FERRARI HOPFULS GET SNAPPING: Ferrari fans take photographs from a window ahead of the 2015 Monaco Formula 1 GP. Sad neither of their heroes didn't make the top spot! Image: AP Gero Breloer
• Hamilton on pole with Rosberg second
• Briton's first Monaco GP pole
• Vettel third on grid for Ferrari
MONTE CARLO, Monaco – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton took the first Monaco Formula 1 GP pole position of his career on Saturday as Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg blew his own hopes of a qualifying hat-trick.
Rosberg, who won the two previous Monaco races – each time from pole on the twisty metal-fenced streets where passing is almost impossible – qualified second in an overcast final session with rain threatening.
‘NOT AN EASY SESSION’
"It's been a long time," said an elated Hamilton, whose only win in Monaco came in his 2008 championship year with McLaren from third on the grid.
"It wasn't an easy session... I didn't have the rhythm until the last two laps,” he said afterwards in Monaco, his home country. "This is incredibly special for me.”
He was well aware that the race has been won from pole in each of the previous six years; Sunday will see his 14th consecutive front-row start and fifth pole from six races.
'I JUST LOST TOUCH'
Rosberg's hopes disappeared when he locked up his front wheels at the Sainte Devote corner at the start of his abandoned final quick lap to leave Hamilton 0.342sec faster. He explained:
"I just lost touch a little bit there towards the end. Of course, you are going for it - you have to... but it didn't work out, that's it.”
Sebastian Vettel will start third for Ferrari after struggling to get heat into his tyres; former Red Bull team mate Daniel Ricciardo will be next to him on the second row.
Vettel, whose grid place was Ferrari's best in Monaco since 2009, said: “Overall it was a good session and our aim now is to have a good race tomorrow and try to split the Mercedes.”
Toro Rosso’s Dutch 17-year-old Max Verstappen qualified an impressive 10th for his first Monaco GP; Spanish rookie team mate Carlos Sainz was eighth.
Russian Daniil Kvyat (Red Bull) qualified fifth for Red Bull, ahead of Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen and Mexican Sergio Perez (Force India).
GEARBOX PENALTY FOR GROSJEAN
McLaren's hopes of starting in the top 10 evaporated but 2009 champion Jenson Button was 12th fastest and will be 11th because Frenchman Romain Grosjean, just ahead for Lotus, has a five-place penalty for a gearbox change.
Button's team mate Fernando Alonso, who predicted earlier in the week that McLaren could score its first points of 2015 on Sunday, qualified 15th but will also move up a place.
There was disappointment for Mercedes-powered Williams and Finland's Valtteri Bottas, who qualified only 17th, with Brazilian team mate Felipe Massa 14th.
Qualifying times for the 2015 Monaco Formula 1 GP
1 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 1min15.098
2 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1min15.440
3 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Ferrari 1min15.849
4 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull-Renault 1min16.041
5 Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Red Bull-Renault 1min16.182
6 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 1min16.427
7 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India-Mercedes 1min16.808
8 Carlos Sainz Jr (Spain) Toro Rosso-Renault 1min16.931
9 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus-Mercedes 1min16.946
10 Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Toro Rosso-Renault 1min16.957
11 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus-Mercedes 1min17.007
12 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1min17.093
13 Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Force India-Mercedes 1min17.193
14 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams-Mercedes 1min17.278
15 Fernando Alonso (Spain) McLaren 1min26.632
16 Felipe Nasr (Brazil) Sauber-Ferrari 1min18.101
17 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams-Mercedes 1min18.434
18 Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Sauber-Ferrari 1min18.513
19 Will Stevens (Britain) Marussia-Ferrari 1min20.655
20 Roberto Merhi (Spain) Marussia-Ferrari 1min20.904
1-10min third and final qualifying session
11-15min second qualifying session
16-20min first qualifying session
2015 Monaco Formula 1 final practice times
1 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Ferrari 1min16.143
2 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1min16.361
3 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 1min16.705
4 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull-Renault 1min17.120
5 Carlos Sainz Jr (Spain) Toro Rosso-Renault 1min17.256
6 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 1min17.401
7 Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Red Bull-Renault 1min17.471
8 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1min17.767
9 Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Toro Rosso-Renault 1min17.788
10 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus-Mercedes 1min17.806
11 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India-Mercedes 1min17.832
12 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus-Mercedes 1min17.956
13 Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) Force India-Mercedes 1min18.102
14 Fernando Alonso (Spain) McLaren 1min18.197
15 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams-Mercedes 1min18.212
16 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams-Mercedes 1min18.242
17 Felipe Nasr (Brazil) Sauber-Ferrari 1min18.767
18 Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Sauber-Ferrari 1min19.269
19 Will Stevens (Britain) Marussia-Ferrari 1min21.093
20 Roberto Merhi (Spain) Marussia-Ferrari 1min22.225
Stay with Wheels24 for the 2015 Formula 1 series.