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Qualifying analysis - Webber scoops Saturday jackpot 27 May 2012

Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Thursday, 24 May 2012 Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W03.
Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Saturday, 26 May 2012 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8.
Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Saturday, 26 May 2012 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4-27.
Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Saturday, 26 May 2012 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus E20, in a James Hunt liveried helmet.
Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Saturday, 26 May 2012 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F2012.
Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Saturday, 26 May 2012 Bruno Senna (BRA) Williams FW34.
Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Saturday, 26 May 2012 Sergio Perez (MEX) Sauber after crasjing out of Qualifying.
Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Saturday, 26 May 2012 Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Force India F1 VJM05.
Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Saturday, 26 May 2012 Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR7 after hitting the guardrail in qualifying.
Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Saturday, 26 May 2012 Vitaly Petrov (RUS) Caterham CT01.
Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Saturday, 26 May 2012 Sunbathers oblivious to Charles Pic (FRA) Marussia F1 Team MR01.
Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Saturday, 26 May 2012 Pedro De La Rosa (ESP) HRT Formula One Team HRT F112.
Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Saturday, 26 May 2012

Luck changes fast in Formula One and nowhere more so than in Monte Carlo. On Saturday the sport’s newest star lost his sparkle in dramatic fashion, while its oldest shone brighter than he has in years: Williams’ Spanish Grand Prix winner, Pastor Maldonado, is set to start from the back of the grid, while Mercedes’ Michael Schumacher could have been starting from the front. In the end, the prized P1 slot went - somewhat unexpectedly - to Red Bull’s Mark Webber. We take a team-by-team look at how the Monte Carlo grid was formed…

Mercedes
Michael Schumacher, 1m 14.301s, P1, will start P6
Nico Rosberg, 1m 14.448s, P3, will start P2

Schumacher got the perfect lap at exactly the right time as he showed all his old Monaco flair, and was delighted with the notional 69th pole position of his career even though he knew he could only start from sixth place because of his Spanish grid-place penalty. Rosberg was also very quick, but said he had a problem at one stage with understeer when he didn’t quite get the front tyres up to full temperature.

Red Bull
Mark Webber, 1m 14.381s, P2, will start P1
Sebastien Vettel, No Q3 time, P10, will start P9

Webber was very happy with his best lap, and even happier to move up a place as Schumacher’s penalty was applied as he has an excellent chance of repeating his 2010 win here. But Vettel was struggling like mad, at one stage complaining that his tyres were “jumping like rabbits.” He blamed a set-up change after FP3 which proved to be in the wrong direction.

McLaren
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 14.583s, P4, will start P3
Jenson Button, 1m 15.536s, P13, will start P12

Hamilton said qualifying was “massively tough” and one of the hardest sessions he’d had for a while, particularly in terms of switching the tyres on in the low-speed corners. Button was completely at sea, especially as his car had felt quite good at times in FP3.

Lotus
Romain Grosjean, 1m 14.639s, P5, will start P4
Kimi Raikkonen, 1m 15.199s, P8

Eric Boullier was disappointed that his drivers managed only fifth and eighth places after the speed Grosjean has shown all weekend. The young Frenchman said he did a great first lap in Q3 but wasn’t thereafter able to improve on his second run. Raikkonen just made it through from Q2 in the final seconds, and said he messed up his best lap pushing too deep in the Swimming Pool section.

Ferrari
Fernando Alonso, 1m 14.948s, P6 will start P5
Felipe Massa, 1m 15.049s, P7

Alonso said he was happy with what he called the team’s best combined qualifying performance of the season and that he might have shaved a few hundredths off his time, though it wouldn’t have changed his grid position. Massa said he was very pleased with his dramatic upswing to his old form and that he thought fifth place might have been possible. Given their usual race pace, Ferrari will be strong tomorrow.

Williams
Pastor Maldonado, 1m 15.245s, P9, will start P23
Bruno Senna, 1m 15.709s, P14, will start P13

After Spain, Williams came down to earth with a heavy bump. Maldonado had a silly run-in with Perez in the morning which ruined his race as he was given a 10-place grid penalty, then the shunt he had in Casino Square in FP3 damaged the FW34s gearbox so badly that it needs replacement, which is set to drop him to the back of the grid. Senna just never really got it together in a car that had top-five pace.

Sauber
Kamui Kobayashi, 1m 15.508s, P12, will start P11
Sergio Perez, No time, P24, will start P24

Perez got it all wrong in the Swimming Pool right at the start of Q1, pushing too hard and clobbering the wall. As his damaged Sauber then threw its left rear wheel as he ran over the speed bumps on the exit, the session was briefly red flagged. With no time set, and a five-place grid penalty for a subsequent pre-race gearbox change, the Mexican will start from the back. Kobayashi said he was disappointed he lacked the pace to get into Q3.

Force India
Nico Hulkenberg, 1m 15.421s, P11, will start P10
Paul di Resta, 1m 15.718s, P15, will start P14

Hulkenberg was quickest in Q1 and looked strong in Q2, but in the end the car had no more to give him. Di Resta had been happy with his VJM05 in FP2 but found that changed track conditions had robbed it of rear-end grip for FP3 and qualifying.

Toro Rosso
Daniel Ricciardo, 1m 15.878s, P16, will start P15
Jean-Eric Vergne, 1m 16.885s, P17, will start P16

Vergne was very unhappy with himself after taking off his front wing braking for the chicane in Q2. Some resultant right-rear suspension damage prevented him from going out again. Ricciardo was also disappointed, admitting that he was overdriving and making a few small but costly mistakes.

Caterham
Heikki Kovalainen, 1m 16.538s, P18, will start P17
Vitaly Petrov, 1m 17.404s, P19, will start P18

Kovalainen was very happy with his run, and the performance of a new rear wing that gave him Toro Rosso-type pace. He felt he could have made Q2 if he hadn’t come across one of the Marussias at the end of his best lap. Petrov had to run without his KERS after a problem with it in FP3, and also lost a run because of the Perez red flag.

Marussia
Timo Glock, 1m 17.947s, P20, will start P19
Charles Pic, 1m 18.476, P22, will start P21

Glock was happy with changes to the set-up made between FP3 and qualifying, though Perez’s accident cost him a run on the super-softs. Pic wasn’t so happy with his performance, blaming lack of pace compared to Barcelona, and traffic.

HRT
Pedro de la Rosa, 1m 18.096s, P21, will start P20
Narain Karthikeyan, 1m 19.310s, P23, will start P22

De la Rosa said his Q1 lap was the best he’d ever done round Monaco, even if it took three runs on the super-soft tyres. Karthikeyan chose to do only two runs and thus saved a set of option tyres for the race.

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