Saturday, May 15, 2010

Red Hot Red Bull Driver Mark Webber Takes Monaco GP Pole

Photo Credit: Mercedes GP

With the tight streets of Monte Carlo providing an unique spectacle to see modern 21st century Formula 1 racing machines running on one of the tour's oldest race circuits, the Monaco Grand Prix captures the lavishness and starkness the series have long gravitated towards. While the Formula 1 tour in general has been brought to the realization of exploding team budgets through the 1990s and last decade, this is only allowing this perennial to cast itself as a brighter crown jewel.

Fresh off his pole and victory in Barcelona last week, Mark Webber carried momentum onto the narrow street course netting his Red Bull Racing car the preferred 1st place grid position in tomorrow's Monaco Grand Prix. Webber's pole time in the Red Bull-Renault on the streets of Monaco matches the single lap time record set by Michael Schumacher in 2004 down to he one-thousandth of a second. As Webber scored pole, this meant the second race in a row that the Australian beat this teammate Sebastian Vettel. Vettel had it up to 3rd in the final qualifying session to just miss a 3rd consecutive Red Bull front row.

On Saturday, the Renault F1 team and Robert Kubica rose to life recording the fastest time in practice. Kubica attempted to repeat the performance through F1 qualifying. Coming roughly 3/10ths of a second short, the Renault settles for a well-earned 2nd place place dividing the two Red Bulls. "Second on the grid at Monaco is a great result for us. The car has been great all weekend and I think we got the most from it today." Robert Kubica proudly admits after the time trial session. Renault Team Principal Eric Boillier delightfully commended Kubica's effort qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix. "We are now looking forward to an exciting race tomorrow and hopefully coming away with a great result." Boillier voiced confidence for Sunday's Grand Prix.

Lorenzo Bellanca/LAT Photographic

While Webber, Kubica and Vettel showed the top pace in Saturday qualifying, one potential polesitter spent the entire session on the sidelines. After posting the fastest speeds on track through early weekend practices, Ferrari's Fernando Alonso collided with the retaining barrier in the Massenet section (also known as a wide turn 3) as an incident Alonso admitted was a driver's mistake. With the Ferrari F2010 too damaged to compete in qualifying, Fernando Alonso will start the race from the pit lane in a back-up Ferrari. The other Ferrari of Felipe Massa curbed a streak of declining qualifying efforts in 2010. Producing have second-best qualifying effort of the 2010 Formula 1 season, Massa slotted in 4th after Q3.

Having led the 10 driver group of the final Q3 session, Mercedes GP driver Nico Rosberg fell to 6th fastest for the final starting order. Rosberg was able to poke his Mercedes Formula 1 race car one position ahead of Michael Schumacher who is coming off his best finish of 2010 at the Spanish Grand Prix. Schumacher has won 5 Monaco Grand Prix races making him the winningest active driver of this prestigious Formula 1 event. Besides Schumacher, previous Monaco Grand Prix winners running this weekend includes Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Jarno Trulli.

2010 Formula 1
Monaco Grand Prix
Starting Grid

1. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault
2. Robert Kubica Renault F1
3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault
4. Felipe Massa Ferrari
5. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes
6. Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP
7. Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP
8. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes
9. Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth
10. Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes
11. Nico Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth
12. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes
13. Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari
14. Vitaly Petrov Renault
15. Pedro de la Rosa BMW Sauber-Ferrari
16. Kamui Kobayashi BMW Sauber-Ferrari
17. Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari
18. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth
19. Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth
20. Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth
21. Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth
22. Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth
23. Karun Chandhok HRT-Cosworth
24. Fernando Alonso Ferrari

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