F1 Winter Break
Schumacher fastest in qualifying, but Webber inherits pole after penalty
Posted By: James Allen  |  26 May 2012   |  3:17 pm GMT  |  219 comments

In a surprising and frantic qualifying session in Monaco, 43 year old Michael Schumacher gave Mercedes its second pole position of the season and the 69th of his career. Schumacher is the fourth oldest pole sitter of all-time; only Jack Brabham, Juan-Manuel Fangio and Giuseppe Farina took pole position at a greater age than Schumacher is today. He is the oldest pole position driver since Spanish GP 1970.

But with the 5 place penalty he was handed for the collision with Bruno Senna in Spain, Mark Webber will inherit the pole, his second in Monaco. And that will give him a golden opportunity to become the sixth winner in six races, which would be the first time in F1 history.

Webber won the race from pole here in 2010 and has every chance of a repeat tomorrow, as Monaco has been won from pole all but one occasion in the last seven years. Nico Rosberg was third on the day and will therefore start from the front row tomorrow with his best chance yet of a win in the he grew up in.

The threat from McLaren, Lotus and Ferrari was somewhat blunted. Romain Grosjean saved two new sets of supersofts, but the signs were already there from his team mate’s struggles that the Lotus wasn’t really performing over a single lap. It’s strengths lie in low speed traction and the way that lack of wheelspin leads to better tyre life on long runs. However Grosjean was lying second after the first runs in Q3, but Grosjean’s final run didn’t work out in the middle sector.

“I did a very good lap in the first part of Q3 but then I couldn’t improve on my second set of tyres, ” said the 26 year old Frenchman. “This was a shame because our strategy was perfect for the last part of qualifying. The traffic wasn’t too bad but I missed out in sector two. I think pole position was within reach.”

Nevertheless Grosjean starts fourth, just behind Lewis Hamilton, another pre-race favourite. The McLaren wasn’t at the top of the time sheets at any stage in qualifying, but Hamilton – one of only two drivers to have scored points in every race – is on a consistency programme and will be targetting a podium as a minimum tomorrow.

The Ferrari duo of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa were much closer then they have been in prior races and they will sandwich Schumacher on the grid tomorrow in fifth and seventh. They looked to be competitive throughout, although Massa was unable to improve on his Q2 lap time and challenge for pole position. Sebastian Vettel used up all his sets of supersofts just to get into Q3 for the second race in a row. He set no time in Q3 again, so has a free choice on starting tyre tomorrow and has hinted he may start on the harder tyre.

Pastor Maldonado will start 19th after being handed a 10 place penalty by stewards for driving into Perez at the end of practice 3.

Mercedes’ threat had been clear from Saturday morning practice; Rosberg had been the pace setter and was on provisional pole after the first runs in Q3. But he did not find enough improvement at the end to hold it and Schumacher and Webber slipped through.

The Mercedes pairing looked like potential pole sitters from the outset of qualifying, as they were both in the top five in each session. A variety of cars were in amongst the front three rows of the grid during the earlier stages, including Felipe Massa, who set the pace in Q2 and, like Schumacher has done no harm to his confidence.

As is often the case in Monaco, track conditions improved significantly during the session and times continued to drop until the dying seconds of each session, causing headaches for teams that did not want to waste a second set of tyres. However, the lack of overtaking in the Principality means that starting position is all the more important. And for those that could get the job done in the earlier sessions on just one set of tyres, they were able to save a set of options for the final shoot-out. This was the case for the front three cars, as well as Hamilton and Grosjean.

Schumacher did not want to compare the pole to others from his first career, “Monaco is so special, it’s more of a driver track than others but it’s super fantastic if you do such a lap. We saw how tight qualifying was. It’s sweet and a good feeling. You come back and hope for results and finally you get it together and are able to prove it. You have to see there are two different chapters of my career,” said Schumacher. “This is the second one. It’s the best position I’ve been in and I can give back a little to the team for all the trust that’s been put in me these last two years.”

Webber was delighted with the way qualifying had turned out, especially after not finding the sweet spot in practice on Thursday, but some changes to the balance on the car since Thursday have given him a car with the feel he was looking for.

“Its Michael’s day, it was a good lap from him,” said Webber. “Quali is the first time you start to pull everything together. I was aiming for the first few rows, I thought I would go for pole, it was a good lap and it’s a good position to start from tomorrow.”

The session started with Sergio Perez crashing heavily in the Sauber after a breakage in the left side of his steering arm. This is the corner of the car that was hit by Pastor Maldonado at the end of FP3, which led to Maldonado being given a 10 place grid penalty by the stewards.

In Q2 Jenson Button was the high profile scalp, failing to make the cut, along with both Force Indias, both Toro Rossos, Senna and Kobayashi. The Briton had set the fastest time in practice on Thursday but couldn’t get the performance when it mattered. He only just scraped through Q1 by a tenth of a second.

[Additional Reporting: Matt Meadows]

1. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m14.301s
2. Mark Webber Red Bull 1m14.381s + 0.080
3. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m14.448s + 0.147
4. Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1m14.583s + 0.282
5. Romain Grosjean Lotus 1m14.639s + 0.338
6. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m14.948s + 0.647
7. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m15.049s + 0.748
8. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1m15.199s + 0.898
9. Pastor Maldonado Williams 1m15.245s + 0.944
10. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull no time

11. Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1m15.421s + 0.510
12. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1m15.508s + 0.597
13. Jenson Button McLaren 1m15.536s + 0.625
14. Bruno Senna Williams 1m15.709s + 0.798
15. Paul di Resta Force India 1m15.718s + 0.807
16. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1m15.878s + 0.967
17. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1m16.885s + 1.974

18. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 1m16.538s + 1.120
19. Vitaly Petrov Caterham 1m17.404s + 1.986
20. Timo Glock Marussia 1m17.947s + 2.529
21. Pedro de la Rosa HRT 1m18.096s + 2.678
22. Charles Pic Marussia 1m18.476s + 3.058
23. Narain Karthikeyan HRT 1m19.310s + 3.892
24. Sergio Perez Sauber no time

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val from montreal

Well I guess this means that these new f1 drivers ( who are supposedly far more superior in terms of talent than any other drivers in the Schumacher era ) are'nt what the press and media hype makes them out to be ? I mean , an old overated 43 year old driver just got his 69th pole position on Monaco .... who would of thunk it ?


Oh please, one pole in 2 and 1/2 years, woohoo.

I wonder how Mercedes will go tomorrow without their DRS system available all round the track.


Monza, of course.

Please go ahead and provide a link to some technical paper about how it provides "balance" to the car in "certain corners".


High speed turns, just chock full of those at Monaco eh?


hero_was_senna, head over to the local library and pick up a copy of "Fundamentals of Aerodynamics".


You'll the article here that I read some months ago,


The paragraph below is a little down the page.

"If they can cure these issues, then they will further up in qualifying and able to take the fight to the leading teams. I now believe the FDFW works to manage the cars balance in high speed turns when the DRS is activated."

By the way, Craig Scarborough is up there with Giorgio Piola for diagrams and explanations of F1.


Sorry, but Monaco is one of the DUMBEST tracks to suggest Mercedes has an aerodynamic advantage due to their innovative DRS design.

