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Page last updated at 13:37 GMT, Saturday, 15 May 2010 14:37 UK

Monaco GP qualifying as it happened


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By Mark Orlovac

1417: That's my stint over with for today. I fear that my decision to go early with the sandwiches may now come back to haunt me. Thanks very much for all of your comments - sorry that I haven't been able to use them all. I'll be back from around 1130 BST tomorrow for the race. I just know that it will be a belter, don't miss out. Bye bye.

fred1976 on Twitter: "What an awesome couple of laps by Webber at the end of qualifying."

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner: "Kubica has been on fire all weekend. He's very, very quick round here. But Mark timed his run brilliantly. It's all about those last two laps and he did two laps that were good enough for pole. His confidence is high and with Seb up there we're starting in the right place tomorrow."

superphysics on 606: "Schumacher trumped by Rosberg yet again. And at Monaco. Was Spain a fluke of performance?"

Get involved on 606
Rev Max Power on 606: "Looks to me like Jenson should have an early night. Boy, has he got some work to do tomorrow!"

Ferrari on Twitter: "Not the perfect Q3 for Felipe with some traffic in the last lap."

1405: Webber has a grin the size of Sydney Harbour Bridge after taking off his helmet while Lewis Hamilton begins discussions with his team. Button will also be having talks this afternoon. He doesn't seem totally happy with his McLaren.

1402: Webber has never recorded back-to-back poles before. He has now. Brilliant drive. Kubica will join him on the front row, then it is Vettel (1:14.227), Massa (1:14.283), Hamilton (1:14.432), Rosberg (1:14.544), Schumacher (1:14.590), Button (1:14.637), Barrichello (1:14.901) and Liuzzi (1:15.170).


1359: Stunning. Webber goes even quicker and sets a 1:13.826. It looks like being six out of six poles for Red Bull.

1358: Kubica is flying again but out of nowhere Webber trumps him with a 1:14.104. Incredible. Hamilton is third then it is Vettel, Barrichello, Liuzzi and Schumacher.

1356: Could Massa be in trouble with the stewards? He slows down coming into Anthony Noghes and disrupts Button's quick lap. Hmm.

1354: Crikey. Kubica sets a 1:14.284 to top the timesheets. That's quick. Hamilton is currently second with a 1:15.352. Then it is Barrichello (1:16.064) and Button (1:20.396).

BBC Radio 5 Live
BBC pundit Anthony Davidson on BBC Radio 5 live: "You have to be very quick on the wheel and have lightening quick reactions to be fast on a street circuit and Force India's Tonio Liuzzi has done a brilliant job of that to get into Q3. I think that's the first time he has bettered his team-mate Adrian Sutil in qualifying this year, and what a place to do it, here in Monaco, which shows off a driver's talent more than any other circuit."

Ferrari on Twitter: "Felipe is doing a fantastic qualifying. He has the potential to be on pole... let's go for it!!"

1350: Here we go then for the top-10 shootout. It's about to get messy.

HBbuda12 on Twitter: "Watching F1 Monaco GP qualifying in Budapest on Hungarian TV, BBC Sport text commentary, 5 live, Tweets - must be an easier way!"

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simply_complicated on 606: "Button to spring one of those last-minute surprises and P1?"

1345: After Vettel, it is Schumacher (1:14.691), Liuzzi (1:15.061), Barrichello (1:15.083) and Button.

1341: Button moves up with a 1:15.150. He's safe. Rosberg is quickest with a 1:14.375. Then it is Massa (1:14.405), Webber (1:14.462), Hamilton (1:14.527), Kubica (1:14.549) and Vettel (1:14.568). With Q2 drawing to a close, it is the Hulk, Sutil, Buemi, Petrov, De la Rosa, Kobayashi and Alguersuari dropping out.

Lotus driver Jarno Trulli: "It was difficult for me because I lost a lot of time, my final set-up changes were just before the session but we are much closer than expected to the cars in front so that is a good sign."

1339: Yellow flags are out after Petrov smacks into the tyres at Sainte Devote. The car is removed very quickly, however, and we are off again.

Anthony Davidson on Pedro de la Rosa holding up Jenson Button: "De la Rosa was really in the wrong there, I would be furious if I was Jenson Button - he totally held him up. He should have been going faster - you just don't do a cool slow down lap around Monaco and you don't not look in your mirrors - especially if you are in a Sauber and you know there are faster cars out there."

