Monaco GP qualifying as it happened

Mark Webber is on pole in Monaco after fastest man Michael Schumacher takes a five-place grid penalty, with Lewis Hamilton third.

26 May 2012 Last updated at 15:14

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As it happened

  1. 1500: 

    I'll be back at 11:00 BST to begin a comprehensive build-up of the greatest race on the calendar - the Monaco Grand Prix. Jake and the boys will be live on BBC One and BBC One HD at 12:05 with the lights going out at 13:00. Qualifying was sensational, the race could be even better. You'd be crazy to miss it. Until then, I bid you all adieu.


    Fernando Alonso on Twitter: "Happy for the qualy!!! We are getting closer. ;)! Eat, media, meetings! #Happy #MonacoAlo."

  3. 1455: 

    There's going to be a few drinks at Mercedes and Red Bull I'm sure later today, but we've still got the serious business of the race on Sunday. Red Bull's Mark Webber will start on pole, even thought Michael Schumacher was fastest as the German had to take a five-place drop for crashing into Bruno Senna in Spain. But the Australian isn't the best at getting a clean getaway, so I suspect Turn 1 will be very, very interesting.


    Matt Card on Twitter: "Gutted Schumacher won't be on pole tomorrow but thats what ya get for driving in to back of someone!!"


    James Weir on Twitter: "Great to see Michael Schumacher on form again, but gutted for him he won't start on pole."

  6. 1450: 

    Pastor Maldonado will start 19th after his 10-place grid penalty. Wonder why he received that? Well check out the video online to find out...

  7. 1447: 

    There will also be Inside F1, with our pit lane reporter Lee McKenzie, on the BBC News channel at 18:45 BST which will hoover up all the reaction from today's sensational events.

  8. 1440: 

    If you missed any of that action, you've made a catastrophic error there. To make up for it, you can read Andrew Benson's report and then come back later this afternoon when our multimedia team will have clipped up a shiny qualifying highlights package.


    Sauber driver Sergio Perez, who will start 24th and last: "We are analysing what happened. In the Tunnel I had a lot of understeer, which doesn't normally happen. When I got to Turn 13 and I went into Turn 14 the car went straight. It's a big shame because we were so competitive. It was a big opportunity for us today. If it's a normal race tomorrow, it will be over for us."

  10. 1433: 

    So Mark Webber will start on pole position for the first time this season. The Australian won this race from two years ago and then jumped into the harbour to celebrate after the race. It'll be interesting to see how he tops that should he win the race on Sunday.


    Lotus driver Romain Grosjean, who will start fourth: "We were looking too much time in sector two, but it's good to be up front, even if it was a track maybe not ebst for the car. We are here. The race is long, and a good car on high fuel. Stategy is key tomorrow and sure I can do something."

  12. 1430: 

    Wow, what a brilliant session. We came into the weekend with Pastor Maldonado on song and Michael Schumacher under massive pressure. Days later, Maldonado is in all sorts of bother and Schumacher is living the dream. It's a shame that he won't start on pole, but he'll take confidence from that performance and could still be a factor in tomorrow's race.


    Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel, who will start ninth: "Today was a bit mixed up for me. It was looking very good in the morning. Then we did a step in the wrong direction and ended up with a not very good car in qualifying. Disappointing because Mark showed what the car can do."


    From Conor, via text: "Michael Schumacher proves his class. Any other slow returning driver never would get pole. At Monaco."


    Ben McPhillips on Twitter: "Really thrilled that Schumacher can silence the critics like that. Got to like Webber for the win tomorrow."


    Red Bull boss Christian Horner: "Pole is the best place to be starting the Monaco GP. Mark [Webber] was competitive in all three sessions. On his last run, dropped a little time in his first sector but had a mighty sector two and sector three."


    Stuart Edwards on Twitter: "Gutting for Michael Schumacher, if anybody can control a race from the front, it's him."


    Michael Schumacher, who finished fastest but will start sixth after a penalty: "I'm obviously excited. It confirmed what I have felt for a long time. Sometimes you have to put everything at right moment together. Here it worked out. Thanks to the team, in particular to some of the guy who work closely with me. We had a special session earlier this week. I'm grateful to all the trust Mercedes had in me and supported me. I'm able to give back a little bit in qualifying and hope I can give more back tomorrow."

  19. 1417: 

    And now it's time to here from today's Prince of the Principality, one Michael Schumacher. It's only taken 44 races since his comeback to get pole position, it's just a shame it won't count.


    McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, who will start third: "It was very exciting and very tough, it was one of the toughest qualifying sessions for me for some time. I think we struggled in the middle and last sectors, at the low speed corners. I'm fortunate that Michael has the penalty so it puts us further ahead. I think it will be a tough race though, I don't know what the weather's going to be like and now we're hearing tomorrow is going to be nice too. Tyres and strategy play a huge part in Monaco but if we can get a good start then we have a good chance. I have a good feeling about the weekend but I have two good drivers in front of me but I'll do everything I can."


    Colum Harkin on Twitter: "And that's why F1 is the greatest motor sport! Elated to see Schumy silence the critics!"

  22. 1416: 

    So Mark Webber will technically start on pole position tomorrow with Nico Rosberg on the front row alongside him. Michael Schumacher will start sixth.


    McLaren driver Jenson Button, who will start 13th: "I don't have the pace. That's it really. This morning the car felt good, the pace was really strong but we didn't have it this aternoon when it counts. Monaco is all about qualifying. It proved it last year. It's the way Monaco. It's a great place when you really hook up a lap, but I didn't have it today."


    Mercedes boss Ross Brawn: "I have to confess it took a little tear from my eye. He's been in good shape all weekend. It all came together in qualifying. The penalty is frustrating but that's the way it is. Making the best of the tyres is going to be the critical thing. That's going to be the next challenge."

