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LIVE COMMENTARY: 2014 MONACO GRAND PRIX - SATURDAY - QUALIFYING
   GO TO LIVE INDEX ALL TIMES GMT  
As it happened: Saturday - Qualifying
By Matt Beer, Jonathan Noble, Edd Straw, Kevin Turner, Charles Bradley, Ben Anderson, Dan Cross and AUTOSPORT staff
The live commentary has ended. No further updates will be posted.
08:31 Good morning and welcome back to Monaco, where it's nearly time for the third and final free practice session ahead of the season's most nerve-jangling qualifying hour.

08:33 After Thursday afternoon's wet weather, it's dry in Monaco. Ambient temperature is 22C, track temperature currently 18C.

08:35 Practice seems like a long time ago now, so if you want to do some quick revision, here's what happened in Thursday's dry morning session...

Hamilton beats Rosberg in first practice

...and wet afternoon session:

Alonso fastest as rain hits Monaco

08:37 For a full rundown of what all the drivers had to say about their practice days, head to AUTOSPORT's statistics partner FORIX:

Monaco GP driver quotes and full data

That page is well worth revisiting post-race, when it's your portal to the whole field's full race laptimes, gap charts, pitstop stats and pretty much every other bit of numerical fascination you could want from the GP.

08:41 We've already had one single-seater session this morning. Norman Nato upstaged his Red Bull protoge DAMS team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr to take pole for Formula Renault 3.5 race.

Monaco FR3.5 qualifying report

This is the one event of the year where rival F1 feeder series GP2 and FR3.5 share the same bill.

GP2's first race took place yesterday morning. It was a bit of a messy affair that went on for nearly as long as a grand prix, but Jolyon Palmer coped beautifully with the chaos and took another Monaco win.

Monaco GP2 feature race report

The reversed-grid GP2 sprint race follows F1 qualifying this afternoon, while the weekend's sole FR3.5 race is our curtain-raiser tomorrow morning.

Marcus Ericsson08:47 BEN ANDERSON has been catching up with Marcus Ericsson, who explained the thinking behind his cool Ronnie Peterson tribute helmet design for the Monaco Grand Prix.

"He's from the same city as me. They opened a Ronnie Peterson museum and I went to it when I was 15 or 16 years old. I've been inspired by him throughout my career.

"I thought it would be a nice thing as it's 40 years since he won the Monaco Grand Prix. I'm really happy with the helmet and how it looks, and the fact I have his old helmet bag makes it even more cool!

"Eje Elgh, who looks after me, lived with Ronnie in the 70s when he started his career in the UK. Before Ronnie died he gave to him as a present. I'm just borrowing it for the weekend."

08:48 JONATHAN NOBLE has been at Mercedes this morning for the announcement of Petronas extending its title backing for another five years - and hearing big boss Dr Dieter Zetsche's thoughts on Fernando Alonso and F1 domination.

More on those topics in the news section soon.

08:51 EDD STRAW: "Because FP2 was hit by wet weather, with drivers only able to set times on slick rubber in the final 10 minutes, expect this session to be a busy one. As well as the usual qualifying simulations, they will want to gain more understanding of tyre performance as well as validating any set-up changes since Wednesday. On top of that, we also have the qualifying simulations to look forward to."

08:58 EDD STRAW: "Qualifying takes place two hours after this session has finished, so any accidents could be very costly. Remember what happened to Fernando Alonso in 2010."

08:59 Daniel Ricciardo has already shot down to the end of the pitlane ready to be first on track.

09:00 The pit exit light turns green and the first flurry of cars joins the track.

09:01 EDD STRAW: "Standard procedure for this session will be to do some work on the prime (soft) tyre before completing a qualifying simulation on the option (super-soft) later on. All the cars that have gone out so far are on the yellow-banded soft Pirellis."

09:01 Ricciardo is told on his team radio: "Remember it must be a slow getaway, not a start. They are watching."

09:03 Eighteen of the 22 cars have gone out for immediate installation laps. Just waiting for Chilton, Button, Hulkenberg and Sutil.

09:04 Hamilton is told he will be doing, "five timed laps and expect a clear track on exit."

09:04 The Caterhams are first to do flying laps - a 1m27.530s from Marcus Ericsson beaten by a 1m25.959s from Kamui Kobayashi.

09:05 Nico Rosberg does a cautious 1m24.410s for his first lap and takes top spot for a moment...

09:06 ...but then Ericsson beats him with a 1m23.955s.

09:06 Now Kevin Magnussen puts McLaren into first on a 1m22.568s.

09:06 Lewis Hamilton is slowest of those to set a time so far with a 1m25.787s but he's now getting up to speed.

09:07 Mercedes gets down to business: 1m19.213s for Rosberg, 1m19.586s for Hamilton as they go first and second.

09:08 Rosberg looks set to beat that laptime again on this next lap.

09:08 Magnussen has got down to a 1m19.735s in third.

09:08 Sure enough, Rosberg raises the bar with a 1m18.143s, 1.443s ahead of Hamilton right now.

09:09 Big lock-up for Marcus Ericsson and he takes to the run off at Ste Devote

09:09 Magnussen improves to a 1m19.305s to take second from Hamilton, 1.162s down on Rosberg.

09:09 Ericsson slowly reversing out of trouble.

09:10 Rosberg has to slow down massively to avoid the stationary Caterham.

09:10 Just before dodging around Ericsson, Rosberg moved the top time to a 1m17.735s, 1.6s clear of Magnussen.

09:11 BEN ANDERSON has positioned himself trackside at the Swimming Pool again:

"The Mercedes look so poised on entry, with high commitment on the brakes.

