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Qualifying highlights - Monaco 2014 - A controversial final session sees Mercedes dominate the headlines

Published by Christine

Rosberg's steely focus in the Mercedes cockpit
Credit: Daimler AG

The one good thing about the domination of Mercedes this season is watching the slow dissolution of the relationship between Hamilton and Rosberg - not because it's nice to see friends falling out, but because they fought so hard to say it wouldn't be an issue, when everyone knew it would. Qualifying in Monaco was another step in raising the tension between the pair, but they weren't the whole story.

We saw Lotus drivers struggling, Renault powered engines suffering issues, and some good performance from the Toro Rosso team. If you want to relive any of the action from qualifying in Monte Carlo, the Factbyte Factbox replay is here for you.

As it happened: Monaco 2014 - Qualifying

  • 12:30

    Hello F1 friends, welcome to the FBFB for qualifying, it's only Monaco!

  • 12:31

    Arguably, this is one of the most important qualifying sessions of the year, as there is little in the way of overtaking at Monaco. Getting a good grid slot can really make the difference on Sunday.

  • 12:32

    We've had three practice sessions already, and they've shown that Mercedes are still on top, but it does feel as though Red Bull have closed the gap a little here.

  • 12:34

    It was wet in FP2, which gave Alonso the chance to nip into the top spot, but for qualifying, the sun is shining over the Monte Carlo track.

    Fastest Session Times
    Free Practice 1L Hamilton1:18.271
    Free Practice 2F Alonso1:18.482
    Free Practice 3L Hamilton1:16.874
  • 12:35
    Factbyte Factbox image

    Pirelli have brought the two softest compound to the track this weekend, soft and supersoft tyres (yellow and red respectively). The track isn't too tough on the rubber though, so there's talk of some drivers attempting to one stop. On the flip side, the chances of a safety car are about 80%, which will affect strategy options hugely.

  • 12:40

    Many of the drivers spent their Friday off all dressed up for the Amber Lounge Fashion Show. Today, they're back to work attempting to get to grips with the twisty Monaco circuit.

  • 12:44

    So far, we haven't seen much chaos. A few drivers have brushed up against the wall. Sutil had a bit of a crash on Thursday, whilst Kimi Räikkönen sat out most of FP2 with a gearbox problem. Otherwise, it's been a surprisingly clean weekend so far. The real pushing starts now, though, so that may not last.

  • 12:46

    Only Mercedes have secured pole positions this year, and Nico Rosberg will be looking for a second at his home race. Can anyone else get their name on the board though?

    2014 Pole Positions
    1L Hamilton4
    2N Rosberg1
  • 12:48

    TweetTweet from @adamcooperf1: Was at Massenet, before Casino, for FP3. Lots of scary sideways moments - don't be surprised if someone gets it wrong in qual

  • 12:53

    Weather icon

    Wind speed2.8mps
  • 12:54

    TweetTweet from @MercedesAMGF1: Nearly time for quali in #Monaco. All set for a blockbuster ride! Everyone ready? #TheFullMonte

  • 12:58

    Just a couple of minutes left to go. There are almost no clouds in the stunning blue sky, and it's looking good out there. Drivers are settling themselves in the cockpits of their cars, getting in the zone, making final preparations for the next hour of action.

  • 12:59

    There are lots of special helmets throughout the grid, to celebrate the special Monaco weekend. Good luck recognising the drivers out there.

  • 13:00

    Both the Mercedes cars are sitting at the end of the pit lane, Nico heading up the queue as they wait for the green light. Track position important as traffic could be heavy.

  • 13:00

    Green flagQualifying session 1 begins.

  • 13:01

    Ted News: Charlie has warned drivers against backing up too much around Rascasse, if they spoil another's lap there could be consequences.

  • 13:03

    All the drivers are keen to get a banker lap in, presumably in case of an incident during the session. Only the two Red Bull drivers remain in the garage with just three minutes of the session gone.

  • 13:04

    The first lap times filter in, with a 1:25 from Rosberg - quite slow. Hamilton manages a 1:22, but the lap times are dropping rapidly already. Massa pops up to P1 with a 1:20.

  • 13:04

    Bottas puts in a lap that is 12 seconds off the fastest time, he must have an incident somewhere.

