Nico Rosberg blitzes qualifying in Monaco

Nico Rosberg sweeps to another pole

Nico Rosberg sweeps to another pole

Nico Rosberg claimed a hat-trick of pole positions after unleashing a stunning lap in qualifying for the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix.

Rosberg saved up his best until the dying seconds of qualifying by setting a 1:13.876s to lead the Mercedes-Benz team to a front-row domination ahead of the 78-lap race.

Lewis Hamilton had just landed at the top of the time sheets before Rosberg responded, pipping the Briton by .091s.

Sebastien Vettel was .104s shy in third with his Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber completing the second row.

Then came Kimi Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso and Sergio Perez who outgunned his McLaren team-mate Jenson Button.

As all runners started Q3 on the super soft rubber, the track began to dry after rain had mixed up the earlier segments of qualifying.

The final part of qualifying hit top gear with just over five minutes remaining when Webber went to the top momentarily before Hamilton swept to the top spot.

Rosberg then dislodged his team-mate before Webber struck back again with another powerful lap.

 Mercedes then pulled both cars into the pits for fresh rubber to launch one final raid when Hamilton went to the top before ultimately being stripped of the top time by Rosberg.

“We are improving but it’s difficult to understand the tyres. It’s still going to be difficult tomorrow,” Rosberg cautioned in the post qualifying press conference.

The shock of Q1 was Scot Paul di Resta failing to advance in a Force India that was struggling for rear traction.

On a wet/dry track Adrian Sutil avoided a double whammy for Force India by squeezing into the final segment of qualifying with a last gasp run.

Jean-Eric Vergne claimed 10th spot for Toro Rosso just behind Jenson Button and Sutil.

Giedo van der Garde managed to give Caterham a rare moment of Q2 action before qualifying 15th.

Result: Qualifying

 1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes  1:13.876
 2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes  1:13.967
 3 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault  1:13.980
 4 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault  1:14.181
 5 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault  1:14.822
 6 Fernando Alonso Ferrari  1:14.824
 7 Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes  1:15.138
 8 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes  1:15.383
 9 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes  1:15.647
10 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari  1:15.703
11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari  1:18.331
12 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari  1:18.344
13 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault  1:18.603
14 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault  1:19.077
15 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault  1:19.408
16 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault  1:21.688
17 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes  1:26.322
18 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault  1:26.633
19 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari  1:26.917
20 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth  1:27.303
21 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth
22 Felipe Massa Ferrari  


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