"Others try to carry speed but don't seem to have as much grip available at the rear."

09:11 EDD STRAW: "We've already seen some good examples of how traffic can be a problem here. That's something to watch out for in qualifying. Very easy to impede someone and pick up a penalty."

09:11 Hamilton improves to a 1m18.175s in second, but he's struggling to find space in traffic.

09:12 The Lotus duo have put times in, 3.4s and 3.6s off Rosberg respectively for Grosjean and Maldonado in fifth and sixth.

09:14 Hamilton is told: "Nico is pushing three laps consecutively."

09:14 Daniil Kvyat jumps to fifth in the Toro Rosso, 2.8s off the pace, between Button and Grosjean.

09:14 Now Kimi Raikkonen gets Ferrari's morning going with a 1m20.373s in fifth position.

09:14 Everyone still working on the slower soft Pirelli rubber at the moment. Tyre allocations mean that each driver has one set of softs and one set of super-softs for use in this session.

09:15 BEN ANDERSON at (not in) the Swimming Pool: "Hamilton dances with the rear end a little more than Rosberg, who keeps the car straighter as he turns right."

09:15 Raikkonen moves up to fourth between the McLarens. Alonso is now on his first flying lap.

09:16 Alonso makes a modest start in 15th place, 4.7s off the pace.

09:17 Williams is getting going, Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas take sixth and seventh.

09:17 Alonso takes fourth place on a 1m19.355s, a tenth ahead of Raikkonen and 1.6s off pacesetter Rosberg.

09:18 Massa improves now and beats Alonso to fourth, two tenths up on the Ferrari.

09:18 Hamilton has a massive moment going through Tabac. The rear end very nearly got away from him and he and to back off to avoid the barriers.

09:18 Toro Rosso man Jean-Eric Vergne had thrown a good lap in and was fifth for a moment before Massa and Alonso's improvements push him back.

09:18 Caterham drivers Kobayashi and Ericsson have become the first to go out on the super-softs.

09:19 "Terrific commitment from Bottas through the left at Chiron," reports trackside observer BEN ANDERSON. "He runs very close to the outside barrier."

09:19 Alonso casually changes settings on his steering wheel as he goes through Ste Devote.

09:20 Hamilton closes in further, getting to within 0.130s of Rosberg, but stays second.

09:20 BEN ANDERSON at Chiron: "Ricciardo looks to be hustling a little more than Vettel at this stage, using more of the track."

09:20 Vettel reports a problem with his pitlane speed limiter: "It's 52-56kph."

09:21 And here's what that Red Bull style translates to on the timing screens: third for Ricciardo and sixth for Vettel.

09:21 Raikkonen moves back up to sixth ahead of Vettel, 1.3s off the pace.

09:21 Everyone's set a time now bar the Force Indias, and they're both on flying laps.

09:23 Hamilton is told, "come through the pits for a start."

09:23 Kobayashi is out on the super-softs.

09:24 "Maybe Vettel can see Ricciardo chasing him," wonders BEN ANDERSON, "because he suddenly looks way more committed."

09:25 Here's the order with 25 minutes gone:

1 Rosberg
2 Hamilton
3 Ricciardo
4 Alonso
5 Magnussen
6 Raikkonen
7 Vettel
8 Massa
9 Vergne
10 Hulkenberg
11 Perez
12 Bottas
13 Button
14 Kvyat
15 Maldonado
16 Kobayashi
17 Gutierrez
18 Sutil
19 Grosjean
20 Bianchi
21 Ericsson
22 Chilton

09:26 More from BEN ANDERSON trackside: "It's fun to see the Toro Rossos so loose as they charge by on full throttle."

Vergne and Kvyat are ninth and 14th right now.

09:26 Improvement from Vettel as he goes to third on a 1m18.305s, 0.569s behind Rosberg in first.

09:28 EDD STRAW: "Max Chilton has missed the chicane a couple of times in this session. That's perhaps down to the work Marussia is trying to do to fine-tune the behaviour under braking. Tricky business with the energy harvesting going on."

09:28 Max Chilton gets his tyres squealing as he locks up as he brakes for the Rascasse. The Marussia driver heads for the pits.

09:29 Grosjean in the Lotus has now gone out on super-softs.

09:29 BEN ANDERSON has moved up to Tabac now in time for "big tyre screech from Massa as he exits the chicane."

09:30 Ericsson asks his team to check his right-rear after brushing the barriers.

09:30 Perez has moved the Force India up to eighth ahead of Massa, and is on another stronger lap.

09:31 Kobayashi is currently winning the backmarker battle and embarrassing some Saubers and a Lotus in 16th, but it's a little skewed as Caterham was first to jump on super-softs.

09:31 Those super-softs now bring Grosjean up to 11th in the Lotus.

09:32 Ricciardo reports: "The car feels more disconnected than Thursday... I don't think we've gone forward."

09:32 BEN ANDERSON: "You can really see which drivers trust their cars at Tabac.

"The Mercedes and Red Bulls look way more committed on entry than the rest.

"Vettel is looking mega through here at the moment. He has the rear tyres screaming in protest as he flings the RB10 in."

09:34 More super-soft pace from Grosjean as he puts Lotus up to sixth place.

09:36 Rosberg moves further clear with a 1m17.351s, putting him 0.515s up on Hamilton.

09:37 Hamilton is out as well, but not improving at present. Both Mercedes are still on the soft tyre.

09:38 Alonso becomes the latest driver to lock-up heading into the Rascasse.

