Sun, May 29, 2011 - Page 20 News List

F1: World champion Vettel on pole for Monaco GP

Reuters and AP, MONACO

Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel took pole position for the showcase Monaco Grand Prix yesterday, Red Bull’s sixth in six races this season.

McLaren’s 2009 world champion Jenson Button will start alongside the 23-year-old German on the front row with Red Bull’s Australian Mark Webber third and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso fourth.

Late in the afternoon’s qualifying session, Mexican driver Sergio Perez became the third driver to crash at the Monaco Grand Prix, racing out of the tunnel and skidding across the track.

The Sauber driver lost control of his car as he was about to come out of the tunnel and the front slid over to the right and slammed into the tunnel barrier. The car then span round and hit a tire wall on the circuit.

A medical crew rushed to Perez’s car and a giant blanket was immediately draped over it. After a few minutes the battered car was lifted off the track.

“Sergio was conscious and he has been talking. He is now being brought to the hospital and we will have to wait for further information,” Sauber team official Hanspeter Brack told reporters.

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg and Hispania’s Vitantonio Liuzzi were both unharmed after crashing in practice earlier yesterday.

Rosberg crashed at almost exactly the same spot as Perez, but the Mexican’s accident was more violent.

He was too wide coming out of the tunnel and the impact of hitting the side the tunnel side projected his car sideways out of the exit tunnel and about 30m down into the tire wall.

One of the Sauber car’s tires rolled down the track seconds after the car had slammed into the tire wall and another incident was thankfully avoided as there was no other car immediately behind Perez.

Qualifying was suspended with only a few minutes left and drivers sat waiting in their cars for it to resume.

Early into the morning practice, Rosberg walked away unharmed when the German driver ploughed into a crash barrier after flying out of the tunnel and swerving off to the right.

Liuzzi was unharmed in his crash and his Hispania car was airlifted away.

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