Montreal? Yes. Spa? Yes. Imola? Yes. Monaco where almost the highest percentage of any lap is spent on the brakes? Not likely.


Merc's DRS isn't only about straight lin speed, it's used to balance the car in certain corners, that's why they can open it in places other teams can't.

Anyway, I think you'll find Imola was last used by F1 in 2006.


You said it like Pole is such easy task to achieve.

Many driver never actually earn a pole in their entire career.


They did pretty well in China...


91 Grand Prix wins, 7 world drivers championships.


LOL good one


Yeah Michael "2 points in 5 races" Schumacher is just walking all over these new boys. Totally showing those whipper snappers Vettel and Alonso how to do it. Not by winning races and scoring points, but by getting a meaningless pole.


[mod] Do you even realise why he has scored little points?
Retired in Australia,
Spun to the back at the start by an effective rookie in Malaysia (but still recovered to 10th)
Wheel nut came loose in China,
DRS failure in Bahrain qualy then engine change penalty put him at the back (recovered to 10th again)
Hit Senna in Spain (Senna jerked left in the braking zone which Schumacher clearly reacted to; its not clear cut Schumi 100% at fault despite the blindness of most journo's and commentators)

He has been on great form this season, and pole around Monaco in a season this close is significant.


I totally agree with you.

MSC has looked strong this year generally.

I can't comprehend how journo's are slating him without actually mentioning the mechanical issues he's had whilst running well in the points.

I also think that these ridiculous tyres had a part to play in the Barcelona shunt as Senna was so much slower in the braking zone as well as moving twice.

The difference for me is that MSC is a proper racer, he wants to overtake and battle his way to the front. Too many drivers are satisfied plodding round and hoping they pass people in the pits, or that they have looked after their tyres better than the next guy.

Even Lewis has been nullified, as his every mistake is punished severely.


It almost looked like Schumacher did it out of spite to all the recent comments! It was hilarious. Maybe he should ask for Nick Fry to mention retirement before every race? It might be his lucky charm? Everytime the team supports him he doesn't do great, when they hint he's due to retire, he suddenly pulls out a great qualifying.

If age has dulled his skills it didn't show in that middle sector he really did some aggressive but accurate driving.


Two days ago there was Michael bashing all over this forum and now this surprise pole or no pole. From fifth or sixth position and in Monaco everyone knows the odds even with a fantastic drive and a safety car. Nevertheless kudos to MSC for this extraordinary mid sector performance.


LOL +1


I will never, ever complain about a Williams victory. But in a topsy turvy season, there's something reassuring about seeing Maldonado at the back of the grid due to an act of incomprehensible stupidity. 🙂



On a slightly more serious note, this season shows why Bernie's medal idea was never going to work. Consistency over a season should be rewarded and we may just see the world champ being the driver without the most wins this year.

I'd be surprised if someone gets more than 3 or 4 wins after the start we've had.


You couldn't be more right!



I guess you've been watching F1 since 07 and have not witnessed bar being raised a few dozen notches in years prior.


The bar has been lowered. You just didn't notice until now 🙂


Dear James,

Well not too many people saw it coming. And the man answers in the best way he can. Good job michael.

James, what explains the difference in performance between Webber and Vetel?


SK Anand


don't take it wrong but you are not writing a formal letters here mate


Webber was faster than Vettel in every sense of driving. Put them in an even car that's not designed specifically for one driver and you soon see the talent rise to the top.

Come on Mark for the win!!!!


You mean like 2010?

I am by no measure a Vettel fan, and I like to see Webber do well, but you're just talking nonsense.


Vettel who?

Darryl Ephraums

That dude leading the WDC.


Nah, the dude who greets people with a cucumber


Presumably he means the Vettel who leads the WDC, not the Vettel who is my local butcher and your Mother.


Congratulations to Michael!

Obviously a shame about the penalty - but don't do the crime if you can't do the time.

Fingers crossed this'll mark a change in his luck with regards to this season & his comeback, lord knows he's had some tough races recently & this should be the confidence boost he needs.


The penalty was hugely unfair.

An inexperienced backmarker was weaving in the breaking zone - leaving Schumacher,

which hugh clsing speed nowhere to go..


Senna wasn't a backmarker, they were racing for position.
Michael shouldn't have changed his line into the corner. He'd have made the pass around te outside. Maybe even got a cut back into 3. It was all Schumi.


Schumacher should know about weaving in the breaking zone - He is a master of the art


backmarker whose teammate happened to win the race,penalty was pretty fair imo


The difference between Senna and Maldonado at the moment is probably the largest between any pair of team mates in the field.

Perhaps Bruno's last name is faster than he is. ;). That's what is carrying his career.


Well done Michael! There is only one way to prove your critics wrong and you pieced it all together today and went some way towards silcencing those doubters.

Looking forward to tomorrrow!


it is all unfair. starting grid and pole is different things.

i really think schumi deserved to hold the pole as his 69th pole position but should start from 6th as he has a penalty from the previous race.

he or his team did nothing wrong to lose pole position.


I thought his pole position will still count towards his stats? Even in 97 when he was disqualified from the championship, he still retained his poles and wins as part of his stats.

Can anyone clarify this?


'he or his team did nothing wrong to lose pole position.'

Did you not watch the Spanish GP?


i did and what i saw was a driver dancing infront of another car from right to left, all in all a racing incident.

but thats not the point, it seems you didnt understand what i wrote (may be i could not express it good enough)?

imo he should keep the pole honor although he will start from 6th sloth.

penalties from previous races should be about grid position not about qualification,

becasue qualification position and start position is different things.


EXACTLY xvhol, I completely agree. Hamilton's penalty is different because having an underfuelled car had a DIRECT impact on his qualifying performance. And although you can argue that a few more liters wouldn't cost him the 5 tenths advantage he had, he still gained by running a lighter car.

Schumacher's penalty from the previous race however was completely UNRELATED to his on track performance in Monaco. Moving him down to 6th is fine, but taking away his pole position makes no sense! He EARNED that pole and was sitting in the pole sitter's seat in the press conference.

If a driver is given a penalty for something they've done wrong in the qualifying session itself then they should be stripped of pole, but when the penalty is from another race and is completely UNRELATED to the current race or the performance of the car, then how does it make sense to steal the driver's pole position away?


Well I watched the Spanish GP, it was a racing incident and if it was Hamilton that got the grid penalty all you lot would be up in arms claiming all sorts, just you wait until Grosjean gives Hamilton a load of hassle tomorrow.


Starting 6th or first... Schu is as good as ever, to those who say he is over the hill, get real! This man will win a race when he is for once not compromised by actions out of his control! Webber is a deserving inheritant of pole, a win would be just reward for his efforts!


I love Mark, but I bet he will lose the lead at the start. If he could just sort out these starts...


Haha I just about to write the same thing! Please God Mark make a decent start for once


It's a lot easier to keep the lead at Monaco though so webber stands a better chance than some of his other poor launches. The first run is so short at Monaco as long as mark doesn't sit stalled he should be okay.