09:38 EDD STRAW: "With most drivers hanging back before switching to the super-softs and only the Caterhams and Grosjean having already done so, it will be a very busy track late in the session as everyone attempts qualifying simulations. But it does make sense not to put on the faster rubber too early as the track will still be improving and drivers will want to get as accurate a feel of grip ahead of qualifying as possible."

09:38 Alonso improves his time to a 1m18.454s but stays fifth.

09:39 Hamilton hinted at an improvement with the best middle sector so far, but he pits rather than completing the lap.

09:40 EDD STRAW: "Lewis Hamilton was able to set the fastest middle sector of the session on that lap that he just aborted. This shows how durable the rubber is as it was his 17th lap on that set of softs."

09:41 BEN ANDERSON at Tabac: "The Sauber looks a handful. Lots of corrective steering at the drivers turn in."

09:43 More backmarker observations from BEN ANDERSON at the trackside: "Life must be tough if you're a Caterham driver. Even Pirelli's super-soft tyre can't mask your downforce deficit."

09:43 Ricciardo goes fastest with a 1m16.808s on the super-softs, beating Rosberg by 0.543s.

09:44 Hamilton reports, "the rear end is all over the place." He's particularly unhappy going through Tabac where he had a big moment earlier on.

09:45 Max Chilton is still struggling with locking up at the Rascasse.

09:45 Button has fallen right down to 16th, having had a long spell in the pits while changes were made to his McLaren. He's improving now, still on softs.

09:46 Button's lap brings him up to 13th, just ahead of Bianchi.

09:46 Button too, gets the tyres squealing at the Rascasse.

09:47 Ricciardo hinted at another improvement with a new fastest time in the middle sector, but a slow third part means no overall gain.

09:48 Perez jumps to third with super-softs on the Force India.

09:49 BEN ANDERSON: "It's great to watch Kobayashi hurrying the Caterham through the chicane after the tunnel. He's refusing to be cowed by its limitations."

09:49 Hulkenberg's super-soft lap puts him seventh, a second off team-mate Perez's third place.

09:50 McLaren tells Button he'll, "find it a bit easier" on the option tyre.

09:50 Hulkenberg goes fifth with his next lap, 0.349s down on Perez.

09:50 BEN ANDERSON: "Interesting to note the Red Bull engine note exiting the chicane. It seems a lot less aggressive than the other Renaults and without a hint of wheelspin or sliding."

09:51 Vettel goes second to team-mate Ricciardo on super-softs, exactly four tenths down.

09:51 Ricciardo is still reporting his car feels "disconnected." He says it's particularly bad mid corner.

09:51 Maldonado's super-soft run puts his Lotus 11th, 0.4s off team-mate Grosjean's eighth place.

09:52 Vettel sets the fastest first sector time so far on his next super-soft lap.

09:53 As the pressure ramps up in these final moments, BEN ANDERSON sees Maldonado, Hulkenberg, Ricciardo and Vergne all outbrake themselves and cut the chicane in quick succession.

09:53 Vettel loses time in traffic at the end of his lap and doesn't improve.

09:54 Hamilton is now out on super-softs, while Rosberg is still stuck in the pits having adjustments done on his car.

09:54 Hamilton takes the top spot with a 1m16.758s, only 0.050s faster than Ricciardo.

09:54 Ferrari says it will be sending its drivers out on the super-softs soon.

09:54 Now Rosberg leaves the Mercedes garage for his qualifying simulation.

09:55 That first super-soft lap from Alonso gets him back up to fifth place, 0.7s off the pace.

09:55 BEN ANDERSON: "The Sauber is noticeably slow through the chicane. The drivers don't trust the rear grip at all."

09:56 Hamilton is improving in the first sector.

09:56 Vettel gets angry with Massa ahead of him.

09:57 Hamilton skips the chicane after a big lock-up.

09:57 Hamilton's mini-incident happened right in front of BEN ANDERSON, who adds that the Mercedes had to wait in the run-off to let Alonso come past before resuming.

09:58 Now Rosberg is setting a new benchmark in the first sector with just under two minutes to go.

09:58 Yellow flags at Ste Devote will disrupt some drivers on their quick laps.

09:59 Rosberg improves but is only third on a 1m16.874s, 0.116s off Hamilton.

09:59 Vergne the man responsible for the yellow flags as he takes to the escape road.

10:00 Rosberg's next lap isn't any better, the clock's about to hit zero with no frontrunners improving.

10:00 Vettel, currently fourth, sets the best middle sector yet, but his first sector wasn't so shiny.

10:00 No improvement for Vettel overall, he stays fourth.

10:01 Raikkonen improves though, jumping to sixth.

10:08 Here's the final order:

Hamilton 1m16.758
Ricciardo +0.050
Rosberg +0.116
Vettel +0.426
Alonso +0.670
Raikkonen +0.690
Perez +0.967
Hulkenberg +1.316
Vergne +1.378
Kvyat +1.408
Magnussen +1.491
Button +1.504
Bottas + 1.672
Massa +1.784
Sutil +1.840
Grosjean +2.018
Bianchi +2.114
Maldonado +2.360
Gutierrez +2.391
Koybayashi +3.513
Chilton +3.636
Ericsson +3.831

10:11 Williams and Lotus will be disappointed to so far down the order. But Sauber will be happy despite Sutil's assertions that the team still had plenty to do on Thursday.

10:12 Plenty of drivers reporting problems with their set-ups including Hamilton and Ricciardo at the top of the times.

10:14 Here's EDD STRAW's full report from that final practice session, plus the complete results rundown:

Monaco GP final practice report

We'll keep you informed with all the updates from the paddock over the hour and three quarters between now and the crucial qualifying session too.

