Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg qualified in first and third positions during this afternoon’s qualifying session for the 70th Monaco Grand Prix. Michael will start from sixth position on the grid tomorrow, while Nico will line up in second place.
• Michael qualified on pole for the first time since the 2006 French Grand Prix but will start from P6 after a grid penalty
• Nico’s third place in qualifying will translated to a front row start for tomorrow’s race
• Last year, Sebastian Vettel qualified on pole by 0.441s; today, the same gap covered the top five qualifiers!
It is simply a wonderful feeling to set pole after such a long time, and particularly here in Monaco. Okay, it has taken a little bit longer than I might have wanted in the second chapter of my career, but that makes it even sweeter. It’s just beautiful. We already thought that this circuit should suit us, and it’s the perfect confirmation of all the work from every team member in Brackley, Brixworth and Stuttgart – a big thank you to every one of them, because this is a team result. Of course, it’s unfortunate that I won’t start from the very front but that’s how it is. I will do as well as I can. We know that overtaking is tough but with DRS and KERS, you might as well try it – and you can be sure I will.
I am pleased with the result today and especially for what we have shown as a team in the past few weeks. We have had a couple of difficult races since the win in China but there has been a lot of hard work to turn it round, and today we were on top as a team which is great to see. Thank you to everybody back at base who has brought us back to the front again. I had a pretty smooth qualifying session, and managed to save two sets of new super soft tyres for the race, but it was just so close out there this afternoon, it’s incredible and fantastic for Formula One. Congratulations to Michael, he did a fantastic job. Of course, I am sorry for him that he must take the penalty, but that means I will be on the front row in Monaco. And at a race where overtaking can be so difficult, that’s a great place to start.
It was a wonderful qualifying session and we are obviously delighted. Michael will take a five-place penalty tomorrow, but today he was the quickest guy out there – congratulations to him. Nico did a fantastic job as well, and was in the hunt for pole throughout the session. Having both drivers in the top three shows that the team has done a superb job this weekend to dial in the car and follow the evolution of the track. But it was a real team effort today and my thanks also to everyone back at the factories in Brackley and Brixworth. Now, we have one more step to make. Last year, we suffered big problems with the tyres at the beginning of the race. That is something we must avoid tomorrow.
What a phenomenal performance from Michael. He was the fastest man on track today when it counted and Michael truly deserves this P1 result. His five-place penalty puts him back on the third row while Nico will start from the front row tomorrow. Thank you to everybody in our team for a great effort today. Inside our team, our belief in Michael was never in danger and this has paid off big time.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m14.301s 2. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m14.381s 3. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m14.448s 4. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m14.583s 5. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m14.639s 6. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m14.948s 7. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m15.049s 8. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m15.199s 9. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m15.245s 10. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault no time Q2 cut-off time: 1m15.322s Gap ** 11. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m15.421s + 0.510 12. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m15.508s + 0.597 13. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m15.536s + 0.625 14. Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1m15.709s + 0.798 15. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m15.718s + 0.807 16. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m15.878s + 0.967 17. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m16.885s + 1.974 Q1 cut-off time: 1m16.491s Gap * 18. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1m16.538s + 1.120 19. Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1m17.404s + 1.986 20. Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1m17.947s + 2.529 21. Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1m18.096s + 2.678 22. Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1m18.476s + 3.058 23. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1m19.310s + 3.892 24. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari no time