Lol, i agree. Im so happy about Mark on pole but dreading the start tomorrow. Btw i read that Webber and Riccardo have lost more places on the first lap than any other drivers in the paddock (17 and 20 respectively from memory) . Is Bernie fiddling with the regulation common ECU over the Melbourne 'Bogan' fiasco? (Jokes)


What's this 'Bogan' fiasco???


Here's hoping for a 2010 repeat 😉


It is interesting. Nobody was thinking about Merc challenging for Pole and yet Schumi took it, be it only unofficially.

I am surprised that Ferrari did not do any better and also Lotuns was not particularly dominant - Kimi was risking not getting into Q3.

Why such a difference between Webber and Vettel? Strange...

And the same about Button and Hamilton. Button is struggling lately and there seem to be no obvious reason.

If not for B. Senna, Schumi would be in a good position to win the race tomorrow. But...it seems to be Webber with a chance:-)


Button has never been a quick driver. His WDC came from having a vastly superior car for the first 5 races and team backing against the other guy in the same car. He has his real career best season last year against his team-mate who had a meltdown season. This year he is in a car which is competitive, but not superior. The car is capable of being pole or within a tenth or two in every race.....and he starts 13th


I can say the same abou vettel, exactly same words


Sorry, if not for Schumi's arrogance and mistake, he would be in a good position to win tomorrow.

Then again, if he had qualified fairly in 2006, he would have won that too!


Button has always been "slow" in qualifying, its his big weakness. Doesn't matter in a Brawn but when there is probably 7 cars within half a second of each other it will stop him challenging for the title even if he is fast in the race.


This isn't true... Button at the moment is struggling. Yes, generally he's 3 or 4 tenths off Hamilton over one lap but at the moment he's getting completely mullered.

These tyres and these cars are obviously difficult to master and we're seeing bigger differences between team mates than perhaps we have before.

Just look at Vettel and Webber - you telling me Vettel has always been slow in quali? And you reckon Senna is typically a second slower than Maldonado?


I'm not judging him just on this race. He hasn't had a pole for years. You rightly say that he is 3-4 tenths of Hamilton in qualifying on average. Well, this season that will mean he will miss q3 on a few occasions and will be 5th/6th/7th/8th if he does make it through.

I'm not only comparing him to Hamilton. Look at how he did in qualifying compared to his team mates, Ralf, Trulli, Fisichella. The factual data is there for all to see.

He will come through in the races sometimes as this is his strength but many races will be like Barcelona for him.

Andrew Carter

Button only gives away a tenth or so on raw pace to Hamilton (so does most of the grid in fact) so he's not particularly slow, but he's definitely having trouble at the moment.


Button is always topping practice times, it seems to be the short, high pressure quali sessions where he just doesn't hook up the laps.


We've all seen MSC adjust brake bias for races and quali, but to see him adjusting brake bias, navigating one handed through the quick direction changes of piscine before the ugly chicane. incredible.


That's almost suggesting Alonso is even better in having no hands on steering wheel when one hand is adjusting brake bias with the other activating F-duct in 2010. 😀 😀 😀


I've never been a Schumacher fan but I would love to see him win the race tomorrow.

Knowing Michael, he'll be really angry with everyone else about events in Spain and his subsequent penalty but, of course, we all know it was entirely his own fault !

Whatever the records will say, finishing fastest in this company was quite an achievement and one made entirely on merit.


So is this statisticaly pole no.69 for Schumacher in spite of the penalty or Webber gets it??? It's always confusing when someone has a grid penalty...

Tornillo Amarillo

Anyway, 69 is a good position to be in...

Maybe Rosberg could jump Webber because Webber has no great starts, and Hamilton can overtake Rosberg because the Mercedes is good in qualify for the DDRS but fades in raceday, and Grosjean just can be 3rd or thereabout as usual, while Massa will overtake Alonso as a premeditated mysterious move, Vettel will take advantage to get 5th, Button will have massive oversteer in his pitstops and mystified he will lose more positions, while all the midfield will block each other forever, and in that point the safety car will be in for some laps, at the right time, for having Maldonado winning again, while Senna asks why life is so hard.

Or maybe I'm just wrong, Webber or Rosberg will win, easy.


It will show as Webber's pole as that is what will be published at 1pm tomorrow by FIA on the official starting grid


This is what I thought but then surely it is a bit disingenuous to call it Michael's 69th Pole in the blog? My initial reaction was to protest and suggest a more statistically accurate description of Michael's admittedly fine achievement, but now I'm wondering whether I should simply shrug my shoulders and give kudos to your poetic licensing!


Yes I think thats rather strange as well James, it should show on the records as a pole for Schumacher as he was fastest in qualifying. So when Hamilton got sent from first to last a couple of races ago did that not count as a pole for him either?

James Clayton

Interestingly the stats I saw on Star Sport (so may well not be official) showed Hamilton out qualifying Button 6-0. The same stats showed Maldonardo as having 1 pole. Can't compute!!


In the case of Hamilton in Spain the car deemed illegal in terms of its specification. With Hamilton the fuel effect is notionally much less than the gap to Maldonado but an illegal car is an illegal car, so it is a DQ from the session.


When a player scores a goal, but is declared offside, should that stand too.

Regulations are in place for these eventualities.

Schumacher has made enough mistakes throughout his career that he should have learnt something, but he never has.

It's almost beyond him that he has to play by the same rules.

Maldonado received a penalty last year for swiping Hamilton in qualifying, yet repeats it again today!

Schumacher for years swept across from his pole positions to stop others over-taking him. They have put a rule in place to prevent this, yet what it really needs is a driver that isn't intimidated, it won't happen again.

In a way, I think this is a big part of what has caught him out in his 2nd career. No-one is intimidated by him anymore.


If there was anyone I would like to inherit the pole it would be Webber but it seems bizarre that it won't go down in the record books as a pole for Schumacher.


Why bizarre? If a driver is penalised in a race and demoted from a victory, it's not recorded as his victory. This is the same, only in qualy.


Same thing happened last race.

Pastor got the pole in thehistory books not Lewis.I don't agree with this.


Why? Finishing first in qualifying isn't "pole position"; having your car sat on the pole position on the grid most certainly is though. Call it stupidity, call it what you want, but it was Schumacher's own fault that he's down on the third row for tomorrow's start and that's all that counts.


I know what you mean, but it's all part of his 'punishment'!


James, does this go down in the record books as a pole for Schumi taking him to 69 or does it go down as annoyingly one for Webber who wasn't actually the fastest?


No Webber was the fastest. The play the game within the rules (But i get your point), and deserves the credit.


I'd be interested to find this out too. Is Schumacher officially the holder of pole position for the 2012 Monaco Grand Prix, or will the history books read Webber?


In that case doesn't it make a mockery of the whole situation to have Schumacher in the press conference?


43yr old Schumacher beats all the youngsters on the track were the driver can make the most difference.



Nobody has ever doubted Schumacher's ability; we've just doubted his integrity. Just desserts, I'm afraid.



Is that why any list of the Greatest ever, whether compiled by the public, journalists or professional racing drivers, never places him at number 1?

His ability places him in the top 5 or 10 drivers, without question, but his integrity isn't just what he does against other drivers but also his selection of team-mates.

Of all his team-mates, Rosberg is the only one who has the teams support behind him as well.

