GP Monaco, prove sabato–25/05/2013
Monaco GP: Nico Rosberg takes third straight pole in Mercedes one-two
Nico Rosberg claimed his third Formula 1 pole position in a row in Monaco Grand Prix qualifying, as Mercedes fended off Red Bull’s challenge to fill the front row again.
After practice sessions that had suggested a Mercedes versus Ferrari battle, Red Bull raised its game in a qualifying session that began damp and remained drizzly until the end.
Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber were provisionally first and second following the first Q3 runs, and with the rain appearing set to increase, it looked like Red Bull might have the front row sealed.
But Mercedes found more pace in the last seconds, with Lewis Hamilton first leaping to the front on a 1m13.967s, and then Rosberg pipping him by 0.091 seconds.
Vettel was 0.013s down on Hamilton as he denied Webber third place.
Kimi Raikkonen took fifth for Lotus, while Ferrari had a tough session.
Fernando Alonso could only manage sixth, and his team-mate Felipe Massa did not take part at all as the damage from his practice three crash could not be repaired in time.
McLaren’s Sergio Perez and Jenson Button were seventh and ninth, split by Adrian Sutil’s Force India.
Jean-Eric Vergne completed the top 10 in a strong performance for Toro Rosso.
There was an element of lottery to getting into the top 10 as Q2 came to a frenetic end, with everyone diving for slicks in the final four minutes and then trying to get the best out of an ever-quicker track.
Romain Grosjean was among those to lose out. His 13th place was an anti-climax after a star Q1 performance, when he had shot to the front briefly on the single flying lap he had time for once Lotus had repaired his practice crash damage.
The other big story of Q2 was Giedo van der Garde’s effort. The Dutchman got Caterham through Q1 for the first time in 2013 and was a top-10 factor when Q2 was at its most slippery.
He eventually ended up 15th, beating Q1 pacesetter Pastor Maldonado’s Williams. Maldonado was two places behind team-mate Valtteri Bottas.
Also out in Q2 were Nico Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo, who share row six.
Paul di Resta was left enraged with Force India’s tactics as he missed the Q1 cut and ended up 17th. Esteban Gutierrez also fell in the first segment, behind Charles Pic in 19th.
Jules Bianchi will join Massa on the back row, having parked on his out-lap with a fire in his Marussia’s airbox.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m13.876s 2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m13.967s + 0.091s 3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m13.980s + 0.104s 4. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m14.181s + 0.305s 5. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m14.822s + 0.946s 6. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m14.824s + 0.948s 7. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1m15.138s + 1.262s 8. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m15.383s + 1.507s 9. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m15.647s + 1.771s 10. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m15.703s + 1.827s Q2 cut-off time: 1m17.748s Gap ** 11. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1m18.331s + 2.343s 12. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m18.344s + 2.356s 13. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m18.603s + 2.615s 14. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m19.077s + 3.089s 15. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1m19.408s + 3.420s 16. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m21.688s + 5.700s Q1 cut-off time: 1m26.095s Gap * 17. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m26.322s + 2.870s 18. Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1m26.633s + 3.181s 19. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m26.917s + 3.465s 20. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1m27.303s + 3.851s 21. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 22. Felipe Massa Ferrari 107% time: 1m29.293s * Gap to quickest in Q1 ** Gap to quickest in Q2
Monaco GP: Nico Rosberg blitzes messy final practice
Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg completed his clean sweep of Monaco Grand Prix practice session top spots by leading a crash-strewn hour on Saturday morning.
The German’s 1m14.378s lap was nearly seven tenths of a second clear of the rest of the field, although the latter part of the session was interrupted by crashes for Felipe Massa, Romain Grosjean and Adrian Sutil, causing two red flags.
Massa’s accident was the first and the biggest.
He locked up his Ferrari’s front wheels at the start of the Sainte Devote braking area, slamming into the barriers on the left-hand side approaching the corner before going into the wall on the outside of the turn. The Brazilian got out unhurt.
Shortly after the restart, Sutil lost control of his Force India through Massenet, sliding sideways into the wall.
That did not require a stoppage to clear up, and in the gap between incidents that followed, Grosjean was one of the few to get a quick time in, jumping to second.
But on his final run the Lotus driver braked too late into Sainte Devote after possibly being distracted by Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes rejoining from the pits.
Grosjean slid sideways into the barriers in a repeat of his Thursday crash.
With only a minute of the session remaining, the red flag brought the morning to a close.
Rosberg managed to get a sublime lap in between the shunts, moving comfortably clear of the field despite clouting the barrier at Portier as he got his Mercedes sideways out of the corner.
Grosjean retained second, ahead of Sebastian Vettel – who had been quickest before the field switched to super-softs, but encountered traffic on a potentially quick late run.
Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari and Hamilton completed the top five.
Kimi Raikkonen had a harmless trip down the Mirabeau escape road before taking sixth, followed by Mark Webber, Paul di Resta, Pastor Maldonado and Nico Hulkenberg.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m14.378s 22 2. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m15.039s + 0.661s 13 3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m15.261s + 0.883s 17 4. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m15.286s + 0.908s 17 5. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m15.311s + 0.933s 20 6. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m15.380s + 1.002s 19 7. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m15.550s + 1.172s 20 8. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m15.594s + 1.216s 17 9. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m15.861s + 1.483s 15 10. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1m15.926s + 1.548s 25 11. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1m15.958s + 1.580s 23 12. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m15.976s + 1.598s 19 13. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m15.976s + 1.598s 21 14. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m16.060s + 1.682s 16 15. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m16.068s + 1.690s 12 16. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m16.105s + 1.727s 8 17. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m16.427s + 2.049s 26 18. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m16.933s + 2.555s 17 19. Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1m17.902s + 3.524s 20 20. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1m18.102s + 3.724s 20 21. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1m18.706s + 4.328s 22 22. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1m19.228s + 4.850s 22