Formula One

 
        === Schumacher denied pole for Monaco GP due to grid penalty ===
 
 Monte  Carlo, Monaco (Sports Network) - While enduring his worst season in his
 illustrious  Formula One career, Michael Schumacher from Mercedes surprisingly
 won Saturday's qualifying session for the Monaco Grand Prix.
 
 But  Schumacher, the  record seven-time F1 world champion and five-time Monaco
 GP  winner, will not  start on the pole position for this prestigious race due
 to  a five-place grid penalty he received for his contact with Williams' Bruno
 Senna during the May 13 Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona.
 
 Therefore,  Mark  Webber from Red Bull  will inherit the pole after qualifying
 second. Schumacher will start sixth.
 
 Schumacher  posted a lap  around the famed streets of Monte Carlo in 1 minute,
 14.301  seconds for  his 69th career F1  pole but his first since July 2006 in
 the French Grand Prix.
 
 "I'm more than thrilled and excited about making the pole here in Monaco," the
 43-year-old  Schumacher said.  "To manage the pole position here after sort of
 what I have gone through in the past 2 1/2 years, it's just fabulous."
 
 Schumacher  has finished last in two of the previous three grand prix. He also
 placed  20th in the season-opener in Melbourne, Australia. Schumacher has only
 accumulated two points for the season, with a pair of 10th-place finishes.
 
 "I'm  going to  start the race in  sixth, but I'm going to win it," Schumacher
 added. "That's what I'm aiming for, and that's all I have on my mind. The past
 doesn't matter at all."
 
 Webber  held the  provisional pole  with a  lap in  1:14.381 until  Schumacher
 topped that in the closing seconds of Q3.
 
 "It  was an amazing  session, and it was very close," Webber said. "There were
 some different tire strategies going on, with different people using different
 sets  of  tires. It was a  good little battle there  at the end. Michael had a
 good lap, but it's nice to move up one position."
 
 The  pole sitter for  the Monaco GP has won it in six of the last seven years.
 Webber started on the pole and claimed his first Monaco GP victory in 2010.
 
 Schumacher's  teammate, Nico Rosberg, will start second, followed by McLaren's
 Lewis Hamilton, Romain Grosjean from Lotus and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.
 
 Rosberg topped the time charts in the final practice for the Monaco GP earlier
 in the day.
 
 "It was a good qualifying for me too, and everything went as planned," Rosberg
 said. "I didn't optimize my car perfectly in the end with too much understeer.
 But starting on the front row is still a great place to start for tomorrow."
 
 Felipe  Massa  from Ferrari  will roll  off seventh after  turning in his best
 qualifying  performance of  the season, while Kimi Raikkonen will start eighth
 in his Lotus.
 
 Sebastian  Vettel,  the two-time defending  world champion, qualified 10th but
 will  lineup in  ninth due  to Pastor  Maldonado's 10-place  grid penalty  for
 contact  with Sergio  Perez  during  the last  practice  session. Vettel,  who
 started on pole and won last year's Monaco GP, struggled with his tires during
 Q1  and Q2,  prompting him  not  to make  a  lap during  the final  qualifying
 segment.
 
 "It  was looking very good in the morning. but then we did a step in the wrong
 direction and ended up not having a very good car in qualifying," Vettel said.
 
 Maldonado,  who  claimed his  maiden F1  victory in  the Spanish GP, qualified
 ninth. The Williams driver will start 19th as a result of his penalty.
 
 In  the opening  minutes of Q1, Perez  crashed his Sauber car into the wall in
 the  "Swimming  Pool" section of  the street circuit.  His accident was not as
 serious  as the one  he had in last year's qualifying for the Monaco GP. Perez
 spent  two  days in the hospital  after suffering a concussion during his high
 speed collision.
 
 05/26 11:26:43 ET

Powered by The Sports Network.