My problem with giving credit to Schumacher now is, that I don't actually think Rosberg is one of the greats. His father advised him against going to Mclaren because he knew he wouldn't be able to compete with Hamilton. If that's the case, where does that place Schumi?


@Hero was Senna

About that some debate still occurring wether Senna or Schumacher is No.1 nontheless my opinion hard to put the top 3 greatest driver as the no.1 and Senna and Schumacher without doubt among the greatest. And speaking about the integrity i just can grind seeing from your name "hero was Senna" one of the ruthless driver in F1 history.

"If that’s the case, where does that place Schumi?"

Place him in one of The Greatest wihtout a doubt and he prove in qualy he still able to beat his younger competitor at 43 and for sure Rosberg wouldn't be better than young Schumcaher.


that's a false agreement i think, stating FIA always behind Schumacher-Ferrari just a poor judgment in 2005 FIA change the rule to stop Ferrari domination but nontheless Schumacher and the dream team managed to get back on track in the middle of 2006 season that show how good he is in developing etc, that's why Ferrari was so successful during Schumacher era

@David Aston

Very well said, some people just putting some rubbish statement aginst him maybe jealousy or something


Mate your 100% again. Michael received so many presents from the FIA it was beginning to look like a charity organisation. Worst case in gifted championships was 2003. FIA change the rules so Michelin have to redesign their dominant tyre with 3 races to go. 2006 when FIA banned Renaults mass damper. I better stop before i get carried away and rant! Keep up the great posting


I'm sure there are a few lists out there somewhere who have him at number one. As far as teammate's treatment, Moss and Fangio took over teammate's cars during races, Lotus was run around Clark, Tyrell around Stewart, Prost had his car swapped for Mansell's overnight at a GP, Senna had veto over teammate's selection at Lotus, and there are heaps more. As for other driver's treatment on track, Senna was at least as bad, and all of them have backed someone off during a qualifying lap or run someone out of road at some point. I know people go on about Schumacher's influence and advantages at Ferrari, but when he went there, they were a joke; the best facilities and budget, and no driver's titles since 1979. I honestly think that some ex drivers bag him, particularly Moss and Stewart, because they're still competitive and are jealous of his achievements. And, the reason the some journos and pundits think the field seems to have a higher talent level than when he was dominating is because he made most of the others look average a lot of the time. I know that Jack Brabham said Schumacher was the best of all time, and he's a fairly pragmatic guy. Can't argue with results...


I didn't mean to suggest that he is one of the greats, even if he qualifies as such in statistical terms. The great drivers were also great sportsmen, and no-one could accuse MS of that. I agree with your points totally - apart from your name. For me, Senna was in the same camp as MS - a talented driver with no respect for others' safety.



Aint no doubt about it.


Matthew Cheshire

A qualifying report that does not mention Sebastian Vettel. That's weirder than 6 winners for six races surely.

Good luck Mark. Please get that thing off the line tomorrow. Please!


James, on long runs, which of the front runners clocked the best average times? Does Schumi's quali pace confirm his pace on long runs?


Great lap from schumi. Proving everyone wrong now. Is it me or did David Couthard for the BBc appear extremely bitter after MS got pole trying to take credit away from him and giving it to Webber. The man is so unprofessional. Schumi got pole and even though he will be demoted he still needs to give him credit for this. Hamilton for the victory.


DC has a lot to say against MSC considering his own results in DTM!


I listened to the same commentary and had no problem at all with Coulthard's comments. He merely stated the facts, which was fair enough. I think some people are just a bit precious...


It would be an interesting turn around for Lewis to win when he hasn't had the best car in qualifying - clearly slower than Mercedes and probably behind Red Bull and Lotus based on the comments. I suspect with equal track conditions in China, Lewis on average would have beaten Nico in qualifying and in Bahrain he was very close to Vettel.

In qualifying the McLaren has had the advantage of the most downforce, but not always great balance. Lewis has been able to get around that, but not Button. However, that balance seems necessary to make the tyres work well in the race.

I'm not well placed to guess the race pace of the top five cars, but the recent history suggests that the Red Bull and Lotus probably have the edge. The Mercedes cars are unlikely to run a long first stint, and that could force the others to stop earlier than they'd want to make the remaining stints work.

If it rains then the possibilities increase. The McLaren went well in Malaysia, but some of that came from the downforce level in the car and the faster corners at Sepang. And since then there has been more development that could have changed the balance of the car. If it dries out, presumably the teams have learnt something from Malaysia where Sauber and Ferrari had the edge.


Can someone quote (or at least paraphrase) what DC says?


My girlfriend said exactly the same thing when we watched it, it's just funny! Wish it would be Hamilton for the win but I think it'll be one of the top two. Looking forward to finding out!


What exactly did DC say? I was watching Sky.


and i agree- as a Scotsman I always wanted to support DC, but he was a twonk always excuses excuses.(and always getting whupped offa Mika)

The way he cut off any mention of THE LEGEND was a real petulant retort.

I find it pretty shoddy of the beeb that they couldn't even bring themselves to mention his achievement.


I had started warming to DC but I also found this pretty poor taste and sour grapes.


Absolutely, sour grapes. As someone who does not live in the uk, I wish I could listen to commentary from anyone but that guy.


Congrats to SCHUMUCHER nice response to the pressure.

Agree : Coulthard Negativity

That's always been my gripe about him.

Always the first to see the negative side/to suggest a penalty for a driver.

Hamilton gets a lot of that from him and now Schumacher.

The only drivers immune from this treatment tend to be Vettel (redbull connections I would guess and Webber-friendship).

All greats drive on the edge and when he is constantly looking for what they have done wrong it says a lot more about him and his racing abilities than any PR stories about how such and such team made him a no2 driver-

"negative driving is NO2 driver requisite DC if you had sufficient confidence & focus in your own racing instead of constantly looking around for drivers who deserve penalties perhaps you would have earned a better status for urself."


Hopefully the BBC will force DC to apologise tomorrow. That wasn't a dig, that was pretty nasty really.

He didn't even tackle the fact there was a penalty for MSC with any professional tone. He literally waited for the millisecond for his co-commentator to stop talking and shouted (to make sure it was in no way unclear) that it didn't matter, don't celebrate this fantastic achievement as MSC had a penalty.

The co-commentator then began with the MSC praise again, pointing out that penalty or not, MSC was the fastest man in Qualy. Coultard still could let it lie and repeated to show how bitter he clearly still is. Yet the viewers had to sit through a 5 minute segment where Coultard basked in the glory of his previous Monaco win.


More of a Redbulll mascot and it happens all the time that he will always support the Redbull drivers. Im sure he does a PR job on the sidelines for them. If I'm not wrong they help sponsor his exploits in DTM.


Agree with you 100% - I haven't heard anything so jealous and bitter in all my life.

What a sad little man DC has become.

I'm actually quite embarassed for him - get over it and do the job you're paid to do: commentate impartialy. And let the best drivers in the world get on with it.


That was exactly my thought. DC doesn't like Schumi at all and he is shoing it on TV. That's sad. Get over it DC.


The interview and lap of the circuit Coulthard did with Schumacher at Canada last year is pretty cool, I think there's mutual respect, considering all the fighting they did on track.