1337: Seb Vettel in third with a 1:14.568. Hamilton up to sixth with a 1:14.681.

Hispania's Karun Chandhok on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra: "That was very frustrating, we are a second behind where we think we should be, which is bad even by our standards. We lost grip. It's a bit like the problem Bruno had on Thursday, a mysterious lack of grip, and it's not good."

1335: Button moves up with a 1:15.392 but he is still in danger as it only puts him 10th. Only the top 10 go through to Q3.

1333: Rosberg now quickest - 1:14.375. Webber goes second with a 1:14.462. Button, Buemi, Petrov, Nico Hulkenberg, Pedro de la Rosa, Alguersuari and Kobayashi are in the drop zone.

1331: Kubica sets the quickest time of 1:14.625. Team-mate Petrov almost hits the barriers at Sainte Devote. Rosberg moves up to second with a 1:14.880. Then it is Massa (1:14.890) and Schumacher (1:14.970).

Lotus team principal Tony Fernandes on Twitter: "No disaster in qualifying despite what so many teams said. We were right in saying keep qualifying as normal. Feel vindicated."

1327: Here we go then, Q2. Webber is the first man out. The Australian Red Bull driver as well as Massa and Button are on the super soft tyres.

Edd_Miles on Twitter: "Watching the onboard cameras is just scary. Phenomenal driving from them all just to not blow into the boards!"

Rhys_Gooner14 on Twitter: "My money's on Schumi springing a surprise and nicking pole, with Lewis in P2."

1323: At the top end, it's Massa, Webber, Kubica, Vettel, Rosberg, Liuzzi, Sutil, Petrov, Barrichello, Button, Schumacher and Hamilton.

1320: That's your lot for Q1. All the new cars - Kovalainen, Trulli, Glock, Di Grassi, Senna and Chandhok - plus Alonso, are the seven that drop out. BMW Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi just makes it through, finishing in 17th place with a 1:16.175. That didn't seem too chaotic did it? By and large the fears about traffic seemed unfounded.

BBC analyst Martin Brundle: "What's happened to the Kobayashi who impressed so much in the last two races of last year? Where did he go?"

1318: Kovalainen spins near Mirabeau but he keeps the Lotus running. Kubica, Sutil, Petrov, Button and Schumacher complete the top 10.

1316: Kubica, on the hard tyres, moves up to sixth with a 1:15.440. It's still Massa, Webber, Vettel, Rosberg and Liuzzi in the top-five places.

1314: Webber is now second after a 1:15.035. Liuzzi takes team-mate Sutil's fifth place with a 1:15.397. The six new cars - as well as Alonso - are in the drop zone.

1312: Force India's Vitantonio Liuzzi up to ninth with a 1:15.874. Sutil is now getting some clear laps and he is up to fifth (1:15.445).

1310: So it's Massa (1:14.757), Vettel (1:15.110), Rosberg (1:15.188), Button (1:15.623) and Schumacher (1:15.649). Sutil is up to seventh. Jarno Trulli drops down into 18th.

1308: Button goes quickest after a 1:15.623 but that is soon beaten by Rosberg and Massa. Crikey. Alguersuari and Sutil are now in trouble.

1306: Massa goes quickest with a 1:15.660. Then it's Vettel (1.15.902) and Barrichello (1:15.967). Nico Rosberg is currently in the drop zone.

1304: All the cars are out on the track now. It's going to be lively. Kubica is quickest with a 1:16.629. And we see our first hand gesture of the afternoon as the Pole is caught in traffic in the chicane coming out of the Tunnel.

1303: Chandhok posts the first time. It's a 1:23.478. I confidently predict that it will not be the fastest time this lunchtime.

1300: Away we go. Let the fun and games begin.

1257: It looks pretty sunny in Monaco. Maybe the rain is delayed. Chandhok is told by his team that there is "no chance of rain". The drivers are in their cars and are ready to go.

Trina at work in Blandford, Dorset via text: "Do you think that Eddie and David compare wardrobes and decide 'yes, today is white jeans day'?"

