Webber pips Kubica to Monaco pole

Red Bull’s Mark Webber produced a superb display in qualifying to snatch pole position from Renault’s Robert Kubica in Monaco.

The Australian’s time of one minute 13.826 seconds edged out Kubica, who had earlier set an impressive 1:14.104.

Webber’s team-mate Sebastian Vettel was third, just ahead of Ferrari’s Felipe Massa and McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton.

Nico Rosberg claimed sixth place on the grid, ahead of team-mate Michael Schumacher, with Jenson Button eighth.

Williams’ Rubens Barrichello and Force India’s Vitantonio Liuzzi rounded out the top 10.

One notable absentee from qualifying was Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, who crashed into the barriers at Massenet during final practice on Saturday morning, causing such severe damage to his chassis that he was unable to partake and will start Sunday’s race from the back of the grid in a spare car.

However, in his teammates absence Felipe Massa produced one of his strongest qualifying displays of the season; setting the initial pace in Q1 before ultimately settling for fourth with a time of 1:14.283.

Once again though, Red Bull have come out on top, continuing their record of being on pole for every one of this season’s six races, with Webber taking his third.

"It was a bit of a blur to be honest," said Webber. "I told the team it was all about lap three and four.

"It all came together in that lap, the car was a pleasure to drive and I am delighted because the guys have worked really hard.

"To get pole at Monaco is obviously a great feeling so I am really pleased."

Kubica had been fastest in Saturday morning’s final practice and his performance in qualifying was comfortably his best of the season, improving on his previous best sixth at Malaysia.

In the space of two flying laps he firstly recorded a time of 1:14.284 and then improving it by 0.280secs to seemingly claim only his second pole, after Bahrain in 2008.

"It has been a good effort from both the team and myself," said Kubica

"I pushed very hard on my first lap because you never know with the traffic here, but the tyres were then gone for my second lap.

"But we have to be happy obviously when you are so close to the front you want to be number one but this is still good."

Vettel, with three poles himself this season recorded a fastest lap time of 1:14.227 to take his place in the second row.

Red Bull will be particularly pleased with the display of their two drivers, who undoubtedly have speed at their disposal but have shown they also possess the driving ability to dominate the slowest circuit of the championship.

More to follow.

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

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