  • 13:05

    The Mercedes duo improve on their second lap, Rosberg up to P1 with a 1:17 and Hamilton less than a second behind.

  • 13:05

    Kvyat caused very brief yellow flags running off track, but he continues. The Russian rookie hasn't even been to Monaco before, let alone driven around the principality.

  • 13:07

    Replays show it was a bump that put Kvyat off balance, he went into the barriers with damage to the front wing, then spun backwards at speed, in a cloud of tyre smoke. Carbon fibre litters the track.

  • 13:07

    Fernando Alonso is weaving his way through slower cars, trying to find the best route through the traffic. There's not much room for manoeuvre in Monaco.

  • 13:08

    In the meantime, Ricciardo and Vettel have left the garage and are starting their own flying laps.

  • 13:08

    The drop zone, then, assuming the Red Bulls will improve, features Hülkenberg, Chilton, Pérez, Kobayashi, Ericsson and Kvyat.

  • 13:09

    Hülkenberg's radio advises him (and Charlie Whiting) that he was held up by Ericsson, who wasn't on a hot lap and got right in the way.

  • 13:10

    At the moment, we have Rosberg leading Hamilton, with Grosjean and Maldonado next, hauling their Lotus cars up to a great position.

  • 13:10

    Fernando Alonso splits the Lotus pair, whilst Ricciardo moves up to third.

  • 13:11

    Vettel's first lap saw him way down in the drop zone, but he improved to sixth on the next lap, and he still continues to circle. Ricciardo is pushing to the very limits to get the most out of that Red Bull.

  • 13:12

    TweetTweet from @ToroRossoSpy: #MonacoGP Q1 - @Dany_Kvyat in pit to try and change his front wing after a crash. @JeanEricVergne on track, currently P11. 6 minutes left

  • 13:13
    Bottas back to the pits
    Credit: WilliamsRacing/Twitter

    Bottas heading back into the pits. The Williams driver is down in 15th with much to do to improve. Massa sits in the top ten but dropping down.

  • 13:14

    Massive tyre squealing as Magnussen misses the apex and has to correct himself back onto the track. Narrowly avoided the barriers there but the McLaren continues on.

  • 13:14

    All 22 drivers are out on track now. Traffic!

  • 13:15

    All drivers are on the supersoft tyres, except the four Mercedes and Red Bull guys. They're confident enough to remain on the harder soft compound.

  • 13:16

    With just about two minutes on the clock, the drop zone features the regular four, Kvyat and Bottas.

  • 13:17

    Rosberg and Ricciardo are back in the garage, as Magnussen follows in, having locked up and flat-spotted his tyres.

  • 13:17

    Yellow flagYellow flags.

  • 13:17

    Jean-Éric Vergne pops up in P1, with a 1:17.557.

  • 13:18

    Replays show Marcus Ericsson took the inside line of Felipe Massa, but was coming in way too fast and pushed both cars into the barrier.

  • 13:18

    Chequered flagQualifying session 1 ends.

  • 13:19

    The fastest three in that session, then, Jean-Éric Vergne, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.

  • 13:20
    Out in Q1
    17E GutiérrezSauber
    18A SutilSauber
    19J BianchiMarussia
    20M ChiltonMarussia
    21K KobayashiCaterham
    22M EricssonCaterham
  • 13:20

    TweetTweet from @Marussia_F1Team: That's a shame. Left us with no chance of improving. P19 for Jules. P20 for Max.

  • 13:21

    TweetTweet from @pirellisport: The two Mercedes and Red Bulls the only cars in Q1 that only used the Yellow soft tyre. Everybody else did at least one run on the Reds.

  • 13:22

    Another look at the Ericsson/Massa incident shows that Marcus arrived at the corner way out of control. Massa gave him room but there was no way the Caterham could make that turn.

  • 13:25

    QuoteToto Wolff: "Monaco is always different. You have to manage the traffic and it looks like you need a couple of consecutive laps to get tyre temperatures up to where they need to be. Add the bit about managing the traffic and it gets tricky."

  • 13:25

    Mercedes are again the first in line at the end of the pit lane awaiting the lights to go green.

  • 13:25

    Green flagQualifying session 2 begins.

  • 13:27

    Rosberg crosses the line to start his first flying lap of the session. He sets the fastest sector, with Ricciardo with the fastest second sector.