Donald from Stornoway via text: "Working on one of the yachts in the harbour, a few cheeky beers at Rascasse last night and looking forward to the qualifying, what an atmosphere, fantastic!"

Anon via text: "Nice to see Martin Whitmarsh doing his bit for the Village People revival."

Text in your views on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide)
Azhar from Canterbury via text: "Why isn't Jake Humphrey wearing white trousers and lighter shade of purple shirt? He looks out of place next to Eddie and David."

1253: Button strolls to the garages waving and a-smiling. Ice. Alonso is down there as well, but in his casuals - no qualifying for him remember. We are almost there, do not go anywhere.

1249: McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh has gone all Top Gun with his Aviator shades. Very cool, although the massive headphones take away from the look somewhat. Coulthard asks him whether the shades are on to try and disguise a heavy night in Monaco, an allegation Whitmarsh denies. He adds that qualifying will be a "challenge".

seanbhoy87 on Twitter: "Expecting a few crashes in qualifying today with drivers going all out for pole, Lewis to get it. New teams still out in Q1!"

dirtyfrog on Twitter: "I've got 50p on Chandhok to finish on the podium. 2000/1. Keep your fingers crossed for me."

Ferrari on Twitter: "Unfortunately Fernando cannot take part in the qualifying session. The chassis was heavily damaged even though the speed of the car at the moment of the impact was not very high. It is a pity as today we had the potential to fight for the pole with both cars and we will have only one available. Fernando will start the race from the pit lane tomorrow."

Former world champion Damon Hill on being a steward this weekend: "I do feel a little like Mr Ben sometimes. One day I'm, one thing, the next I'm something else. This weekend I'm an FIA steward and have the potential to hand out various punishments to various drivers."
David Coulthard: "Why do I think he's got $10,00 lined up for Michael Schumacher just for turning up?"
Cue a grin from Hill and much laughter in the office.

1238: Damon Hill, also known as the Silver Fox - well, by me anyway - is on the telly now. Unfortunately he seems to have on the biggest pair of headphones ever made. Meanwhile, Lotus technical chief Mike Gascoyne says rain will be arriving in the next 10 minutes.

Red Bull's Mark Webber on Fernando Alonso's situation: "Easily done. I did it in Suzuka last year - a small off and you're out of qualifying. I'm not a big fan of the rules - I think if the team can get a car turned around they should let you take part."

NGReeves on Twitter: "Looks like it's going to be a long weekend for Fernando Alonso and Ferrari. I reckon it should be a Red Bull grid lockout."

1232: There was not a lot of news on the celeb front on Thursday but it seems the stars were strutting their stuff on Friday night. Take a look at our photo gallery to see some of them. Not long to go now. Where's your money?

Former F1 driver Johnny Herbert, who has been one of the ex-drivers playing a role as a steward under a new plan this year: "It gives it a lot more credibility. There's no pressure. We watch the monitors, have a couple of replays and I just give my understanding of what that situation was. It's a good idea and it's working very well."

Lotus technical chief Mike Gascoyne on Twitter: "Rain heading this way, should arrive 20 minutes before qualifying. Should be interesting. Rain should be quite heavy and last for 30 mins."

Get involved on 606
kurt_corris on 606: "Anyone who thinks that a team other than Red Bull will finish on front row is deluded. I believe in you though Jenson!!"

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Monaco: "Virgin Racing boss Sir Richard Branson has arrived in the principality but there's no confirmation yet on whether he's staying on a yacht or not. The tycoon did say, however, that he wouldn't mind staying at the brand new Virgin motor home. After giving it the thumbs up he said: 'You didn't make two of these did you? I could live in one of these,' before quipping: 'I didn't know I'd given you enough money to make one, actually.' On the subject of his investment in the British rookie team, Branson said he planned to stick with the team for the long-haul. And I'll have more on that later…"

1221: The telly boys are broadcasting from the back of one of the many luxury yachts in the harbour. One of my colleagues here remarks that there is a touch of the Miami Vices about them. True. There is little room on deck so one of the cameramen is standing knee deep in a jacuzzi to try and get his shot. Hope no-one turns it on.

20ledge-kb on 606: "Don't know what's more impressive, Jake's iPad or Eddie Jordan's shirt."

