Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Monaco, 2012

Schumacher fastest but Webber on pole in Monaco

2012 Monaco Grand Prix qualifying

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Michael Schumacher was fastest in qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix – but will lose his it due to his five-place grid penalty from the Spanish Grand Prix.

That means Mark Webber will start Sunday’s race from pole after team mate Sebastian Vettel chose not to set a time in Q3.


The first part of qualifying got off to a busy start with all 24 cars taking to the track in the first few minutes. As usual traffic proved a problem – notably for Charles Pic, who was held up by Pedro de la Rosa at the end of his first lap.

But within a few minutes the session was stopped. For the second year in a row Sergio Perez crashed his Sauber – though fortunately not as seriously as his 2011 crash.

The Sauber driver hit the barrier at the Swimming Pool complex – replays showed his front-left wheel was not pointing in the correction direction before he hit the wall. The session was red-flagged while his car was recovered.

When the session restarted the Mercedes pair set the fastest times to begin with on soft tyres, with Pastor Maldonado’s Williams in among them.

Lotus waited until the track had quiet end before sending their cars out on soft tyres. Grosjean made it through into Q2 comfortably but Raikkonen’s last effort wasn’t quick enough and he had to make a flying visit to the pits for a set of super-softs.

He got the job done on the red-coloured tyres as did Sebastian Vettel, who also had to use the softer run to secure a place in Q2.


Rosberg led the way at the start of the second part of qualifying, a 1’15.022 putting him fastest, with Webber just 0.013s behind.

The other Red Bull of Vettel continued to struggle – his first effort left him ninth, complaining the car was “jumping around like a rabbit”.

Jean-Eric Vergne was the next driver to lose his car on the approach to the chicane, swiping the barrier on the left and losing his front wing. He toured slowly back to the pits, Felipe Massa having to take evasive action to avoid hitting the Toro Rosso.

On his return to the track on super-softs Massa set a new benchmark time, lowering the mark to 1’14.911 and securing his progression to Q3 for the first time this year.

Grosjean did his first laps on soft tyres but couldn’t produce a time quick enough for the top ten. As in practice he couldn’t find as great a lap time improvement on the super-softs as his rivals, but made it into the final ten.

His team mate joined him, once again scraping in with his final lap. Vettel also escaped elimination with his last effort, but again Button was unable to join them, ending up 13th.


Seven cars went out initially in Q3, the Ferraris and Vettel hanging back. Grosjean led the way to begin with, setting a 1’14.639, but Rosberg pipped him by six-hundredths of a second with his second lap on the super-soft tyres. Webber took up third behind them, followed by Hamilton.

The Ferrari duo took up sixth and seventh with their laps, but Vettel decided not to set a time, effectively settling for a place on the fifth row.

That was all the more extraordinary as his team mate had the pace to challenge for pole position. A 1’14.381 put him on top – until he was pipped by eight-hundredths of a second by Michael Schumacher.

Grosjean showed pace in the first sector of his final lap but a slow middle sector left him fifth.

But Schumacher’s pole position will be denied him because of the penalty he was handed in Spain. A five-place grid drop will put Webber on pole, sharing the front row with Rosberg.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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156 comments on “Schumacher fastest but Webber on pole in Monaco”

  1. Wow! Who would have thought!

    1. I kind of did yesterday on a previous post, the one that said “unpredictable something”, but no one truly expected Schumacher to top the timesheets some hoped but realistically no, I predicted Rosberg for pole Hamilton up top and Webber aswell but Schumi c’mon!

  2. After such a dismal 2011 I love to see webber win this race

    1. MARTINAusCro
      26th May 2012, 14:25

      yes! yes! and yes! aussie aussie aussie, oi oi oi!!!

      1. calm down and remember his starts!

        1. Fingers crossed though!! Gonna be tricky for him to keep those mercs behind even if it is a short run to T1.

          Also would have been awesome if Perez didn’t crash as Martin said, just for the last minute climax in Q1. But still highly entertaining!

  3. Only 1 in the top five has won a race this season, likely we’ll see a sixth winner by the sixth race already.

    Can’t wait, although I should really get into the habit of turning on qualifying when Q3 is starting. It’s been a while since we’ve had such a grand finale to a qualifying session though. Shame for Schumacher, happy for Webber, will be hoping for a Grosjean win.

    1. After the penalty, i.e. on the grid, it’s 2 in the top 5 have won a race so far this year.

  4. Even though he couldn’t repeat Q2 time still a good Quali from Massa.

    1. That was impressive.

      1. Very, and in Q3 his time stuck to Alonso’s like glue. Felipe is good at Monaco, pole in 08, 4th in 09. If he can finish in 6th or improve a couple places, it will go a long way to easing the pressure on him from his team.

