F1 Monaco Quali Results & Report: Vettel on Pole After Red Flag for Perez Crash

What Happens When Monaco Is a B*t(h

9:47am EST — Sebastian Vettel (1:13.556) won pole for the 2011 Monaco Grand Prix in a session marred by a red flag, after Sergio Perez had a heavy impact into the wall separating the escape road from the circuit at the chicane with just over two minutes left in Q3. He was taken away by ambulance, conscious and talking in the vehicle. There is no definitive word, other than his consciousness, on his condition or whether he will start the race Sunday.

Vettel’s time was set before the stoppage, as the starting order remained the same after the restart, with time enough for only one lap. Jenson Button, Mark Webber, Fernando Alonso, and Michael Schumacher were the top five qualifiers, with Felipe Massa, Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, and Perez Maldonado completing the top nine. Both Perez and Pastor Maldonado (starting ninth) out-qualified their more experienced teammates, with Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi thirteenth and the most experienced man on the grid, Williams’ Rubens Barrichello, twelfth.

The early weekend was very kind to Alonso, perhaps Monaco’s way of making up for the 2010 shunt that saw him starting from the rear of the grid, as he was second fastest Thursday morning and fastest in both the second and third practice sessions, posting the fastest time of the weekend (1:14.443) Saturday morning. The closest the Spaniard came to damaging his Ferrari came Thursday when he nearly ran into the back of Massa’s much slower Ferrari. However, neither Vettel (who was fastest Thursday morning) nor Hamilton managed a clear run on the super soft tires as Saturday morning’s practice was twice interrupted with red flags.

Rosberg had the most dramatic crash of Saturday and the weekend, flying through the air and narrowly missing the wall at the nouvelle chicane, while Liuzzi stopped the Saturday morning session with minutes remaining after sliding through St. Devote. Those two parts of the circuit were the most likely to cause incidents, with multiple drivers damaging their cars there through the weekend. Schumacher and Maldonado damaged their cars Thursday at St. Devote while Liuzzi and Petrov were caught out after exiting the tunnel a la Rosberg.

HRT did not send Liuzzi out for Q1, with his participation in the race on Sunday up to the stewards. Meanwhile, Mercedes was working frantically to get Rosberg’s car repaired. Interestingly, the kerbs put in place to keep drivers from short-cutting the chicane had been removed after Rosberg’s flight over them. D’Ambrosio was the first driver out for the twenty minutes of Q1, followed by Petrov and Schumacher.

D’Ambrosio’s first time was a well off the pace 1:23.192, though Petrov was the early leader with a 1:18.112. For pole, Webber set a time of 1:13.826 in 2010. Just five minutes into the session, Petrov, Schumacher, Heidfeld, Sutil, Buemi, Alguersuari, D’Ambrosio, di Resta, and Glock the top nine. Button’s first fast lap put him at the top, with a 1:17.059. Petrov, then Hamilton were soon quicker in a session where being fastest was not necessary. The times at the top came fast and furious, with Button and Hamilton fighting over the honors while Vettel and Alonso were only beginning their first laps. Vettel’s first quick one put him second fastest with Alonso’s only ninth fastest.

Rosberg was out of the garage with eleven minutes to go in Q1, though neither HRT was off its stands in the garage. Halfway through the twenty minutes, Button led Vettel, Hamilton, Petrov, Schumacher, Maldonado, Massa, Webber, Heidfeld, and Alonso as the fastest ten. In the knockout zone were Alguersuari, Buemi, Glock, D’Ambrosio, Rosberg, and the HRTs. Alonso soon moved up to fourth, just as Hamilton (1:15.207) took the top spot from his teammate.

Rosberg’s first lap (on the softer tires) put him fourth fastest, leaving only the HRTs without a time and eight minutes to go. Kovalainen, Alguersuari, Buemi, Glock, and D’Ambrosio joined them in the knockout zone. The McLarens still led with five minutes to go, with Vettel, Rosberg, Alonso, Massa, Buemi, Petrov, and Webber the top ten. di Resta, Kovalainen, Alguersuari, and the Virgin Racing cars were all in the knockout zone. Kobayashi and Alguersuari had a bit of contact at Rascasse, but both seemed relatively undamaged.

Both McLarens, Vettel, Alonso, and both Toro Rossos (Alguersuari in the drop zone) were all in the garage with two minutes left, saving an extra set of the softer tire. Meanwhile, Perez continued to set quite fast times on the supersofts to go fifth, with Maldonado also securing his position into Q2 with a lap time good enough to go fourth fastest. Neither HRT would make it out (“We found a problem in the rear suspenssion of Narain’s car at the end of P3 and we couldn’t fix it for qualifying,” tweeted HRT) in Q1, with the likelihood that either would get dispensation to start low. As the seconds ticked away, Alguersuari was the man joining the “new” teams in the knockout zone. Despite a bit of effort, Trulli was unable to improve his time. Hamilton (1:15.207) led Q1, with Button, Vettel, Maldonado, Rosberg, Perez, Alonso, Webber, Schumacher, and Massa the fastest ten.