Text in your views on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide)
Jo from Abingdon via text: "I'm trying to imagine myself sat on a yacht watching the qualifying, instead I'm sat at my desk reading about it! Come on the McLarens!"

1214: Fashion watchers - Jake's in black, David Coulthard has a pink shirt but those tight white jeans are back, while Eddie Jordan is in red. Just a quick clarification on the rules regarding Alonso and his spare car. He has a spare car but he is not allowed to have it made up. Ferrari, therefore, will not have time to assemble it before qualifying but he will be able to take part in the race - albeit at the back with assorted Virgins and Hispanias.

Tom in Bangor via text: "Re: G-Lo. Try juggling fish genetics, coral bleaching and high-octane pollution with the F1 giggles. Enough to drive any man into the nearest casino!"

Anon via text: "With Dave & G-Lo, preparing a masters architecture portfolio to be submitted next week. I didn't even think I liked F1..."

1209: Look sharp UK people, TV coverage is starting. And presenter Jake Humphrey has ditched the clipboard for an iPad. Crazy times.

Darrell Allen from Norwich via text: "Afternoon Mark, I am really looking forward to this Grand Prix weekend, Monaco is always special. Hamilton to get pole."

morganeryl on Twitter: "Robert Kubica looked very strong in practice, I think he has a chance to get pole position."

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson: "I haven't looked forward to a qualifying session this much for a long time. It's Monaco, there are great drivers in great cars, on a track that levels performance more than any other. I still suspect Red Bull will be hard to beat, but it's going to be thrilling watching the likes of Hamilton, Button, Kubica, Massa and Schumacher trying to close the gap. Brilliant."

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G-Lo in Glos via text: "Dave, I thought people chose to 'study' media so they COULD watch the grand prix instead of preparing?! Try revising for law whilst keeping an eye on the text commentary!"

1158: Well, well. No wonder Alonso looked so grumpy earlier. That's his chances gone now surely. Remember that coverage starts on BBC One at 1210 BST. Maybe we'll see a replay of what actually happened before he smashed into the barriers.

1156: Big news from Monaco. BBC pit-lane reporter Lee McKenzie has just tweeted: "Fernando Alonso will not make qualifying after his P3 crash. Car very badly damaged."

RussyF on Twitter: "So Webber finished two ahead of Vettel and ahead of Lewis Hamilton, proving once again he is a serious Championship contender."

HibaMS on Twitter: "Completely agree with superphysics, it's not like we Pakistanis are heartbroken or anything after last night (ahem). We love F1!"

1146: A quick reminder that pacesetters Red Bull have taken pole in all five races so far this season, but have only won two of them. Mark Webber's victory last time out in Spain was the first occasion this campaign a driver has won from pole position.

Dave in North Baddesly via text: "Damn it Monaco, I have a media exam I need to be preparing for, not to mention all those other exams! Why are you so exciting!"

1139: We are getting some television pictures of some of the glamorous socialising that has been going on this week. We don't get that in Kingston I can tell you. There's Nico Rosberg looking very dapper on a catwalk, with Boris Becker applauding him, and some clips of a game of football featuring some of the drivers. Unfortunately the shot we see is of a shocking Alonso through-ball to his team-mate Massa.

1135: Today will mark Michael Schumacher's first Monaco qualifying since that ahem, incident, in 2006 when he was stripped of pole after being found guilty of stopping his Ferrari at the Rascasse corner, preventing rival Fernando Alonso from beating his time. He was not too happy about that subject being raised again ahead of first practice. "I am not talking about it any more," he said. "There is enough said and I don't feel I need to get any deeper into it." So there.

Anon via text on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide): "Don't worry about lying to your son Mark. When I leave for work in the morning I tend to take a boot bag with me. I've managed to convince my five-year-old I'm a professional footballer."

Get involved on 606
superphysics on 606: "Can't wait for quali. Best thing is, in Pakistan, it comes around tea time. Who watches cricket anyway?"

Lotus technical chief Mike Gascoyne on Twitter: "First session this year we have been under three seconds from the quickest, and that is without Heikki [Kovalainen] running the softer tyre."

Get involved on 606
blindedbyfear on 606: "This afternoon is going to be one of the most nerve-wracking of my life. First I've got to watch the qualifying which could be mega-tight, and then my team (Dundee United) is in the Scottish Cup final. How am I going to cope?"

donniedoobrie on Twitter: "Come on Jenson! Stop faffing about in 10th!"