        1. @adam-tate Only in so far as he keeps it up. If he has a shocker in Canada any success in Monaco will be forgotten (by Ferrari) very quickly. They will be looking for consistent mid points finishes above anything.

    2. He seemed willing to crash anytime, very inconsistent every corner he made a different line nontheless he was consistent in his speech and heart, he did fully commited on a track that rewards commitment, aggressiveness and speed rather than absolute poise and traction cause there arent any long corners or big straights to take advantage of a more efficient way of driving.

    3. @bbt Indeed, it was good to see. A respectable .1s behind his teammate in Q&A. I think Massa can be happy with that.

  5. Great lap from Schumacher! it’s shame he got the penalty…congrats Schumi and Webber. Lotus is not good as expected, Hamilton is not bad, Ferrari still has work to do.

    1. Lotus doesn’t look great on super soft but I would be carefull once they will switch to the soft one, they have shown incredible pace …
      I’m not sure Webber has the same sort of pace than the other 3 around him but we know that in Monaco you can be half a second slower than someone and still stay in front during the race (depends where he loose it)

    2. Wasn’t bad for a washed-up old has been, was it?

      1. Webber and Schumacher both showed em today.

  6. Was great to see Massa back, qualified 1 place behind Alonso, seperated only by a tenth!
    And dream outcome for me, Webber on Pole!
    Not really a Schumi fan but glad to see him do well after an unlucky start to the season

    1. What you should be dreaming is Webber actually making a good start.

      1. Which he has been able to do so far this season.

        1. Except in Australia.

        2. Webber’s lost places at the start more often than not actually, I remember he lost places in Australia, China and Bahrain.

  7. This is getting so annoying.Lotus semmed the best car in free practice and Red Bull the worst out of the front runners. And then Webber gets P2 and Grosjean P5! And damnit, I wanted to see Massa in front of Alonso.If he had matched his time from Q2 he could have started in P5!

  8. The King is dead (Maldonado). Long live the King (Schumacher)! I wonder which driver will be taken out by Grosjean at the first corner.

    1. Aditya Banerjee (@)
      26th May 2012, 14:32

      Alonso will have to be careful.. he is a fast starter on the clean side starting alongside a not-so-fast starter on the dirt.

      1. alonso will be 5th tomorrow if you count schumacher penalty… but he also need to worry about shumacher as he is one of the good starter

      2. Have you forgotten Schumacher’s start from last year?

        1. Aditya Banerjee (@)
          27th May 2012, 12:44

          I’m talking about Grosjean.

  9. I’ve no idea why people are so surprised, Merc have been looking great all weekend, I suppose you’d expect it to be Rosberg though.
    For me the bigger surprise is Lotus not being higher up and Webber being on pole even though the car has not looked great.

  10. Vettel who? Why was Webber so slow last year. This year he has easily had the upper hand. Come on Webber this season can still be yours.

    1. This year he has easily had the upper hand.

      Totally! That must be why Webber’s leading the championship.

      1. hope webber got a perfect start for once because he is notoriously slow starter

      2. But he could be by tomorrow evening!

      3. He should have been well above Vettel in Spain had RBR not blundered his qualifying and his wing failing. This is a better reflection of the pace.

        1. @infi24r – No it isn’t. Webber finished 5 places behind Vettel, who took a drive through. Webber has the pace now, but he sure didn’t in Spain.

          1. @david-a Webbers wing fell off.

          2. @infi24r – I just told you that Vettel also had a wing change.


        2. Not to mention that Vettel had a front wing change as well.

          1. Keep in mind that Webber got buried in traffic and his strategy (attack) failed, Vettels strategy of tyre conservation worked out better, in qualifying Webber was on the pace faster than Vettel.

          2. @hohum – But there’s no way he “should” have been ahead of Vettel in Spain- he qualified behind, and finished even further behind someone who carelessly got himself a drive through penalty.

            I’m not going to sit here and dispute occasions that Webber does better than Vettel, like qualifying yesterday. But in Spain, much like Button, he was way off his teammate.

        3. Vettels wing failed as well. And he had a drive through, and vettel still ended up several places ahead of Webber

      4. go suck a fat one. Webber P1 and the sook thatis fingerboy Vettel will retire. Go Aussie Webber

    2. @infi24r@aka_robyn said it well enough.

    3. I think it’s down to characteristic of car. Button and Vettel all prefer balancing car while Hamilton and Webber are not concerned much as them. Clearly, MP4-27 or RB8 are not dominant car so the teams are updating their car aggressively for performance while stability is being sacrificed. Similar thing can be applied to Alonso and Massa as well. I don’t think this makes Button and Vettel bad driver but that’s it.

