Nico Rosberg took pole position for tomorrow’s Monaco Grand Prix after a heated end to qualifying that saw team-mate Lewis Hamilton seemingly refusing to speak to the German.
Rosberg had set the pace on the first runs during Q3, but made a mistake on his second and final lap that saw yellow flags brought out and prevented Hamilton – who was running behind – from setting his own second lap. In Parc Ferme Rosberg celebrated his pole with 3rd placed man Daniel Ricciardo for Red Bull, but Hamilton refused to acknowledge his ‘friend’ and was not smiling in the traditional post-qualifying top three photoshoot.
Elsewhere Sebastian Vettel qualified 4th but was 0.4 down on Ricciardo, while Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen locked out row three for Ferrari. Jean Eric Vergne and Kevin Magnussen will start 7th and 8th, ahead of Daniil Kvyat and Sergio Perez in 9th and 10th.
Q2 opened with Felipe Massa standing no chance of progressing; having set 10th fastest time to ensure his safety from the bottom six, the Brazilian was startled to be clattered into the barriers at Mirabeau by the errant Marcus Ericsson who got out of shape passing the Williams. Massa was unhappy, but refused to criticse the Swede who has a somewhat questionable Monaco record from his GP2 days.
Nico Hulkenberg and Jenson Button were the big names eliminated in Q2, the Briton bizarrely coasting across the line after backing off early on his final lap because of a mistake exiting the tunnel. Valterri Bottas and Romain Grosjean also failed to make the grade and will start 13th and 14th, ahead of Pastor Maldonado and the unlucky Massa.
Esteban Gutierrez and Adrian Sutil couldn’t find pace in their Sauber cars to escape Q1, while Marussia enjoyed the comparative luxury of outqualifying both Caterhams.
CLASSIFICATION – Qualifying – Monaco Grand Prix 24th May 2014