1121: Just as an aside, when left for work this morning I told my four-year-old son that I would be covering F1 today. He then asked me whether I would be driving. Don't worry, I resisted the very strong urge to say yes.

Get involved on 606
The Lunatic Fringe on 606: "The top 9/10 cars are all within one second of each other in practice times. What's the chances of something similar in qualifying proper? One thing's for sure, qualifying's going to be nail-biting stuff."

1113: Kubica has been in good form this week so far, could he claim his first pole of the season a bit later on? His best result in Monaco by the way was second in 2008 for BMW Sauber.

Tom via text: "Qualifying is usually unpredictable but this one will be something else... it's there for the taking. Can't wait!"

BBC F1 commentator Jonathan Legard on Twitter: "Big job for Ferrari to get Alonso's car repaired. Could miss qualifying like Webber did at Japan last year. Fantastic session in prospect."

Text in your views on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide)
Sarah G in Lancs via text: "Just a thought about new teams & drivers. Is this lack of winter testing now becoming a race issue? I know F1 needs to save money but isn't safety a concern as well. If these new teams & drivers are so far behind due to lack of drive time could they be given some in-season testing. Looking forward to the race & Martin Brundle's grid walk - he is The Grid God!"

1104: Virgin Racing's Timo Glock was the only driver not to post a time. Hispania's Karun Chandhok is at the bottom of the list and finished 4.975 seconds off Kubica.

1100: The chequered flag falls. Kubica is top with a 1:14.806 while Massa goes second with a late 1:14.852. Then it is Webber (1:14.945), Hamilton (1:15.038), Vettel (1:15.046), Schumacher (1:15.236), Rosberg (1:15.252), Buemi (1:15.537), Sutil (1:15.659) and Button (1:15.682).

1059: Button, who is 10th quickest, tells his team that he is "really struggling with grip".

1056: It is very busy out there now, and traffic is an issue. Rosberg has to slow down as he has a Hispania in front of him. Kubica is flying and although there are cars in front of him as he ends the lap, he goes quickest with a 1:14.806. Impressive.

stevenjweir on Twitter: "When the pressure is on for qualifying, I think we'll see a few smashes, we know they're not pushing it 100% in practice."

BBC Radio 5 live pundit Anthony Davidson on what is wrong with Felipe Massa: "I can sum up Massa's problem in two words - Fernando Alonso. He has destroyed him mentally. Already. And I think that started at Turn One in Bahrain. Alonso passed him around the outside and out-raced him, and he has continued that ever since. Every time he goes out there, Alonso's gone faster. You think you're driving hard, but in the back of your mind you're thinking: 'Yeah, but I bet Fernando has gone faster.' And you get back to the pits and he has. It does get you down."

Text in your views on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide)
Daz from Doncaster via text: "This race has always been one of the best races in F1 but I think that with the slow cars at the back of grid it will show us that we need those strategic fuel stops back in the sport! Come on Lewis."

1050: There's just 10 minutes of practice left. It's Webber, Kubica, Rosberg, Buemi, Hamilton, Vettel and Massa.

mask_kishore on Twitter: "Well, it doesn't seem like Alonso can challenge for that pole position after that crash."

1045: Jeepers, Massa is giving his team some nervy moments. He flies out of the Swimming Pool section, coming over the kerb, and is inches away from smacking his car into the barriers. Kubica improves to a 1:15.398, he's still second.

1042: Felipe Massa gets very close to the barriers on the outside of the Loews hairpin. Ferrari will not want another problem to fix. Red Bull's Mark Webber, winner in Spain last weekend, goes quickest with a 1:15.210. Then it is Kubica, Rosberg, Sebastien Buemi and Hamilton.

Text in your views on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide)
Anon via text: "How long does it take to set up all the barriers and grandstands before the GP weekend/practice?"
Hi, apparently it takes six weeks to prepare the streets for the weekend, and three weeks to get it all back to normal.

BBC Radio 5 live pundit Anthony Davidson on how much Alonso's hopes will be affected by his crash: "Hugely. It's a huge cost, and I think already I would put money down on that's his qualifying over for getting pole position today. It's going to knock him a lot. I really can't see him getting back on it enough. You've got to keep in the rhythm here, you've got to keep sharp and every lap you miss is vital."

