Hamilton tops important qualifying Monaco

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Monaco, Monte Carlo Circuitmc

Lewis Hamilton took charge in the ever important qualifying of Monte Carlo. Nico Rosberg, plagued with lockup throughout the session, managed second, in front of Sebastian Vettel

Q1: Allmost everybody comes out of the box from the start. Tyres warm up slowly so teams and drivers are poised to slowly built to faster laps. The sheer amount of traffic shuffles the pack for the first few laps, which Verstappen briefly leads. The second time round however its back to business for the Mercedes drivers. Interestingly, most drivers are on the harder soft tyre.
Meanwhile a few drivers like Alonso and Hulkenberg prefer staying in the box until halfway the session, inmediately going to the supersofts.

Both Williams drivers meanwhile struggle to get to the next part of qualifying. Mclaren on the other hand seems a certainty for Q2. At the tail of the pack, Mehri finally looks able to challenge Stevens, although the latter stays a tenth in front his teammate. At the end, Bottas gets denied a position in the first 15, along with the Sauber and Manor drivers. Force India, otherwise a prime Q1 elimination candidate, handles itself a lot better.

Q2: Vettel leads the pack the first minutes. Meanwhile, Alonso is forced to park car due a technical failure of the car. Verstappen confirms his good form from free practice. A little before halfway, Mercedes start to set their times, with Rosberg on top but Hamilton struggles to just P3, matching Vettel's exact time. In the closing moments, Hamilton jumps back to P2, while Rosberg reminds everybody what happened last year by locking up and having to go wide into the escape area.

Q3: The session starts with Hamilton in front of Rosberg. Perez surprisingly gets in front, although the others prefer doing a slow lap first to heat up the tyre properly. In the second flying lap Hamilton sits in front of Rosberg with only a tenth margin. Raikkonen in meanwhile struggles, brushing the barrier on a flying lap. Initially being almost 2 seconds slower then his teammate, he'll eventually reduce that gap to 6 tenths, possibly having his confidence dented by the crash in free practice.

3 minutes before the end most of the Q3 drivers are back on track with a new set of supersofts. Track temperatures start to drop a bit, making it more difficult to keep the tyres within the optimal temperature range.

Rosberg seems not to be able to manage this and aborts on his final attempt, after locking up again and heavily flat spotting the front right tyre. Lewis however is able to improve his time, although it did not matter anyway. Vettel puts the Ferrari at the third place. It's Hamilton's first pole around this track.

Results

Pos.No.DriverTeamQ1Q2Q3Laps
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMG1:16.5881:15.8641:15.09828
26Nico RosbergMercedes AMG1:16.5281:15.4711:15.44025
35Sebastian VettelFerrari1:17.5021:16.1811:15.84924
43Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing1:17.2541:16.7061:16.04128
526Daniil KvyatRed Bull Racing1:16.8451:16.4531:16.18226
67Kimi RäikkönenFerrari1:17.6601:16.4401:16.42723
711Sergio PerezForce India1:17.3761:16.9991:16.80822
855Carlos SainzToro Rosso1:17.2461:16.7621:16.93129
913Pastor MaldonadoLotus F11:17.6301:16.7751:16.94630
1033Max VerstappenToro Rosso1:16.7501:16.5461:16.95729
118Romain GrosjeanLotus F11:17.7671:17.007-22
1222Jenson ButtonMcLaren1:17.4921:17.093-20
1327Nico HulkenbergForce India1:17.5521:17.193-16
1419Felipe MassaWilliams1:17.6791:17.278-22
1514Fernando AlonsoMcLaren1:17.7781:26.632-11
1612Felipe NasrSauber1:18.101--11
1777Valtteri BottasWilliams1:18.434--10
189Marcus EricssonSauber1:18.513--11
1928Will StevensMarussia1:20.655--9
2098Roberto MerhiMarussia1:20.904--10