  25. 1414: 

    Mark Webber was second fastest ahead of Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton, Romain Grosjean, Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa, Kimi Raikkonen, Pastor Maldonado and Sebastian Vettel.

  26. 1413: 

    Michael Schumacher gets out of the car, takes his helmet off and blows kisses to the fans. What a stonking lap from the German. The famous smile is back.

  27. 1412: 

    I didn't see that coming. I don't think he saw that coming. I don't think the fans saw that coming. What a press conference we have coming up.

  28. 1410: 

    UNBELIEVABLE! Simply incredible. Michael Schumacher is on pole position for the Monaco Grand Prix. "What a little star," says Ross Brawn, Mercedes team boss. Only problem is, he isn't, as he has a five place grid penalty.

  29. 1409: 


  30. 1408: 

    Sensational stuff from Mark Webber. The Australian has come out of the bushes to go quickest of all and sit on provisional pole. Wow. He even lost time in the first second.

  31. 1407: 

    Nice clean lap from Fernando Alonso and he goes fifth fastest, demoting Michael Schumacher to sixth.

  32. 1406: 

    So Nico Rosberg leads from Romain Grosjean, Mark Webber, Lewis Hamilton, Michael Schumacher, Kimi Raikkonen, Pastor Maldonado, Felipe Massa, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso.

  33. 1405: 

    Kimi Raikkonen makes a slight improvement and moves up to sixth fastest overall. Felipe Massa goes eighth fastest seconds later. A bit of a disappointing lap from the Brazilian who has looked quick in the first two sessions.

  34. 1404: 

    Time for some new boots, which means the track is quiet. As I say that, Felipe Massa heads out which means he shouldn't have any problems with traffic.

  35. 1403: 

    Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa are sitting in the garage so they're probably just planning on doing one run.

  36. 1402: 

    Mark Webber slots into third, ahead of Lewis Hamilton with Michael Schumacher and Pastor Maldonado just behind. Incredibly, the top three are separated by just a tenth of a second.

  37. 1401: 

    But Romain Grosjean destroys that time, diving into the high 1m14s to go fastest of all. That was mighty, but as it turns out not mighty enough as Nico Rosberg goes quicker still on his second flying lap.

  38. 1400: 

    Pastor Maldonado sets the benchmark with a 1:15.245, five tenths quicker than Lewis Hamilton. Not bad to start with...

  39. 1359: 

    Nico Rosberg is the first man out on track, followed by Lewis Hamilton and Pastor Maldonado.

  40. 1358: 

    This is the first time Felipe Massa has made it into the final part of qualifying. Can he shock all his doubters and stick that Ferrari on pole?

  41. 1357: 

    Here we go, folks. Ten minutes, one man on pole. Who do you think will do it?


    Colum Harkin in Twitter: "Hoping Schumi can silence some of his critics today."


    Mike Lawson on Twitter: "I don't understand the logic behind Pastor Maldonado's penalty. Lewis Hamilton lost 24 places for no fuel so 10 places seems very kind."

    BBC F1 chief analyst Eddie Jordan

    "It would be a fairytale if Felipe Massa could get pole position here."

  45. 1354: 

    In all the chaos, Felipe Massa actually went quickest of all ahead of Nico Rosberg, Pastor Maldonado, Mark Webber, Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton, Romain Grosjean, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen.

  46. 1353: 

    Nico Hulkenberg, Kamui Kobayashi, Jenson Button, Bruno Senna, Paul di Resta, Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne.

  47. 1352: 

    Unbelievable scenes in Monte Carlo. The last pole position Jenson Button had was at this circuit in 2009 but he won't be adding to that tally here. He's out. He just couldn't get a lap together here. He'll start 13th on Sunday.

  48. 1351: 


  49. 1350: 

    Kimi Raikkonen has sneaked into the top 10, but Jenson Button is still out there. Can he scrape in?

  50. 1349: 

    Sebastian Vettel is really hanging it all out there on track, as he slides on all four wheels going around Rascasse, but it's only enough for eighth. Jenson Button is on a terrible lap. It's going to be touch and go as to whether he gets another lap - if not, he's out.

  51. 1348: 

    Pastor Maldonado improves to go third fastest which should be enough to get him into Q2. No such luck for Bruno Senna who is way down in 17th. The Brazilian is underperforming in a car that clearly has pace.

  52. 1347: 

    Felipe Massa is looking mighty. He is the first man into the 1m14s, clocking 1:14.911 to go fastest of all. That pushes Jenson Button into the drop zone.

  53. 1346: 

    It's another disappointing run from Kimi Raikkonen who can only manage 12th fastest on the super-soft tyre. That's a turn out for the books. The car has looked so good during the free practice session.

  54. 1345: 

    The top 10 stands like this: Rosberg, Webber, Hamilton, Alonso, Maldonado, Schumacher, Massa, Button, Vettel, Kobayashi.

  55. 1344: 

    We've got a quick dash back to the pits for some fresh rubber and then straight back out for one final lap. Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel and Kamui Kobayashi are under pressure on the bubble. They'll definitely have to go again.


    Sebastian Vettel team radio: "OK Rocky there's too much front wing with the new tyres and the car is jumping like a rabbit, so let's see what we can do."


    Heikki Kovalainen, who will start 19th: "I thought if I qualify that time we'll go in Q2. I think we nearly had it, I lost a bit of time on the second sector and that was the problem. This is Monte Carlo though so you can't complain, the rest of the lap was good and I got a good lap."

  58. 1342: 

    So Nico Hulkenberg, Kimi Raikkonen, Romain Grosjean, Paul di Resta, Jean-Eric Vergne, Bruno Senna and Daniel Ricciardo are currently in the drop zone.

  59. 1341: 

    Sebastian Vettel is not looking comforable at the moment. He can only manage ninth fastest overall which is around eight tenths of a second off the pace of his Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber.