That interview during the lap of Canada was great! Well worth watching

Jose Arellano

DC once said ".. He was better than me.. I can live with that.."


This just confirms what I said about Michael a year ago that he just doesn't get the soft trye warmed up/working well enough on 1 lap runs compared to his team mate but when he does he can do what he did today. The tyres for that run came alive and gave him that grip he's been looking for.


Michael has shown us all a piece of that old magic. And right after some people were all too keen to jump on that Schumi-bashing bandwagon. Oh, the irony! Even at 43 he's still faster than a lot of those overhyped young stars. Ten years ago he'd have run circles around today's drivers. Well done Michael, show 'em all how it's done.

Vettel and Button have both surprisingly underperformed though. Lotuses, who were the favorites for the first row, also did not perform as expected. Raikkonen was looking particularly miserable and almost didn't make it into the Q3. I wonder what's going on there. Renault powered cars were supposed to have the best traction out of the slow corners, but Ferraris were quite level with them.


is webber the 2nd or 3rd oldest?

Either way, pair of the old boys showing the young uns how to drive very quickly around monaco. Love it.


Dont forget PDLR is 41 so Webber is the 3rd oldest at 35


3rd I think, de la rosa is older.


3rd after De La Rosa, button 4th.


Yep, Mark took the second grown ups grid slot after the depature of Rubbens. Looks very handy but he is plagued with bad luck at times if not all the time. As this is Monaco, expect close pitch battles between all the clusters..front middle and back of the grid. The moving chicanes or back markers to play a key role in obstructing.

Andrew Carter

3rd, De La Rosa is also past 40.


Is he the 4th oldest? I thought the HRT drivers were older. But it was a good day for the veterans. I think mark said something like that to schui on the photocall.

Interesting that Monaco is a drivers track and the loss of blown diffusers mean the cars are a lot harder to drive round those tight streets and there's more skill again.

I bet Schumacher and webber might be lobbying for more twisty street circuits if they do well 😉


WOW!!! Okay that qualifying thriller wasn't good for my heart, hopefully Ross Brawn is doing okay.

Fantastic performance by every driver on the grid for soaking up so much pressure & keeping it out the wall (feel sorry for Perez on what's officially his bogey track)

Well done to the Kaiser, he has just reminded us why he has 5 Monaco wins to his name, it's a shame about the penalty though, lets hope this pole isn't his last or he will look back to this day with irony.

As for Webber for once his luck has changed more so as he was on form in Q3 seeing as Vettel didn't have the confidence to even set a time.

Meanwhile was surprised to see the Lotus earlier pace evaporate same thing with the Ferrari though one of the Lotus bosses had said earlier this week the track won't suit their car.

Now I find it amusing how Massa has upped his game on his least favourite track, I guess it helps that this is his second home race

*Fun facts*

a) In the past 20 years, only one driver has won Monaco starting lower than P3 and that was Panis in 1996 when he begun P14 ---> And yes that was a wet one.

b) Of the past Monaco winners on the current grid, only Schumi & Hammy have won not from pole

c) The last time Webber won from pole, was exactly 2 years ago ~ Eh Monaco 2010


goferet "lets hope this pole isn’t his last or he will look back to this day with irony."

I am probably way off the mark, but watching Schumacher today reminded me of Bahrain 2006.

Mark Hughes mentioned it in the Autosport review of the race as well.

Schumacher had finished 2nd to Alonso but was overjoyed.

2005 had been a miserable year for him, and fighting for the win meant he was back but there was something more to the body language.

It was relief that he would be fighting for wins but also a feeling that it was to be his curtain call. As it happened he retired at the end of 2006.

I'm not sure, but watching him today, his expression seemed to be he had proved his point.


a), b) and c) how are they any funny?


Read it again.


Fun and funny are different. Should be an interesting race.


now THIS is funny..


He said 'fun' not 'funny'.

Now go be a killjoy somewhere else 😀


I think it was meant to say "interesting" otherwise they are misplaced sentiments.


It says fun not funny...

Sorry just being pedantic...


Fun is a noun,

'enjoyment, amusement, or lighthearted pleasure' (Ref: Apple dictionary

Funny is an adjective,

'causing laughter or amusement; humorous ' (Ref: Apple dictionary.

Personally I received enjoyment from the facts, especially b) and c) as i'm a Webber and Hamilton fan.

Allen please don't moderate this comment i'm trying to make a point to enlighten one of your customers and promote the fine art of research when contributing to discussion!



How are they funny


No, I didn't mean funny but rather fun.


Mark hasn't been very good off the line this year, Lewis must fancy his chance of jumping him. I expect Nico to lead into St Devote and wouldn't be at all surprised to see Michael pushing forward either. Of course, he does have a bit of a problem with the red car in front of him - and Massa just behind is the champion starter this year, as well. Lovely possibilities!


Webber not getting off well may actually harm Lewis if he gets stuck behind or boxed in.

the Ferraris have been mighty off the line and would have sufficient space to react to any Webber misfiring.

should be an exciting start.

ps: don't know why Redbull have not helped Webber sort this out by now. If he contiues to put space between himself and Vettel during qualifying it may come back to bite them re:WCC


I was starting to doubt he still had it, despite the initial strong start to the season. I was a Hill fan back in the day and, despite this, I sincerely don't believe Schumacher was to blame for the crash at Barcelona, that brief swerve to the left by Senna was the trigger for the accident, so it's a shame he's taken the penalty.

I've notice a pattern to Schumacher's race incidents, in that they have a massive tendency to occur when Rosberg is just a head of him (off the top of my head this was the case in Barcelona and last year in Singapore, Silverstone and Nurburgring). It's as if he's just so keen to get on to equal terms with Rosberg he gets impatient and his judgement goes out of the window.

Anyway, thumbs up and well done Schumacher for today's result.


I totally agree with you, Dougle, re the acident with Senna, he initially placed himself in a position that led Michael to aim to his left, then Senna changed his mind and moved left which reduced the gap which Michael was aiming for therefore causeing Michael to have to swerve to the right but due to the fact that the distance between the two cars was closing rapidly because the silly bloody tyres had different amounts of grip, there was simply not enough room for Michael to swerve to his right and pass Senna without contacting him. I find it incredable that the stewards apportioned the blame soley on Schumaker when I feel the incident was caused by Senna not driving in a professional manner considering his tyres had gone off to such an extent that he was a slow mooving shickane. I would say blame should be apportioned as follows----Tyres 20%, Schumaker 10%, Senna 70%. And what about the Maldonerdo road rage incident? If they put Hamilton to the back of the grid for the lack of 1 litre of fuel, Maldo should have been thrown out of the race! Seems to me there is much favoritism and bias in the steward's room! And lack of knowledge/skills! And of course something has to be done about those dangerous tyres!


Tom Haythornthwaite

Who was the ex-driver steward reviewing the incident?


You're kidding right? Senna moved over to the left. That's fine. He made his one move by doing that as he was continuously drifting to the right all down the straight. Then when he moves left schumacher decides to do the impossible and move over three car widths in te space of 5 mtrs while on the brakes. Causin a lookup and his car to go straight into the back of Senna.

It was all Schunachers fault. He just had to touch the steering wheel left and he'd have avoided everything.


