Webber on pole for Monaco GP
Mark Webber will start from pole position in Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix despite posting only the second fastest time in qualifying in his Red Bull on Saturday.
Seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher was quickest in his Mercedes, but was denied pole position after a five-place grid penalty relegated him to sixth.
Schumacher’s German teammate Nico Rosberg will start in second place, while the second row on the grid belongs to Lewis Hamilton in a McLaren and Lotus driver Romain Grosjean.
Australian Daniel Ricciardo will start from 15th position in his Toro Rosso.
Schumacher was penalised for crashing into Bruno Senna during the Spanish Grand Prix two weeks ago.
Williams’ Pastor Maldonado, who won in Spain, was given a ten-place penalty after swerving into Sergio Perez’s Sauber in the final practice on Saturday ahead of the qualifying. He will now start from 19th.
World champion Sebastian Vettel, who shares the lead in the drivers’ standings with Fernando Alonso, will start from ninth after failing to register a time in the third qualifying session.
Alonso, who like Vettel is on 61 points, will start from fifth next to Schumacher.
Webber was gracious in the aftermath of a thrilling session.
“It is Michael’s day,” said Webber.
“(That was) a good lap from him. It was a tight session and lots of different people arrived at the back end of qualifying with different situations with tyres.
“I knew I was aiming for the first few rows for sure – and it came tight. The first run in Q3 was not too bad and I thought I could go for pole.
“We have a very good car. The guys have done a good job and I am very, very happy.”
Schumacher’s stunning effort clinched his 69th pole position of his career and his best performance in qualifying since he returned to Formula One after a three-year retirement in 2010.
“Monaco to all of us is the track of the year that has a very prestigious position and to manage pole position here after what I have gone through in the last two-and-a-half years is just fabulous – and that is what sticks into my mind,” Schumacher said.
“I told you guys in (an earlier) press conference that I would get pole, start sixth and win it – and that is what I am going to aim for. That’s all I have in my mind and the past doesn’t matter.”© AFP 2013
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