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Page last updated at 13:06 GMT, Saturday, 24 May 2008 14:06 UK
Monte Carlo, 22-25 May, 2008

Monaco Grand Prix
Date: Sunday, 25 May at 1300 BST
Coverage: Radio 5 Live and BBC Sport website

Felipe Massa celebrates taking pole in Monaco
Massa could be the first Brazilian since Ayrton Senna to win Monaco

Felipe Massa snatched pole as Ferrari sprang a surprise to lock out the front row for Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix.

Massa overhauled team-mate Kimi Raikkonen at the last with a blistering lap of one minute, 15.787 seconds.

Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen start on the second row for McLaren, who saw their traditional dominance in Monte Carlo undermined by Ferrari.

Red Bull driver David Coulthard will start from 10th despite a high-speed crash during second qualifying.

Massa collected his second straight pole and third of 2008 in the dying seconds of qualifying as he edged out Raikkonen by less than five hundredths of a second.

The Brazilian had made no secret coming into qualifying that Monaco did not suit his driving style; saying "I don't like Monaco, I am not having fun driving here."

But Massa could not contain his surprise and excitement after taking Ferrari's first pole in the principality for eight years.

I am surprised by the speed of and the performance of Ferrari

McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton

"I still cannot believe I'm on pole," he said. "It's unbelievable.

"I was pushing very hard to try and learn how to drive here because every time I come here I'm struggling.

"I tried to improve and learnt some tricks in some corners and I did a perfect lap, which is almost impossible in Monaco."

Massa seized pole from Raikkonen, who went to Monaco with the intention of building on his seven-point lead at the top of the drivers' standings.

"I managed to do a good lap," said the reigning world champion. "But it was not enough and being here is not a good thing.

"The team came here not 100% sure of what to expect but it looks like we have made a good step and can challenge for wins."

Ferrari's last victory in Monaco came in 2001 courtesy of Michael Schumacher.

McLaren, who have won 14 of the past 25 races in Monaco, will line up on the second row after being out-paced by their rivals.

The team began qualifying in good form as Hamilton led Thursday's practice while Kovalainen set the pace in final practice, just before he spun and damaged his car.

"I think we did a good solid job and I must say I am surprised by the speed and the performance of Ferrari," said Hamilton.

"It was very close for us all and maybe the fuel loads and the strategies will unfold in the race."

Robert Kubica was fifth for BMW Sauber ahead of Nico Rosberg who looked competitive for Williams.

Fernando Alonso, winner of the last two Monaco Grands Prix, managed seventh for Renault as team-mate Nelson Piquet failed to make it through the first qualifying session.

Jarno Trulli will start in eighth for Toyota ahead of the two Red Bulls of Australian Mark Webber and Coulthard.

Coulthard was not able to run in the top-10 shootout after he ploughed into the barriers coming out of the tunnel at 115mph with both right wheels missing.

"I hit the brakes hard," explained the Scot, who was unhurt in the accident.

"The car turned going over the rise in the road and so it's possible I hit the rear axel.

"I hit the wall quite hard and I'm surprised that what happened was so violent."

Showers are forecast for Sunday's race which will make conditions at the challenging street circuit even more difficult.

Qualifying result from the Monaco Grand Prix:
1 Felipe Massa (Brz) Ferrari 1min 15.787secs
2 Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Ferrari 1:15.815
3 Lewis Hamilton (GB) McLaren - Mercedes 1:15.839
4 Heikki Kovalainen (Fin) McLaren - Mercedes 1:16.165
5 Robert Kubica (Pol) BMW Sauber 1:16.171
6 Nico Rosberg (Ger) Williams - Toyota 1:16.548
7 Fernando Alonso (Sp) Renault 1:16.852
8 Jarno Trulli (It) Toyota 1:17.203
9 Mark Webber (Aus) Red Bull - Renault 1:17.343
10 David Coulthard (GB) Red Bull - Renault 1:15.839
11 Timo Glock (Ger) Toyota 1:15.907
12 Jenson Button (GB) Honda 1:16.101
13 Nick Heidfeld (Ger) BMW Sauber 1:16.455
14 Kazuki Nakajima (Jpn) Williams - Toyota 1:16.479
15 Rubens Barrichello (Brz) Honda 1:16.537
16 Sebastien Bourdais (Fr) Scuderia Toro Rosso - Ferrari 1:16.806
17 Nelson Piquet Jr. (Brz) Renault 1:16.933
18 Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Scuderia Toro Rosso - Ferrari 1:16.955
19 Adrian Sutil (Ger) Force India - Ferrari 1:17.225
20 Giancarlo Fisichella (Ita) Force India - Ferrari 1:17.823

see also
Hamilton heads up Monaco practice
22 May 08 |  Formula One
Rain is a pain for wary Hamilton
23 May 08 |  Formula One
Mark Webber column
22 May 08 |  Formula One
Alonso chasing Monaco hat-trick
21 May 08 |  Formula One
Hamilton cautious on Monaco hopes
13 May 08 |  Formula One

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