

          1. … and hoping that Webber will jump him.

            It sounded petty to me, that’s all.

    5. That was Button, unless I missed Hamilton doing the same.

    6. Ah, so it was Button?

      Must’ve been the bright white helmet he’s using that confused me!

      1. Yeah that new helmet of his is confusing! Hamilton would have been right up there without the crash, hindered Rosberg badly too. Hope Perez is OK.

    7. It was Hamilton – unfortunately according to several sites, his times were discarded and will start 10th. Also Alonso said to the media he thought Hamilton would’ve/should’ve gotten Pole and that he himself could’ve been a little further up…

      1. Button did cut the chicane but he aborted his lap but Lewis continued with his & he was later given a 2 place grid penalty.

  2. What an anti climax :(

    1. worst Q3 ever.

    2. To be fair, what did you expect. The drivers are only human.

  3. What an anticlimax that turned out to be. Thoughts obviously go to Sergio.

  4. Hamilton must have mixed feelings about that Q3 session, but I doubt he would have beaten Vettel’s pole time anyway. And once again Ferrari flatter to deceive.

    1. I think Hamilton would have got P2, as he looked to have a couple of tenths over Button through qualifying.

      But with a car problem delaying his inital run for Q3, Massa slightly impeding that run and then the accident; there wasn’t anything he could have done about the outcome today.

      Glad to hear Perez appears to be ok, even if he can’t race tomorrow.

    2. To be fair, Ferrari never got a chance to put in a fast lap at the end of Q3 because of the cold track.

  5. What a disappointing end to qauli that was, pity Hamilton couldn’t get better then 7th, I feel he could have won this GP. Any news about Massa blocking Hamilton? I know he wasnt that close but it looked like Massa waited in the pitlane, then just decided to go and moved out of the way in a really crappy spot.

    1. In my mind Massa should certainly have slowed up the hill to allow Hamilton to pass unimpeded.

      1. My thoughts exactly.

    2. I feel he could have won this GP.

      GP is not over yet.

      1. Not by a long way. The number of pit stops and the extreme likelihood of a safety car make this an open race still.

  6. Hope Perez is OK, but damn…I predicted Vettel for pole with a time of 1:13.566……and he does a 1:13.556….so close!

    1. I got it bang on :D

      1. haha nice! hope we dont get the same in the predictions then!

      2. i got nothing because i forgot to put it in! :(

      3. I know you did Matt. Kinda eclipses mine a few races ago when I was 0.006 out! Although it was the wrong driver ;)

      4. @MattHT – That’s got to be worth some points!

  7. undecided as to whether or not I’m going to watch tomorrow…

    I guess I’ll just watch who leads the first lap then.

    1. lol why are you here?

      1. because despite the disappointment I do still love formula one.

        Just not sure if i want to see hear another fred flintstone cross Crazy Frog imitation ;)

    2. Maverick_232
      28th May 2011, 15:10

      Yeah….. I might do the laundry instead…….. :-/

    3. Something tells me this Vettel is going to win again. I’m in two minds as well…To watch or not to watch, beyond the first lap that is.

      1. Let’s just hope Button and Webber get better starts. ;)

  8. Disappointing end to qualifying, I think Button and Webber (and Hamilton) would’ve got closer if Perez hadn’t crashed (at least he’s okay), because Monaco is a track where momentum of the drivers is important. Oh well, hopefully the race is good tomorrow!

  9. i think it was button who cut the chicane.

    1. yes, but that wasn’t on his fastest lap

  10. Oh well, my prediction of Hamilton on pole didn’t pay off.

    Looks like he is going to be on a two stopper though as I can’t see why else he would have saved tyres in Q3. Looks like it could still be an interesting race tomorrow. Super lap from Button too.

    Again, difficult to say how good Vettel’s lap was. Just miles ahead of everyone else. Hopefully Perez is ok too!

    1. Didn’t Brundle or someone say Hamilton had a problem and thats why he came out late?

    2. I was thinking that too, two stints on the softest tyre and then a long last stint maybe. Or maybe leaving the option of a three-stopper if the traffic allows it.

      1. I think traffic demands Hamilton to do 3 pitstops. I guess his tyres will be SSSH, with the “hard” yellow tyres at the end, as the red tyre drop-off is less predictable. The other drivers will probably stick to a more conservative “SHH” strategy, as I don’t expect DRS-overtakings. It’s gonna be a very tough race for the 2008 World-Champion, although the McLaren may well be the fastest car in race-trim.

  11. I feel so cheated. You kinda get the feeling that if Button managed a 1:13.9, Hammy could’ve gone at least a few tenths better… maybe, just maybe even nabbed pole because he was looking pretty good up to that point. Anyway, I hope Perez is ok. So disappointed though :(

    1. I think Lewis would have just gone 2 tenths faster than Jenson. That Vettel lap was just too hot to touch.

      1. I am not so sure. The track was getting faster all the time and hamilton had enough time to get at least 2 timed laps in. However he should surely jump up a place to 6th when massa is given the penalty.

