Monaco Grand Prix 2013: Nico Rosberg pips Lewis Hamilton to pole
Monaco Grand Prix 2013: Mercedes' Nico Rosberg takes pole position ahead of his team-mate Lewis Hamilton after wet session
Nico Rosberg capitalised on the slippery conditions to claim one of Formula 1’s most prized pole positions and lead from the front in the 60th Monaco Grand Prix.
Thirty years on from his dad winning in Monaco, the German posted an impressive lap to continue what has so far been a superb weekend for Mercedes.
Rosberg was fastest in all three practice sessions and piped team-mate Lewis Hamilton to pole to confirm a Mercedes one-two.
Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel appeared last on track in the final session but the defending world champion could not top the Mercedes and qualified in third.
All 10 drivers opted for super-soft tyres in the final qualifying session as the unusually unpredictable conditions continued, with Vettel’s teammate Mark Webber occupying fourth.
The wet corners threatened to cause problems for the first time since 1988, when drivers were last forced to qualify as rain fell in Monte Carlo during qualifying.
The surprise package was Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne, who made it into Q3 for the first time in his career and starts from 10th.
Lotus’ Romain Grosjean posted a promising lap to make it through Q1 but failed to break into the top ten and qualified in 13th.
It was a similar story for Pastor Maldonado as the drivers battled to get an uninterrupted lap, with the Venezuelan dropping to 16th in his Williams.
Giedo van der Garde had his best qualifying session of the campaign so far and his Caterham starts from 15th on the grid.
It was a terrible start to the session for Marussia’s Jules Bianchi as a mechanical problem meant the Frenchman had to withdraw from Q1.
Force India’s race engineer apologised to Paul Di Resta over the team over the radio as the Scot was also eliminated in Q1, placing 17th.
Following a 180mph-crash into the barriers at the Sainte Devote corner in practice it was always going to be a race against time to repair Felipe Massa’s gearbox.
Massa faced a five place grid penalty for the crash, but Ferrari’s efforts to give the Brazilian a decent shot came in vain and he starts from the back of the grid.
Monaco Grand Prix 2013: Qualifying times
1. Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 13.876s
2. Lewis Hamilton Britain Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 13.967s
3. Sebastian Vettel Germany Red Bull-Renault 1m 13.980s
4. Mark Webber Australia Red Bull-Renault 1m 14.181s
5. Kimi Raikkonen Finland Lotus-Renault 1m 14.822s
6. Fernando Alonso Spain Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 14.824s
7. Sergio Perez Mexico McLaren-Mercedes 1m 15.138s
8. Adrian Sutil Germany Force India-Mercedes 1m 15.383s
9. Jenson Button Britain McLaren-Mercedes 1m 15.647s
10. Jean-Eric Vergne France Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m 15.703s
11. Nico Hulkenberg Germany Sauber-Ferrari 1m 18.331s
12. Daniel Ricciardo Australia Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m 18.344s
13. Romain Grosjean France Lotus-Renault 1m 18.603s
14. Valtteri Bottas Finland Williams-Renault 1m 19.077s
15. Giedo van der Garde Holland Caterham-Renault 1m 19.408s
16. Pastor Maldonado Venezuela Williams-Renault 1m 21.688s
17. Paul di Resta Britain Force India-Mercedes 1m 26.322s
18. Charles Pic France Caterham-Renault 1m 26.633s
19. Esteban Gutierrez Mexico Sauber-Ferrari 1m 26.917s
20. Max Chilton Britain Marussia-Cosworth 1m 27.303s
Jules Bianchi France Marussia-Cosworth No time
Felipe Massa Brazil Ferrari-Ferrari No time