1036: Kubica is back to the top with a 1:15.504, Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg is now second after a 1:15.516. Vettel is third with Hamilton fourth and Mark Webber fifth.

1031: Alonso is not in the mood for talking as he storms down the pit lane. He says he "lost the car" while BBC pit-lane reporter Holly Samos then asks if it was driver error. Brave. Alonso replies: "Yes." And he is gone. Force India's Adrian Sutil bends his wing after connecting with the barriers when spinning near Mirabeau.

1026: Kubica improves to a 1:15.847 but almost immediately Hamilton goes quickest with a 1:15.821. Mistake from Schumacher coming into Mirabeau. He goes into the run-off area but he reverses and is soon on his way. He tells his team that there is too much rear brake bias.

1025: Bob Kubica now tops the timesheets with a 1:16.064. Meanwhile, McLaren's Lewis Hamilton is eighth quickest with a 1:16.606. Button is fifth with a fastest time of 1:16.361.

1023: Just before that crash, Alonso had set the fastest time so far today of 1:16.266. Team-mate Felipe Massa is second with a 1:16.279.

1020: Whoops. Big smash for Fernando Alonso into the barriers at Massenet. There's a lot of damage to that Ferrari. A crane lifts the car off the track and the mechanics know they now have a race against time to get it ready for qualifying.

MihaJurgec on Twitter: "Alonso is the clear favourite for pole, and Schumacher could further improve. With no rain, today's result will be vital."

1016: Seb Vettel goes top of the pops with a 1:16.577. Schumacher moves up to second after a 1:16.892 but then Alguersuari moves in behind Vettel with a 1:16.841.

1013: Virgin Racing's Timo Glock flies down the escape road after missing the chicane at the end of the Tunnel. Alguersuari improves to a 1:18.526. Then it is Mercedes driver Michael Schumacher (1:18.743) and BMW Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi (1:18.836).

1011: And we have a time. Toro Rosso's Jaime Alguersuari posts a 1:19.939.

Get involved on 606
Hammydigrassi Alguersuari on 606: "It's Monaco Baby. Today is gonna be exciting, 24 cars in qualifying and I expect at least one if not two big names to miss out on Q3."

1004: BBC pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz says Red Bull will be working on qualifying runs for the final 30 minutes of this third practice. The team are pretty confident they can do better than Alonso. No times posted as yet.

Lotus technical chief Mike Gascoyne on Twitter: "Session started, both drivers completed installation laps, everything OK."

1000: And we are off. The Renaults of Robert Kubica and Vitaly Petrov are the first out. I'm going for a Kubica win this weekend by the way, who's with me?

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Monaco: "As ever, third practice could provide final clues ahead of qualifying, which starts at 1300 UK time. Fernando Alonso topped Thursday's twin practice sessions for Ferrari and the Spaniard, a two-time winner in Monaco, is fairly confident about his chances of pole position given that Kimi Raikkonen managed to put last season's under-performing 2009 Ferrari on the front row. Jenson Button was the man in front of Raikkonen in 2009 for Brawn but now he's in a McLaren he says: 'Ferrari look very quick and I'm pretty sure Red Bull are hiding their pace. McLaren always produce a good car around Monaco. They've won 15 times around here so hopefully we can do well.' As for the Red Bulls, well, they've taken all five poles so far this season but the tight, low-speed corners of Monaco's streets provide a different challenge. But Mark Webber is typically chipper, saying: 'We've made progress in the low-speed stuff since last year. We saw indications of it in Singapore and Abu Dhabi and what we learned with the RB5 has rolled into the RB6. Saturday will be an exciting qualifying session for definite.'"

schnof on Twitter: For quali, Red Bull and McLaren, locking out the first two rows. Ferrari, Mercedes just behind, a Lotus in Q2, Q1?"

0955: We are getting pictures now from Monaco and, unsurprisingly, it looks gorgeous. Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel is sporting an outrageous pair of sunglasses, I could never get away with wearing those bad boys. Five minutes to go.

