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Qualifying - Webber takes thrilling Monaco pole 15 May 2010

Qualifying top three in parc ferme (L to R): Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing, third; Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing, pole position; Robert Kubica (POL) Renault, second.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 6, Qualifying Day, Monaco Grand Prix, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Saturday, 15 May 2010 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4/25.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 6, Qualifying Day, Monaco Grand Prix, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Saturday, 15 May 2010 Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes GP MGP W01.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 6, Qualifying Day, Monaco Grand Prix, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Saturday, 15 May 2010 Lucas di Grassi (BRA) Virgin Racing VR-01.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 6, Qualifying Day, Monaco Grand Prix, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Saturday, 15 May 2010 Karun Chandhok (IND) Hispania Racing F1 Team (HRT) HRTF1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 6, Qualifying Day, Monaco Grand Prix, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Saturday, 15 May 2010

Red Bull’s Mark Webber deprived Renault’s Robert Kubica of pole position in Monaco on Saturday afternoon to continue his strong run of form. The Australian squeaked ahead of the Pole’s 1m 14.120s best with 1m 14.104s, but then slammed in the only sub-1m 14s lap of the weekend with 1m 13.826s to throw the issue beyond doubt. €t was his second consecutive pole and his third of the season, and Red Bull’s sixth.

As they share the front row, Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel moved ahead of Ferrari’s Felipe Massa in the closing moments, 1m 14.227s to 1m 14.283s, leaving McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton fifth on 1m 14.452s.

Nico Rosberg was a late improver to sixth on 1m 14.544s for Mercedes GP, with team mate Michael Schumacher dogging him for seventh with 1m 14.590s. Jenson Button was eighth for McLaren with 1m 14.637s, and Williams’s Rubens Barrichello shares the fifth row with Force €ndia’s Vitantonio Liuzzi, with 1m 14.901s compared to 1m 15.170s.

Undoubtedly there were some disappointed drivers, but by far the unhappiest man in Monaco was Fernando Alonso, whose morning shunt at Massenet damaged his Ferrari badly enough for him to miss qualifying altogether. On the circuit where overtaking is so tough, he thus starts from the pit lane.

Vitaly Petrov affected the outcome for Q2 when he spun his Renault early on and clobbered the tyre wall at Ste Devote, which disrupted some fast laps. As Rosberg headed Massa, Webber, Hamilton, Kubica, Vettel, Schumacher, Liuzzi, Barrichello and Button, Nico Hulkenberg was the first disappointed runner in 11th for Williams on 1m 15.317s, ahead of Adrian Sutil’s Force €ndia on 1m 15.318s. Sebastien Buemi was also disappointed that 1m 15.413s was sufficient to evaporate his hopes of making it through as his Toro Rosso headed Petrov’s 1m 15.576s pre-shunt lap. Pedro de la Rosa was BMW Sauber’s lead runner on 1m 15.692s from team mate Kamui Kobayashi on 1m 15.992s, and Toro Rosso’s Jaime Alguersuari completed the runners in 17th on 1m 16.176s.

Throughout Q1 Alonso stood glumly at the back of the Ferrari garage, ignoring the intrusive television cameras and doubtless pondering not just his rare mistake but just what a heroic race he will have to drive on Sunday.

His absence meant that none of the established teams’ runners really had to fear getting bumped from that first session, after all the fuss that had been made about traffic beforehand.

As Massa headed the times from Webber, Kubica, Vettel, Rosberg and Liuzzi, Heikki Kovalainen’s efforts to improve on an excellent 1m 17.094s ended in a half spin at Mirabeau and another at Fairmont, so he was 18th from Lotus team mate Jarno Trulli, who lapped in 1m 17.134s. Timo Glock and Lucas di Grassi also got into the 1m 17s for Virgin, with 1m 17.377s and 1m 17.864s respectively. Bruno Senna aced HRT team mate Karun Chandhok this time, with 1m 18.509s to 1m 19.559s.