• Monaco Grand Prix - Qualifying

Schumacher takes Monaco pole before penalty

ESPN Staff
May 26, 2012
Michael Schumacher was quickest in qualifying but won't start from pole © Sutton Images
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Michael Schumacher secured provisional pole position for the Monaco Grand Prix, but a grid penalty means he will start from sixth place.

Schumacher snatched pole from Mark Webber at the end of a close session in Monte Carlo, but he won't get to start from the front row following his five-place grid penalty for hitting Bruno Senna in Barcelona. As a result, Webber will start from pole position tomorrow alongside Schumacher's team-mate Nico Rosberg.

A close Q3 saw Rosberg on provisional pole early on, with Romain Grosjean and Lewis Hamilton also looking quick. It was on the second runs that Webber took provisional pole, being pipped by Schumacher at the end while Hamilton could only go fourth. A slightly disappointed Grosjean was fifth just ahead of Fernando Alonso.

Sebastian Vettel opted not to run in the final session, and though he ended up tenth he will start one place further up as Pastor Maldonado takes a ten-place grid penalty for hitting Sergio Perez in final practice.

The big surprise of the second session was Jenson Button's failure to progress. Button was only 13th quickest after struggling to improve on his final lap, while both Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen scraped in to the top ten.

Jean-Eric Vergne also hit the wall on his flying lap, losing the rear under braking for the Nouvelle Chicane and damaging his right rear suspension as well as losing his front wing. Felipe Massa came very close to a big accident when he came across the Toro Rosso at speed in the swimming pool section, having to duck inside Vergne to avoid contact.

After the Maldonado incident in final practice it was Perez himself who was the victim of Q1 as he crashed out and caused a red flag. Perez appeared to have a problem with his front left tyre as he took the fast first section of the swimming pool and understeered wide in to the barrier. He'll start 24th behind the Caterhams, Marussias and HRTs, though Heikki Kovalainen came within 0.050s of making it through in to Q2.

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