Interview with Ross Brawn: "I think we probably went for a slightly different approach to most teams, with two timed laps and leaving the fuel in the car. We were a little bit early in leaving... but I'm picking at details now.
"The advantage of running early is if you get a yellow in that last part, you've cleared it. There's pros and cons. I was pleased with how the team worked, as there was a lot of pressure today because it was expected. When it's expected sometimes it's hard to deliver but everyone did a great job today.
We've a pretty poor record in converting pole positions into race wins this year, so it would be nice to achieve it here. We've done some things with the car that should help tomorrow... moderately optimistic for Sunday."
Button was outqualified by Pérez in the end, but it seems the Brit had a problem at the end. Sky commentators reported the McLaren limping past the commentary box with no power.
The top three drivers pose for the waiting media. Rosberg smiles happily, Hamilton looks slightly less impressed, as Vettel ponders what went wrong.
Pole position for Nico Rosberg with a time of 1:13.876.
It's three consecutive pole positions for Rosberg, and four for Mercedes.
|3||S Vettel||Red Bull|
|4||M Webber||Red Bull|
|8||A Sutil||Force India|
|10||JE Vergne||Toro Rosso|
Vettel can't improve on third place, and Webber backs off, leaving the Mercedes duo to the front row for the second race in a row.
Qualifying session 3 ends.
Hamilton drops the times to 1:13.967, but Rosberg beats him by a tenth again!
Having said that, there are purple sectors pouring in. Webber jumps ahead of his teammate for P1... for now.
All ten drivers are out on circuit, still with the supersoft tyres on, but it looks like the pace has dropped off the track now.
On board footage with Alonso shows some leftover tyre smoke ahead of him from someone else's lockup. Alonso himself is wrestling that car and getting very little result.
After a brief return to the pitlane, the drivers are back out on track to push for the last stint. There's talk of more rain coming in though.
Button looks a second off the polesitter's pace, but it's a tidy lap for the McLaren.
1:14.333 for Vettel.
Whatever the Mercedes drivers do, Webber matches them. P1 for Red Bull again, but Vettel is coming up behind set to beat them all.
Hamilton goes faster again, dropping the time into the 1:14s. Rosberg jumps him by five hundredths of a second.
Webber matches the Mercedes pace, taking P1 with a 1:15.134.
Rosberg crosses the line for a meandering 1:25, but Hamilton storms ahead with a 1:15.790.
Räikkönen looked like he was starting a flying lap, but he's gone a bit too slow in the first sector for a meaningful time.
All ten drivers are out on track, super-soft red sidewalls on every single car.
The Mercedes team push for pole, via @MercedesAMGF1.
Qualifying session 3 begins.
Kimi Räikkönen exits the garage and leads the queue at the end of the pit lane.
Big hugs for Giedo from the Caterham crew as he exits the car after a successful qualifying session.
A very unhappy Paul di Resta: "There'll be a few people in the team kicking themselves. I'm not going to say too much because I'll say something I shouldn't. There was a clear thing we should have done... Probably the most painful experience I've had in qualifying.
"Qualifying's a big part of it, today was a key to make sure we tried to do something and we failed to achieve it."
Both the McLaren drivers have made it through to the top ten, along with Adrian Sutil.
Grosjean's efforts couldn't see him through to the top ten, whilst Kimi Räikkönen was second fastest in that session.
|12||D Ricciardo||Toro Rosso|
|15||G van der Garde||Caterham|
Alonso's first lap put him sixth, but the times have improved so much he's now 11th. He crosses the line for the final time in fifth - he makes it through.
Qualifying session 2 ends.
Grosjean posts the fastest time of the session, a 1:18.603 for the Lotus. Behind him, Webber crosses the line to take more than a second off that time.
All 16 drivers have the supersoft tyres on now.
The drop zone also features Hülkenberg, Räikkönen, Bottas, Sutil and Ricciardo.
Alonso had to make a judgement call there, finish the intermediate lap or head in for dry tyres. He came in for the tyres, meaning he's got to push now for a time to drag him up from 14th place.
Looks like more will follow suit, Button and Pérez both with the dry tyres going on.
