F1 2011 Monaco Grand Prix qualifying result: Hamilton seventh on grid

PUBLISHED: 14:43 28 May 2011 | UPDATED: 20:21 29 May 2011

Lewis Hamilton driving around the Monaco Grand Prix circuit [Picture: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes / www.mclaren.com]

Lewis Hamilton driving around the Monaco Grand Prix circuit [Picture: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes / www.mclaren.com]

HOCH ZWEI

FORMULA 1 driver Lewis Hamilton will start the 2011 Monaco Grand Prix from the fourth row of the grid after an eventful qualifying session.

The 26-year-old Vodafone McLaren Mercedes star from Herts only qualified seventh around the tricky Monte Carlo street circuit today (Saturday).

Reigning F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel will start Sunday’s race from pole position for Red Bull ahead of Hamilton’s McLaren team-mate Jenson Button.

Mark Webber will go from third for Red Bull with Fernando Alonso fourth for Ferrari.

Michael Schumacher qualified fifth for Mercedes GP and Felipe Massa will also line-up on the third row in the other red Ferrari.

Former world champion Hamilton starts seventh alongside the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg.

Hamilton’s hopes of a good qualifying spot were hit when Q3 was red-flagged with less than three minutes left on the clock.

The session was stopped as Sergio Perez crashed his Sauber after coming out of the tunnel at the chicane. Nico Rosberg had earlier in the day crashed at the same spot.

Watched by US X Factor star girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger and dad Anthony Hamilton, Herts-born Lewis was out on track at the time of Perez’s dramatic accident, leaving him eighth on the provisional grid with no lap time recorded.

Button was back in the pits, with the second fastest time of qualifying of 1m 13.997s, while Vettel had just gone fastest with a blistering 1m 13.556s to bag provisional pole position.

Both McLaren drivers – wearing special, one-off helmets encrusted with Steinmetz diamonds – safely got through to the top 10 qualifying shoot-out, Hamilton having gone quickest in both Q1 and Q2.

But the final 10 minutes of qualifying was temporarily halted when Perez crashed with just 2 minutes 26 seconds to go.

Race control allowed the session to resume following a lengthy stoppage while Perez was attended to by medical staff – the driver is thankfully conscious – and then the track’s safety barriers at the chicane were repaired.

Waiting at the pit lane exit with cold tyres, Hamilton was first out on track when the session finally restarted after nearly 40 minutes in an effort to post a lap time.

He improved on his provisional eighth by one place to edge ahead of Rosberg with a scrappy 1m 15.27s and will start Sunday’s 2011 Monaco Grand Prix from a disappointing seventh.

The Monte Carlo race will start at 1pm BST on Sunday.

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