10:14 Meanwhile Mercedes chairman Dieter Zetsche insists the criticism of his team's dominance is uncalled for.

10:17 EDD STRAW: "Jules Bianchi has got a shot at making Q2 here. A Marussia/Virgin has been in Q2 before in F1, but that has always depended either on others hitting problems or wet conditions. His fastest lap was a 1m18.872s, just 0.096s slower than Grosjean in P16. The Marussia is looking better balanced than it did in Spain and Bianchi looked good from his first lap on Thursday morning."

10:20 Important development in the Monaco supports as Formula Renault 3.5 championship leader Carlos Sainz Jr gets a grid penalty for blocking.

Here's GLENN FREEMAN's full story.

10:22 BEN ANDERSON: "By far the most enjoyable place to watch the cars trackside so far this season.

"Interesting to note the different driving styles at the chicane after the tunnel. Ricciardo carries way more speed through the left than team-mate Vettel, who points and squirts the throttle between the two turns. His approach is also favoured by Button and Raikkonen, whereas Alonso is somewhere between the two.

"Some drivers, including Hamilton, had a tendency to use the right apex kerb to help straighten the car for the exit too."

10:33 Ricciardo was certainly buoyant after practice on Thursday, so EDD STRAW and GARY ANDERSON analysed the Red Bull man chance's of a surprise in their Monaco form guide:

Can Ricciardo beat Mercedes to pole?

10:40 AUTOSPORT technical expert CRAIG SCARBOROUGH's eye was caught by Ferrari on Thursday, when the team managed to reveal some secrets of its 2014 power unit set-up.

Monaco tech blog: Ferrari engine revealed

Tyrrell10:43 But in terms of actual Monaco-specific aerodynamic changes, Craig noted that there's far less of that sort of thing than there used to be.

With ever-more restrictive aerodynamic rules, the days when teams used to splatter a variety of downforce-boosting, Monaco-only extra wings on their cars are gone.

So no repeat of the unloved X-wings that Tyrrell brought out for this race 17 years ago. Remember how they briefly became fashionable before being banned on safety and taste grounds during 1998?

(That Tyrrell shot, incidentally, features the man F1 will probably soon be referring to mainly as 'Max Verstappen's Dad')

10:48 JONATHAN NOBLE is in the paddock to see Bernie Ecclestone, but that plan's gone awry...

"I've just spent 30 minutes waiting to speak to Bernie and some bloke called Justin Bieber has jumped the queue and taken him away inside a motorhome."

10:52 Elsewhere in the paddock, Sauber test driver Giedo van der Garde has taken to twitter to thank his team for giving him what look like a pair of Sauber-liveried (maybe even carbon fibre) clogs.

10:54 And the Mercedes team twitter feed has been a mixture of celebrating the squad's extended Petronas deal, and fondly mocking Nico Rosberg's enthusiasm for potatoes. (#PotatoesPower, as it says)

Hamilton11:05 In case you're just joining us, Hamilton was the pacesetter in final practice an hour ago, but he was only just head of Ricciardo and Rosberg.

Perhaps surprisingly given his spate of poles, that's only the second time that Hamilton has been quickest in a Saturday morning practice session in 2014.

Rosberg has tended to be the pre-qualifying pacesetter, whereas Hamilton has been the man to beat on Fridays (or this week, Thursday).

The Briton has been quickest in eight of the 12 opening-day sessions of 2014 so far.

As for the stuff that actually counts, it's 4-1 to Hamilton in both pole and win terms at present.

11:13 The Monaco Grand Prix prize in the Castrol Edge GP Predictor is a Sony PS4 as well as five games and a Playstation Camera, and you can make your predictions for another 40 minutes (until five minutes before qualifying begins).

Mercedes has to be favourite, but are you tempted by Ricciardo's form to edge him up your predicted order?

11:16 In case it helps, Ricciardo's Monaco form book isn't that impressive as he has never finished the race or started in the top 10. Perhaps this'll be the year he turns things around...

11:32 Here's how the qualifying battle stands heading into today's vital street battle:

Hamilton 4 - 1 Rosberg
Ricciardo 4 - 1 Vettel
Button 3 - 2 Magnussen
Alonso 3 - 2 Raikkonen
Hulkenberg 4 - 1 Perez
Massa 3 - 2 Bottas
Vergne 3 - 2 Kvyat
Sutil 2 - 3 Gutierrez
Grosjean 5 - 0 Maldonado
Kobyashi 4 - 1 Ericsson
Bianchi 3 - 2 Chilton


11:52 The only man in the current field who has more than one Monaco pole to his name is Alonso, who topped the grid here in both 2006 and '07.

Raikkonen, Massa, Button, Vettel, Rosberg are all one-time polesitters here.

Hamilton has yet to start from pole at a Monaco Grand Prix.

The man with the most poles? No prizes if you said Ayrton Senna, who has five to his name.

11:55 EDD STRAW: "Q1 will be fascinating. With just 18 minutes for everyone to get their laps in, the track will be very busy. There will be a lot of traffic as drivers build tyre temperature and harvest energy, so expect some busy moments. Also, keep an eye out for Jules Bianchi in the Marussia. He has got a genuine shot at making Q2 on merit and is driving superbly."

11:57 Glorious blue skies above the streets of Monte Carlo this afternoon. Air temperature is currently 18 degrees Celsius, while track temps are hovering around the 42-mark.

12:00 Both Mercedes head down the pitlane on soft tyres for the start of Q1.