Dry tyres on Giedo van der Garde's car, a bit of a gamble for Caterham. Webber has also bolted on the super-soft compound.
Vergne is wildly off the pace, 13 seconds off P1 at the moment.
The drop zone is changing constantly, but it has featured both Toro Rosso drivers and Pastor Maldonado for a while now.
Jenson Button improves to P1, with a 1:23.0.
Tweet from @OfficialSF1Team: for 2morrow no rain expected. so no need to safe the inter tyres. #Hulk on his flying lap.
Looks like the rain has eased a little now. Could we see slick tyres at some point?
Vergne returns to the pit lane. He and teammate Ricciardo are currently in the drop zone, but it's not quite meaningful yet. Vettel also down there.
Webber has set the early benchmark, a 1:32.132. That is immediately beaten by Jenson Button, who drops it to a 1:30.7.
The brief yellow flag moments are back as well, as drivers push the limits to get a good time on the board.
My live timing flashes a driver's name when they run off the track. At the moment, it's glittering on and off like a disco ball.
Sutil exits the pit lane, 15 drivers out there, it's busy!
Just Sutil and Van der Garde remain in the garage. Most are anticipating the arrival of more rain, so trying to get a banker lap in now.
It's still intermediate tyres all round, as 14 drivers hit the track.
The second session begins with Vettel leading a queue of drivers out - they weren't quite waiting at the end of the pit lane, but eager to get going.
Qualifying session 2 begins.
Through to Q2, a shot of Giedo van der Garde, via @MyCaterhamF1.
Chilton finally gets to outqualify his teammate... albeit because of mechanical trouble.
|17||P Di Resta||Force India|
Di Resta was the only one who could ruin Van der Garde's afternoon, but the Force India gets caught up in the final sector and can't improve! Caterham are through!
Pic has pitted, so he's not going to be making it any further. Van der Garde is currently through to Q2.
Qualifying session 1 ends.
Meanwhile, at the rear, along with Massa and Bianchi, the drop zone features Sutil, Chilton, Gutiérrez and Pic.
His time is instantly beaten by Maldonado.
Grosjean crosses the line for P1, which is mostly exciting because it means he DIDN'T CRASH!
Just two minutes left, no sign of Massa as yet.
Hamilton's at the top of the timesheets now, a 1:23.779 for the Brit.
Bottas comes in for a racing stop, via @WilliamsF1Team.
Grosjean has exited the pit lane, the Lotus is out on track. Massa remains in the garage for now.
Button reports his rear tyres are going, so there may be a McLaren pit lane visit shortly.
Grosjean's tyres go on and it looks like that Lotus may be heading out on track very soon.
Nico Rosberg pops up to P1. The times have dropped again, it's a 1:24.826 at the moment.
All drivers are on the intermediate tyres at the moment, Hamilton's pit visit saw discussions about other tyre options, but they've continued on the green sidewalled tyres.
Yellow flags again, Maldonado ran off track at turn one but continued.
Lewis Hamilton headed back to the pit lane briefly, but he's back out on track again.
The drop zone currently features Massa and Grosjean, and Bianchi of course. Along with those three, Gutiérrez, Bottas and Chilton are struggling.
Di Resta is back on top, the times are dropping rapidly. Webber zips up to P1 with a 1:27.2.
Another brief yellow flag as Adrian Sutil heads down the escape road. Reverse gear getting a lot of action this session.
Sutil shows no ill-effects from his earlier crash to move up to second, as Maldonado improves to P1.
Grosjean is sitting in his car, the mechanics still working furiously. Massa watches on, nervously. Almost halfway through the session.
Sebastian Vettel drops the benchmark again, with a 1:31.431. Pastor Maldonado is keeping himself up near the top, he slips into second place for now.
Felipe Massa watches the screens, arms folded but helmet on, waiting for his car to be ready.
Hamilton gets on the radio asking if they are allowed to use DRS, and his team confirm there has been no disabled message yet.
As the drivers start to find their way, Paul di Resta has gone up to P1 with a 1:35.7.
We didn't see what that yellow flag was for, they're on and off all the time!
Track is clear.
Yellow flags again.
Times are starting to pour in, and Jenson Button sets the fastest so far, with a 1:38. Webber knocks two seconds off that to take P1.