0947: A request was made to alter qualifying in Monaco, splitting it to reduce the number of cars on the track. That request was rejected. Lotus driver Jarno Trulli dismissed the concerns saying: "For the fast cars it should be easy to get through." Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, who set the pace in Thursday's two practice sessions, added: "Q1 is a time to be focused, to concentrate. Maybe we don't do a super lap, maybe we just need to be in the first 15 or 16 so we should be able to do that." Championship leader Jenson Button has called for calm. "In qualifying we have to keep our heads on, stay relaxed and try our best to get through it. Getting angry in the session, which I am sure some people will do, is not the right thing." It should be tasty.

0943: So what will happen in qualifying today then? With three new teams and 24 cars on the track, there are concerns about the traffic around the tight streets of Monaco. Hispania's Bruno Senna was 5.71 seconds behind pole-sitter Mark Webber in qualifying for Spain last week and some are worried that the backmarkers could slow up the quicker cars. McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh said during the week that the difference in pace between the teams will make qualifying "very, very difficult", Lewis Hamilton said the race could be a "disaster" while Force India owner Vijay Mallya said qualifying could be a "lottery".

Text in your views on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide)
Kayla in Notts via text: "Morning Mark, looking forward to qualifying today. Hope there's not too many problems with how many cars will be on track. Hope Lewis wins tomorrow, he deserves it after last week!"

0937: If you were with us on Thursday you will have discovered that my colleagues here at BBC Towers have an appalling taste in music. Hopefully they'll be singing better songs today. Maybe you could suggest some tunes for them to whistle, or, if you want to stick with F1, your predictions for today's qualifying. Will there be absolute chaos with the slower cars holding up the big boys and who will claim pole? You can use Twitter, 606 or text us on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide) with F1 before your message. I'll be waiting for your call.

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Monaco: "Hello again. It's back to business in Monaco after Friday's day of rest for the Formula 1 drivers. The first vehicle nosed round Rascasse at seven-thirty this morning; a road sweeper clearing the track after last night's revelry. Monaco's street circuit is the only stop on the calendar where punters can raise a glass of 10 euro beer whilst standing on the tyres marks scorched earlier by F1's speed machines. Pit-lane reporter Lee McKenzie's driver radar even spotted 2007 F1 world champion turned world rally driver Kimi Raikkonen walking the track last night in an all-white ensemble. The evening opening of the roads means the track is always changing - just like the weather. It's cool and cloudy ahead of third practice with what is described as 'a diminishing chance of showers' later."

0932: So here's the plan for today. Third and final practice is at 1000 BST with qualifying at 1300 BST. Coverage of practice is on the Red Button, at the top of this page and on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra from 0955 BST. Television coverage of qualifying with Jake Humphrey and the boys begins at 1210 BST on BBC One. Lovely.

0930: Hello you. After a day off enjoying the grand prix weekend atmosphere at various parties, gambling in the casinos and sailing around the harbour in luxury yachts*, F1's drivers return to their day job of driving cars, very fast, around the streets of Monaco.
* That's what they all do on a rest day, right?

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After 60 of 61 laps
Position Driver Team

Race stopped at 60 laps

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

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see also
Webber pips Kubica to Monaco pole
15 May 10 |  Formula 1
Crash ends Alonso's Monaco hopes
15 May 10 |  Formula 1
Monaco GP qualifying photos
15 May 10 |  Formula 1
Button calls for qualifying calm
14 May 10 |  Formula 1
Hamilton to gamble for Monaco win
13 May 10 |  Formula 1
Alonso sets Monaco practice pace
13 May 10 |  Formula 1
Webber expects tough Monaco race
12 May 10 |  Formula 1
Trulli shrugs off Monaco concerns
12 May 10 |  Formula 1
McLaren fear Monaco traffic jam
11 May 10 |  Formula 1
Monaco too close to call - Button
10 May 10 |  Formula 1
Hamilton positive despite setback
10 May 10 |  Formula 1
Ferrari to investigate Massa form
09 May 10 |  Formula 1
F1 teams decide on 'F-duct' ban
09 May 10 |  Formula 1
Dominant Webber wins Spanish GP
09 May 10 |  Formula 1
F1 qualifying unchanged in Monaco
09 May 10 |  Formula 1
Ferrari fined for Alonso incident
08 May 10 |  Formula 1

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