  60. 1340: 

    Jean-Eric Vergne is causing a scene out on track. He has broken his front wing and it has got jammed underneath the Toro Rosso. As a result he is crawling round at granny pace and ruining everyone elses laps. Felipe Massa comes flying through the Swimming Pool section is is lucky not hit either Vergne or the slowing Daniel Ricciardo.

  61. 1338: 

    Nico Rosberg puts the hammer down and clocks a 1:15.022 for the quickest time of all. Mark Webber slots into second, ahead of Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher. Those five separated by half a second.

  62. 1336: 

    Jean-Eric Vergne is the early pace-setter, posting a 1:16.4 to get us going. That's not good enough to get him through, though.

  63. 1334: 

    Time for part two, folks. We've got a 15 minute session that will see another seven drivers take an early bath. Paul di Resta is the first man out. BBC F1 technical Gary Anderson thinks drivers will need to do a 1:15.2 to get through to the top 10 shoot-out.

    BBC F1 chief analyst Eddie Jordan

    "Everyone has written Felipe Massa off. As a result, it gets into your bones and you feel vulnerable. He has to up his game big time. Yes, he had been strong here so far but I'm not sure one race will be enough."

  65. 1330: 

    Nico Hulkenberg, Kamui Kobayashi, Romain Grosjean, Sebastian Vettel, Michael Schumacher.

  66. 1329: 

    Heikki Kovalainen, Vitaly Petrov, Timo Glock, Pedro de la Rosa, Charles Pic, Narain Karthikeyan and Sergio Perez.

  67. 1328: 


  68. 1327: 

    Kimi Raikkonen is safe. He clocks a 1:15.8 to go fifth fastest overall. Seconds later, Sebastian Vettel gets through, too, clocking a 1:15.7 to bump the fifth down.

  69. 1326: 

    Sebastian Vettel has had to use up a set of fresh super-soft tyres as he's down in 16th. Those tyres should get him into Q2 if he gets a clean lap, but it'll compromise him in the later stages of qualifying/

  70. 1325: 

    Nico Hulkenberg goes quickest of all in the Force India on the super-soft tyres. He's three tenths quicker than Romain Grosjean in second. The usual suspects Kovalainen, Petrov, Glock, Pic, Karthikeyan and De la Rosa are in the drop zone with Sergio Perez who is already out after his crash.

  71. 1324: 

    Kimi Raikkonen is under pressure here. There's so much traffic which scuppers his first flying lap and he manages only the 17th fastest time. His second lap doesn't look good enough either. He's decided to bail on this lap, heads back to the pits and bolts on a set of super-softs. Not ideal.

  72. 1323: 

    Ouch. Sauber really love living dangerously. This time Kamui Kobayshi batters the Armco after the car weaves about under braking for Ste Devote. Another huge spark fires out of the rear wheel, but the Japanese appears to have got away with it. Lucky boy.

  73. 1322: 

    Paul di Resta has decided to use a set of the super-softs, so he's obviously not feeling that confident about the pace of the car. He goes fifth fastest with a 1:16.0. We're still waiting for Kimi Raikkonen to do a lap, so he's in the drop zone along with Sergio Perez, Charles Pic, Narain Karthikeyan, Pedro de la Rosa, Timo Glock and Daniel Ricciardo. That means both Caterhams are in at the moment.

  74. 1320: 

    Disappointing lap from Fernando Alonso. He might have had traffic on that lap because he's four tenths of a second off the pace, and three tenths off Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa. It's normally the other way round.

  75. 1319: 

    Michael Schumacher has hooked it all up nicely to go quickest of all with a 1:15.8 - I reckon he'll be happy enough with that to head back to the pits and save some tyres. His team-mate Nico Rosberg improves, but stays second ahead of a flying Felipe Massa who is only a tenth off the pace. Good effort, son.

  76. 1317: 

    We've not seen Paul di Resta yet, but he's just headed out on track so it should be too long before we see a time from him. Mark Webber improves in his Red Bull to go third quickest, nine tenths off the pace.

  77. 1316: 

    His lead doesn't last long, though, as Nico Rosberg goes even quicker on his second flying lap, posting a 1:15.9. That should be enough to get through to Q2. Schumacher is second, ahead of Maldonado, Alonso, Hamilton and Webber.

  78. 1314: 

    Nice clean lap from Nico Rosberg on the soft tyres. He clocks a 1:18.063 to go third fastest overall. Second later, his Mercedes team-mate Michael Schumacher goes even quicker with a 1:16.4.

    BBC Radio 5 live analyst Jaime Alguersuari

    On Pastor Maldonado's grid penalty: "I think it was unnecessary for Maldonaldo to do it, these things shouldn't happen. I know Monaco is a tough track and everyone wants to get lap times but it was unnecessary. Sergio Perez did a good job to avoid him but it should never have happened."

  80. 1312: 
    GO! GO! GO!

    The Sauber has been recovered by the marshalls and the track is open for business once more. Nico Rosberg is the first man out of the pits, closely followed by his Mercedes team-mate Michael Schumacher. So we know Sergio Perez is out, which means six others will get knocked out in this session.

  81. 1310: 

    Here's another look at the video player we're trialling ahead of the Olympics. Watch qualifying in HD quality, or click on 'More video' in the top left corner of the player to choose from five other video streams including the pit lane camera and driver tracker.

  82. 1308: 

    So before the red flag came out and stopped the clock, Alonso led Vergne, Kobayashi, Ricciardo, Schumacher, Maldonado, Karthikeyan, Senna, De la Rosa, Rosberg, Petrov and Grosjean.

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    "Maybe Sergio Perez still had some damage on that left-front wheel after his contact with Pastor Maldonado earlier and it wasn't picked up. So when it was under load it was compromised."