      1. You might be right about Vettel, but Button gets too much credit from his fans who think he is fast. He has been in Formula 1 for eons of years and has never ever been fast. In his championship winning year he had the fastest car for the first half of the season and it was painful watching him limp home once everybody had caught up. If you use Last year as a bench mark where Lewis had his worst season then I can only say take off the blinkers and step back into reality for a bit.
        Jenson is slow, simple as that.

        1. @blackmamba
          you are simply wrong, JB is one of the fastest most consistent drivers in F1 and he has always been fast even in dogs of cars. He is not the ultimate fastest driver over one lap like Alonso, Vettel or Hamilton but is more consistent than Webber et al.

          1. @bbt – I think Webber is faster over one lap than Button, but yes, Button is more consistent and fast over a race distance.

            Although 2001 and 2008 weren’t good for him, he did well in 2002 and 2006.

      2. No i don’t think Vettel is as sensitive as Button on car balance. The thing was tyres. Monaco is very soft on tyres so is not easy to put heat into them and get them working, so all drivers with a very tyre saving style went worse than their team mates.
        Button worse than Hamilton, Vettel worse than Webber, Rosberg worse than Shumi, Raikonnen worse than Grojean.

        1. You make out as if the drivers who are usually slower went faster.

          Hamilton is faster than Button
          Schumacher has been atleast on par with Rosberg this year.
          Webber is one of the fastest qualifiers across his career. He looked faster than Vettel in 2010 aswell until the exhausts started blowing off throttle.
          Grosjean has looked faster than Kimi in quali this year too.

          1. Grosjean has looked faster than Kimi in quali this year too

            In Kimi’s defence, it should be said that not only did he lose precious practice time not being helped by the fact that this is his FIRST time on supersofts, he also had the steering issue – the new one didnt work and they had to fit back the older one, for who knows, a car originally simulated for the new steering!
            Simply too many rotten eggs for the same basket!

            DID ANYONE ELSE NOTICE, that Kimi’s steering input for left corners were waaay before the actual turn, and for the right ones a few tenths later than the average input – the on board footage of the other drivers were significantly different and more or less uniform amongst them( other than Kimi and Vettel ).

          2. He looked faster than Vettel in 2010 aswell until the exhausts started blowing off throttle.

            Mark lost 12-7 in 2010, and 15-2 in 2009.

          3. Also Vettel had a Torsion bar fail in Turkey and Anti-Roll bar fail in Monaco which is why Webber got pole in both the races

          4. Am not saying that those drivers can’t beat their team mates without having the tyres working better for them but am saying that in this qualify it was a reason the others kind of suffered.
            They weren’t just a little away they really seem to not be in the same car as their teammates.
            Obviously drivers with less movements on the steering that drive a little smoother just couldn’t put heat in the tyres and make them work as good as possible.

    4. He’s hardly held the upper hand, really. Only at the first couple of races and not by much. At Bahrain, Vettel was on a class of his own, and Mark was no-where.

      But it really seems Vettel’s struggling with the car again, as he did in China.

      1. And now Webber is in a class of his own. Webber only had pole by a few tenths in Bahrain.

        Another way you could say it is that Bahrain is the only race that Vettel has been faster than Webber. Spain being the outlier, as Vettel only appeared quicker due to RBR not running Webber a 2nd time and missing out on Q3.

        1. In a class of his own? Schumacher was faster, and Rosberg was slower by a tenth.

          You ought to wait for Mark to actually beat Vettel at the end of a season before gloating.

        2. It should be Schumacher is in a class of his own

          1. Schumacher p1 Rosberg p3 in the same car.

            Webber P2 Vettel P10.

            One of these is not like the other.

          2. Inevitable given that Vettel didn’t set a time. Webber has spent the last 3 years being schooled in the same car, so as I said earlier, wait for Webber to consistently beat the rest of the field before gloating.

  11. The winner will likely come from the front two rows. Grosjean has had some quick starts this year, I’ll be watching him with interest to see what he does on the tight streets of Monaco.

    1. Grosjean will take someone out in the 1st lap, most likely Hamilton, you heard it here first. ;-)

  12. Webber will loose places at the start…

    1. Fortunately the run to T1 is very short at Monaco, but yes, since 2010 Webber has been suffering a self inflicted 5 place grid penalty nearly every race, lets hope he gets it right tomorrow.

  13. That was another highly entertaining and tight qualifying session. And it ended up giving us another unexpected guy setting the fastest lap, and another first pole for the season.

    Will Webber manage to have his first good start of the year and keep HAM, ROS and GRO behind? Or will Grosjean clip him at the chicane and end his race.

    1. luckily for WEB, even a slightly bad start from pole can keep the lead in Monaco. Mclarens have been quick off the line this year though so it will be interesting to see what HAM can do.

