Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg earned his third consecutive Formula One pole. This one meant a lot as the German is at his home race.
Mercedes’ driver, Nico Rosberg proved to be the best of the rest after securing the pole position spot ahead of tomorrow’s prestigious FIA Formula One 2013 Monaco Grand Prix. The German has now achieved his fourth career pole to date as a result of the outcome in qualifying, and his third-consecutive one.
"It's a great feeling to be on pole in the city where I grew up and it means so much to me to drive through the streets here in a Silver Arrow. The conditions were really difficult out there today with the rain at the start but we handled it well," enthused Rosberg.
He added, "I have to say thank you to everybody at the team for all of their hard work in improving our car and our performance so much since last year."
Rosberg and his team mate, Lewis Hamilton have had success for the third time in a row, as the Englishman assisted the pole sitter by securing second place on the grid and locking out the front row for the team.
Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel did initially attempt to spoil the party for Rosberg and Hamilton in Q3, but failed to do so as the session came to a close and he will start the race from third place.
Vettel and his team mate, Mark Webber may not have snatched the first two grid slots from the Mercedes duo, but share a similar achievement as they too have locked out a row in tomorrow’s line up.
There were several front runners who looked good for pole position and among those was Webber. Unfortunately, the Australian missed out in the end but will begin the Grand Prix from fourth place.
The middle of the top 10 will feature Lotus Renault’s Kimi Raikkonen. The Finnish driver crossed the line at the end of Q3 to secure fifth place for himself. The 2007 World Champion appeared to have a mixed qualifying session and seemed slightly off the pace compared to his Championship rivals. Raikkonen had more luck than his team mate, Romain Grosjean though. The French man had already crashed three times during practice in the lead up to qualifying and did recover in Q1. Grosjean failed to make the grade when it mattered though and will start the race outside of the top 10.
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso only managed to qualify in sixth place as the chequered flag waved to mark the end of Q3. The Spaniard had success at his home race in Barcelona two weeks ago, but his Monaco campaign for victory does not appear to have the winning formula yet following qualifying.
Alonso’s team mate, Felipe Massa came off slightly worse though before qualifying had even begun today. The Brazilian driver was one of the three drivers who crashed during the final practice session. The drivers were unscathed after their crashes, but Massa’s in particular set alarm bells ringing at a blistering speed of 180mph.
The Brazilian spectacular crash was at Sainte Devote; thus due to the damage to his Prancing Horse, Massa did not participate in qualifying. It was also reported that his car would have a gearbox change and he will also be starting the Grand Prix from the back of the field.
McLaren’s new recruit Sergio Perez pipped his team mate, Jenson Button to a higher grid slot and will start from seventh place tomorrow. Button will be a little further down the field in ninth place and will have to catch up with his team mate.
Force India’s Adrian Sutil was the third and final driver that crashed in practice. The German managed to put that behind him once qualifying had begun and the team had worked their magic on his car. Sutil will start the race in a McLaren sandwich as he will line up on the grid in eighth place. Sutil’s team mate, Paul Di Resta was one of the usual midfield runners who bowed out early from qualifying. The Scotsman appeared to struggle for pace and failed to make it through to Q2 which led him to fall down the field position wise.
Toro Rosso’s Jean Eric Vergne impressed with his performance during qualifying and was rewarded with 10th place for the grid tomorrow after making it through to Q3 as well. As the French man takes to the track tomorrow, it will in effect be the closest thing to a home race for him and today’s result puts him in a good position to achieve.
The glamour of Monte Carlo brings a special atmosphere to the Formula One fraternity. The usual sunny climate faded in favour of rain showers on and off throughout the qualifying session. The weather did not rain on Rosberg’s parade in the end though and it swiftly led him to snatch the top spot in the field.
As has been the case already this season when Rosberg has been on pole, he has failed to keep hold of the position all the way until the end of a Grand prix. He will be hoping that the sun will be shining on him on race day in order to have raced to pole position and in the end finally race to victory.
One of the drivers in the field that knows what it is like to win in Monte Carlo is Rosberg’s team mate Hamilton. Despite never taking pole position, Hamilton has previously delivered on race day to pick up a win. He too will be starting from the front row and will have victory in his sights.
As the lights go out for the race tomorrow, the pair will have a déjà vu moment having Vettel behind them again. So far in the battle between the trio, Vettel has been successful in taking the lead and is likely to want to do the same.
With so much expectation on the shoulders of the current top Championship contenders and the spectacle of Monte Carlo, it remains to be seen who will be crowned the winner and not buckle under the pressure that it brings.
It is certain though that the challenge the circuit poses on the drivers will be one thing to overcome, as well as battling with their closest rivals, before one lucky man crosses the line first to take the ultimate chequered flag celebrations on the race calendar.