  84. 1307: 

    So it looks like it was a technical problem rather than a driver error. Replays show that Sergio Perez was turning the steering wheel, but nothing was happening. We'll have to wait for the official diagnosis from the team.

    BBC Radio 5 live analyst Jaime Alguersuari

    "Perez had a problem with the steering wheel by the looks of things, he didn't lose the rear it looks as though there was a problem with the steering as he just drove straight into the barrier."

  86. 1305: 

    Woah, that's a huge mistake from Sergio Perez. The Sauber driver gets it all wrong in the Swimming Pool section. He clatters the left-rear of the car into the barriers loses a tyre. That brings out the red flag.

  87. 1304: 

    Fernando Alonso is the first man to make a big statement, posting a 1:17.128, seven tenths quicker than Jean-Eric Vergne.

  88. 1303: 

    Tut, tut. Pedro de la Rosa basically stops in the final sequence of corners to get some clear air but holds up Charles Pic, who is on a flying lap, in the process. I think he'll be called up to the stewards for that.

  89. 1301: 

    All of the top running cars have all gone out on the prime tyre, according to BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson. If their time isn't good enough, they'll have to come in for the super-softs.

  90. 1300: 

    Here we go, then. Qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix starts here. Charles Pic is the first man out in the Marussia, ahead of Timo Glock, Jean-Eric Vergne and Kimi Raikkonen. Traffic is going to be a big problem in this session, so we might see a big name driver get knocked out in Q1.

  91. 1259: 

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson confirms that Pastor Maldonado will be out and about in qualifying after his team finished patching his car back together. He's still got a lot of work to do, though, especially as he'll be starting 10 places further back tomorrow after hitting Sergio Perez in final practice.

  92. 1255: 

    Mark Webber looks pretty chilled out, chatting to Red Bull team boss Christian Horner outside the garage. Over at Mercedes, both Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher are already in their car, belted in and ready to go.

  93. 1250: 

    Crikey, that build-up show just flew by. We've only got 10 minutes left until the first session of qualifying. There's no sign of that predicted rain, beautiful blue skies stretching across the Principality.

    BBC F1 chief analyst Eddie Jordan

    "Anyone of 10-12 drivers could get pole here. It's all about getting those tyres right for the perfect lap."


    Williams driver Bruno Senna: "We put the super-soft laps on late, because we wanted to do a long fuel run, and I got traffic on my run so that was disappointing, but that's Monaco. I think we should be able to get into the top 10. I don't think we were expecting a front row in Barcelona so it's important to keep your feet in the ground."

  96. 1243: 

    I've got another celeb spot for you lot - X-Men and Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence and About a Boy's Nicholas Hoult have dropped by the Caterham garage for a nose around.


    Force India'sPaul Di Resta: "You need to find the circuit's limits but it's all about getting a clear lap and I've been in reasonable form so we're looking to continue that. You always want to find the limits and that is what I'm doing. This weekend I've been on the limit but you need to nail it for qualifying as it will be key for getting you on the starting grid in a good position."

  98. 1238: 

    EJ has found Paul di Resta, who smashed his Force India into the barrier in final practice, in the pit lane. Here's what he had to say...

  99. 1235: 

    The grandstands are filling up nicely as we approach the start of qualifying. We've got three sessions as usual. The first session will be super busy, so expect a couple of shocks as seven drivers are knocked out. Another seven will bite the dust in Q2, leaving 10 to fight it out for pole position.

    BBC F1 co-commentator David Coulthard

    "Sebastian Vettel was a tenth away from the fastest. They had a troubled Thursday, went away and tried to find where they were losing time. I think they'll be in the mix. An incredible qualifying we've got coming up. I think we've got five drivers who could get pole."

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    "It's going to be a struggle to Pastor Maldonado to get back out there after his crash in Monaco. His car still has to have the floor put back on, which takes 15-20 minutes to do it properly. The last place you want to go out with a car that isn't set up properly is in Monaco, but that's what they will have to do."

    BBC F1 co-commentator David Coulthard

    "I think Pastor Maldonado is lucky to get away with just a 10-place grid penalty."

  103. 1228: 

    Talking of Michael Schumacher, he will start five places back from where he qualifies after picking up a penalty for clattering into the back of Bruno Senna in the Spanish GP.

  104. 1226: 

    Jake and the boys are looking at some new footage which has come to light from the Spanish GP. It features Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher having a squabble. The German felt he was held up by the McLaren so decided to take an escape route, get ahead of Hamilton, and then slow down and impede the Briton, waving his hand in frustration. BBC F1 co-commentator David Coulthard branded it "unacceptable" adding that you can't use your car as a weapon, while BBC F1 analyst Eddie Jordan says Schumacher needs to get some "basic common manners".

    BBC F1 chief analyst Eddie Jordan

    "Sergio Perez has got that feel about the place. He has that inner confidence now and came close to his first win in Malaysia. I think he's got a great chance this weekend."

  106. 1222: 

    1) Red Bull - 109

    2) McLaren - 98

    3) Lotus - 84

    4) Ferrari - 63

    5) Mercedes - 43

    6) Williams - 43

    7) Sauber - 41

    8) Force India - 18

    9) Toro Rosso - 6

    10) Marussia - 0

  107. 1221: 

    1) Sebastian Vettel - Red Bull - 61

    2) Fernando Alonso - Ferrari - 61

    3) Lewis Hamilton - McLaren - 53

    4) Kimi Raikkonen - Lotus - 49

    5) Mark Webber - Red Bull - 48

    6) Jenson Button - McLaren - 45

    7) Nico Rosberg - Mercedes - 41

    8) Romain Grosjean - Lotus - 35

    9) Pastor Maldonado - Williams - 29

    10) Sergio Perez - Sauber - 22

  108. 1220: 

    I've got bad news for Williams fans and Venezuelans out there, I'm afraid. Our man in the Monaco paddock Andrew Benson has informed us that your man Pastor Maldonado has just been given a 10-place grid penalty. The Williams driver made a clumsy move on Sergio Perez in final practice, hitting the Sauber driver and launching his car into the air. Moments later, he binned it in the barrier leaving the team facing a race against time just to get the car ready for qualifying. Remarkable how fortunes can change...

