The qualifying sessions around the streets on Monaco are always expected to be a little chaotic with no room for error and traffic/blocking often creating difficulties and producing penalties, sadly today’s qualifying extravaganza was marred following a terrible crash with Sergio Perez losing his Sauber on the exit of the tunnel, colliding with barriers and ending up in a wall.  Thankfully, after some time, he was moved to the medical centre and is said to be ok, conscious and talking.  Yet another testament to safety in F1.

Here’s qualifying as it happened, round by round around the streets of Monte Carlo.

Qualifying Round 1

The first round of qualifying around the streets of Monaco was pretty much incident-free, which is somewhat remarkable considering there’s 24 (in theory) cars on track trying to get a time in. The session was a tad frustrating for Michael Schumacher, who was the only driver out of the front runners having to use Super-Soft tyres to get himself up to 9th place – still a way back from Rosberg, who bounced back from his horrific crash this morning.

Alguersuari was the biggest loser of qualifying one, who finished behind both Team Lotus cars.  He was involved in a tangle with Kobayashi’s Sauber, which will likely result in a penalty for someone – more on that later, for now,  the final spots on the grid are as follows:

19Jarno TrulliLotus1'17.3812.174
20J.AlguersuariToro Rosso1'17.8202.613
21Timo GlockVirgin1'17.9142.707
23Vitantonio LiuzziHRTNo Time DNQ0.000
24N.KarthikeyanHRTNo Time DNQ0.000

Hispania may not start the race with neither driver completing a time within 107% of the fastest time – to be confirmed.

Qualifying Round 2

Another action-packed round with Perez being the star of the show after getting his Sauber up into the top 10 shootout.  Maldonado impressed again with 10th which gets him into the top 10 shootout for the second race weekend in a row.  Di Resta also managed to out-qualify Adrian Sutil yet again, in his first visit to Monaco in an F1 car.

Toro Rosso’s woeful Saturday continued with Buemi being last in Q2 and Renault’s Vitaly Petrov will be disappointed to fail to reach the final round of qualifying with both he and Nick Heidfeld going out in 11th and 16th respectively.  Barrichello will be frustrated again with his best performance only resulting in 12th position for the grid.

11Vitaly PetrovRenault1'15.8151.540
13Kamui KobayashiSauber1'15.9731.698
14Paul Di RestaForce India1'16.1181.843
15Adrian SutilForce India1'16.1211.846
16Nick HeidfeldRenault1'16.2141.939
17Sebastien BuemiToro Rosso1'16.3002.025

Qualifying Round 3

The final round was all set to be an epic battle between the the drivers, all trying to do whatever they can to hold back Vettel’s championship charge.  Hamilton stayed in the garage while everyone else went out and just when it looked like McLaren’s Jenson Button had the measure of the Red Bulls, Vettel put in a time, nearly 0.5s quicker.

With only 2minutes and 26 seconds remaining there was a horrific crash (pictures here from Sidepodcast) where Sergio Perez lost his Sauber under breaking on the exit of the tunnel.  After over half an hour the session was underway again following positive news on Perez’s condition.  No driver had an answer for Vettel’s time and Hamilton lost out massively from the disrupted session, with his only flying lap producing a time good enough for 7th.

Michael Schumacher will be chuffed with his time giving him 5th on the grid, especially given that qualifying for Monaco is so important for a good race.

1Sebastian VettelRed Bull1'13.556
2Jenson ButtonMcLaren1'13.9970.441
3Mark WebberRed Bull1'14.0190.463
4Fernando AlonsoFerrari1'14.4830.927
6Felipe MassaFerrari1'14.8771.321
7Lewis HamiltonMcLaren1'15.2801.724
8Nico RosbergMercedes1'15.7662.210
9Pastor MaldonadoWilliams1'16.5282.972
10Sergio PerezSauberNo Time0.000