Schumacher fastest but Webber on pole in Monaco

2012 Monaco Grand Prix qualifying

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Monaco, 2012Michael Schumacher was fastest in qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix – but will lose his it due to his five-place grid penalty from the Spanish Grand Prix.

That means Mark Webber will start Sunday’s race from pole after team mate Sebastian Vettel chose not to set a time in Q3.


The first part of qualifying got off to a busy start with all 24 cars taking to the track in the first few minutes. As usual traffic proved a problem – notably for Charles Pic, who was held up by Pedro de la Rosa at the end of his first lap.

But within a few minutes the session was stopped. For the second year in a row Sergio Perez crashed his Sauber – though fortunately not as seriously as his 2011 crash.

The Sauber driver hit the barrier at the Swimming Pool complex – replays showed his front-left wheel was not pointing in the correction direction before he hit the wall. The session was red-flagged while his car was recovered.

When the session restarted the Mercedes pair set the fastest times to begin with on soft tyres, with Pastor Maldonado’s Williams in among them.

Lotus waited until the track had quiet end before sending their cars out on soft tyres. Grosjean made it through into Q2 comfortably but Raikkonen’s last effort wasn’t quick enough and he had to make a flying visit to the pits for a set of super-softs.

He got the job done on the red-coloured tyres as did Sebastian Vettel, who also had to use the softer run to secure a place in Q2.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

18 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1’16.538
19 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1’17.404
20 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1’17.947
21 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1’18.096
22 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1’18.476
23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’19.310
24 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari


Rosberg led the way at the start of the second part of qualifying, a 1’15.022 putting him fastest, with Webber just 0.013s behind.

The other Red Bull of Vettel continued to struggle – his first effort left him ninth, complaining the car was “jumping around like a rabbit”.

Jean-Eric Vergne was the next driver to lose his car on the approach to the chicane, swiping the barrier on the left and losing his front wing. He toured slowly back to the pits, Felipe Massa having to take evasive action to avoid hitting the Toro Rosso.

On his return to the track on super-softs Massa set a new benchmark time, lowering the mark to 1’14.911 and securing his progression to Q3 for the first time this year.

Grosjean did his first laps on soft tyres but couldn’t produce a time quick enough for the top ten. As in practice he couldn’t find as great a lap time improvement on the super-softs as his rivals, but made it into the final ten.

His team mate joined him, once again scraping in with his final lap. Vettel also escaped elimination with his last effort, but again Button was unable to join them, ending up 13th.

Drivers eliminated in Q2

11 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’15.421
12 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’15.508
13 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’15.536
14 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1’15.709
15 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’15.718
16 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’15.878
17 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’16.885


Seven cars went out initially in Q3, the Ferraris and Vettel hanging back. Grosjean led the way to begin with, setting a 1’14.639, but Rosberg pipped him by six-hundredths of a second with his second lap on the super-soft tyres. Webber took up third behind them, followed by Hamilton.

The Ferrari duo took up sixth and seventh with their laps, but Vettel decided not to set a time, effectively settling for a place on the fifth row.

That was all the more extraordinary as his team mate had the pace to challenge for pole position. A 1’14.381 put him on top – until he was pipped by eight-hundredths of a second by Michael Schumacher.

Grosjean showed pace in the first sector of his final lap but a slow middle sector left him fifth.

But Schumacher’s pole position will be denied him because of the penalty he was handed in Spain. A five-place grid drop will put Webber on pole, sharing the front row with Rosberg.

Top ten in Q3

1 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’14.301
2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’14.381
3 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’14.448
4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’14.583
5 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’14.639
6 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’14.948
7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’15.049
8 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’15.199
9 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’15.245
10 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault

2012 Monaco Grand Prix

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156 comments on Schumacher fastest but Webber on pole in Monaco

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  1. sumedh said on 26th May 2012, 14:23

    Wow! Who would have thought!

    • xeroxpt (@) said on 26th May 2012, 15:07

      I kind of did yesterday on a previous post, the one that said “unpredictable something”, but no one truly expected Schumacher to top the timesheets some hoped but realistically no, I predicted Rosberg for pole Hamilton up top and Webber aswell but Schumi c’mon!

  2. smokinjoe (@smokinjoe) said on 26th May 2012, 14:23

    After such a dismal 2011 I love to see webber win this race

  3. BS (@bs) said on 26th May 2012, 14:23

    Only 1 in the top five has won a race this season, likely we’ll see a sixth winner by the sixth race already.

    Can’t wait, although I should really get into the habit of turning on qualifying when Q3 is starting. It’s been a while since we’ve had such a grand finale to a qualifying session though. Shame for Schumacher, happy for Webber, will be hoping for a Grosjean win.