    BBC F1 co-commentator David Coulthard

    "I used to set myself in the car during pre-season to make sure it was the perfect position for Monaco because this is the one I always wanted to win. That's probably why I was consistent round here and pretty average everywhere else!"


    Becky on Twitter: "EJ would be bang on trend in Russia but even @therealdcf1 would get some funny looks in that lime green number xD."

  111. 1213: 

    And there you have it, a sensational shiny green shirt for DC and a blue floral number for EJ. I'm going to need sunglasses to survive this show. Jake has gone for a steady pale pink stripe offering. This is all very Monaco chaps. Good job.

  112. 1212: 

    Jake and DC are perched on a sofa on a fancy yacht reminiscing about past Monaco GP while EJ is dressed in a wet suit and enjoying a jacuzzi with some bikini-clad girls.

  113. 1210: 

    Here we go, folks. The Chain is ringing out on BBC One and the familiar sight of the Monaco harbour pulls into view. Time to get qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix under way.

  114. 1205: 

    The Guardian is reporting that Formula 1 teams will share a one-off $180m (£115m) windfall from agreeing to sign a commercial contract which paves the way for the $10bn flotation of the sport on the Singapore stock exchange next month. That's the biggest single payment they have ever received from the sport.

  115. 1200: 

    There's no sign of this predicted rain as the paddock continues to bask in glorious sunshine. Lovely overhead shot of the paddock which is jam packed full of drivers, team members, celebrities, VIP guests and other very important people. But it's easy to spot DC and EJ - they're the ones in the questionable shirts. DC is giving EJ a run for his money this week... It's a bright block of colour versus a floral number.


    Theo in London: "Would love to see Lewis Hamilton get pole, his passion for this circuit is so nice to see! Plus he deserves a win for his driving so far."


    Evonne O on Twitter: "Almost time in which I am sure it is going to be a GREAT Qually session if the action FP3 is believed ;)."

  118. 1152: 

    Last five Monaco GP pole-sitters:

    2011 - Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) Race finish 1st

    2010 - Mark Webber (Red Bull) Race finish 1st

    2009 - Jenson Button (Brawn GP) Race finish 1st

    2008 - Felipe Massa (Ferrari) Race finish 3rd

    2007 - Fernando Alonso (McLaren) Race finish 1st

  119. 1150: 

    2012 pole-sitters:

    Australia - Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) Race finish 3rd

    Malaysia - Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) Race finish 3rd

    China - Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) Race finish 1st

    Bahrain - Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) Race finish 1st

    Spain - Pastor Maldonado (Williams) Race finish 1st

  120. 1146: 

    I've got the first of what I expect to be many celeb spots of the weekend for you - and it's a good one. The Fresh Prince himself Will Smith, who has been all over our screens recently to promote his new movie Men in Black 3, has made an appearance in the paddock. Unsurprisingly, he's getting mobbed on his way to the McLaren motorhome to say hello to JB and Lewis.

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Monaco:

    "Few people know more about winning in Monaco than four-time world champion Alain Prost - who has four wins here among his 51 grand prix victories. 'You need to concentrate on this weekend differently from the others,' he tells Eddie Jordan in an interview to be broadcast in BBC One's qualifying show. 'It is a big difference it is a four-day weekend, the track is a changing a lot. You need to bring yourself slowly to the right level for qualifying. If you arrive at a peak too soon, then you go down. You need to understand first and then go fast when you need to on one lap. You don't need to be tired before.'"

  122. 1140: 

    Not long until Jake and the boys hit our screens on BBC One. I've just had a sneak preview of the outfits our telly boys are wearing. I'll leave David Coulthard's sensational ensemble for your own eyes to witness but I can reveal that the BBC F1 standard issue black trousers are back. Jake Humphrey gets use of them this weekend.

  123. 1133: 

    Ferrari are reporting that they - or anyone else for that matter - didn't manage to do practice starts at the end of that session, as happened on Thursday in FP1. Those are pretty important because they give the drivers a chance to go through their start processes and get their clutch maps sorted. Maybe we'll have a few stalls on race day...

  124. 1127: 

    So I'll be powering straight through to qualifying, so keep your news and views coming via the usual channels. Tweet me @lawrobarretto using the #bbcf1 hashtag or get tapping away on your phone using 81111 (UK only), remembering to put your name on those texts.

  125. 1122: 

    So Lotus, Red Bull, Ferrari, McLarens and Mercedes look fast. Oh, heck they all look quick apart from maybe those HRTs. Pole really is for the taking. I know I probably say this every week, but I really mean it today. Qualifying is going to be an absolute humdinger. Don't. Go. Anywhere.

    BBC Radio 5 live analyst Jaime Alguersuari

    "I think the Red Bull looked very quick - Sebastian Vettel only did that one lap at the end. I'd go for Vettel or Grosjean for pole. Massa has done a very good job as well."

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    "There's probably 10 of the top cars that could pull the lap out. I'd probably go for Alonso."

  128. 1115: 

    And the rest: 11-24 Vergne, Raikkonen, Kobayashi, Ricciardo, Hulkenberg, Senna, Kovalainen, Di Resta, Petrov, Glock, Maldonado, Pic, Karthikeyan, De la Rosa.

  129. 1111: 

    Here's how they finished: 1-10 Rosberg, Massa, Vettel, Alonso (all separated by 0.051 seconds) Grosjean, Button, Hamilton, Schumacher, Perez and Webber.

