Monaco, May 26: Mercedes’ Michael Schumacher was fastest at the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix qualifying here Saturday but his five-place grid penalty incurred from the last race elevated Mark Webber to pole position. Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg missed Q3 by a whisker.
Webber, who set 1min 14.381secs, will start at the front for Red Bull alongside Nico Rosberg. The Mercedes driver came up with 1:14.448 to start ahead of McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton, who timed 1:14.583.
Schumacher added spice to the unpredictable season by clocking the fastest time of 1:14.301 but his penalty following a collision with Williams’ Bruno Senna in the Spanish Grand Prix denied the seven-time champion a first pole since his comeback to F1 in 2010. He will now start from sixth place.
Sahara Force India’s Hulkenberg and Paul di Resta set the 11th and 15th fastest time. It will be a challenge for both to finish in the top-10 as the street circuit provides minimal chance of overtaking.
“I felt pretty happy with the balance of the car during FP2 Thursday, but unfortunately it didn’t carry over for qualifying. We haven’t changed much on the car, but I was struggling with the rear and with traction,” said di Resta.
“I am not as far up the grid as I would like to be and it leaves us with a hard task tomorrow, especially because it is so difficult to overtake here. But we also know that Monaco can be an unpredictable race and I hope the strategy can help us fight back.”