Skip to main content

Rosberg on pole in Monaco Grand Prix

May 25, 2013 -- Updated 1527 GMT (2327 HKT)
Nico Rosberg will attempt to win the Monaco Grand Prix 30 years after his father won the famed race.
Nico Rosberg will attempt to win the Monaco Grand Prix 30 years after his father won the famed race.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Nico Rosberg finishes first in qualifying, grabbing his third straight pole
  • Lewis Hamilton claims second to give Mercedes the top two spots in Monaco
  • Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel comes third in his Red Bull
  • Ferrari's Felipe Massa is last on the grid after he couldn't compete in qualifying

(CNN) -- Nico Rosberg claimed his third consecutive pole, finishing fastest in qualifying Saturday for the Monaco Grand Prix. Now the question is: Can Rosberg and Mercedes win a race?

Rosberg was also on Pole in Bahrain and Spain but the team's tire issues meant he was unable to land on the podium.

The good news for Rosberg, however, is that in eight of the past nine races in Monaco, the pole sitter has triumphed. Monaco, the shortest and slowest circuit on the calendar, provides few opportunities to overtake.

If Rosberg does prevail Sunday, it would come 30 years after his father, Keke, won in the glamorous principality on the Cote d'Azur.

"It's always nice to hear statistics like that," Rosberg said. "But it doesn't change much for tomorrow.

"Of course I'm very happy. But in Barcelona we were struggling such a lot in the race and I finished 70 seconds behind the winner. We're improving step by step but there are still a lot of questions remaining. It's still our weakness."

F1 interactive: Discover the secrets of Monaco's circuit

When Silver Arrows dominated F1
Who is the greatest F1 driver ever?
F1 legend: Poverty made me work harder

Rosberg, a German raised in Monte Carlo, posted a time of one minute 13.876 seconds to edge teammate Lewis Hamilton, a Monaco resident, by 0.091 seconds. Much of qualifying took place in the rain.

Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull completed the top three, barely missing out on second. Through five races, Vettel leads the standings.

"The conditions were all over the place," Rosberg said. "Then it started drizzling again so the lap times got a lot slower. It was changing so much. You have to be on the right tires at the right time. Everything went to plan and the last lap went okay."

Despite Rosberg's success in practice -- he was first in all three sessions -- Hamilton expressed surprise in coming second in his Mercedes.

"I've struggled all weekend," Hamilton said. "I've struggled with the car and this is the first time that's happened since 2005. It's been a difficult weekend so I'm happy to have been able to lock out the front row for the team.

"It's been a massive improvement for me."

Last year's winner, Red Bull's Mark Webber, Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus -- second to Vettel in the standings -- and Fernando Alonso of Ferrari rounded out the top six.

Alonso, who won in front of his home fans in Spain, is bidding to become the first racer to capture the Monaco Grand Prix with three different teams.

Read: Alonso victorious at home

If Alonso faces a difficult task given his spot on the grid, it's almost mission impossible for his Ferrari teammate, Felipe Massa.

Massa crashed in practice earlier on Saturday and couldn't participate in qualifying because his car couldn't be fixed in time, sending him to last on the grid. He was unharmed.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
Formula One is not likely to go hungry in Hungary as master chefs cater in volume for drivers, teams and VIP guests.
July 3, 2014 -- Updated 1443 GMT (2243 HKT)
It's the elephant in the room of Formula One. What's the prognosis legendary driver Michael Schumacher?
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 2310 GMT (0710 HKT)
It stimulates all five senses, creating an unparalleled experience for drivers and fans alike. Take a tour of Monaco with Mark Webber.
May 22, 2014 -- Updated 1233 GMT (2033 HKT)
To be a champion you must win a title -- but to become an F1 legend you must win races at Monaco, the calendar's most testing circuit.
May 21, 2014 -- Updated 1459 GMT (2259 HKT)
Caterham F1 reserve driver Alexander Rossi takes you on a tour of the Monaco racing circuit.
May 5, 2014 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)
The Formula One driver transcended his sport and even 20 years after his death, Ayrton Senna commands the adoration of fans worldwide.
May 1, 2014 -- Updated 1500 GMT (2300 HKT)
TO GO WITH AFP STORY IN ARABIC BY SUHEIL HOWAYEK: (FILES) Brazilian F1 driver Ayrton Senna adjusts his rear view mirror in the pits 01 May 1994 before the start of the San Marino Grand Prix. Senna died after crashing in the seventh lap. Some 45 drivers, including Senna and Canadian Gilles Villeneuve, have been killed during Formula One races whose tracks are dubbed by some as the 'circuits of death.' AFP PHOTO/JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU (Photo credit should read JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU/AFP/Getty Images)
F1's greatest racer was killed during the San Marino Grand Prix on May 1 1994. The sport hasn't been the same since.
April 30, 2014 -- Updated 1516 GMT (2316 HKT)
Just four F1 drivers turned up to Roland Ratzenberger's funeral after his death during qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix on April 30 1994.
April 25, 2014 -- Updated 1156 GMT (1956 HKT)
For a championship with a distinctly Iberian streak, it is no surprise that South America should be high on MotoGP's list of territories to conquer.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1113 GMT (1913 HKT)
Susie Wolff, pictured, will become the Formula One's first female competitor in 20 years when she takes part in the first practice sessions at the British and German grands prix in July.
Too weak. Can't handle the pressure. Susie Wolff has heard it all -- but she is determined to become the first female F1 driver in 20 years.
CNN's Amanda Davies visits the headquarters of Mercedes, the dominant team in Formula One this season.
ADVERTISEMENT