  130. 1107: 

    There was a sensational return to form for Felipe Massa. The Brazilian looked mega confident out on the treacherous streets on Monte Carlo. He finished 0.038 seconds behind pace-setter Nico Rosberg.

  131. 1105: 

    We're hearing from BBC Radio 5 live pit lane reporter Jennie Gow that Force India will replace the nose on Paul di Resta's car but there doesn't appear to be any other damage other than to the Scot's pride.

  132. 1103: 

    Well it all kicked off in the final few minutes, didn't it? Pastor Maldonado will not be a popular man in the Williams garage after that off, especially as the team are low on parts anyway after the Spanish GP garage fire...

  133. 1102: 


  134. 1101: 

    We're just seeing a replay and there's going to be one angry Mexican at the end of this session. Moments after almost hitting the back of a slowing Force India, Sergio Perez sees the Williams of Pastor Maldonado (shortly before his crash) dangerously cuts across him at Portier. Maldonado's rear wheel rode over Perez's front, briefly launching the Williams into the air. Perez was quick to gesture at the Venezuelan, signalling his displeasure.

  135. 1100: 

    The marshals are furiously trying to sweep the debris up after Pastor Maldonado's big error. We've only got a few minutes remaining, so I'm not sure we'll see a restart...

  136. 1059: 

    Williams's Pastor Maldonado hit the barrier on the inside of Casino Square and rips his left-rear wheel clean off on the barrier on the outside. Not a great time to damage your rear suspension, right at the end of practice just before qualifying. He was out on a run with super-soft tyres too. And there I was suggesting he was a bit of a Monaco specialist...

  137. 1058: 

    It's all kicking off. We've got a red flag now and it's a certain Spanish GP winner who is to blame...

  138. 1057: 

    Huge moment for Paul di Resta who hits the brakes on the exit of the tunnel which unsettles the car. His Force India spins round and slides sideways down the hill. As he tries to regain control the car bounces into the barrier, destroying his front nose. That's the only damage, though, and the Scot is able to retreat back to the pits.

  139. 1055: 

    Nico Hulkenberg almost stopped on the apex of the final corner to give himself some clear air and that catches the chasing Sergio Perez off guard. The Sauber driver almost hits the back of the Force India as he pushes to complete a flying lap. The Mexican waves his hand in frustration, but that's Monaco for you...


    Timo Glock team radio: "Timo, it looks like you've touched the wall with both sides of the car. There are marks on the tyre walls."

  141. 1053: 

    We've got seven minutes remaining and finally, after 53 minutes, the Red Bulls have bolted on the super-soft tyres. They've waited until the track is at its best. What have these boys got, eh? We're about to find out folks.

  142. 1050: 

    Woah, Sebastian Vettel gets a bit too friendly with the barriers. He gets it all wrong at the chicane in the Swimming Pool section, hits the sleeping policeman which launches his Red Bull into the air towards the barrier. The German manages to keep the nose of his car clean, but the back end steps out and clatters the barrier. Doesn't look like there's damage, though, so the reigning world champion lives to fight another day...


    Caz on Twitter: "Massa has had his Weetabix."

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Monaco:

    "Fernando Alonso may be tied on points with Sebastian Vettel at the head of the championship but Ferrari are under no illusions that they have to make their car more competitive if he is to stay there. Technical director Pat Fry said here: 'We've closed the gap on the cars ahead of us but by no means are we the quickest one and until we are clearly the quickest we're all not going to be happy. We've got a few little updates that come through for here, some more for Canada. It's just the relentless pace of how quickly you can update the car and it depends on what the other teams are doing as well.'"

  145. 1048: 

    Incredibly, Ferrari haven't won the Monaco GP since 2001 and that was courtesy of a certain seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher (who has won this race five times if you were interested).

  146. 1045: 

    Felipe Massa is absolutely flying. The Brazilian looks incredible confident. What a difference a good car makes, hey? He was attacking the first part of the lap like a man possessed. He's fastest of all in the first two sectors, but he makes a tiny mistake as he gets a bit lairy on the exit of the Swimming Pool section and stays third fastest.

  147. 1044: 

    Fernando Alonso improves to a 1:15.210, 0.051 seconds off Nico Rosberg's pace. Felipe Massa underlines the Ferrari pace by going third fastest, a further tenth back.

    BBC Radio 5 live commentator James Allen

    "Nico Rosberg, Fernando Alonso and Romain Grosjean did good laps but all made slight mistakes. We could have an incredible battle for pole position here with four or five drivers lapping in the same window - and we've not even seen what the McLaren can do yet."

    BBC Radio 5 live analyst Jaime Alguersuari

    "It's very important to give the super-soft tyres a breather. It gives you so much grip over one lap, then it loses its performance."

    BBC F1 pit-lane reporter Lee McKenzie

    "Lewis Hamilton loves Monaco, and this weekend he has come up with one of the best descriptions of what it's like to race here I have ever heard: 'You can never understand what it's like to drive around here, it's a rollercoaster, a hardcore rollercoaster and none of the rollercoasters in the world probably come close to it. It's just insane, driving in between these barriers with the people quite close. It's bumpy, it's all about feeling and finesse and control, containing yourself from excitement, balancing all your emotions and channelling them into the steering wheel and the throttle. If anyone's tried to imagine what it would be like just don't waste your time because you can't.'"


    Sauber on Twitter: "#Checo slightly touched a wall, no damage to the car. He is going for another run on soft now. #Kamui left the garage on soft too."

  152. 1040: 

    Nico Rosberg is the first man to bolt on the faster super-soft tyres and he goes six tenths quicker than he went before. That extends his lead at the top of the standings. Fernando Alonso then slots into second with a 1:15.306, one tenth quicker than Romain Grosjean who made a tiny mistake on his super-soft tyre run.