      1. Yes and will Massa be alongside Alonso before the 1st. cnr., things could get messy.

      2. Hamilton hasn’t been very fast of the line actually.

  14. Michael!!!
    Pole number 69 for a 43 y.o. driver! And on a track that is THE ultimate driver’s track. I don’t know what better answer could he have given to all those jerks that screamed for him to retire and give way to the young “talents” like DiResta. Even past his prime, Michael is one of the fastest drivers out there.

    1. Pole number 69 for a 43 y.o. driver!

      Afraid not, this is Webber’s tenth pole position, not Schumacher’s 69th.

      1. Nope. Michael is not disqualified. He’s given a grid penalty, but he set a proper pole, unlike Hamilton who qualified in the illegal car and was justly disqualified. So Michael gets another pole to his tally.

        1. No, Michaels fastest time stands, but the pole will be Webber, as that is the guy who will be starting from the first place on the grid for tomorrow.

        2. That is correct

        3. nope, keith is right. The person who sits on pole is the person who set pole. Webber will sit on pole, so Webber set pole

        4. You might want to revise your point of view when you see an RB8 on pole tomorrow instead of a W03.

          1. But even so Keith, the point is he still has the speed. Well done Michael.

          2. Absolutely, and after such an unlucky start to the season and a rather poor weekend in Spain it’s a result he needed.

          3. Simply look at the qualifying protocols at the official F1 website. For Monaco, Michael is listed as setting a pole time, so that pole time will go in the record books as his. The fact that he will nost start first does not change this.
            And if you look at the Spanish GP qualifying protocol, you will see that Hamilton was disqualified, so the pole position time goes to the next guy – Maldonado. That is the difference between the grid penalty and disqualification.

          4. If a driver is given a penalty for a gearbox change, the pole still stands. I thought This isn’t any different.

      2. I always thought Schumacher got the pole, but got a grid drop for the race.

        1. astonished (@)
          26th May 2012, 17:33

          There might be something about this Michaels pole, anyhow. He goes to the press conference, even if the penalty was set from last GP so, somehow FIA recognizes this fastest qualifying.,, doesn’t it?

      3. lol keith youve changed your tune i remember when hamilton had a grid drop for china and people asked if ham got pole would it count for the prediction championship and you said no you gt to start from pole u seem to dislike schumi

        1. @danclapp There’s no difference between this and the Spanish race as far as the Predictions Championship goes. Maldonado was on pole in Spain, Webber is on pole here, and players will be rewarded accordingly.

          So I have no idea what you think this proves. The rules are the same and have been applied consistently. What’s your point?

      4. well keith your wrong and showing biased journalism plz remind me who was sat in the comfy chair in the midlle of the press conferance with mark webber on his right and nico rosberg on the left yes you no micheal schumacher so its not 10th pole 4 webber its 69th for schu

        1. @danclapp The post-qualifying FIA press conference is for the top three drivers in qualifying. Today they were Michael Schumacher, Mark Webber and Nico Rosberg.

          However Schumacher is not the pole sitter as a five-place grid penalty will be applied before qualifying. The only difference between this and the situation in Spain is that we knew about Schumacher’s penalty before qualifying started today.

      5. Depends how you count. Schumacher qualified in pole position, but starts 6th. Webber qualified 2nd but has a pole position start.

      1. Keith, How will the record books show this Monaco Pole? As Schumi or Webber? 69 or 10? Hope you get a chance to clarify this, or can anyone else shine some light? Will be a great race just wish KUBICA was sitting in one of the Lotus Renaults. If Massa, sadly, gets replaced, a fit Kubica is the one who deserve the drive.

          1. @keithcollantine – you really do not like Schumi do you. This will go in the record books as a Mercedes pole because Schumi was not disqualified from qualifying unlike Hamilton. Ask James Allen he seems to have a better grasp of this than you do!!

          2. “James Allen Reply:
            May 26th, 2012 at 3:52 pm

            It will show as Webber’s pole as that is what will be published at 1pm tomorrow by FIA on the official starting grid”

            From the Qualifying report which you may be referencing.

          3. @Blackmamba
            No matter who’s right I fail to see how it means Keith hates Schumi

          4. Well, untill it is published tomorrow at 1pm or when ever then @keithcollantine should report on qualifying as the results stand and put Schumi’s photo as the pole winner not Webber

          5. @blackmamba Schumacher’s penalty was announced 13 days ago:

            Schumacher given grid penalty for Senna collision

            So please explain to me why I should ignore it all of a sudden?

          6. I don’t think he’s saying you should ignore it, but others could pick up penalties before then for gearbox or engine, etc. etc. He’s saying it’s not official until it is published. I don’t agree that you shouldn’t report it as Webber on pole though, as at this point in time that’s what it is almost certain to be, you could call it provisional pole maybe?

  15. It’s nice to see Michael Schumacher on top of the timesheets. It was a supreme lap by him. Almost unbelievable maybe.

    And it’s strange to see the second fastest’s picture as the thread’s picture although Michael has that penalty. But this is life.