  4. BBT (@bbt) said on 26th May 2012, 14:24

    Even though he couldn’t repeat Q2 time still a good Quali from Massa.

    • Eggry (@eggry) said on 26th May 2012, 14:30

      That was impressive.

      • Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 26th May 2012, 14:48

        Very, and in Q3 his time stuck to Alonso’s like glue. Felipe is good at Monaco, pole in 08, 4th in 09. If he can finish in 6th or improve a couple places, it will go a long way to easing the pressure on him from his team.

        • Nick.UK (@) said on 26th May 2012, 14:52

          @adam-tate Only in so far as he keeps it up. If he has a shocker in Canada any success in Monaco will be forgotten (by Ferrari) very quickly. They will be looking for consistent mid points finishes above anything.

    • xeroxpt (@) said on 26th May 2012, 15:13

      He seemed willing to crash anytime, very inconsistent every corner he made a different line nontheless he was consistent in his speech and heart, he did fully commited on a track that rewards commitment, aggressiveness and speed rather than absolute poise and traction cause there arent any long corners or big straights to take advantage of a more efficient way of driving.

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 26th May 2012, 18:51

      @bbt Indeed, it was good to see. A respectable .1s behind his teammate in Q&A. I think Massa can be happy with that.

  5. Eggry (@eggry) said on 26th May 2012, 14:25

    Great lap from Schumacher! it’s shame he got the penalty…congrats Schumi and Webber. Lotus is not good as expected, Hamilton is not bad, Ferrari still has work to do.

  6. Zubair (@zubair380) said on 26th May 2012, 14:25

    Was great to see Massa back, qualified 1 place behind Alonso, seperated only by a tenth!
    And dream outcome for me, Webber on Pole!
    Not really a Schumi fan but glad to see him do well after an unlucky start to the season

  7. carbon_fibre (@carbon_fibre) said on 26th May 2012, 14:27

    This is getting so annoying.Lotus semmed the best car in free practice and Red Bull the worst out of the front runners. And then Webber gets P2 and Grosjean P5! And damnit, I wanted to see Massa in front of Alonso.If he had matched his time from Q2 he could have started in P5!

  8. Klaas (@klaas) said on 26th May 2012, 14:27

    The King is dead (Maldonado). Long live the King (Schumacher)! I wonder which driver will be taken out by Grosjean at the first corner.

  9. BBT (@bbt) said on 26th May 2012, 14:28

    I’ve no idea why people are so surprised, Merc have been looking great all weekend, I suppose you’d expect it to be Rosberg though.
    For me the bigger surprise is Lotus not being higher up and Webber being on pole even though the car has not looked great.

  10. Thomas (@infi24r) said on 26th May 2012, 14:28

    Vettel who? Why was Webber so slow last year. This year he has easily had the upper hand. Come on Webber this season can still be yours.

    • This year he has easily had the upper hand.

      Totally! That must be why Webber’s leading the championship.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 26th May 2012, 14:40

      @infi24r@aka_robyn said it well enough.

    • Eggry (@eggry) said on 26th May 2012, 14:44

      I think it’s down to characteristic of car. Button and Vettel all prefer balancing car while Hamilton and Webber are not concerned much as them. Clearly, MP4-27 or RB8 are not dominant car so the teams are updating their car aggressively for performance while stability is being sacrificed. Similar thing can be applied to Alonso and Massa as well. I don’t think this makes Button and Vettel bad driver but that’s it.

      • Blackmamba (@blackmamba) said on 26th May 2012, 14:54

        You might be right about Vettel, but Button gets too much credit from his fans who think he is fast. He has been in Formula 1 for eons of years and has never ever been fast. In his championship winning year he had the fastest car for the first half of the season and it was painful watching him limp home once everybody had caught up. If you use Last year as a bench mark where Lewis had his worst season then I can only say take off the blinkers and step back into reality for a bit.
        Jenson is slow, simple as that.

        • BBT (@bbt) said on 26th May 2012, 21:49

          you are simply wrong, JB is one of the fastest most consistent drivers in F1 and he has always been fast even in dogs of cars. He is not the ultimate fastest driver over one lap like Alonso, Vettel or Hamilton but is more consistent than Webber et al.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 27th May 2012, 2:47

            @bbt – I think Webber is faster over one lap than Button, but yes, Button is more consistent and fast over a race distance.

            Although 2001 and 2008 weren’t good for him, he did well in 2002 and 2006.

