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Last Updated: Saturday May 23 2009 13:59 GMT

Button in pole position at Monaco

Jenson Button during qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix

Championship leader Jenson Button will start the Monaco Grand Prix in pole position after a dramatic qualifying session which saw Lewis Hamilton crash.

The Brawn GP driver set a time of one minute 14.902 seconds late on, to push Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen into second place on the grid for the 78-lap race.

But it was a disastrous day for fellow Brit and current champion Hamilton, who'll be starting back in 16th place.

It comes after he crashed into a tyre wall, breaking his rear suspension.

Lewis Hamilton walking back to the pits at the MOnaco Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton walks back to the pits after his crash

Afterwards he said the crash had cost him the chance of winning at Monaco for the second year in a row.

"I don't know what I was thinking, I made a mistake," he said. "I apologise to the team for wasting their time.

Meanwhile, Button will be hoping to stay in front and claim his first victory at Monaco, on a circuit that is known for being difficult to overtake on.

"Today was a really hard fight," he said.

"Qualifying was manic as it always is in Monaco, I was right on the edge with that lap and to just snatch pole like that - I was chuffed to bits."