    1. I used the picture of the pole sitter as I pretty much always do.

      1. macca1977 (@)
        26th May 2012, 14:46

        You hate Schumi, don’t you ?

        1. No. And I think it’s preposterous that some people jump to that conclusion just because I’m not fawning over him and pretending he’ll start tomorrow’s race from pole position when he won’t.

          I just said on Twitter that it would be a great story if he was on pole but he’s not. For that, I got accused of being a “Schumacher-hater”. Stupid, juvenile fanboy ‘logic’.

        2. Come on man, Its about a picture.

          Just look back to the last few articles with qualli reports and you see that Keith is just being consitently here with putting a picture of the driver starting from pole on top of the article.

          1. I think it’s a really nice picture

  16. Michael’s last pole was in 2006 French Grand Prix, about 6 years back. Is that the longest break (in terms of time) between two poles for the same driver?

    1. No, because Schumacher isn’t on pole in Monaco.

      1. i don’t understand this thing Keith…
        why is Schumi’s pole not counted when his penalty is for Sunday and not for saturday…i mean even if he’s not starting from 1st…Pole should atleast be counted as his…

        1. @rahim-rg Because Schumacher won’t start tomorrow’s race from pole position. Same as was the case with Hamilton two weeks ago.

          1. @keithcollantine I guess you could argue the difference is Hamilton was disqualified from the session, whereas Schumacher only has a penalty. Not to say your method is wrong, but I do feel if someone gets pole – without cheating – that should go down in the record books as it was the actual performance on the day.

          2. @george I think that’s a rather nebulous distinction to draw, and I’m not aware of anyone accumulating statistics along those lines.

            We could draw a line between drivers who were pole sitters and the drivers who were fastest in qualifying – but the latter may always include drivers/teams who broke the rules such as Hamilton two weeks ago or Schumacher in Monaco in 2006. So this would also be a rather worthless statistic to accumulate and, again, I’m not aware of anyone who is doing so.

            As far as I’m concerned, ‘pole sitter’ means the driver who has first place on the grid. That’s about as clear and unambiguous a distinction we can draw.

            Even then we have complexities. Consider drivers not starting races after the grid has formed, such as at the 2005 United States Grand Prix. Jarno Trulli was the pole sitter, but did not start the race, nor did the next three drivers on the grid. Schumacher was the highest-placed driver on the grid who started the race, but he actually started fifth. But I digress.

            Mark Webber will start the 2012 Monaco Grand Prix from pole position. I don’t think anyone is seriously disputing that.

            Hence, Michael Schumacher is not the pole sitter for this race any more than Hamilton was two weeks ago, or Alonso was at Hungary in 2007, or Raikkonen was at Monza in 2005.

            I don’t recall anyone accusing me of being Hamilton, Alonso or Raikkonen-haters on those three occasions, but apparently pointing out that Schumacher is not the pole sitter for this race makes me a ‘Schumacher hater’ in the eyes of some. Which I can assure you is complete nonsense.

            Finally, let me quote Sean Kelly, whose encyclopaedic knowledge of F1 is the reference point for dozens of the sports’ broadcasters:

            This will NOT count as a pole for Schumacher. Mark Webber took his 10th career pole, and Red Bull’s 40th F1 pole.

            I am utterly, totally, 100% absolutely, certain that this is not a Schumacher pole position.

            Amazed that nobody in F1 seems to know it’s the starting grid that determines pole position – first such instance was Cliff Allison, GER 59

      2. You’re choosing to promote the wrong view in this case. When driver is given a grid penalty from previous race but gets pole position, statistically he gets pole and it goes into the record. He simply doesn’t start first. This happened before. Do you have a bias in this particular case?

        1. When driver is given a grid penalty from previous race but gets pole position, statistically he gets pole and it goes into the record. He simply doesn’t start first. This happened before.

          That’s completely wrong. A pole position is when a driver starts a race from pole position, not when they are fastest in qualifying.

          For example Lewis Hamilton has 21 pole positions, his last was in Malaysia this year, not in Spain this year, when he was quickest in qualifying but a penalty meant he did not start from pole position.

          That also meant McLaren do not yet have 150 pole positions. Hamilton would have set their 150th in Spain but he got a penalty, so they have 149.

          As was explained in the last stats and facts article:

          2012 Spanish Grand Prix stats and facts

          1. You do understand the difference between disqualification and grid penalty from the previous race, don’t you? If you are disqualified, your time is invalidated. That’s what happened to LH. Michael’s pole time stands, look at the protocol. It is not cancelled, so statistically he has a pole No. 69.

          2. But he was disqualified from Qualifying. Schumacher this race was on pole, but gets a 5 place grid drop for the race. So his pole time still stands.

            I’m thinking the record books will reflect this as a pole.

