Crash derails Lewis but Vettel laps up latest pole

Sebastian Vettel was in exactly the right place at the right time when a dramatic accident which befell Mexican rookie Sergio Perez brought the final session of qualifying in Monaco to an abrupt halt. Lewis Hamilton was in exactly the opposite situation.

When Perez’s Sauber slid broadside into the end of the protective wall that separates the escape road from the racetrack at the seafront chicane, in an incident horribly reminiscent of the one that befell Sauber’s Austrian driver Karl Wendlinger in 1994, Vettel had done enough to claim his fifth pole position of the season with a lap of 1m 13.556s.

Hamilton, however, having set the fastest times in the Q1 and Q2 sessions, was out on the track doing his first fast run, having deliberately opted to delay going out in the hope of finding a clear lap after others had made their first sorties. His lap had to be aborted, and his subsequent effort when things resumed briefly after a 40-minute delay, moved him only to seventh place as his Pirelli tyres had lost vital temperature. He was then penalised for missing the chicane and dropped to ninth.

Hamilton was understandably chagrined, but the main concern was naturally Perez’s health. There had already been two accidents at that part of the track, where drivers exit the tunnel back into daylight, negotiate a brow at 175mph in sixth gear and then have to brake heavily for the left/right chicane. Tonio Liuzzi crashed his HRT there on Thursday morning, and Nico Rosberg did the same, at very high speed, yesterday morning. The German was lucky that his Mercedes did not hit the chicane wall; Perez was not so fortunate.

Wendlinger’s crash there left him comatose for a fortnight and led to development of the high cockpit sides that now saved Perez from serious injury. He was taken to the Princess Grace Hospital, having spoken with Sauber boss Monisha Kaltenborn while he was being extracted from the car, but is not expected to race today.

Jenson Button, who qualified his McLaren second behind Vettel, crashed at the same spot in 2003, and said: “The problem there is that when you first hit the brakes the rear goes very light and for some reason it’s more of an issue this year, which surprises me. You just become a passenger if you get oversteer and hit the barrier, and you lose braking ability if you the right-hand wheels come off. You are just in a sled sitting on the ground. I’m very happy that race director Charlie Whiting took the speed bumps out of the run-off area there after Nico’s accident this morning. That was a good decision because without that Sergio’s could have been much worse.

“Monaco is what it is, a street circuit, so it’s difficult on safety, but we need to look at this more for the future. The cars have improved dramatically in terms of safety since Karl’s accident and the barrier has been moved back, so there have been improvements. We all love racing here, but this is an area where we need to find a solution.”

As Button plans on beating Vettel off the startline, Hamilton has a mountain to climb from the fourth row.

“After the restart I had no temperature in my tyres or my brakes,” he said, “so I didn’t manage to pull a great lap together. With hindsight, we probably should have put a banker in.

“I felt I’d been driving well all weekend and I had the pace to be on pole – I’m certain of that. I’ll do my best from my grid slot – and, while it’ll be tough to win from there, I won’t give up. I’ll keep pushing.”

Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
Tovey says of homeless charity the Pillion Trust : 'If it weren't for them and the park attendant I wouldn't be here today.'
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little