No, Senna moved to the right to defend going into the S, Schumacher decided to go on the racing line and brake much later where there's grip. Senna then moves back to the racing line as Schumacher was comitted.

I see it as a racing incident, but Senna's two moves does put the no more than one defending move (includes going back to the racing line for braking) into question.


dougel, paul kirk,

I disagree.

We have not seen footage of preceding straight, simply as they arrived into the braking area.

How many times this year have we seen drivers sit down the middle of the circuit before moving into the appropriate area for their braking.

All I have seen is Senna in the middle of the track, and moving left gradually as they brake.

MSC I have seen jink around behind him and run straight into the back of him.

Didn't MSC do something similar last year in Singapore to one of the Saubers? Or Petrov at Turkey?

Anyway, whats good for the goose is good for the gander.

How many times did MSC swerve at Monza to keep Hamilton honest?

How many times did the team boss get on the radio telling him to leave room?

Why have the regulations been changed to one move only if not because of MSC breaking the spirit of the rules?

MSC chanced his luck so many times over the years, it's refreshing to see it bite back.


@Anil +1

@hero was senna

Vettel in bhis interview also think Schumacher-Senna Spain was racing incident

At Monza Schumacher did nothing wrong thus the steward coudn't punish him, blame FIA inconsistency or unwritten rule not Schumacher.

he is still 7WDC and one of The Greatest in F1 history so the bite back is not valid.


Hero was senna?, why do you continuously post anti schumacher comments on this fine blog?

And actually senna moved right, then left then briefly right again in the braking zone, michael didnt know how to react and hit him.

Regarding the turkey incident with petrov, it was petrov that came storming up the inside after missing his braking point.

And his defense at monza never one involved weaving in the braking zone or making too many moves. Given how the stewards normally love the punish him, the fact they didnt shows they agreed. one of the greatest defensive drives we've seen. ironically you are criticising something senna would do in a heart beat!!


disappointingly for todays stunning achievement, |I think the incident was caused by RACING!


Yeah! I have been waiting for this moment for two years now.

Congrats Schumi on being fastest in Monaco at age 43.


Take a bow! He may not do it as often, but "The King" still shows that he has not lost it completely!


Fantastic qualifying session today, very edgy. Schumi deserved the pole if not for the penalty. Just hoping for a dry race.


Fantastic pole for Michael. It’s a shame what happened last time in Barcelona. I still feel it is not Schumi’s fault; Senna moved twice. Nevertheless, good job by Schumi and the team this week and congratulations to them. No one expected a Merc pole anyway.

Ferrari probably had the fastest car all weekend. The team also admitted their car is well suited for the Monaco track. But not sure why the kept Alonso in the garage for so long in Q3. They should have known very well that their drivers don’t perform well under pressure. That is how they lost pole.

Webber is not good off the start. Not sure how dirty the other side will be but I think someone will overtake him off the start line. Vettel and Button will probably start on the soft tyres and I am sure we will hear Button whinging about massive under-steer.


Massa I understand, but Alonso doesn't perform under pressure?


The stewarts decided to move Michael's car park by 5 places back this year. 😀



Well well well done Schumi.

I think that vettel could be on pole if he had found the proper setup or just copied it from Mark as in a previous race. Grosjean maybe had the pace as well to be on pole but probably he needed a better lap in the end. But nonetheless really well done Schumi.

I do wonder if Schumi would have liked p2 instead of pole which would enable him to start on the clean side of the grid. He seems to have a strong preference to this side.

Unfortunately the straight from the start to the first corner is small, so I guess no one can jump 2 cars. Only Hamilton maybe if Mark has a bad start again and he loses lots of places. But after the start if it does not rain I believe the race will be boring.

I am sure Rosberg would be gutted if Schumi had no penalty and was on the front row. Would be fun to see him saying to the press I am happy for the team while he would be so annoyed from being behind Schumi.

Anyway you can't have everything in this life can you?


James, why do you reckon Kimi's underperformed this quali?

Team failing? or missing out on track time thurs practice?


I believe lost time on Thursday morning set him too much back given that he didn't get to drive in dry conditions until on Saturday morning, and didn't get to do any quali set-up work. The direct cause for his troubles, according to him, was that he had trouble getting the tires to optimum temperature.


My handle says it. Older Guys Rule


I appreciate that, I'm 43 too, lol 🙂


No offence but honestly I thought you must be much older than that. This is based on your historic knowledge on F1 I noticed on the messages you post in this forum.


I appreciate the sentiment.

I have loved motorsport since I can remember, but I also have a huge love of history. The two combine so that I read biographies and histories of F1 and motorsport.

I have kept my own library of Autosport, F1 Racing and countless other magazine and publications since 1984, when I left school


Not a fan really of carrying penalties over from previous races. In this case I'm even less a fan of penalties for racing accidents. The stewards have to be consistent now they have set the precedent so if anyone runs into anyone else in races from now on they need to be penalised also.

Except that won't happen as the rules are applied differently at every race these days.

Sure deliberate collisions like what Maldonado did should be punished but should racing incidents receive penalty?


James, did maldonado get the penalty after perez crashed in quali or after the incident occurred in practice?

i didn't hear a thing of maldonado's penalty until james allen mentioned it here.

Tom in Adelaide

Very well said. This should be sent to the stewards.

High speeds, dodgy tires, human beings - crashes are going to occur.


Yeah great drive by MS .

But I hope he crashes out and Webber wins it.. The lottery with tyres continues.! Guess we shouldn't be surprised by the merc it is one of the smallest wheelbase cars with make it nimble around Monaco. Not sure it will hold onto its tyres though for Nico Rosberg.

Truth or lies

F1 is a funny old world, just two weeks ago the forums were all about Schumacher being over the hill and Massa washed up and unlikely to finish the season. Then Schumacher goes quickest in Monaco Q3 and Massa fastest in Q2.

I ve never driven a F1 car, racing karts were the closest I got, but I have driven Monaco in many gaming platforms PC, PS3 etc over the years and in my opinion Monaco is very, very difficult to be clean and fast, so surely both these guys still have what it takes to be ultimately quick and I guess by extension worthy of seats in F1.


As much as I am happy for Michael, I can't help but thinking what on earth is going on.

Am I supposed to believe that Mark Weber is that much faster than Vettel?

Ok I must admit I decided to not follow f1 but I read somewhere that Michael was on pole.


Well done Michael !!

Just have to comment on DC's comments after Michael took pole position, pure jealousy !


What a joy to see MS on Pole. hope to see him on the podium at race end. The season follows on the same path with the difficulty of predicting a result. Will MW be dislodged from first? Can't wait for tomorrow. Marc


Humble pie for the haters and doubters 😀


Oh boy Lewis is not wiping the floor with Jenson, I think the result of the last race would have hurt him more than not been able to make it in Q3 today.


What's happening to Button? At Australia until china he seemed to make the tires work. Can't he just take a look at Hamilton's set up and take it from there to make the tires work?


Is anyone else being driven demented by the lack of onscreen info during qualifying. The list on the left hand side of the screen showing times and positions keeps disappearing. I couldn't work out what was going on today.