  • 13:27

    Race controlTurn 5 incident involving Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Massa will be investigated after qualifying - causing a collision.

    Incident involving Sergio Pérez and Esteban Gutiérrez will be investigated after qualifying - impeding.

    Incident involving Pastor Maldonado and Daniil Kvyat will be investigated after qualifying - impeding.

  • 13:29

    Rosberg backed off his first lap, concentrating on getting the tyres into their working range. Meanwhile, Hamilton is getting plenty of information from the pit wall about his relative speed against his teammate.

  • 13:30

    All 15 cars are out on track, and they've all got the supersoft (red sidewall) tyres on. Felipe Massa can't take part in this session having crashed out in Q1.

  • 13:32

    Kimi Räikkönen is a whisper away from the barrier as he pushes his Ferrari to the absolute limit. It's a lap good enough for fourth place, with teammate Alonso in fifth.

  • 13:33

    Kvyat crosses the line for seventh place, the Toro Rosso driver doing very well so far this session. Vergne currently sits tenth.

  • 13:33

    Vettel reports a problem with the KERS on his car, and that he's going to try again on the next lap. He's in the drop zone, currently last of the 15 runners.

  • 13:34

    This time, the defending champion improves to fourth fastest, one tenth off his teammate's time.

  • 13:35

    It's team by team at the top again, Mercedes followed by Red Bull, followed by Ferrari.

  • 13:35

    Team radioTeam radio from Vettel: "Okay, you need to sort this problem out."

    "Yea, we are aware, mate."

  • 13:35

    It's not looking good for the Lotus pair this session, 12th for Grosjean and 15th for Maldonado.

  • 13:37

    Three minutes left, and the drop zone features Vergne, Grosjean, Pérez, Bottas and Maldonado.

  • 13:39

    Even though Massa isn't able to qualify this session, it doesn't look like he's missing out on too many places. Bottas is currently sitting 14th, with just the Lotus of Maldonado splitting the Williams pair.

  • 13:39

    Grosjean has also reported ERS issues, so there could be a Renault problem here, rather than a Red Bull/Lotus team issue.

  • 13:40

    Hamilton improves on his time to finally get ahead of Rosberg this session. 0.111 seconds between the two Mercedes drivers.

  • 13:40

    Chequered flagQualifying session 2 ends.

  • 13:41

    Kvyat improves to 7th place, he's potentially booked himself a place in Q3.

  • 13:41

    Grosjean can't haul himself out of the bottom six, and Bottas failed to find the pace to improve as well.

  • 13:42

    Only Button can make a difference to the running order, and he crosses the line without improving on his own time. The Brit is out of qualifying.

  • 13:42

    The fastest three in that session: Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, and Sebastian Vettel.

  • 13:43
    Out in Q2
    11N HülkenbergForce India
    12J ButtonMcLaren
    13V BottasWilliams
    14R GrosjeanLotus
    15P MaldonadoLotus
    16F MassaWilliams
  • 13:43

    Pérez squeaks into the final part of qualifying, with tenth place, whilst teammate Nico Hülkenberg drops out in eleventh.

    Qualifying Battle
    Force IndiaQualified Ahead
    S Pérez2
    N Hülkenberg4
  • 13:48

    Green flagQualifying session 3 begins.

  • 13:48

    No one queuing at the end of the pit lane this time, it's a quiet start to the session.

  • 13:49

    Sergio Pérez and Fernando Alonso head out, the Mexican leading the way as the cars gradually start their final session.

  • 13:50

    Team radioTeam radio to Kevin Magnussen: "Cars that did their best laps on their second lap all did laps about three to four seconds slower on their first laps."

  • 13:50

    All ten drivers are out on track now, the slow start to the session quickly turning into a circuit bustling with cars.

  • 13:51

    TweetTweet from @clubforce: Sergio is the first to head out on track in Q3. The assault on the top 10 positions of the grid is on!

  • 13:52

    Felipe Massa is incredulous about what happened with Marcus Ericsson: "I smile because I cannot believe what’s happened. I let the space for him to overtake me and he just went over my car. Another important moment is finished, qualifying could have been much better."

  • 13:52

    Pérez sets the first lap time of the session, 1:18.327. He's soon pushed down to second by Räikkönen, whilst Alonso slips into third.