12:02 Hamilton's sector one benchmark on this first flying lap is beaten by first Kvyat, then the other Toro Rosso of Vergne.

12:03 EDD STRAW: "All of the teams that are in the mix to be eliminated in Q1 have opted to send their drivers out on super-soft Pirellis. So that's Lotus, Sauber, Marussia and Caterham. The rest have gone for the slower softs."

12:03 Now Maldonado goes fastest in sector one, then Alonso tops sector two before Vergne takes the honours there.

12:03 Hamilton puts in a cautious 1m22.837s to start off, but it's soon beaten by the Toro Rossos.

12:03 Massa now fastest on a 1m20.221s, but he's beaten by Maldonado's 1m20.045s.

12:03 The Red Bulls have sat back in the pits while everyone else is out.

12:04 Rosberg is about to grab the top spot unless sector three goes wrong...

12:04 Magnussen fastest for McLaren on a 1m19.484s, then Rosberg throws in a properly fast 1m17.938s.

12:05 Hamilton slots into second place, 0.8s off Rosberg.

12:05 Gutierrez puts Sauber third, 2.1s off Rosberg.

12:05 Kvyat, who went off earlier, radios in: "I damaged my front wing!"

12:06 BEN ANDERSON: "Pirelli estimates there's a second between the two compounds here, so probably a couple of tenths left on the table on that pole lap from Rosberg, given where he was in FP3."

12:06 Rosberg moves 1.1s clear of the field with a 1m17.678s.

12:06 The Red Bulls now head out to join the field.

12:06 Maldonado thrusts Lotus up to second! Not everyone is fully up to speed yet, but even so...

12:06 Replays show Kvyat had a high-speed spin heading down to the Nouvelle Chicane. He arrives back in the pits minus his front wing.

12:07 Hamilton is about to improve but doesn't look like he'll beat Rosberg.

12:07 Sure enough, Hamilton is 0.109s slower than Rosberg in second place.

12:07 Massa takes fourth place, but Maldonado still holds third. Sutil has just put Sauber fifth.

12:08 Grosjean jumps to third ahead of Lotus team-mate Maldonado.

12:09 Vettel warms up with a lap that puts him only 20th.

12:10 Just over halfway through the session, the order is:

1 Rosberg
2 Hamilton
3 Grosjean
4 Maldonado
5 Ricciardo
6 Massa
7 Button
8 Sutil
9 Vergne
10 Magnussen

12:10 Ricciardo goes third for Red Bull for his first proper flying lap.

12:10 EDD STRAW: "Hulkenberg has now switched to super-softs. Expect team-mate Perez to do the same."

12:11 Super-softs now for both McLaren drivers too.

12:11 Here's the list of drivers in jeopardy:

10 Sutil
11 Vergne
12 Magnussen
13 Gutierrez
14 Raikkonen
15 Bottas
16 Bianchi
17 Hulkenberg
18 Chilton
19 Perez
20 Kobayashi
21 Ericsson
22 Kvyat

12:12 Vettel puts in two personal best times in the first two sectors and goes fifth with 1m18.383s.

12:12 Perez's super-soft lap is immediately an improvement in sector one, while Hulkenberg got caught up behind Grosjean.

12:13 Perez vaults from 19th to eighth.

12:13 Both Mercedes come back out for another run on a set of the soft tyre. Rosberg still leads the way with a time of 1m17.678s.

12:13 Magnussen jumps from 13th to third with the best middle sector of all.

12:14 It's now only Mercedes, Red Bull and Fernando Alonso who have not gone out on super-softs.

12:14 Magnussen absolutely flew into Sainte Devote under braking at the end of that third-place lap, locking up and only just missing the barriers.

12:14 Ricciardo quickly claims third from Magnussen with a time of 1m17.900s.

12:14 Bottas is 'on the bubble' in 16th now but is on a better lap, but so is Raikkonen immediately ahead.

12:15 And then Button pips the Aussie by just 0.010s to go third.

12:15 Kvyat's done a lap pointing the right way but a poor final sector means he stays last.

12:15 Alonso has now gone out on the super-softs.

12:15 Vergne moves up to sixth with two and a half minutes to go.

12:15 Raikkonen was on the cusp of trouble in 15th but now he goes fifth.

12:16 Sutil's latest lap gives him 14th, but as Hulkenberg improves to 11th, his countryman falls back.

12:16 Improvements from Perez and Massa too, they reach eighth and ninth.

12:16 Kvyat squeezes up to 16th with his next lap.

12:17 Vergne goes quickest overall with a 1m17.557s on the super-soft tyre.

12:17 Drop zone currently: Gutierrez, Sutil, Bianchi, Chilton, Kobayashi, Ericsson.

12:17 Double yellow flags out at Mirabeau as Massa and Ericsson collide and end up in the barriers.

12:18 Sutil was on a potentially better lap but his middle sector is inevitably slow due to yellows for that incident, so he's set to stay 18th.

12:19 Bianchi was in the same position, a good sector one followed by a lap abandoned.

12:20 Everyone except for the Mercedes and Red Bull drivers used super-softs in that session.

12:20 So with a yellow-stymied end to that session, the following cars are out of Monaco GP qualifying:

17 Gutierrez
18 Sutil
19 Bianchi
20 Chilton
21 Kobayashi
22 Ericsson

12:20 Despite his altercation with Ericsson, Massa is through to Q2, but will not be able to take part.

