F1 2012 - Mercedes Monaco GP Qualifying Results: Schumacher Claims Pole Position and Rosberg Starts 3rd
The seven time world champion Michael Schumacher claimed his 69th pole position at the Monaco Grand Prix with a 1:14.301, just 0.08 seconds ahead of Red Bull's Mark Webber. However due to the 5 grid spot penalty handed to him after the Spanish grand prix, Michael will start from 6th spot. Fellow Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg took third. Mclaren's Lewis Hamilton starts behind them followed by Romain Grosjean, and Fernando Alonso. Ferrrari's Massa will start seventh breaking into Q3 for the first time this year, followed by Renault's Kimi Raikkonen. Williams driver Pastor Maldonado starts 9th. The current world champion Sebastain Vettel will start in 10th place, who struggled throughout qualifying and opted not to run in Q3 to save a set of tires for the race. To everyone's suprise, Mclaren Mercedes driver Jensen Button failed to make it into the final qualifying session and will start in 13th place.
A delighted Michael said after qualifying:
Nico secured third fastest time in Q3 but will be on the front row of the grid in Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix. Nico:
"It is simply a wonderful feeling to set pole after such a long time, and particularly here in Monaco. Okay, it has taken a little bit longer than I might have wanted in the second chapter of my career, but that makes it even sweeter. It's just beautiful. We already thought that this circuit should suit us, and it's the perfect confirmation of all the work from every team member in Brackley, Brixworth and Stuttgart - a big thank you to every one of them, because this is a team result. Of course, it's unfortunate that I won't start from the very front but that's how it is. I will do as well as I can. We know that overtaking is tough but with DRS and KERS, you might as well try it - and you can be sure I will."
"I am pleased with the result today and especially for what we have shown as a team in the past few weeks. We have had a couple of difficult races since the win in China but there has been a lot of hard work to turn it round, and today we were on top as a team which is great to see. Thank you to everybody back at base who has brought us back to the front again. But it was just so close out there this afternoon, it's incredible and fantastic for Formula One. Congratulations to Michael, he did a fantastic job. Of course, I am sorry for him that he must take the penalty, but that means I will be on the front row in Monaco. And at a race where overtaking can be so difficult, that's a great place to start."
Norbert Haug Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport was also very pleased with Michael:
"It was a wonderful qualifying session and we are obviously delighted. Michael will take a five-place penalty tomorrow, but today he was the quickest guy out there - congratulations to him. Nico did a fantastic job as well, and was in the hunt for pole throughout the session. Having both drivers in the top three shows that the team has done a superb job this weekend to dial in the car and follow the evolution of the track. But it was a real team effort today and my thanks also to everyone back at the factories in Brackley and Brixworth."
"What a phenomenal performance from Michael. He was the fastest man on track today when it counted and Michael truly deserves this P1 result. His five-place penalty puts him back on the third row while Nico will start from the front row tomorrow. Inside our team, our belief in Michael was never in danger and this has paid off big time."