  153. 1037: 

    Lewis Hamilton gets it all wrong into St Devote. The 2008 world champion missed his braking point and locked the front tyres as he desperately tried to slow the car down. Luckily for him, there's an escape road there so he's avoids the barrier and then continues on his way.


    1) Rosberg 2) Grosjean 3) Massa 4) Perez 5) Alonso 6) Schumacher 7) Raikkonen 8) Kobayashi 9) Vettel 10) Button

  155. 1035: 

    Nico Rosberg, winner of the Chinese GP, is our new leader. The Mercedes driver clocks 1:15.751, 0.060 seconds quicker than Romain Grosjean. Felipe Massa, who was on pole here in 2008, improves to third fastest, 0.120 seconds behind.


    Peter McGinley on Twitter: "Massa having a good run? What, am I hearing things? Does he realise it's PRACTICE?"

  157. 1032: 

    BBC Radio 5 live analyst Jaime Alguersuari muses that Williams are testing high fuel loads at the moment which would go someway to explain why Pastor Maldonado is 19th, one place ahead of team-mate Bruno Senna. The Venezuelan, who won his maiden race in Spain last time out, is a bit of a Monaco specialist having won two GP2 races here, so should be a factor in qualifying later and the race tomorrow.


    Stephen Mitchell on Twitter: "Woke up in such a great mood not only because of the lovely weather but also it is #F1 weekend!"

  159. 1028: 

    Sauber's Sergio Perez kisses the Armco with his left front and rear wheels on the approach to La Rascasse, causing a huge spark, as the wheel makes contact with the steel barrier. Steady pal, you're third fastest...

  160. 1026: 

    It's time for the Ferraris to make a statement. Fernando Alonso pops his Ferrari into third with a 1:16.340 before Felipe Massa demotes him to fourth with a 1:16.070 which is good enough for second fastest. I have to say the Brazilian is looking more confident at the wheel of that red machine. He's less aggressive with the steering wheel and getting very close to the barriers. Could this weekend be the one that turns his season around?


    Paul Di Resta team radio: "Tyres are going away - the rears are going a bit. I think the track will get better, but I'm finding it more difficult at Turn 11 [the Nouvelle chicane]. I'm struggling to get up on the kerbs."

  162. 1023: 

    My tip for pole position Romain Grosjean looks like he's at one with this 3.340km 19-turn street circuit. The Frenchman hits the kerbs beautifully, and kisses the barriers softly on his last lap to go fastest of all with a 1:15.811. That's three tenths quicker than Sergio Perez in the Sauber and a massive nine tenths faster than Lewis Hamilton in third.


    F1 paddock pixie on Twitter: "Right let's get this day started! Fireman Sam cake to make, #BBCF1 then getting dressed as a Frenchman for Eurovision night!"

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    I'm watching Lotus drivers Romain Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen tackle the Rascasse corner. Grosjean is very precise, with little activity on the steering wheel. Raikkonen on the other hand is working it all the way. They have very different styles."

  165. 1020: 

    Huge lock up for Kamui Kobayashi at Mirabeau. He locks his front right tyre and almost hits the barrier as the back end of the car steps out. No bother, though. The Japanese simply spins the car around and gets back on his way down to the iconic Loews hairpin.


    John Aiwone on Twitter: "Lotus has always had great traction on their cars, this year is no exception and will be a vital feature in Monaco this weekend."

  167. 1015: 

    A lot of parties are held on the track overnight at Monaco, so one of the marshals' first jobs is to sweep away spilled drinks and cigarette butts in the morning. Wonder what that does to the track's surface?

  168. 1013: 

    Bang...Paul di Resta delivers a peach of a lap in the Force India on his first flyer. He gets into the 1m17s with a 1:17.390. That's four tenths quicker than Kimi Raikkonen who improves slightly in his Lotus. Nico Rosberg is third, Michael Schumacher fourth, Pedro de la Rosa fifth and Narain Karthikeyan sixth.

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Monaco:

    "In what might be termed a slight irony, talks about keeping costs down in Formula 1 have been continuing in the sport's most ostentatious venue this weekend. These are heading towards governing body the FIA being given a statutory role in policing the agreement that restricts the resources the teams use. I understand a general agreement to proceed has been reached, but that it will be discussed by a group of team bosses and their technical heads early next week."

  170. 1010: 

    Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg are out there for Mercedes at the moment, too. Rosberg goes quickest with a 1:18.923 with Schumacher four tenths further back in third. Big weekend for the seven-time world champion after the chief Ross Brawn told him to buck up his ideas after a poor start to the season.

  171. 1007: 

    Kimi Raikkonen is the first man to set a flying lap, posting a tasty 1:18.993. The Finn missed a whole practice session on Thursday as his Lotus team worked on adjusting his steering.


    BBC weather presenter Ian Fergusson: "It's all looking dry on rainfall radar just ahead of FP3 and expecting it to stay that way for this session."

  173. 1005: 

    Everyone has completed an install lap apart from Paul di Resta who is still sitting in the garage. They will now head back to the pits to check all is well with the car before tweaking their set-up depending on what program their running.

  174. 1003: 

    Here's a sneak peak of a video player that we're trialling ahead of the Olympic Games. It will allow you to watch the current F1 practice session in HD quality and let you pause or rewind live video. You can also click on the 'Extras' button for a guide to the sport or choose to watch more F1 videos later on by clicking 'More video'. This is just a test run for the player which is why it's labelled as a beta. There will be more features by the time the Games start.

  175. 1000: 
    GO! GO! GO!

    The green light is on and the track is open for business. The sound of a Formula 1 engine pierces the silence as Jean-Eric Vergne heads out on track in his Toro Rosso, closely followed by Heikki Kovalainen, Vitaly Petrov and Kamui Kobayashi.

