Sunday, May 29, 2011

Operation Monte Carlo: Vettel Claims Monaco GP Pole

Photo Credit: Mercedes GP

Continuing a year of absolute superiority in the Formula 1 season, Sebastian Vettel took the top time in qualifying for the 2011 Monaco Grand Prix. Lapping the track with a final time trial speed of 1 minute, 13.556 seconds, Vettel's Red Bull-Renault was more half a second faster than the second-place qualifier Jenson Button. Defending Monaco Grand Prix winner and driver of the second Red Bull Racing car Mark Webber improved three grid positions from in the Q3 session for a third place starting spot.

Within 4th to 7th place, Ferrari and Mercedes GP handled well around the 18-turn temporary street course. Continuing to show improvements through the season, the Fernando Alonso-driven Ferrari took 4th place ahead of Michael Schumacher. For the first time in the 2011 Formula 1 season, Schumacher out-performed his younger Mercedes GP teammate in qualifying with a 5th place grid position for the feature race at Monaco. Behind the second Ferrari of Felipe Massa, Nico Rosberg qualified in the 7th place spot after surviving a final practice crash unhurt just prior to qualifying.

Unlike any another Formula 1 race circuit, the streets of Monte Carlo provides an unique spectacle. Racing within tight roads with a long tunnel and harbour in view, the Monaco Grand Prix offers an unusual scene for Formula 1 fans and competitors. To often pleasing, the unorthodox circuit is also known to present its own dangers. Nico Rosberg was not the only driver who endured the worst of the Monaco street circuit Saturday.

Breaking into the top-10 for the final Q3 qualifying session, Mexico's Sergio Perez piloted his Sauber-Ferrari within the final moments of the time trials for the Monaco Grand Prix when he lost control coming out of the course's tunnel. Hitting the race track's retaining barrier's hard, Perez's Sauber was horrifically demolished. To the relief of everyone, driver Sergio Perez has conscious and suffered no major injures to the crash. Cautious, the Mexican Sauber driver was taken to Princess Grace Hospital for observation where he remained through to the night. Despite a fine qualifying effort, the rookie Formula 1 prospect Sergio Perez will be unable to start the Monaco Grand Prix.  

A total of 23 cars will start the 2011 Monaco Grand Prix Sunday afternoon. While the HRT F1 cars did not record times in qualifying, both have been permitted to race

Formula 1
2011 Monaco Grand Prix
Starting Grid

Pos # |Car # | Driver | Team

1. 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing
2. 4 Jenson Button McLaren
3. 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing
4. 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari
5. 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP
6. 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari
7. 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP
8. 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams F1
9. 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren
10. 10 Vitaly Petrov Lotus Renault GP
11. 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams F1
12. 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber
13. 15 Paul di Resta Force India
14. 14 Adrian Sutil Force India
15. 9 Nick Heidfeld Lotus Renault GP
16. 18 Sebastien Buemi Scuderia Toro Rosso
17. 21 Heikki Kovalainen Team Lotus
18. 20 Jarno Trulli Team Lotus
19. 19 Jaime Alguersuari Scuderia Toro Rosso
20. 24 Timo Glock Marussia Virgin Racing
21. 25 Jérôme D’Ambrosio Marussia Virgin Racing
22. 22 Narain Karthikeyan HRT F1
23. 23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT F1

Not Starting

17 Sergio Pérez Sauber (Qualified 10th but unable to race due to time trial session crash)

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