Brief yellow flags for Gutiérrez runs off track but regains his bearings and continues onwards.
All cars are out on track except for Massa and Grosjean.
Track is clear.
According to Sky, it's an airbox fire on the Marussia that has stopped Bianchi in his tracks.
The excellent Monaco marshals are in action, pushing the car out the way, as other drivers slowly make their way past.
It did look as though one of the cars was smoking a bit as it was waiting at the end of the pit lane. Could be related.
Yellow flags for Jules Bianchi, his Marussia stopped out on track, steaming.
One of the Mercedes drivers is impatiently getting past the slower cars in front.
The Caterham duo lead the way out, a slow Toro Rosso creeps out behind them. It's a tentative start as they explore the track conditions.
Qualifying session 1 begins.
At least five cars are waiting at the end of the pit lane for the session to begin.
Pit lane reports suggest Grosjean may be almost there, frantic work still for Sutil, but Massa is the real question mark.
Tweet from @OfficialSF1Team: what to expect in Quali? well, when it is dry we can hope to just make it into the top ten. if it is wet everything is possible.
Hurried work on Grosjean's car, via @Lotus_F1Team.
Team radio to Giedo van der Garde: "Giedo, it's uncertain. There's no guarantee the track will get better, it could also get worse."
Tweet from @Marussia_F1Team: The pit lane is buzzing with anticipation after an initial rain shower (which has now dissipated into light drizzle)
|Free Practice 1||Alonso||1:16.265|
|Free Practice 2||Button||1:15.746|
|Free Practice 3||Rosberg||1:15.159|
Just under ten minutes left until qualifying begins.
The rain shower has fizzled out now, but there's still moisture in the air over Monaco.
Tweet from @ShellMotorsport: Nearly time for Qualifying. It's important to be on pole in #MonacoGP - from 2004 to 2012, the pole man has only failed to win once #F1
Clouds over the harbour, via @Lotus_F1Team.
Pole position last year was Michael Schumacher in the Mercedes with a 1:14.301. He was given a penalty after that, but shows the Mercedes like this circuit... in the dry.
Tweet from @MercedesAMGF1: There it is... properly raining in Monaco now! #f1 #Monaco #Q1
We're quite keen to see what they could achieve if Rosberg did get yet another pole position, and had to put his defensive moves into practice around this unique circuit.
With the Mercedes duo showing some real dominance around here, the potential for rain could mix things up over the next ninety minutes.
Massa's car has reportedly no major chassis damage, but he's had a gearbox change which will mean a five place grid drop.
Tweet from @clubforce: Mechanics hard at work to repair Adrian's car and set Paul's up for qualifying. Weather still looking unsure about what to do. #FeelTheForce
The tyre choices this weekend are soft (yellow) and supersoft (red). Perhaps with everything else going on in Monaco, the tyres might not be the headline act. Ha.
Above all the driver incidents, eyes are on the skies as clouds have been moving in from the sea and there are drops of rain starting to fall.
He brought out a red flag right at the end of the hour, abruptly ending the practice session. The team have changed both wings and are working on his suspension. They are also scrabbling to be ready for qualifying.
Romain Grosjean was the third driver to find his way into the barriers - and it was his third crash of the weekend so far.
Adrian Sutil had a slightly less dramatic crash at the traditional Massenet bend. His car was less damaged, and should be fine for qualifying.
The mechanics are still hurriedly working on the car, and rumour has it they've drafted in some of Alonso's crew so that they can be ready for qualifying in 50 minutes.
Felipe Massa ran straight on at the first corner, bashing into two different barriers, and messing up the Ferrari pretty badly.
However, the final hour of practice this morning saw three separate, and quite big, crashes.
Thursday practice was dominated by the Mercedes duo, and Nico Rosberg has, in fact, topped the times of all three practice sessions.
Hello! Welcome to the Factbyte Factbox for qualifying in Monaco. There's drama already in those rich streets!
Monaco 2013 - The race
26 May 2013
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|1||Infiniti Red Bull Racing||131|
|3||Lotus F1 Team||111|
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|5||Sahara Force India F1 Team||32|