James Clayton

It's really, *really* poor form. A company supposedly worth x billion dollars, ready to float on the stock exchange, really should be able to sort that out!


And they were writing Schumacher off.....


HATS OFF to the old master! Well done Schumi, I'll keep my fingers crossed for you tomorrow...

Luke Clements

James, does MW have a ''mental" block when it comes to starting? He's had so many bad starts, is it habitual now? A bit like a batsmen getting to the crease knowing he's going to get a duck. Been reading Steve Waughs autobiography, and it's really interesting to hear one of the very best ever batsmen talk about how toughest battles for him were always in the mind.

I so hope he gets away in front and drives a great race!


Some technical points have been raised such as the weight distribution as he has less balast to use than Sebastian and the feel of the clutch - changed last year. KERS capacity/effectiveness has also been mentioned by people outside of the team.

Another part seems to be Mark's feel an confidence in early corners before the brakes are fully up to temperature. I feel about half of those places lost are due to the moves in the first corners rather than the start itself. Monaco being so tight, provided he gets an okay getaway, then you are almost certain to be in the top two from pole.



Why didn't Seb set a time in Q3?

Is saving tires more inportant than grid position even in Monaco?


He had no option tyres left and now as a chance to start on new hards


According to Christian Horner which I've just seen, he does have a set of new options for the race.

The team figured that they'd gone the wrong way with his car setup, and he would have no chance of pole. They chose not to set a time so he'd have a free choice of which tyres to start on.

One stopper planned ?

James Clayton

Didn't he go out and put a sector time in? What tyres did he use for that?


Awesome qualifying session, Schumacher (or any driver in these circumstances) should be given pole on their stats as they set the fastest time on the day. Starting 6th as a result of a grid-drop applied from a previous session shouldn't erase what we all saw today.

Is this the first time in F1 history that in two races on the trot the second fastest car in qualifying inherited pole?


Great to see Sandshoe Fixer take the pole! But the stewards are really confusing me, I would've thought Malonerdo's road rage should have disqualified him from the race completely plus the rest of the season on probation, or at least be relegated to the back of the grid! His misdemeanor was so much more serious than McLaren's one litre of fuel mistake! AND I also believe they were too harsh on Michael for his mistake with Senna because Senna contributed to incident by moveing unexpectedly.



Wow, well done Schumacher, and Webber too.

Everyone was saying Hamilton or Lotus for pole. You just can't guess it! Having said that, the gaps are so small (less than a second covering the top 9) that such things hinge on the tiniest of margins.

Also James, Alonso seems to be saying a lot of nice things to Hamilton of late (and just read he's declared him Championship favourite). I wonder if Ferrari are indeed slightly keen to lure him?! It won't happen but well, just a thought.


Qualilfying has exposed one of the deficiencies in the Mclaren - slow corner traction not as good as their competition. I wonder if they could have done something about it (set-up wise) if practice sessions had run normally.

otherwise they will need to look into fixing it for some of the upcomeing tracks.


No I think Alonso and Hamilton respect each other a lot and have a kind of unspoken agreement to be civil


What do you mean UNSPOKEN agreement?

As far back as 2008 Alonso admitted to having nothing against Lewis -that they respected each other (his issue being with Mclaren/RD of course).

Lewis thinks he is the toughest teammate he has ever hand and acknoweledges him as "one of the best if not the best".

So they haven't signed a "tell me sweet nothings and i will reciprocate" pact as fare as I can tell.

Perhaps from Alonso's side there is a bit of niggling towards the current world champion who is also on 2 championships but who knows.

All i know is that based on talent alone neither one's praise of the other is an exaggeration or needs to be choreographed.

James Clayton

I think the issue with the current world champions is they all started with one eye on Schumacher's records. Alonso being the first, had the hardest time dealing with the fact that he wasn't going to match or beat them. Because, let's face it, if Hamilton hadn't come along he'd be well on his way by now, probably with at least 4 in the bag.

Hamilton was the second of these 'post-Schumacher' champions* (see below for reasoning!) and he had a hard time facing Vettel making it to 2 before him, which resulted in. Vettel is now seeing how close it has become and maybe his frustrations are beginning to creep in, realizing that he also may not get a crack at those records.

With each new champion, the realisation takes a little less time to sink in as they have seen it happen to others before them. Aloso, being the first, had his paddy at McLaren, Hamilton went virtually into meltdown last year; I think Vettel will be over it and refocused before the end of the year.

*in relation to post-Schumacher champions I am excluding Button because he's too old to realistically be thinking about beating Michael's records (and I don't think it was ever really on his radar), and Kimi is somewhat of a different bread, and I don't think he ever really worried about stats.


I still struggle to see how Maldonado only has a ten place drop, it should have been an exclusion.

Having been involved in karting (grass roots motorsport) i can say that seeing the supposed 'greatest drivers in the world' doing such stupid things, is such a negative influence, which will find its way into the lowest forms of motorsport in this country and in other countries, it needs to be stamped on.

If the FIA really want to get low level motorsport going and continue to push F1 as the thing every young driver aspires to, they need to stamp things like this out ( especially as it has been done before by the same driver..) It spreads the attitude that barging competitors off the track is fair, which is already becoming too commonplace in karting and other motorsport, and it can only get worse with things such as this incident..



I'm dissappointed so little has been made of this. If nothing else the safety aspect should sew him SQ from the race. If Perez's car had failed elsewhere it could have been so much more serious.

Second time its happened by him also. Disgraceful!


Well said Oliver. Only the second comment on this blog to point out Maldonado's inexcusable and dangerous behavior.. He should be disqualified. Spending Sunday sitting watching instead of joining in the action might make him realize that he cannot keep getting away with incidents like that.

And from a purely commercial point of view, the Sauber team must be seething seeing one of their cars more or less guaranteed not to score points, even if they manage to get it to the grid, but still starting behind Maldonado.




Hi James

Any clue as to why Ferrari chose to hold their drivers late into Q3 and send them out on one run only? Considering what happened to Lewis last year it was a big gamble and in the end their challenge for pole fell short rather blatantly. Was it because they had only one set of options because i dont remember alonso using options to get into Q2?

A great job by Michael and hope it rains so he can get that elusive win which he truly deserves.


Because they only had one set of supersofts left each


On a completely different note - spare a thought for Pedro de la Rosa. Outqualified Pic and only a tenth behind Glock, yet 1.2s ahead of his team-mate.


If Schumi had any self doubt it is surely gone now. To set the fastest lap in q3 at Monaco what a result.


This season continues to astound! Well done Schumi, and Webber as well, I wish them both well for the race. And Maldonado... It was bad enough running Grosjean out in Aus, and now he's repeated his road-rage tactics of Spa last year. I'm glad Williams is financially stable, but at what cost?


..."Schumacher is the fourth oldest pole sitter of all-time; only Jack Brabham, Juan-Manuel Fangio and Giuseppe Farina took pole position at a greater age than Schumacher is today. He is the oldest pole position driver since Spanish GP 1970.".... that is an amazing statistic.... it puts Schumacher's achievement today into perspective. Whether you like him or not he deserves credit.... but what a shame the record books will state Webber got pole.


