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Rosberg leads Mercedes front row in Monaco qualifying

Mercedes' qualifying dominance in 2013 has continued with pole position for Nico Rosberg in Monaco. Lewis Hamilton completes an all-Mercedes front row
Saturday, May 25, 2013

May 25th, 2013 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow).- Nico Rosberg has taken his third consecutive pole position with a dominant performance in qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton completes an all-Mercedes front row, with Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel third ahead of team-mate Mark Webber.

Qualifying started wet and raining, with all drivers on intermediate tyres. Jules Bianchi's Q1 was over almost before it began, as his Marussia came to a halt just before Massenet with smoke pouring out of the exhausts. Felipe Massa did not make it out during the session, after Ferrari had to rebuild his car following a heavy accident in FP3. Romain Grosjean's car was also repaired after an FP3 accident, and he made it out during the session and looked very quick. Pastor Maldonado was the surprise Q1 leader, setting the fastest time in his Williams.

Drivers eliminated in Q1 were: Paul Di Resta, Charles Pic, Esteban Gutierrez, Max Chilton, Jules Bianchi and Felipe Massa.

Q2 saw the first use of slick tyres, as the track dried quickly when the rain abated. By the end of the 15 minute session, lap times were close to those seen in dry conditions this morning, but the track was still drying out. Giedo van der Garde, who had progressed to Q2 for the first time this season in his Caterham, spent some time in the top ten, but could not find the speed to make it to Q3 and will start the race 15th. The surprise eliminations at the end of Q2 were Grosjean, who had looked very quick in Q1, and Maldonado, who had topped the Q1 session.

Drivers eliminated in Q2: Hulkenberg, Ricciardo, Grosjean, Bottas, Van der Garde, Maldonado.

Q3 started relatively dry and finished very dry. All drivers went out on scrubbed slicks and then switched to a new set of supersoft tyres mid-way through the session. Towards the end, it looked like the Red Bull pair of Vettel and Webber might take the top two spots, but they were beaten in the dying moments by Lewis Hamilton and then Nico Rosberg. The Mercedes drivers were separated by less than a tenth of a second at the front.

It's the fourth Mercedes pole position in as many races. But there have been no victories yet this season for the Silver Arrows. Rosberg and Hamilton will be aiming to change that tomorrow, but it will all depend on tyre management. If the Mercedes drivers can keep their tyres together, it will be very hard to beat them in the race.

Full results from qualifying:

Pos No Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Laps
1 9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:24.620 1:16.135 1:13.876 31
2 10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:23.779 1:16.265 1:13.967 31
3 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:24.243 1:15.988 1:13.980 29
4 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:25.352 1:17.322 1:14.181 30
5 7 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 1:25.835 1:16.040 1:14.822 31
6 3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:23.712 1:16.510 1:14.824 32
7 6 Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1:24.682 1:17.748 1:15.138 31
8 15 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:25.108 1:17.261 1:15.383 29
9 5 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:23.744 1:17.420 1:15.647 29
10 18 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 1:23.699 1:17.623 1:15.703 29
11 11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1:25.547 1:18.331 22
12 19 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 1:24.852 1:18.344 23
13 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:23.738 1:18.603 13
14 17 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1:24.681 1:19.077 22
15 21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1:26.095 1:19.408 21
16 16 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1:23.452 1:21.688 22
17 14 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:26.322 14
18 20 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1:26.633 13
19 12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1:26.917 12
20 23 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1:27.303 13
21 22 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth No time 1
22 4 Felipe Massa Ferrari No time
Q1 107% Time 1:29.293

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1 Nico Rosberg 165
2 Lewis Hamilton 161
3 Daniel Ricciardo 98
4 Fernando Alonso 87
5 Valtteri Bottas 73
6 Sebastian Vettel 70
1 Mercedes 326
2 Red Bull Racing 168
3 Ferrari 106
4 Williams F1 103
5 Sahara Force India 91
6 McLaren 90

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