          3. I don’t know how to put it any simpler than this: Mark Webber will start the race from pole position. Therefore this is not a pole position for Michael Schumacher.

            I don’t know why you think the distinction between the grid penalty and exclusion makes a difference; it doesn’t. All we are doing is counting how many times Michael Schumacher has started a race from pole position, and unless the five drivers in front of him on the grid all get penalties in the next few hours, this isn’t one of them.

          4. Its kind of silly that Keith should even explain this here in so many comments, one after another, only to be followed up by someone who apparently didn’t read his previous replies.
            Schumacher was the fastest in qualification – won it, if you’d like to put it that way – but Schumacher will not start the race from the pole position, so this will not be regarded as a pole position from him, although he won the qualification. If you’d like to count the qualification victories instead of pole positions, you are welcome to do so, but no one really does that and the results will be somewhat different from what are universally accepted as the numbers of pole positions for the drivers. Also, you’d have to take care to refer that list of yours as “qualification victories” or “provisional poles”, not “pole positions” for drivers.

        2. @AlexNK you seem to be convienently ignoring the reason Schumacher has the penalty in the first place. He caused a crash which ended the race of another driver. Its not like gearbox or engine change.
          He stuffed up in Spain and is paying the price, just like Mclaren (by default Hamilton) in Spain, and and Maldonado in this race.

          Would you be demanding the same thing if it was Maldonado who got provisional pole? Because thats what its called “Provosional Pole” meaning Pole position until penalties are applied.

          1. Here’s a quote from James Allen for you: “In a surprising and frantic qualifying session in Monaco, 43 year old Michael Schumacher gave Mercedes its second pole position of the season and the 69th of his career. Schumacher is the fourth oldest pole sitter of all-time; only Jack Brabham, Juan-Manuel Fangio and Giuseppe Farina took pole position at a greater age than Schumacher is today. He is the oldest pole position driver since Spanish GP 1970.” James is a very respected journalist and knows a thing or two about stats, and he shares my point.

          2. Date: May 26th, 2012 @ 3:47 pm
            So is this statisticaly pole no.69 for Schumacher in spite of the penalty or Webber gets it??? It’s always confusing when someone has a grid penalty…

            And this was the reply

            James Allen Reply:
            May 26th, 2012 at 3:52 pm

            It will show as Webber’s pole as that is what will be published at 1pm tomorrow by FIA on the official starting grid

          3. Alex you didn’t answer my question. If Maldonado had got provisional pole should he get the pole credit? Or should his penalty mean he forfeits that right?

          4. 43 year old Michael Schumacher gave Mercedes its second pole position of the season and the 69th of his career.

            No he didn’t. James Allen has this wrong as he later admits. He doesn’t start in pole position and has therefore not achieved pole position. Simple really.

          5. Alex, he did have pole, but when you include his penalty, he doesn’t.

            I’m a massive Schumacher fan, but this is daft.
            He was the quickest in qualifying, but statistically. He starts from 6th.

  17. What a brilliant qualifying session! Really, really enjoyed that. I’m growing tired of the pole-sitter not being on pole though! I wish everyone could just behave…

  18. Aditya Banerjee (@)
    26th May 2012, 14:42

    If tomorrow is dry, then i will be tipping Webber for the win. He is starting on pole position, which is on the clean inside part of the track. The run up is short, and Rosberg is not the best overall starter. Plus, he has been strong in Monaco as a rule. Hamilton stands a fair chance, although I’m not sure how much of a chance he stands with the primes. Rosberg has got a strong car underneath him, but he is starting on the disadvantage side of the track. I don’t see Grosjean going anywhere, I don’t think he has the temperament to last 78 laps in Monaco. The Lotus should be quick on the primes, but I think the driver will make a difference. Alonso should be careful of Grosjean at the start, and the fact that he’s saved an extra set of super-softs should work to his advantage.

  19. What a qualifying!!!!

    I woke up early, (It’s 8:50 here in Texas) just to watch Q3 and I’m so glad I did!

    I expected it to be intense but I am just thrilled for Schumacher. He and Massa really upped their game today, and as the line up between Alonso and Kimi on the grid they should feel mighty proud of themselves. I know the guys at the front are looking really good, but I would not be surprised at all if tomorrow’s winner came from row 3 or 4 of the grid.

    “I said I was going to qualify on pole, start from sixth and win the race.” – Michael Schumacher at a meeting earlier in the week.

  20. Shame the Michael has to conceed his first pole in years to a penalty. But he brought it on himself, and that footage of him in Spain was disgracefull!

    I’m caught in a bind here. I’m a die hard Webber fan, but have a sizeable bet on Rosberg to win at 22/1!! I think I’d rather win the money haha, would pay for me to actually go and see Mark race lol. This is how I justify it lol.