Schumacher is NOT the fourth oldest pole sitter of all-time ... he was just the fastest driver in Q3 and it was pathetic to see him holding up "Vettel's Finger" when he knew damn well that he wasn't on pole. He was just trying to steal some of Webber's glory (and not for the 1st time).


@ Hendo again.... you do realize that racing drivers like us mere mortals do just have 10 fingers.... so more than likely in your bitter opinion of Schumacher no matter what fingers he was holding up he would have been copying somebody... so again... Chill Dude 😀 lol your beloved Webber won the race... so smile and be happy. 😀


@ Hendo - lol wow some people really do have it in for poor old Schumacher! Chill Dude 🙂


Hi James,

Am I right in thinking that Rosberg is the only one near the front of the grid who has a new set of options left for the race ?

If so, that could get him past Webber at the first stop via the undercut (or keep him ahead if he manages a pass at the start).

Also, do you think Vettel will start on the prime, and one-stop ?


I don't think so - he had two runs in Q3 and one in Q2.

An undercut in any form could get you ahead - you don't need brand new tyres, just stopping earlier and a clear track to fall into. The latter part could be hard to find to make the undercut work. An undercut at a second stop would be more likely to work.

Going by the data I have seen, the Red Bull has generally been a faster race car than the Mercedes - even in China the Red Bull performance was noted as pretty good.

The start has been a problem for Mark. The car's weight distribution has been mentioned a factor compared to Vettel. The reduced fuel load at Monaco won't change this, but it will change the weight transfer to the rear wheels for everyone. Mark is on the cleaner side and has the advantage of being on the inside of curve to save some distance too.

If it is wet then there will be another set of variables.


Yes, but the new tyres are around half a second a lap quicker, and will last a few more laps - being able to stop earlier without compromising the next stint and run faster makes the undercut easier.

Don't know how I missed one of Rosberg's Q3 runs - thanks for pointing that out.

Tom in Adelaide

Schumi's pole was great for F1. The Barcelona penalty not so much. Why ruin the spectacle of this race for something that happened last race? A points penalty would have been far more appropriate. It punishes the driver/team but not the fans who want to see true untarnished competition at each respective race.

The stewards have a former driver representative. I think it's time there was a fan representative too. Not to make any decisions but to give a fan perspective. F1 is about on track competition, that is the essence. Once again a stewarding decision has taken the spotlight away from a great F1 story.

James Clayton

So how many points would you have liked to deduct? Both of them?



It was nothing short of spectacular that Schumacher put that car on pole. After all that's been said about his driving since his return, it would have been appropriate to write the first paragraph, or more, about how spectacular it was and not about how he won't start from there and about the penalty. That could all have been written towards the end in one sentence. Let us revel in the glory and pay his some respect, then write about how he has to give up pole to the penalty. That was simply spectacular! All the skeptics are dead silent!!

Stone the crows

So... what happened? Michael takes the pole at Monaco and doesn't claim to have won the tyre lottery, but rather attributes his position to skill and the execellent work of the team. Sarcasm aside, I'm happy for Michael and I think he will get a very good start and chop right into 3rd place. Vettel will probably get a great start and on fresh primes he will be pushing for the lead early. Its going to be another epic race.

Craig @ Manila

Congratulations to Pastor Maldonado, F1's latest candidate for the "Hero To Zero Award".

Two weeks ago he was a new star :

- Showing the world that pay-drivers are as good as anyone else.

- Putting Williams back in the winner's circle.

- Finding himself in the position of being a joint-favourite for a win at Monaco.

Suddenly, he's using his car as a weapon and deliberately crashing into people. How quickly the world can change in a fortnight.


He's probably still exhausted from carrying people out of burning buildings...


James - could you do an article on how penalties are decided. I find it amazing that in the last two race weekends, penalties have been handed out for.....

not easing off through yellow flags.....possibly endangering lives.....drive through

driving into the back of a slow driver (probably a misjudgement rather than deliberate, but, possibly endangering lives......5 grid places

ramming another driver....looked deliberate, possibly endangering lives, 10 grid places

running with a couple of pints short on fuel - driver didn't know. back of the grid

Would be interesting to know if the punishments and penalties are set in stone, or if the stewards have free reign.

I think Maldonardo should be banned fro life before he causes an accident that takes a life.....it isn't his first offence


Great points BB.

You can also add to that Vettel not getting a penalty for winning in Bahrain then pulling off into pit exit immediately after crossing the line without a slowing down lap. Hamilton put to back of grid for same offence in Spain.


Well, the 69th pole that won't be, just as McLaren's 150th pole was taken away 2 weeks ago

If McLaren stick supersofts on again at the first pitstop, like last year, I'm gonna throw something! Always put softs, gives you more options later.

I hope Grosjean keeps it clean at the start, he's done a couple of dive-bombs this year.


Well done Michael.

No matter how much some people dislike his style or integrity, still to set the fastest time in Monaco at the age of 43 is just an undeniable achievement.

He might have made more mistakes than before, but at least a few times of retirement was down to the team's or car's fault. He has nothing to prove, and I hope he can finish the race today and score some good points.

For Nico he has a great chance today to win.


keen to hear about how stewards decisions are made, because Schumi's penalty seems a little unfair in light of other recent decisions.

schumi was excluded for a whole season, after being found to deliberately drive into J.V in the championship decider in 97, yet Maldonado gets 10 spots grid penalty for doing the same thing. Not even exclusion from the event?

What's the difference?


Getting really fed up with Qualifying. Two weeks running the fastest man never ends up on pole. The World Champion doesn't try to set a proper time in Q3 at Monaco. Ferrari's don't both going out for 5 minutes in Q3.

The cost of a Saturday ticket at Monaco is Euro 220 +. What a waste of money for fans.


Maldonado should be thouroughly ashamed of his behaviour and was very lucky not get a 2-3 race ban for that move on Perez, which would have been fully deserved. The inconsistency of driver penalties is nothing short of outrageous with the likes of Hamilton getting shoved to the back of the grid for a minor technical infringement and this lunatic only getting a 10 place penalty. It's not like he has no form for this kind of thing. If he keeps getting pathetic penalties for this kind of driving, he will cause a very serious accident one day...Williams should be absolutely furious with him.

eric weinraub

To his critics, James and hero_was_senna_and_i_no_zero_about_racing, maybe you will all finally shut up! Schuey has been quick every race this seasion. Now, if Mercedes can put a car under him that will finish the race and the nanny stewards can let the drivers race, he'll win before the season ends. Monaco is my least fav track and the yet again train


Is David Coulthard the most jaded man in F1? While Ben was excited to see MS' time stick as #1 he was shortly interrupted by DC saying "let's hail the pole man" - Webber got pole because of a penalty, why should he be "hailed" for that? Then 10 seconds later Ben says "he has the honor of getting the fastest qualifying lap" and DC again interrupts with "and the dishonor of a 5-place grid penalty for ramming into the back of Senna"

The guy should get over it and get back in the car if he thinks he can do better.

It's a shame, I actually like Coulthard and I thought the team of Brundle/Coulthard was the bee's knees but whenever DC talks about MS it's painful to listen to.


He also said at the start "grosjean gets tagged by Schumacher"

Bias shining through all week-end. I hope Schumi wins Montreal so I can listed to the pain in DC's voice.

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