Hamilton takes vital Monaco Grand Prix pole

Lewis Hamilton took pole position for the Monaco Grand Prix for the first time on Saturday, with the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS drivers once again locking out the front row of the grid.

Nico Rosberg had held the advantage for the during the second part of qualifying, but Hamilton was quicker in the two drivers’ first attempts in Q3, before a lock up and subsequent abortion of his final lap by Rosberg gave Hamilton the chance to consolidate top spot, which the reigning champion did by 0.342s.

Despite ending the final free practice session on Saturday morning with the quickest time, Sebastian Vettel could not find the pace to challenge for pole during qualifying, with the Scuderia Ferrari driver 0.751s adrift of Hamilton’s time, while fourth placed Daniel Ricciardo was the only other driver to get within one second, the Infiniti Red Bull Racing driver 0.943s down.

The second Red Bull of Daniil Kvyat will start fifth ahead of a disappointing Kimi Raikkonen, who managed to get out on track with his car repaired after his earlier FP3 crash.

Sergio Perez was an impressive seventh for the Sahara Force India team, ahead of Carlos Sainz Jr of Scuderia Toro Rosso, while Pastor Maldonado of the Lotus F1 Team beat Sainz’s team-mate Max Verstappen to ninth.

Just missing out on the top ten shoot-out was the second Lotus of Romain Grosjean in eleventh, but will drop five places on the grid following a pre-race gearbox change. The leading McLaren-Honda was Jenson Button in twelfth, but his team-mate Fernando Alonso ground to a halt without setting a reflective lap time despite making it through into Q2; the Spaniard ended the session fifteenth.

Nico Hulkenberg was thirteenth quickest in the second Force India, ahead of the leading Williams Martini Racing entry of Felipe Massa, who along with team-mate Valtteri Bottas who was eliminated in Q1, continued to have a disappointing and off-key weekend.

Both Sauber F1 Team drivers were eliminated in Q1, with Felipe Nasr sixteenth and Marcus Ericsson eighteenth, either side of Bottas, while the Manor F1 Team drivers brought up the rear with Will Stevens again ahead of Roberto Merhi.

Monaco Qualifying Result

144Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes1m15.098s
26Nico RosbergGERMercedes1m15.440s
35Sebastian VettelGERFerrari1m15.849s
43Daniel RicciardoAUSRed Bull-Renault1m16.041s
526Daniil KvyatRUSRed Bull-Renault1m16.182s
67Kimi RaikkonenFINFerrari1m16.427s
711Sergio PerezMEXForce India-Mercedes1m16.808s
855Carlos Sainz JrESPToro Rosso-Renault1m16.931s
913Pastor MaldonadoVENLotus-Mercedes1m16.946s
1033Max VerstappenNEDToro Rosso-Renault1m16.957s
--Eliminated in Q2---
118Romain GrosjeanFRALotus-Mercedes1m17.007s
1222Jenson ButtonGBRMcLaren-Honda1m17.093s
1327Nico HulkenbergGERForce India-Mercedes1m17.193s
1419Felipe MassaBRZWilliams-Mercedes1m17.278s
1514Fernando AlonsoESPMcLaren-Honda1m26.632s
--Eliminated in Q1---
1612Felipe NasrESPSauber-Ferrari1m18.101s
1777Valtteri BottasFINWilliams-Mercedes1m18.434s
189Marcus EricssonSWESauber-Ferrari1m18.513s
1928Will StevensGBRManor-Ferrari1m20.655s
2098Roberto MerhiESPManor-Ferrari1m20.904s