  21. Wow, my punt for Webber on pole really paid off, surprised you couldn’t hear my shout for joy in Monaco when he went fastest!

  22. So who has set the pole lap?
    I still think it is Scumacher, because his position is no different from a pole driver who fails to get off the line during the formation lap, hence is forced to start at the back of the field.
    Taking pole and starting from pole are 2 different things.

  23. I am going to stop making predictions. Clearly, six races in, it is an entirely futile exercise. Nonetheless, it was a fantastic qualifying. Bet Schumacher wont be complaining about the tyres now will he? Something about Monaco that Massa really enjoys. Look forward to a great race tomorrow and for the sake of my predictions, Hamilton takes a win.

    1. @mahavirshah I don’t think he ever complained about the condition of the tires in qualifying when they all can push it harder to get a clean 1 or 2 laps. His opinion was more towards the race. I thought we already discussed this in the forum and for this Michael would say “Indeed”.

  24. Why is there so much suprise at Michaels pole position. We know Mercedes is a fast car and Schumacher has been fast all year in qualifying, he could have got a lot more points if he had less technical problems.

    Regarding whether Michael won 69th pole or Webber his 10th, the only race I remember when the pole winner got a grid penalty was Italian GP 2005. I checked wikipedia 2005 Italian GP page, it shows Montoya as pole position winner although Kimi was fastest in qualifying and was demoted 10 places for an engine change. I know it is wiki but the editors are usually pedantic about that sort of factual info. F1.com isnt responding right now.

    1. F1.com hasn’t responded to me since the Bahrain GP, when it was supposedly overloaded with attacks. I have had to use formula1.com since then, and that ends up on the same website.

      1. Totally dumb that f1.com isn’t responding. I now have to type a longer than usual address. f1.com was just…..so simple.

  25. Before the days of Ferrari dominance, I didn’t like Schumacher. I thought he was a dirty driver, and at the time was a Damon Hill fan. This could be argued that it was largely down to my dad’s influence, but nonetheless, I didn’t like him.

    After he broke his legs, and came back, I saw a different side to him. From then on, (again it could have been my dislike for Ron Dennis and McLaren), I supported Ferrari and Schumacher…

    Now…I have to revert back to the days when I disliked him. Crashing into Senna and then moaning about it was the icing on the cake for me, not to mention all of the complaining about the tyres. Then, when I saw him intentionally blocking Hamilton, I thought he was an absolute disgrace to himself, and the sport. He and Maldonado should be in a class of their own, where they can freely smash into each other without harming the clean drivers.

    So, overall, I’m happy he’s not on pole, and I won’t be surprised if he crashes into someone else tomorrow either…

  26. really enjoyable quali, looks like we have a race on our hands. It was a shame that DC and the BBC crew let the side down with their reactions and words towards schumacher, praise where praise is due…

  27. Would the bookies be paying out pole position Webber or Schumacher?

    If Schumacher was an option that would be really unfair if they paid out for webber instead

    I had a feeling schumacher would do well but I didn’t place a bet because of his penalty..

    Because the season’s so topsy turvey they only bets I have on are for Hamilton to be in the top 10 tomorrow and for the safety car to make an appearence

    1. I know betfair paid out for schumacher their rules say they take the positions excluding any penalties applied post qualifying.

      Annoying as I had a bet on Webber!

    2. I believe Unibet will pay out on Schumacher. It’s normal for bookies to pay out on the classification rather than the final published results.

      1. Dammit, if only I’d thought about it a little more and placed a fiver on Schumacher, I’m sure the odds would have been pretty good!

        Having said that I was thinking of betting on Massa too, and with the difficulties of monaco it wouldn’t have been a shocker if they’d failed to get into q3

        Schumachers fastest lap was phenomanal and I think he completely deserved to be fastest, I can’t see any other driver making brake bias adjustments the way he can. Not bad for a 43 year old!

  28. If Rob Smedley were Schumi’s race engineer, he would have either said “well done sunshine” or “Lewis, Nico, Fernando, Sebastian… who is the daddy of Monaco?”

    whether he gets to keep his 69th pole or not….good lap from the old master nevertheless.

  29. Keith, I always thought you were 100% neutral, but I can see you have a slight Anti-Michael Shumacher bias, but hey 99.9% ok.

    1. I don’t believe I’ve given any reason for you to think so, and you haven’t said why you do, so all I can say is the plain truth which is I haven’t got anything against Schumacher.

      1. I’m afraid that’s how it reads Keith. No biggy, you’re only human!

        Great qualifying today. Gonna be a doozy tomoro! Very impressive by MSC today, but if it’s gonna go to anyone else, couldn’t think of anyone nicer than Webber. Gonna be great race.

        1. Again, I don’t see why you say that. You haven’t explained your view and nor has Str8y, so what else can I say?

          As I explained in my comment above to George, this is no different to previous instances involving other drivers, the most recent of which was only two weeks ago.