12:21 And here's the order among those who made it through:

1 Vergne
2 Rosberg
3 Hamilton
4 Alonso
5 Button
6 Ricciardo
7 Raikkonen
8 Magnussen
9 Perez
10 Massa
11 Grosjean
12 Vettel
13 Bottas
14 Hulkenberg
15 Maldonado
16 Kvyat

12:24 That continues an underwhelming stat for Sauber: it's lost at least one car in Q1 at every grand prix so far this year. And today it lost both.

The same statistic also applies - less surprisingly - to Marussia and Caterham.

12:25 Q2 begins and the two Mercedes are first to take to the track.

12:29 Rosberg sets the early pace with a 1m16.682s, Hamilton slots in behind him, 0.035s down.

12:30 Ricciardo in third is a second behind the Mercedes.

12:30 Behind the top three, it's Magnussen's McLaren in fourth leading Hulkenberg, Raikkonen, Button and Bottas.

12:30 Everyone is on super-soft Pirellis right now. Bottas, Maldonado, Grosjean and Alonso are completing their first runs on sets used in Q1 though.

12:30 Alonso goes fourth with his first flying lap.

12:30 Ricciardo improves in third place, closing the gap to the top down to 0.551s.

12:31 Raikkonen sets the fastest middle sector of all, he's currently seventh but poised to improve on this very aggressive lap...

12:31 Raikkonen leaps to fourth place, 0.089s faster than team-mate Alonso.

12:31 Alonso immediately takes the place back, 0.063s faster than Raikkonen.

12:31 BEN ANDERSON: "Absolutely nothing in it between the two Mercedes drivers at the moment. Hamilton is faster around the middle of the lap, Rosberg quicker at the end and fractionally at the beginning. Hamilton has closed the gap through the first part of the lap but still a tiny bit to find to match his team-mate."

12:32 Kvyat pops up to seventh place for Toro Rosso - decent effort for a Monaco rookie fresh from a near-miss shunt.

12:32 Vettel again starts with a very gentle warm-up lap and is currently slowest (but 15th not 16th as Massa can't run in this session).

12:34 Vettel goes into fourth place with his first proper lap, 0.069s off Ricciardo.

12:34 Everyone bar Vettel and Grosjean on track at the moment.

12:34 Here's the order ahead of the crucial final runs:

1 Rosberg
2 Hamilton
3 Ricciardo
4 Vettel
5 Alonso
6 Raikkonen
7 Magnussen
8 Kvyat
9 Hulkenberg
10 Button
11 Vergne
12 Perez
13 Bottas
14 Grosjean
15 Maldonado
16 Massa (out)

12:35 Grosjean creeps up from 14th to 12th.

12:36 Rosberg and Hamilton head out of the pits for their final Q2 runs. The German currently leads the way with a time of 1m16.682s.

12:36 Everyone is now on the circuit for their final runs, three minutes to go.

12:37 The Force Indias are improving their sector times. They're currently ninth and 13th, Hulkenberg ahead.

12:37 No improvement for Magnussen, who stays seventh.

12:37 Vettel reports he has an ERS issue at the moment. "Can we sort this problem out?" he pleads over the radio. "We are aware," replies his engineer.

12:37 Hulkenberg doesn't improve either, he stays ninth.

12:37 Vergne makes no progress and remains 11th.

12:38 Perez gets into the top 10 for now in eighth, pushing Button out.

12:38 Kvyat's lap keeps him ninth.

12:38 Grosjean, Bottas and Maldonado all fail to improve in 13th, 14th and 15th.

12:39 Rosberg bangs in purple sector times in S2 and S3 to post a 1m16.465s.

12:39 Vergne doesn't manage to improve on this lap either, he stays 12th.

12:39 Bottas does a better lap but it's not enough and he stays 13th.

12:39 But Hamilton goes even quicker with a time of 1m16.354s.

12:39 Also staying put is Maldonado, who remains 15th.

12:40 BEN ANDERSON: "Hamilton has dug deep and found the time. Fastest now in all three sectors of the lap and a tenth clear of Rosberg."

12:40 Vergne finally jumps into the top 10, going eighth and pushing Hulkenberg out.

12:40 Kvyat goes back ahead of team-mate Vergne and takes seventh.

12:41 Looks like we're set, here are the Q2 departures:

11 Hulkenberg
12 Button
13 Bottas
14 Grosjean
15 Maldonado
16 Massa

12:41 EDD STRAW: "Impressed with Kevin Magnussen this weekend. Looked good during practice and has made it through to Q3, outqualifying McLaren team-mate Jenson Button."

12:41 And here are the men going into the pole shootout:

1 Hamilton
2 Rosberg
3 Vettel
4 Alonso
5 Ricciardo
6 Raikkonen
7 Kvyat
8 Magnussen
9 Vergne
10 Perez

12:44 EDD STRAW: "Daniil Kvyat also deserves praise. First visit to Monaco in any category, had an accident and wiped out his front wing on his first Q1 run and has made it through to the top 10 shootout. His impressive rookie season continues."

12:46 BEN ANDERSON: "Missed a little in all that hubbub, Vettel faster than team-mate Ricciardo in that session. But both well adrift of Mercedes as Alonso splits them."

12:48 Our pole fight has begun, first onto the track is Perez's Force India.

12:51 Raikkonen, Kvyat, Vergne, Perez and Magnussen have only got one set of fresh super-softs for this session, so they have gone out on used ones for their first runs.

12:51 Perez kicks off with a 1m18.327s.

12:52 Raikkonen beats Perez with a 1m18.132s as Alonso goes third behind them.

12:53 Now for the serious times as Ricciardo does a 1m16.384s.

12:53 Rosberg takes the top soot with a 1m15.989s, and Hamilton is 0.059s slower in second.