      • Solo (@solo) said on 26th May 2012, 14:54

        No i don’t think Vettel is as sensitive as Button on car balance. The thing was tyres. Monaco is very soft on tyres so is not easy to put heat into them and get them working, so all drivers with a very tyre saving style went worse than their team mates.
        Button worse than Hamilton, Vettel worse than Webber, Rosberg worse than Shumi, Raikonnen worse than Grojean.

        • Thomas (@infi24r) said on 26th May 2012, 15:16

          You make out as if the drivers who are usually slower went faster.

          Hamilton is faster than Button
          Schumacher has been atleast on par with Rosberg this year.
          Webber is one of the fastest qualifiers across his career. He looked faster than Vettel in 2010 aswell until the exhausts started blowing off throttle.
          Grosjean has looked faster than Kimi in quali this year too.

          • F1 Lunatic (@f1lunatic) said on 26th May 2012, 15:46

            Grosjean has looked faster than Kimi in quali this year too

            In Kimi’s defence, it should be said that not only did he lose precious practice time not being helped by the fact that this is his FIRST time on supersofts, he also had the steering issue – the new one didnt work and they had to fit back the older one, for who knows, a car originally simulated for the new steering!
            Simply too many rotten eggs for the same basket!

            DID ANYONE ELSE NOTICE, that Kimi’s steering input for left corners were waaay before the actual turn, and for the right ones a few tenths later than the average input – the on board footage of the other drivers were significantly different and more or less uniform amongst them( other than Kimi and Vettel ).

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 26th May 2012, 16:20

            He looked faster than Vettel in 2010 aswell until the exhausts started blowing off throttle.

            Mark lost 12-7 in 2010, and 15-2 in 2009.

          • Karthikeyan (@ridiculous) said on 26th May 2012, 16:35

            Also Vettel had a Torsion bar fail in Turkey and Anti-Roll bar fail in Monaco which is why Webber got pole in both the races

          • Solo (@solo) said on 26th May 2012, 20:03

            Am not saying that those drivers can’t beat their team mates without having the tyres working better for them but am saying that in this qualify it was a reason the others kind of suffered.
            They weren’t just a little away they really seem to not be in the same car as their teammates.
            Obviously drivers with less movements on the steering that drive a little smoother just couldn’t put heat in the tyres and make them work as good as possible.

    • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 26th May 2012, 14:54

      He’s hardly held the upper hand, really. Only at the first couple of races and not by much. At Bahrain, Vettel was on a class of his own, and Mark was no-where.

      But it really seems Vettel’s struggling with the car again, as he did in China.

      • Thomas (@infi24r) said on 26th May 2012, 15:18

        And now Webber is in a class of his own. Webber only had pole by a few tenths in Bahrain.

        Another way you could say it is that Bahrain is the only race that Vettel has been faster than Webber. Spain being the outlier, as Vettel only appeared quicker due to RBR not running Webber a 2nd time and missing out on Q3.

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 26th May 2012, 16:22

          In a class of his own? Schumacher was faster, and Rosberg was slower by a tenth.

          You ought to wait for Mark to actually beat Vettel at the end of a season before gloating.

        • Edge said on 26th May 2012, 19:39

          It should be Schumacher is in a class of his own

          • Thomas (@infi24r) said on 27th May 2012, 3:04

            Schumacher p1 Rosberg p3 in the same car.

            Webber P2 Vettel P10.

            One of these is not like the other.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 27th May 2012, 3:13

            Inevitable given that Vettel didn’t set a time. Webber has spent the last 3 years being schooled in the same car, so as I said earlier, wait for Webber to consistently beat the rest of the field before gloating.

          • Edge said on 27th May 2012, 7:32

            @David A +1

  11. robk23 (@robk23) said on 26th May 2012, 14:30

    The winner will likely come from the front two rows. Grosjean has had some quick starts this year, I’ll be watching him with interest to see what he does on the tight streets of Monaco.

  12. Elliot Horwood (@elliothorwoodf1) said on 26th May 2012, 14:31

    Webber will loose places at the start…

  13. BasCB (@bascb) said on 26th May 2012, 14:32

    That was another highly entertaining and tight qualifying session. And it ended up giving us another unexpected guy setting the fastest lap, and another first pole for the season.

    Will Webber manage to have his first good start of the year and keep HAM, ROS and GRO behind? Or will Grosjean clip him at the chicane and end his race.

  14. AlexNK said on 26th May 2012, 14:34

    Pole number 69 for a 43 y.o. driver! And on a track that is THE ultimate driver’s track. I don’t know what better answer could he have given to all those jerks that screamed for him to retire and give way to the young “talents” like DiResta. Even past his prime, Michael is one of the fastest drivers out there.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 26th May 2012, 14:41

      Pole number 69 for a 43 y.o. driver!

