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Saturday, May 25, 2013


Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg has claimed his third consecutive pole position, an achievement never matched by his 1982 world champion father Keke, who won in Monaco 30 years ago. Rosberg’s time was nearly half a second quicker than last year’s pole time, set by Michael Schumacher in a Mercedes and marked the fourth pole in a row for the team, after a thrilling session.

A sprinkling of rain half an hour before the start of Q1 meant that the track was damp for the first time all weekend. All the drivers started the opening session on the Cinturato Green intermediate tyre as the rain fell harder, before easing off in the closing minutes. The fastest driver in Q1 was Williams driver Pastor Maldonado, on the intermediate, while Caterham’s Giedo van der Garde also used the intermediate to take his team into Q2 for the first time this year.

The rain continued in Q2, meaning that intermediates were once more the obvious choice. With just under five minutes to go the drivers began to switch to supersoft slick tyres, led by van der Garde. Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel was the fastest of the Q2 drivers on the supersoft, with a time set right at the end of the session. Romain Grosjean was among those to lose out. His 13th place was an anti-climax after a star Q1 performance, when he had shot to the front briefly on the single flying lap he had time for once Lotus had repaired his practice crash damage.

The Q3 session was the only one where drivers were able to use slicks from the start, with all of them heading out on the supersoft. After the first runs in Q3 the Red Bulls were on top, but when it came down to the business end of the session Sebastian Vettel was 0.104s shy of Rosberg in third and Mark Webber was another two tenths slower in fourth.

Kimi Raikkonen claimed fifth on the grid with a competitive lap time of 1:14.822, while Ferrari's Fernando Alonso had to settle for sixth with a time 0.002s shy of the Lotus. Sergio Perez put in a strong lap for seventh on the grid in his McLaren ahead of Adrian Sutil in eighth, who went into the session without any running on the super-soft in FP3 after crashing out in the morning session. Jenson Button was eighth fastest in the second McLaren ahead of a good performance from Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne in tenth.
 P.    Driver                Team           Time       Gap  
 1. Nico Rosberg          Mercedes AMG     1:13.876
 2. Lewis Hamilton        Mercedes AMG     1:13.967  + 0.091
 3. Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull         1:13.980  + 0.104
 4. Mark Webber           Red Bull         1:14.181  + 0.305
 5. Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus            1:14.822  + 0.946
 6. Fernando Alonso       Ferrari          1:14.824  + 0.948
 7. Sergio Perez          McLaren          1:15.138  + 1.262
 8. Adrian Sutil          Force India      1:15.383  + 1.507
 9. Jenson Button         McLaren          1:15.647  + 1.771
10. Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso       1:15.703  + 1.827
Q2 Fastest time: S.Vettel 1:15.988                          
11. Nico Hulkenberg       Sauber           1:18.331  + 2.343
12. Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso       1:18.344  + 2.356
13. Romain Grosjean       Lotus            1:18.603  + 2.615
14. Valtteri Bottas       Williams         1:19.077  + 3.089
15. Giedo van der Garde   Caterham         1:19.408  + 3.420
16. Pastor Maldonado      Williams         1:21.688  + 5.700
Q1 Fastest time: P.Maldonado 1:23.452                       
17. Paul di Resta         Force India      1:26.322  + 2.870
18. Charles Pic           Caterham         1:26.633  + 3.181
19. Esteban Gutierrez     Sauber           1:26.917  + 3.465
20. Max Chilton           Marussia         1:27.303  + 3.851
21. Jules Bianchi         Marussia         no time
22. Felipe Massa          Ferrari          no time
107% time: 1:29.293