12:53 Behind the Mercedes, it's Ricciardo, Vettel, Alonso, Raikkonen, Vergne, Magnussen, Perez, Kvyat.

12:55 Back to the pits for fresh tyres all round. Ricciardo is closer to the Mercedes in this session, 0.4s down on Rosberg right now.

12:56 Here we go, all 10 drivers on track - and needing at least two laps on these tyres to get the best performance.

12:58 Magnussen's next run gets him up to sixth, but Raikkonen then pinches that spot.

12:59 Vergne moves up to seventh, further demoting Magnussen.

12:59 Rosberg locks up and goes down the escape road at Mirabeau!

13:00 That's the German's pole bid done, can Hamilton now snatch pole from him?

13:00 Hamilton does his best first sector time but it's not up on Rosberg's existing provisional pole.

13:00 Ricciardo improves but stays third.

13:00 Hamilton backs right off for that Rosberg yellow, he's cruising and won't take pole.

13:01 Hamilton heads back to the pits, he will be second on the grid.

13:01 Rosberg's incident effectively ensured his pole position by bringing out the yellows, but it was dramatic enough to not look like a repeat of Michael Schumacher's infamous 2006 Monaco qualifying controversy.

13:02 Here's the order:

1 Rosberg
2 Hamilton
3 Ricciardo
4 Vettel
5 Alonso
6 Raikkonen
7 Vergne
8 Magnussen
9 Kvyat
10 Perez

13:03 Rosberg doesn't seem to be too disappointed about the error that secured his second pole of 2014!

13:04 That's the sixth pole of his career, which puts him one ahead of his 1982 world title-winning father Keke.

13:05 Hamilton looks rather disappointed, which is pretty understandable given his chance to beat Rosberg was taken away through no fault of his own.

13:05 BEN ANDERSON: "Rosberg was 0.2s down after sector one, before locking up and heading for the Mirabeau escape road. Incident effectively ruined any chance Hamilton had of snatching pole after doing his own personal best in the first part of the lap."

13:08 Ricciardo once again outqualifies reigning champ Vettel, though it's not yet clear how much his ERS problem affected the German.

13:10 Alonso is now 4-2 up on Raikkonen in their 2014 qualifying duel, but both Ferraris continue to look more competitive this weekend.

13:12 That's a fine effort from Kvyat to qualify ninth for his Monaco GP debut. His Toro Rosso team-mate Vergne also looked impressive and ended up a couple of slots ahead.

13:15 With the reduced downforce of the 2014 cars, Rosberg's pole time is just over two seconds slower than the mark that put him at the front for last year's Monaco GP.

13:21 Massa was predictably unimpressed with the incident with Ericsson that took him out of qualifying.

"Not so much to say," said the Williams driver about the Q1 incident that is being investigated. "I gave space to him and he went over my car.

"I think it was possible to get to Q3, not easy but possible.

"It's another important moment that was finished for me so I'm not starting in a great position. It is not easy, very tough."

13:23 Hamilton is remaining pretty tight-lipped about Rosberg's off in the final moments of Q3, but is clearly not very happy.

13:24 BEN ANDERSON: "Looks as though Rosberg's final effort through sector one was quicker than we first thought. Fractionally slower on a 19.9s on that final lap. Hamilton also on 19.9s when he was forced to abort."

13:27 Button has conceded he could have done better in qualifying. The 2009 Monaco winner ended up 12th, while his McLaren team-mate Magnussen took eighth.

"I just didn’t get a lap together," said Button. "Q1 was relatively good but in Q2 on my first flying lap I had traffic. But I suppose everyone had traffic.

"I just didn’t get a lap on the tyres. Obviously it is not easy when starting down in 12th. Tomorrow will be tough but we will see what we can do."

13:30 BEN ANDERSON: "Timing screens here in Monaco saying the Rosberg incident is under investigation by the stewards."

13:44 The Monaco GP paddock is already alight with controversy over the Rosberg incident and Hamilton's response to it, with comparisons inevitably being drawn with Michael Schumacher's 2006 Monaco qualifying 'moment'.

13:44 We'll get a chance to see if the atmosphere has changed at all in just over an hour, when the drivers and team management appear before the media again for the regular post-qualifying interview sessions.

13:47 Everyone was looking miserable in that pole position press conference, with Rosberg's insistence that things "couldn't be better" somewhat belied by his face.

And the frowns weren't confined to the men in silver either - third-placed Daniel Ricciardo reckoned he "left someting on the table".

He still beat Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel by a tenth and a half, and got within three tenths of the Mercedes.

14:16 GP2 - Monaco: The sprint race has just started, with poleman Stephane Richelmi clinging on to his lead. Sergio Canamasas has risen to second, passing Rio Haryanto at Ste Devote.

Yesterday's winner Jolyon Palmer is seventh, but podium finisher Felipe Nasr went off at Mirabeau on the opening lap.

14:25 JONATHAN NOBLE has just been hearing Mercedes chief Toto Wolff's view on the Rosberg controversy, while EDD STRAW reports that Wolff is struggling to make it back to the Mercedes motorhome as TV crews besiege him.

14:26 The official paperwork regarding the investigation has yet to reach the press room, but there are suggestions that it's the fact that Rosberg reversed towards the circuit after his mistake that is the main issue, rather than whether the incident was deliberate.

14:28 Incidentally, while Wolff was telling reporters that there is 'no investigation', we understand that it's more the case that Mercedes hasn't been officially summoned yet but the stewards' inquiry is underway.