      Afraid not, this is Webber’s tenth pole position, not Schumacher’s 69th.

      • AlexNK said on 26th May 2012, 14:44

        Nope. Michael is not disqualified. He’s given a grid penalty, but he set a proper pole, unlike Hamilton who qualified in the illegal car and was justly disqualified. So Michael gets another pole to his tally.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 26th May 2012, 14:48

          No, Michaels fastest time stands, but the pole will be Webber, as that is the guy who will be starting from the first place on the grid for tomorrow.

        • Guus (@guus_d) said on 26th May 2012, 14:48

          That is correct

        • Jake (@jleigh) said on 26th May 2012, 14:50

          nope, keith is right. The person who sits on pole is the person who set pole. Webber will sit on pole, so Webber set pole

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 26th May 2012, 14:53

          You might want to revise your point of view when you see an RB8 on pole tomorrow instead of a W03.

          • HoHum (@hohum) said on 26th May 2012, 14:58

            But even so Keith, the point is he still has the speed. Well done Michael.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 26th May 2012, 15:01

            Absolutely, and after such an unlucky start to the season and a rather poor weekend in Spain it’s a result he needed.

          • AlexNK said on 26th May 2012, 14:59

            Simply look at the qualifying protocols at the official F1 website. For Monaco, Michael is listed as setting a pole time, so that pole time will go in the record books as his. The fact that he will nost start first does not change this.
            And if you look at the Spanish GP qualifying protocol, you will see that Hamilton was disqualified, so the pole position time goes to the next guy – Maldonado. That is the difference between the grid penalty and disqualification.

          • Guus (@guus_d) said on 26th May 2012, 15:04

            If a driver is given a penalty for a gearbox change, the pole still stands. I thought This isn’t any different.

      • Thomas (@infi24r) said on 26th May 2012, 15:19

        I always thought Schumacher got the pole, but got a grid drop for the race.

        • astonished (@astonished) said on 26th May 2012, 17:33

          There might be something about this Michaels pole, anyhow. He goes to the press conference, even if the penalty was set from last GP so, somehow FIA recognizes this fastest qualifying.,, doesn’t it?

      • danclapp (@danclapp) said on 26th May 2012, 20:20

        lol keith youve changed your tune i remember when hamilton had a grid drop for china and people asked if ham got pole would it count for the prediction championship and you said no you gt to start from pole u seem to dislike schumi

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 26th May 2012, 22:24

          @danclapp There’s no difference between this and the Spanish race as far as the Predictions Championship goes. Maldonado was on pole in Spain, Webber is on pole here, and players will be rewarded accordingly.

          So I have no idea what you think this proves. The rules are the same and have been applied consistently. What’s your point?

      • danclapp (@danclapp) said on 26th May 2012, 21:45

        well keith your wrong and showing biased journalism plz remind me who was sat in the comfy chair in the midlle of the press conferance with mark webber on his right and nico rosberg on the left yes you no micheal schumacher so its not 10th pole 4 webber its 69th for schu

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 26th May 2012, 22:27

          @danclapp The post-qualifying FIA press conference is for the top three drivers in qualifying. Today they were Michael Schumacher, Mark Webber and Nico Rosberg.

          However Schumacher is not the pole sitter as a five-place grid penalty will be applied before qualifying. The only difference between this and the situation in Spain is that we knew about Schumacher’s penalty before qualifying started today.

      • DVC (@dvc) said on 27th May 2012, 10:57

        Depends how you count. Schumacher qualified in pole position, but starts 6th. Webber qualified 2nd but has a pole position start.

  15. Hadzhiev (@hadzhiev) said on 26th May 2012, 14:34

    It’s nice to see Michael Schumacher on top of the timesheets. It was a supreme lap by him. Almost unbelievable maybe.

    And it’s strange to see the second fastest’s picture as the thread’s picture although Michael has that penalty. But this is life.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 26th May 2012, 14:39

      I used the picture of the pole sitter as I pretty much always do.

      • macca1977 (@) said on 26th May 2012, 14:46

        You hate Schumi, don’t you ?

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 26th May 2012, 14:53

          No. And I think it’s preposterous that some people jump to that conclusion just because I’m not fawning over him and pretending he’ll start tomorrow’s race from pole position when he won’t.

          I just said on Twitter that it would be a great story if he was on pole but he’s not. For that, I got accused of being a “Schumacher-hater”. Stupid, juvenile fanboy ‘logic’.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 26th May 2012, 14:53

          Come on man, Its about a picture.

          Just look back to the last few articles with qualli reports and you see that Keith is just being consitently here with putting a picture of the driver starting from pole on top of the article.

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