        1. Sorry but three purples for a pole lap means no one is going to beat it. Vettel did a 19.1 in the first sector and that was enough to shut out anyone else with a decent chance.

          Hamilton would have probably beaten Button or he could have ended in Alonso’s place but I don’t think that monster lap from Vettel was beatable.

          Kudos to Vettel, I think he beat Alonso’s pole record with today’s pole. This guy is freaking fast!

          Looks like 2004 is repeating itself this year:-)

          1. Vettel is clearly more confident and relaxed this year.

          2. So if Hamilton did 3 purples then he would not have snatched pole? Hamilton has been comfortably quicker than Button and button was only 4 tenths down on Vettel.

          3. And if Hamilton improved, Vettel would have improved (rather than back off).

  12. So many people confusing Button with Hamilton cutting that chicane because the Monaco TV director was just jumping around from car to car willy nilly.

  13. Lewis just gifted Vettel an early xmas present there I think, by waiting so long to go out in Q3 they were banking on just one run which is frankly stupid in Monaco, always a risk of a red flag here and so it proved.

    Perhaps Mclaren got a little cocky but they got what they deserved and thats from a Mclaren fan. Only Button can really challenge Vettel tomorrow now.

    1. I am pretty sure Hamilton had a problem in Q3, as was said by Brundle or someone else, thats why he was late coming out.

    2. something was wrong with hamiltons car,thats why he didnt go out at the start of q3.buttons a lucky boy.

    3. MY THOUGHTS PRECISELY,with 5-6 minutes to go,i started wonderin in my head,wht if there was a yellow/red flag and alas…im sick of Mclaren making these amateur mistakes for crying out loud,uve been racing 45 years and are still making this rookie mistakes???its damn Monaco for cryin out loud,one wonders y time n time again Redbull act like they r more experienced in their decision makin than Macca!Lewis u got robbed ,easily couldve started on front row

    4. Was there? I mean he was out of the car but nobody’s from the team has said anything, or Ted and Lewis just said that his engineers advised just 1 run. That begs the question why would you just do 1 run on a track where qualifying is so important and tyre degradation is the smallest so far (so it’s not that big a sacrifice to do 2 runs)?

    5. Actually seems it was a strategy decision by Hamilton’s engineers. I tend to agree with dynamite11, McLaren shouldn’t have risked LH’s chances at a circuit like Monaco where a safety car is big likelihood. The performance in q1 and q1 showed he didn’t need to risk anything (to save tyres) to have a good chance in the race.

  14. Well done to Vettel, Button and Schumacher.

    My thoughts are with Perez, although I missed qualifying (except the anticlimactic final 2 minutes).

    1. Oh yes of course, Button did really well also!

  15. i hope perez makes a full recovery very quickly.
    but im disapointed,i knew something bad would happen when something was wrong with hamiltons car at the start of q3.
    at first massa got in his way,and then unfortunatly perez crashed.lewis would have qualified in second or maybe pole otherwise.
    7th for lewis is good news for button and vettel tho.

  16. ralph schumacher
    28th May 2011, 14:51

    Disastrous quali for HAM, however a guaranteed safety car could make for an interesting race tomorrow.

  17. We thought it was going to be close but the order is usual. Vettel had many tenths in his pocket after practice.
    This time I didn’t care who was on pole though. Perez’s crash could have had serious consequences and when I heard he was conscious I felt really lifted.

  18. I think Alonso and Hamilton were the most disappointing. I really hoped that Alonso, Hamilton, and Vettel would have a good scrap.

  19. A good qualifying session aside from the Perez accident. He was doing so well as well.

    Great stuff from Lotus to put themselves ahead of Alguersuari, he was dreadful. Wonder what will come of his moment with Kobayashi?

    Disappointed in Renault. Expected better. But we all know that Monaco throws up a few surprises. Pole position not being one of them on this occasion ;)

    As cliched as it sounds the real winner out of today was Formula 1 safety. Outstanding.

  20. A hotlap ruined when Massa got in the way.
    A hotlap ruined when Perez crashed.
    A hotlap ruined with cold tyres.

    Circumstances just didn’t work out for Hamilton today, but that’s Monaco for you, you’re always going to need a bit of luck to get success.

    1. Don’t forget one run was cancelled because of a problem with his car.

      Apparently he was out of his car according to Brundle :S I think

      1. Revised statement:

        Banker laps ruined by reliablity at start of Q3
        A hotlap ruined when Massa got in the way.
        A hotlap ruined when Perez crashed.
        A hotlap ruined with cold tyres.

        Circumstances just didn’t work out for Hamilton today, but that’s Monaco for you, you’re always going to need a bit of luck to get success.

        Frustrated, but I’ve seen worse with good outcomes at Monaco. ;)

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