14:32 Here's what the drivers have said on the matter so far, with Rosberg insisting he didn't deliberately go off:

Rosberg adamant incident was a mistake

...and Hamilton saying... as little as possible:

Hamilton adamant Rosberg incident cost him pole

14:33 Meanwhile, at the other end of the grid, neither Sauber made it beyond Q1.

Yellows and traffic were a factor, but as Esteban Gutierrez put it, if the car was faster neither would have been so costly:

"We are on the edge of getting into Q2, so every minor incident on track is affecting us massively," he said.

14:37 GP2 - Monaco: As the off-track F1 intrigue rumbles on in the paddock, on the track in Monte Carlo we've just had a safety car. Richelmi restarts in the lead, ahead of Canamasas, Haryanto, Cecotto, Pic, Evans and Palmer.

14:53 JONATHAN NOBLE was about to head to the Mercedes press briefing, but the FIA has summoned Mercedes personnel to the stewards for 5.15pm local time.

The media session will be postponed as they'll all be in the headmaster's office instead.

14:57 GP2 - Monaco: A somewhat processional sprint race was led from start to finish by Stephane Richelmi, who scored a 2.1s victory over Sergio Canamasas. Rio Haryanto was a lonely third, ahead of Johnny Cecotto Jr, Arthur Pic, Mitch Evans and points leader Jolyon Palmer.

15:02 Toto Wolff insists Rosberg's qualifying incident is a non-story, but we have written one anyway because he came out with some great quotes:

Toto Wolff: Rosberg accusations are ludicrous

15:11 BEN ANDERSON has just been hearing from Felipe Massa, who described the Rosberg incident as "strange".

The Brazilian added that personally he had "never done a mistake there".

15:11 We should add that other people in motorsport history have crashed at Mirabeau, though, so Massa is clearly referring very specifically to his own experience.

15:32 Bottas believes Williams should have a better race tomorrow after the Finn qualified a disappointing 13th and team-mate Massa was eliminated in Q1 thanks to an incident.

"The issue we had was getting heat into the front tyres," said Bottas. "The car felt ok, but I didn't have the grip that I wanted.

"We have some work to do to try and get this sorted for tomorrow. I am still optimistic of some points though as they are only a few places away and anything can happen in Monaco."

15:43 Drivers from various motorsport disciplines have been sharing their views on Rosberg's qualifying incident on Twitter.

V8 Supercars racer Shane van Gisbergen suggests what happened today was rather reminiscent of Michael Schumacher's infamous moment back in 2006:

"'Schumi'?? A lot of unnecessary wiggling of wheel IMO.."

Indy Lights driver Jack Harvey is another man to raise his suspicions:

"Hmmm... That's looks abit suspect to me! Genuine error or calculated??? I'll let you decide."

While GP3 frontrunner Dino Zamparelli seems rather happy with the outcome, regardless of how it happened:

"Well that's one way to do it Rosberg. At least my prediction below was spot on."

15:44 Despite his fine ninth place in qualifying, Monaco debutant Kvyat believes he could have gone even better.

"This was definitely the messiest qualifying session of my career," said the Toro Rosso driver.

"In Q1 I lost the rear all of a sudden and touched the wall, so I had to come back to the pits for a nose change. I regained confidence straight away though and managed to do two good laps in Q2, which I'm very happy about.

"Q3 was a bit unlucky, because I was not able to go for a proper lap, having started off on used options. When I went out for the final run on new options, I had to back off because of the yellow flag."

15:58 Hamilton says he will be emulating his idol Ayrton Senna in an attempt to extinguish the tension between him and Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg:

button Hamilton to deal with Rosberg spat like Senna

16:01 For a one-shot list of quotes from all the drivers, head to this page on AUTOSPORT's statistics partner FORIX:

button Monaco GP driver quotes and data

If you click on each driver's name, you get more stats from their weekend, including their results and speed trap info from each session.

Full race laptimes, gaps and other info will be available after tomorrow's race as well.

16:18 JONATHAN NOBLE: "Walking around the Monaco paddock tonight, there is only one question everyone is asking each other: did Nico Rosberg run off at Mirabeau deliberately?

"Opinions seem fairly split. I've spoken to team bosses who think he did, and those who think it was a genuine mistake. I've chatted to former drivers and current drivers who are equally divided.

"And it is interesting that one of the arguments that keeps cropping up when people defend Rosberg is that he does not have the kind of ruthless personality streak that would have made him choose to go off like that to secure pole position.

"We will get a proper answer from the stewards later tonight with more details about what happened - but right now there is only one man who knows what really went on. And he is currently starting on pole position tomorrow."

16:18 Ericsson has been awarded two penalty points for his collision with Massa during qualifying. The Caterham driver will also start from the pitlane tomorrow:

button Ericsson penalised for Massa crash

16:23 The FIA has just announced that there will be no further action against Rosberg and he retains pole position for tomorrow's race. Full story will be up shortly.

16:33 Here's more information on the FIA's decision not to penalise Rosberg:

button Rosberg keeps pole after stewards investigation

16:37 And with that, we are going to call it a day here on AUTOSPORT Live.

Our live coverage of the Monaco Grand Prix kicks off tomorrow at 11:30am UK time (BST). In the meantime, we will be keeping you up to date with everything going on in the paddock throughout the evening on AUTOSPORT.com.

Thanks for joining us and we will see you tomorrow, where we will found out if anyone can stop the Mercedes juggernaut.

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Thursday 22 May Start GMT
 Thursday - Practice 07:30
Saturday 24 May
 Saturday - Qualifying 08:30
Sunday 25 May
 Sunday - Monaco GP 10:30