Hamilton takes first F1 pole at Monaco

FIA F1 | 2015 Formula 1 World Championship

Monaco F1 Grand Prix (FP3 + Qualifying)

Written by - Jarrod Moore

With a dry track and the sun occasionally poking through, track conditions today couldn’t have been further from Thursday’s wet and cold free practice sessions (FP1 and FP2).

Free Practice 3

FP3 wasn’t without incident as Kimi Raikkonen (Scuderia Ferrari) and Max Verstappen (Scuderia Toro Rosso) caused damage to their cars in separate crashes.

Raikkonen had some mid corner oversteer turning into Saint Devote causing him to lose the rear end spinning him into the armco on the exit with Verstappen later damaging his rear wing end plates after backing into the wall near Rascasse.

Qualifying Session

Warm and sunny early morning conditions changed just before qualifying started with dark clouds rolling in over the circuit lowering track and air temperatures.

Nico Hülkenberg (Sahara Force India) was the first victim in Q1, struggling with the colder conditions as he oversteered into the barrier at turn four which inevitable ended his qualifying run.

Sauber and Manor Marussia continue to battle with qualifying pace after failing to make it past Q1. Valtteri Bottas (Williams F1) disappointingly following suit after showing good pace leading up to Monaco.

McLaren made good progress early although still lack reliability with Fernando Alonso finishing Q2 early when his engine seemingly cut out at turn one.

MyDrive | Monaco F1 GP 2015

MyDrive | Monaco F1 GP 2015

First to enter the 1:15:00 barrier was Nico Rosberg before he locked his brakes in dramatic style, reminiscent of his session last year.

Hamilton and Rosberg (Mercedes AMG) continued to dice it out with each driver showing his superiority but it would be Hamilton’s day, crossing the line with the best time to take pole position.

Sebastian Vettel (Scuderia Ferrari) continued to improve throughout the session and almost upset the Mercedes front row party with a stellar performance to be only four tenths behind Rosberg in third position.

Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat enjoyed a return to form in their Renault powered Red Bull’s to secure good points this weekend and will start from fourth and fifth positions respectively.

Grid Positions – 2015 Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix

Q3 Final Results

1. Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 15.098s
2. Nico Rosberg GER Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 15.440s
3. Sebastian Vettel GER Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 15.849s
4. Daniel Ricciardo AUS Red Bull-Renault 1m 16.041s
5. Daniil Kvyat RUS Red Bull-Renault 1m 16.182s
6. Kimi Raikkonen FIN Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 16.427s
7. Sergio Perez MEX Force India-Mercedes 1m 16.808s
8. Carlos Sainz Jr ESP Toro Rosso-Renault 1m 16.931s**
9. Pastor Maldonado VEN Lotus-Mercedes 1m 16.946s
10. Max Verstappen NED Toro Rosso-Renault 1m 16.957s

Q2 Final Results

11. Romain Grosjean FRA Lotus-Mercedes 1m 17.007s*
12. Jenson Button GBR McLaren-Honda 1m 17.093s
13. Nico Hülkenberg GER Force India-Mercedes 1m 17.193s
14. Felipe Massa BRZ Williams-Mercedes 1m 17.278s
15. Fernando Alonso ESP McLaren-Honda 1m 26.632s

Q1 Final Results

16. Felipe Nasr BRZ Sauber-Ferrari 1m 18.101s
17. Valtteri Bottas FIN Williams-Mercedes 1m 18.434s
18. Marcus Ericsson SWE Sauber-Ferrari 1m 18.513s
19. Will Stevens GBR Manor Marussia-Ferrari 1m 20.655s
20. Roberto Merhi ESP Manor Marussia-Ferrari 1m 20.904s

GP MONTECARLO F1/2015  - 23/05/2015© FOTO STUDIO COLOMBO X FERRARI SPONSOR (© COPYRIGHT FREE)GP MONTECARLO F1/2015  - 23/05/2015© FOTO STUDIO COLOMBO X FERRARI SPONSOR (© COPYRIGHT FREE)GP MONTECARLO F1/2015  - 23/05/2015© FOTO STUDIO COLOMBO X FERRARI SPONSOR (© COPYRIGHT FREE)GP MONTECARLO F1/2015  - 23/05/2015© FOTO STUDIO COLOMBO X FERRARI SPONSOR (© COPYRIGHT FREE)GP MONTECARLO F1/2015  - 23/05/2015© FOTO STUDIO COLOMBO X FERRARI SPONSOR (© COPYRIGHT FREE)GP MONTECARLO F1/2015  - 23/05/2015© FOTO STUDIO COLOMBO X FERRARI SPONSOR (© COPYRIGHT FREE)

Driver Interviews

With his last pole at Monaco in 2006 for his GP2 team; Hamilton couldn’t be happier starting from P1.

“I didn’t have the rhythm until the last two laps. At this track it’s so hard. It’s difficult to express just how difficult this track is. We had some problems with tyres and we had some problem with wing setup and traffic.”

“It’s important to get into a rhythm and it’s really important to continue to improve, this [pole position] is incredibly special for me and for my guys who have worked so hard this weekend.”

Hamilton’s lap of 1.15.098 was just over three tenths of a second quicker than team mate, Rosberg, who made a mistake on his last qualifying lap that cost the German pole position.

With an air temp of only 18C/65F and a track temp hovering around 25C/77F, the conditions didn’t favour Vettel’s Ferrari who struggled to get temperature into the super soft tyres.

MyDrive | Monaco F1 GP 2015

MyDrive | Monaco F1 GP 2015

“Generally happy with the result but I think it was a bit too cool for us today. I think everyone was struggling with warming up the tyres.”

“P3 is a good place to start from and hopefully we can split the Mercedes and therefore have an exciting race tomorrow.”

Red Bull saw some return to form with Ricciardo and Kvyat starting in the top five with Ricciardo out qualify his Russian teammate but by only one tenth of a second.

Ricciardo’s miscommunication from the team left him frustrated with his pit wall saying “It should have been third, there was a miscommunication starting the lap and we didn’t start on full power, so I was two tenths slower already getting into Turn 1, that’s two tenths we needed to be third [P3 on the grid] and it’s free lap time for nothing.”

“Of all places it’s not the place you want to give away a grid position, I’ve calmed down a little now but it’s pretty frustrating.”

MyDrive | Monaco F1 GP 2015

MyDrive | Monaco F1 GP 2015

After qualifying in eighth place, Spaniard Carlos Sainz (Scuderia Toro Rosso) will be forced to start tomorrow’s race from the pit lane after he failed to stop for weigh in during Q1. The stewards have decided that because he proceeded to have work done on his car after he failed to stop, that he was in breach of the rules and will now start from pit lane.

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