  • 13:53

    Vergne returns to the top spot as the times shake out.

  • 13:54

    The natural order of things returns as Rosberg leads Hamilton for this first stint, with Ricciardo ahead of Vettel for third and fourth.

  • 13:55

    The cars are back in the pit lane, most being pushed back into the garages for the last tyre change and small tweaks before the final push for pole.

  • 13:57

    Three and a half minutes of qualifying remains and all ten drivers are out on track.

  • 13:58

    There's 0.059 splitting Rosberg and Hamilton at the top, it's an epic battle between those two. The gap to the rest of the field has shrunk a little, with Ricciardo just four tenths down on the Mercedes duo.

  • 13:59

    Räikkönen moves up slightly to sixth, but has time to do another lap.

  • 14:00

    Yellow flagYellow flags as Rosberg goes too deep into turn 5 and heads straight in to the run off area. No damage but also no time to recover.

  • 14:00

    With yellow flags, other drivers will be unable to complete a fully flying lap.

  • 14:00

    Chequered flagQualifying session 3 ends.

  • 14:01

    Rosberg messing up his lap has actually managed to retain his pole position, as Hamilton backs off.

  • 14:01

    StopwatchPole position for Nico Rosberg with a time of 1:15.989.

  • 14:02
    Q3 Results
    1N RosbergMercedes
    2L HamiltonMercedes
    3D RicciardoRed Bull
    4S VettelRed Bull
    5F AlonsoFerrari
    6K RäikkönenFerrari
    7JE VergneToro Rosso
    8K MagnussenMcLaren
    9D KvyatToro Rosso
    10S PérezForce India
  • 14:03
    Gap Analysis
  • 14:05

    Rosberg is out of the car and celebrating despite the awkward end. Hamilton is also out of the car and it's fair to say they aren't looking too friendly at the moment.

  • 14:06

    As the top three pose for their photo, Hamilton has sunglasses on and an icy smile.

  • 14:13

    TweetTweet from @SkyF1Insider: Well.... Come on.... Deliberate mistake or total accident. Is this where the real beef starts!?

  • 14:13
    Top three drivers in qualifying
    Credit: Sky Sports F1
  • 14:19

    QuotePress conference quotes - Nico Rosberg: I thought it was over once that happened, I thought the track would ramp up and somebody else could beat the time. In the end, I’m really happy that it worked out. To be on pole is fantastic at home. Couldn’t be better."

  • 14:19

    QuotePress conference quotes - Lewis Hamilton: "It is ironic, it was okay. I was up a couple of tenths, it’s okay."

  • 14:20

    QuotePress conference quotes - Daniel Ricciardo: "All three of us don’t seem to be too pleased with ourselves. We left a bit on the table. We fought the car in qualifying, tried to find a bit more from it. I thought I was getting around it okay, coming up to turn eight I lost the rear completely on exit. Pretty much the lap was gone after that. Frustrated, I think we could have been much closer, a little bit disappointed."

  • 14:21

    That was a tense press conference. James Allen, asking the questions, attempted to address the elephant in the room. Asking Nico for his thoughts on how his incident affected Lewis:

    Nico: "Of course I’m sorry for what happened to Lewis, I didn’t know exactly where he was. Once I was reversing I did see him coming up. It’s not great but that’s the way it is."

    And then asking Lewis to respond to his teammate's answer.

    Lewis: "I don’t have an answer to that."

  • 14:26

    TweetTweet from @AndyC_F1: Lewis thinks he did it on purpose. Whether he did or not will become irrelevant.

  • 14:32

    This is the story that will run and run, everyone expected the relationships at Mercedes might break down, but I didn't think it would start this soon in the season. As the team dominate on track, the headlines are turning towards the garage for the real interest.

  • 14:33

    It's likely the mind games at the front will feature heavily in the race tomorrow, and between now and then as well. We'll keep you updated on the rolling FBFB.

  • 14:33

    It's not just about Mercedes, though. Kevin Magnussen did a great job to out qualify his teammate, and both Toro Rosso drivers made it through to the top ten. We've also got a handful of investigations to come from the stewards which could mix things up a little.

  • 14:34

    Thanks for watching/reading along, and do join me back here tomorrow for all the racing action from Monaco! It should be a cracker!

All content in the series Monaco 2014