Knocked Out in Q1:
18. Kovalainen
19. Trulli
20. Alguersuari
21. Glock
22. D’Ambrosio
23. Karthikeyan (no time)
24. Liuzzi (no time)

It was practically a stampede to get out when the fifteen minutes of Q2 began, with half the drivers participating out before the first minute elapsed. From Ferrari, “Felipe is on the same set used before, i.e. a 3-lap old set of primes.” Buemi was the first to set a time, only to lose that spot to Sutil, then Schumacher (1:15.850). Massa slotted into second, with Petrov third. Webber was fastest (1:14.996) next, then Hamilton and Button were faster than the Australian. Hamilton’s time (1:14.275) was quicker than Alonso’s in the morning session.

Five minutes into the session, Hamilton led Vettel, Button, Alonso, Webber, Schumacher, Barrichello, Massa, Maldonado, and Perez those then quick enough to advance. Soon Rosberg was sixth fastest, dropping Perez into the knockout zone with Petrov, Sutil, di Resta, Heidfeld, Buemi, and Kobayashi. At the halfway point, the top five remained the same, with only Vettel, Button, Alonso, and Webber on the circuit. Button soon pitted, with Petrov and Buemi returning to the circuit.

When five minutes remained, only the McLarens, Red Bulls, and Alonso (the top five) were in the garage. They were the only drivers with lap times in the 1:14s, with fifth fastest Webber a half second faster than sixth fastest Rosberg. Petrov was on the edge of the relegation zone, with Maldonado, Perez, Buemi, Sutil, di Resta, Heidfeld, and Kobayashi in it. Massa had moved up to fifth fastest. With just one minute to go, Petrov, Barrichello, Kobayashi, Sutil, Heidfeld, Buemi, and di Resta were about to be knocked out, with Maldonado on the bubble. In the end, Hamilton remained fastest while Vettel, Button, ALonso, Massa, Rosberg, Webber, Schumacher, Perez, and Maldonado all advanced to fight for pole.

Knocked Out in Q2:
11. Petrov
12. Barrichello
13. Kobayashi
14. di Resta
15. Sutil
16. Heidfeld
17. Buemi

Schumacher, then Alonso were the first out, followed by Rosberg and Massa, then Button as the teams sent their drivers out for the ten minute Q3 session. Next out was Webber. Soon, only Hamilton, Maldonado, and Perez were the only drivers not on track. Schumacher’s first time was a 1:15.020, with Alonso over three seconds slower, and Rosberg between the two. Massa was next fastest with a 1:14.889, only to be eclipsed by Button, nearly a full second faster (1:13.997). Webber slotted into second, with Alonso third as the halfway point approached.

Vettel (1:13.556) was on top yet again with five mintues to go, leading Button, Webber, Alonso, and Massa. Schumacher and Rsberg were the only other drivers to have yet set times, with Hamilton, Maldonado, and Perez only just leaving the garage. Alonso pitted and rejoined, as did Massa while both Red Bulls remained in the garage, split by Button. Webber rejoined, unable to pull the now-typical Red Bull sitting-in-the-garage stunt with the other drivers so quick. Vettel led Button, Webber, Alonso, Schumacher, Massa, and Rosberg the top seven and only drivers with times as the time approached two minutes remaining.

Red Flag:
The session was red-flagged for a heavy hit by Perez after exiting the tunnel, hitting the wall at the chicane sideways with 2:26 remaining. He had issues exiting the chicane, slamming the nose into the wall, the streaking sideways to slam into the soft barrier separating the escape road from the track. Perez did take his hands off the wheel and put the to either side of his helmet before hitting the soft barrier. Quickly, medical crews were on the scene, with workers shielding the scene. He was put into the ambulance, with nothing appearing to have broken into the driver’s area. Sauber soon confirmed that he was conscious and talking in the ambulance, with pain in his legs, and taken to hospital.

Final 2 Minutes:
The session restarted a half hour after the red flag, with time for a single timed lap. Hamilton and Maldonado had no time on the board, whilst Vettel had four tenths over second fastest Button. Hamilton, Button, and Schumacher were the first back out, with the rest of the field queuing behind them. Hamilton’s lap was enough only for seventh, as Button short-cut the chicane and ruined his own lap. Webber, Alonso, and Schumacher aborted their laps while Rosberg was only able to make eighth, with Maldonado ninth.

Final Qualifying Times for the 2011 Monaco Grand Prix:

Driver Team Time Laps
1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:13.556 18
2. Jenson Button McLaren 1:13.997 18
3. Mark Webber Red Bull 1:14.019 24
4. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:14.483 22
5. Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP 1:14.682 29
6. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:14.877 25
7. Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:15.280 15
8. Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 1:15.766 26
9. Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:16.528 23
10. Sergio Perez Sauber N/T 23
11. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1:15.815 21
12. Rubens Barrichello Williams 1:15.826 20
13. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1:15.973 20
14. Paul di Resta Force India 1:16.118 22
15. Adrian Sutil Force India 1:16.121 19
16. Nick Heidfeld Renault 1:16.214 22
17. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso 1:16.300 17
18. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus 1:17.343 10
19. Jarno Trulli Lotus 1:17.381 9
20. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso 1:17.820 9
21. Timo Glock Virgin Racing 1:17.914 12
22. Jerome D’Ambrosio Virgin Racing 1:18.736 11
Narain Karthikeyan HRT N/T N/T
Tonio Liuzzi HRT N/T N/T

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