Rain can’t keep Rosberg from another pole position

2013 Monaco Grand Prix qualifying

Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Sebastian Vettel, Mercedes, Monaco, 2013Mercedes’ domination of qualifying extended to four races in a row in Monaco.

Nico Rosberg took his third consecutive pole position and Lewis Hamilton will join him on the front row after a rain-hit session.

The Red Bull drivers took the second row of the grid ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso.

Q1

After three days of sunshine and ideal conditions the clouds swept in before the start of qualifying to give the most difficult track on the calendar a treacherous layer of moisture.

It was intermediate tyres all round as all the drivers took the track with the exception of the three drivers whose cars required repairs after final practice: Adrian Sutil, Romain Grosjean and Felipe Massa.

But one of the drivers barely made it out of the pits before hitting trouble. Jules Bianchi pulled over at the entrance to Massenet with an airbox fire.

In the slippery conditions several drivers visited the escape roads, particularly the one at Mirabeau. But impressively all of them kept their cars out of the barriers.

Grosjean made it out onto the track in the final minutes of the session. He redeemed himself after a scrappy practice by setting the fastest lap with his first effort and comfortably reaching Q2.

But Paul di Resta was left fuming at his team after he went out in Q1, struggling for grip at the end of the session. Ironically he was eliminated by team mate Adrian Sutil.

Giedo van der Garde surprised by getting his Caterham into Q2 thanks in part to Ferrari’s inability to complete repairs on Massa’s car in time.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

17 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’26.322
18 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1’26.633
19 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1’26.917
20 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1’27.303
22 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth No time
22 Felipe Massa Ferrari No time

Q2

The track continued to dry in the second part of qualifying which presented drivers with some difficult decisions about whether to switch to slicks.

In the end they all did, but Alonso had to make a last-minute call to abandon a better effort on intermediate tyres and put on a set of the super-softs. Van der Garde was the first to do so and he managed to out-qualify Pastor Maldonado.

Alonso fell into the drop zone towards the end of Q2 but claimed his place in the final ten with his last lap, completed with seconds to spare. Behind him Sutil cut it even finer, but his last effort was enough to secure his place in Q3 at the expense of Nico Hulkenberg.

Jean-Eric Vergne began the session struggling on his intermediate tyres but a late change secured his passage to Q3 for the first time this year while Daniel Ricciardo failed to progress.

But an unhappy Grosjean blamed one of the Toro Rossos for holding him up and keeping him from Q3. “No way, this is unbelievable,” he exclaimed when told he hadn’t made it through to the final round of qualifying.

Drivers eliminated in Q2

11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1’18.331
12 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’18.344
13 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’18.603
14 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1’19.077
15 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1’19.408
16 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’21.688

Q3

By the final part of qualifying the track was dry enough for everyone to take to the track on the super-soft tyres. The lap times tumbled as the track improved with every passing car, but once the drivers had completed their first round of laps it was Vettel on top, as he had been at the end of Q2.

Alonso was one of the first drivers to change tyres for his final run, giving him two chances to set a time. But his last effort was only good enough for sixth place, Raikkonen pipping him by a mere two-thousandths of a second.

Ferrari and Lotus weren’t involved in the battle for pole position – that was all about Red Bull and Mercedes. Webber struck first, beating Vettel’s time. But the Mercedes were up next.

Hamilton beat Webber’s effort by two-tenths of a second and behind him his team mate was going even quicker. There was less than a tenth of a second in it but it was enough for Rosberg to claim the top time.

That left Vettel, who had emerged from the pits for his final run with only two minutes remaining. He was close to both the Mercedes’ times through the first two sectors but fell short of them at the line, ending up 13 thousandths of a second off Hamilton.

“Sorry guys,” said a dejected Vettel on the radio after he crossed the line. “I think it was there. A tenth was there, definitely.”

Top ten in Q3

1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’13.876
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’13.967
3 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’13.980
4 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’14.181
5 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’14.822
6 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’14.824
7 Sergio Perez McLaren 1’15.138
8 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’15.383
9 Jenson Button McLaren 1’15.647
10 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’15.703

2013 Monaco Grand Prix

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68 comments on Rain can’t keep Rosberg from another pole position

  1. svianna (@svianna) said on 25th May 2013, 16:43

    And yet again, Lewis does not wear a Mercedes cap in the post quali interview. That is getting stranger. As I said a race ago, this type of thing is hard wired in the contract they sign….very strange.
    Tomorrow, Webber will have a real chance to pay Vettel back for Malaysia. They have never been this close on the grid after that race. Vettel should worry about his team mate during the race, and i won’t be surprised if RBR messes Webber first pit stop, trying to put some daylight between the two.

    • anon said on 25th May 2013, 17:13

      That’s why Lewis went to Mercedes. They let him be an “individual” which in Lewis’s world is bringing your pet dog in the paddock, getting sleeve tattoos and being a rebel by not wearing your cap!!

      LOL

  2. “Some might say Hamilton can’t still adapt to a “Rosberg-taylormade” car”

    It’s 3-3. not 6-0 to Rosberg, maybe ‘some’ need reminding.

    In 2009 when Kovalinen was Hamiltons teammate, by Monaco it was 4-2 to Lewis in Qualifying (and look how that battle ended up), which is what it could have been this weekend vs Rosberg had Lewis been less than 1 tenth quicker. In a car he hasnt been happy with all weekend….

    You see, the problem for someone like Hamilton, if he dosnt whipe the floor with whoever his teammate is, then its considered a failure. 3-3 in a brand new team/car vs a very quick Rosberg, is very solid, and Lewis will only get stronger as the season goes on, and, lets remind ‘some’ of their championship positions at this early stage.

    • OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 25th May 2013, 18:23

      you forgot to quote my comment.
      Yet the thing is Ros is beating Ham in a row for pole, and at least Barcelone showed better car management by nico, so people are not overreacting. We are just seeing the tendency going on and wondering if it’s time for Nico to shine.

      • “Yet the thing is Ros is beating Ham in a row for pole”

        In Spain and here, gaps have been extremly minĂşte, and in Spain Merc’s entire weekend-long focus was setting the car up for the race, they literally paid no attention to Q setup, it could have gone either way, we’re talking a fraction of a blink of an eye.

        “and at least Barcelone showed better car management by nico”

        Did you miss Bahrain?

        • anon said on 25th May 2013, 23:12

          So what if the gap is small. Rosberg is getting the better of Hamilton consistently. Hamilton was regarded by many as the best driver on the grid.

          • Steve McGrath (@) said on 26th May 2013, 10:25

            I think many regard Lewis as the quickest driver (Including Alonso) however probably not the best. Lewis does make his mistakes during the race and his driving style is not the most easy on the tyres which is crucial for race pace these days
            According to the F1 Fanatic form guide Lewis is on average 2 tenths quicker than Rosberg in qualifying. which shows Lewis’ pace & not bad for a driver who is in a new team/new car
            If you count Malaysia as a Rosberg “win” over Hamilton then you could say its 2-1 to Nico (Based on Nico’s finishes) but to say he’s consistently getting the better of Hamilton is ridiculous.

  3. Jason (@jason12) said on 25th May 2013, 20:01

    To Lewis bashers, the team battle has laready been won Rosberg.

    Too impatient to let Rosberg validate that over the entire season.

  4. Tyler (@tdog) said on 26th May 2013, 1:43

    Jean-Eric Vergne … secured his passage to Q3 for the first time this year

    @keithcollantine it’s not only the first Q3 of his season, but his career.

  5. Das_Stig (@das_stig) said on 26th May 2013, 6:03

    schumacher was right. nico is a qualifying ace.

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