          At the end of the day, Schumacher is not going to start this race from pole position, and all I’ve done is report that fact. It’s so disappointing so see how eager so many people are to accuse me of being motivated by hatred when all I’ve tried to do is learn as much as I can about this sport and report it accurately and fairly.

  30. I think it’s safe to say this was one of the most unpredictable quali sessions so far this year. For me at least. Loved every minute of it.

    Impressed with Webber’s and Massa’s performances so far. Uber-impressed with Michael’s lap – a shame he won’t start from pole, he would have had a big chance of winning tomorrow’s race, but that’s the way things go sometimes. All in all, 6th isn’t that bad for him if we take 2011 into account.

    Tomorrow’s race – still completely unpredictable. I swear. The winner could very well come from pretty much anywhere in the current top 7, even further if we take Vettel’s alternative strategy into account, the possibility of rain and an almost certain safety car appearance.

    Brilliant season!!!

  31. On the pole position debate, this is one of those matters where there is a certain logic to both sides of the debate, but ultimately it is a matter of convention and definition: for the purposes of the record books etc., the person who has the pole position is not the person with the best time in Q3, it is the person who starts on pole for the race.

  32. The second race in a row where the fastest time doesn’t deliver pole position.

    1. Exactly. Sometimes I wonder why am I even watching this anymore. I would truly have to twist my mind hard in order to understand today’s F1 logic.

      And before all of you ask: I watch F1, because I’m a masochist.

      1. Yep, f1 is a dead end, we see it because of the weight of history. F1 should be 3000hp 20gs. But cannot, safety, green incentive, more audience… Then every year Fia remove 2 secs. Evert people now That the end is in1986 or 7, l’une in rally with the group b. F1 are toys nowadays exhibited in questionable countries, russia, china, Bahreïn…

  33. HRT did an impressive job. I wonder if it is just Monaco suiting them or whether they are genuinely back in touch with Marussia again.

  34. Thanks for your responce to my question Keith, I followed the link. Enjoy the race.

  35. I wasn’t going to jump in on this “pole debate”, but have just read the press release from the official FIA website. They say:

    “Michael Schumacher took his first pole position since July 2006 but Mark Webber will start from P1 in Monaco. At his 44th time of trying after coming out of retirement and joining Mercedes in 2010, Michael Schumacher took a magnificent pole position on the streets of Monaco. However, he has a five-place grid penalty hanging over him from the Spanish Grand Prix and will start from sixth place. P1 instead will go to Mark Webber for Red Bull Racing.”

    The FIA are the people who wrote the rulebook, so I’ll go with their definition of “pole” and “P1” (Rule 36.2 doesn’t leave much wriggle room: “Once the grid has been established in accordance with a) and b) above, grid position penalties will be applied to the drivers in question…”

    Best – Paul

    1. @paul-a

      Very good point re: FIA Definitions.

      It seems people just use the words that suit their argument best to twist the debate in their favour. Hence why those who believe it is Webbers are fixated on the “pole-sitter” and those who have it for Schumi go with “pole” etc.

      Personally I tend to agree with the pole/P1 distinction. Any comparisons with Hamilton in Spain are a bit of a red herring – he didn’t receive a grid penalty.

    2. Yes, the FIA press release confused me as well. I just don’t understand if there’s a difference between a mechanical penalty (gearbox engine) and Schumacher’s penalty from Spain. in case of the former, I’m pretty sure the driver keeps his (statistical) pole, even though he won’t start from P1 in the race. If there is a difference in the type of penalty, than what is the difference between a five place grid penalty and a five place grid penalty.

      Yesterday I was convinced It was Michaels 96th pole and not Mark’s 10th, but now I just don’t know.

  36. Ill admit Webber will never beat Seb in a season.. but whenever he out races or out qualifies golden finger boy heaps of you bloggers defend him. Seriously its anopen blog.. And alwaysremember… Webber got his RBR seatt the hard way..Minardi, Jaguar, Williams whereas Vettel was basically given theRBR drive on a plate… Imnot biased just coz Im Australian.. I just like to see Webber having “some reward for effort” after seeing him in an uncompetitive car. Yes, Vettel is overall better than Web and has (in my opinion) greater backing by the team but Mark has never complained when things dont go perfect, unlike Vettel,and Im hoping for him he can win.. Go Mark, all Aussies are with you mate

  37. I personally would of loved to see michael on pole(ze dirty jerman) and think it would of led to a much better race if he started there. Rather than carry over penalties from previous race-could they not be given a WEIGHT PENALTY instead? That would give the fans alot more enjoyment/clarity-hauling round some lead instead of “artificial” grid tampering by the powers that be?

  38. (correction)……carry over GRID PENALTIES from previous race-

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