  176. 0955: 

    Having lost so much running time due to rain on Thursday, the teams will be keen to get out on track as soon as possible in this session to get some mileage on the board. No one managed any long runs, while only a few managed a super-soft qualifying-style run in the first two practice sessions so there's plenty to do.


    Force India driver Paul di Resta: "Great night, chilling on the sofa watching tv with my brothers @StefanDiResta this race is great. Get to stay at home."

  178. 0950: 

    There might be all this chat about rain, but I can tell you now that the streets of Monte Carlo are currently bathed in beautiful sunshine. There's plenty of activity in the pit-lane as the teams and drivers put the final touches to their machines ahead of third and final practice. That one hour session gets going at 10:00 BST on the BBC Red Button and in the fancy module at the top of this page.

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Monaco:

    "The unpredictability of this Formula 1 season means no favourite has yet emerged for this weekend. McLaren's Jenson Button, fastest on Thursday after being one of few to fit the super-soft tyres before it rained, said: 'It's possible for about 10 cars, I think. It's who gets it right on the day.'"

  180. 0945: 

    I'm plumping for a Romain Grosjean pole position today. As Andrew says, that Lotus looked mighty on Thursday and the Frenchman has been impressive over one lap so far this season. What do you think? Tweet me @lawrobarretto using the #bbcf1 hashtag or text 81111 (UK only) with your thoughts on all things F1. Don't be shy, now.

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Monaco:

    "Pole position in Monaco is a huge advantage given the difficulty anyone has overtaking, so who will it be this year? The Lotus of Romain Grosjean probably looked class of the field on Thursday, although Grosjean himself admits that Ferrari's Fernando Alonso is 'always something special' around Monaco. Pastor Maldonado, winner of the last race for Williams, has had good results here in the junior categories. Meanwhile, four-time winner Alain Prost, who will be on BBC Radio 5 live for the final practice session, fancies Lewis Hamilton. 'Lewis with the McLaren maybe could be the guy,' the Frenchman said. 'It could rain. He may be able to find some extra tenths."


    BBC Radio 5 live breakfast presenter Simon King: "We've already seen some showers creeping up on the streets of Monaco during Thursday practice and I don't think Saturday's practice and qualifying will be much different. The emphasis will be on mainly dry and fairly cloudy conditions but showers will tend to develop mainly over the high ground to the north of the circuit and will have potential to feed towards the harbour during the day. Certainly one for the teams to keep a close eye on! Feeling on the cool side with a maximum temperature of 22 degrees."

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Monaco:

    "Weather forecasting in Monaco has always been a tricky business and rarely has that been better illustrated than this morning. It was supposed to rain last night. And this morning. But there are lovely blue skies over the principality - even if there is a hint of cloud behind the hills towards Italy. The drivers will be glad of the sun. After second practice was wet on Thursday, they need all the track time they can get to prepare for one of the most important qualifying sessions of the season."

  184. 0935: 

    Yes, the luscious Cote d"Azur, home to the rich and famous and full of glamorous people walking around looking very pleased with themselves, is usually bathed in sunshine like heaven on earth - and for much of Thursday morning during first practice, it was. Fernando Alonso was the man to take advantage of the conditions, topping times on the 3.340km track. But in the afternoon, in rolled the clouds and down came the rain.

  185. 0932: 

    But lurking high in the mountains above the Principality is a volatile weather system ready to dump heavy, possibly thundery showers and spoil the party. Welcome to practice and qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix.

  186. 0930: 

    The streets of Monte Carlo have been transformed into a giant Scalextric, the kerbs repainted, the Armco barriers perfectly placed. The harbour is packed full of ridiculously expensive yachts with beautiful people gracing their decks, chilling out and sipping champagne. The grandstands are rammed, fans ready to top up their tan while enjoying some top notch racing...

Formula 1 World Championship 2014

Position Driver Team Pts
1 Germany N Rosberg Mercedes 190
2 Great Britain L Hamilton Mercedes 176
3 Australia D Ricciardo Red Bull 106
4 Spain F Alonso Ferrari 97
5 Finland V Bottas Williams 91
6 Germany S Vettel Red Bull 82
7 Germany N Hulkenberg Force India 69
8 Great Britain J Button McLaren 59
9 Denmark K Magnussen McLaren 37
10 Brazil F Massa Williams 30
11 Mexico S Perez Force India 29
12 Finland K Raikkonen Ferrari 19
13 France J Vergne Toro Rosso 9
14 France R Grosjean Lotus 8
15 Russia D Kvyat Toro Rosso 6
16 France J Bianchi Marussia 2
17 Germany A Sutil Sauber 0
18 Sweden M Ericsson Caterham 0
19 Venezuela P Maldonado Lotus 0
20 Mexico E Gutierrez Sauber 0
21 Great Britain M Chilton Marussia 0
22 Japan K Kobayashi Caterham 0


After 67 of 67 laps
Position Driver Team

Race completed. Best Lap: L Hamilton 1:19.908 on Lap 53

1 Germany N Rosberg Mercedes
2 Finland V Bottas Williams
3 Great Britain L Hamilton Mercedes
4 Germany S Vettel Red Bull
5 Spain F Alonso Ferrari
6 Australia D Ricciardo Red Bull
7 Germany N Hulkenberg Force India
8 Great Britain J Button McLaren
9 Denmark K Magnussen McLaren
10 Mexico S Perez Force India
11 Finland K Raikkonen Ferrari
12 Venezuela P Maldonado Lotus
13 France J Vergne Toro Rosso
14 Mexico E Gutierrez Sauber
15 France J Bianchi Marussia
16 Japan K Kobayashi Caterham
17 Great Britain M Chilton Marussia
18 Sweden M Ericsson Caterham
19 Germany A Sutil (ret.) Sauber
20 Russia D Kvyat (ret.) Toro Rosso
21 France R Grosjean (ret.) Lotus
22 Brazil F Massa Williams