Vettel on Monaco pole after Perez crash

Sebastian Vettel made it five poles in six grands prix this season, albeit from a qualifying session marred by a frightening accident involving Mexican rookie Sergio Perez.

In the top-10 shoot-out for tomorrow's Monaco Grand Prix, Vettel had just scorched to the top of the timesheet with a lap of one minute 13.556secs when Perez smashed into a barrier at the harbour chicane.

The session had to be halted for a total of 38 minutes as Perez was first treated trackside before being taken to a nearby medical centre, following which repairs were carried out to the barrier.

With two minutes and 26 seconds remaining at that time, it left Lewis Hamilton in trouble as he had yet to set a timed lap by the time of the accident.

The 26-year-old in his McLaren could only qualify seventh, 1.7secs adrift of reigning champion Vettel for Red Bull, with Jenson Button second on the grid and Mark Webber third.

Overall, it is Red Bull's sixth pole position in six races, and eight in eight stretching to the back end of last season.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, who had looked the man to beat during practice, could only manage fourth in his Ferrari, with Michael Schumacher fifth ahead of the second Ferrari of Felipe Massa.

Behind Hamilton in seventh will be Nico Rosberg in his Mercedes, his team performing wonders to ensure he was able to take part in qualifying following his crash in final practice that wrecked his car.

Like Perez after him, Rosberg crashed into a barrier emerging out of the tunnel at 180mph before hurtling down the hill towards the harbour chicane where he narrowly avoided a head-on impact with another barrier.

The mechanics then worked through lunch to ensure Rosberg made it out on track, and the German did not disappoint.

Williams' Pastor Maldonado will start ninth, with Perez 10th at this stage, pending an injury report after his horrific accident.

Perez lost control and was unable to do anything as he hurtled towards an impact-absorbing techpro barrier at the foot of the hill.

Earlier Rosberg's was sent airborne by two feet after hitting one of the speed bumps that had initially lay across the harbour chicane - but were subsequently removed.

As it transpired, that was the correct decision because as Perez slid sideways he could easily have been flipped onto his side had he struck one of those bumps.

Instead, the right side of his car took the full impact as it flew into the barrier, the 21-year-old putting his hands around his head to protect himself.

Marshals, reputed to be the best in the world, were quickly on the scene, and it became apparent very quickly Perez's accident was serious.

Initially, around 20 marshals formed a guard around the car as the paramedics carried out their duties, and then a white tarpaulin was held above the scene to block out any prying cameras.

From the moment of impact to Perez being placed inside the awaiting ambulance and eventutally taken to the medical centre, 15 minutes passed.

As the car was hoisted away, it showed there was nothing left of the right-hand side, although the monocoque was intact.

Perez's father was then seen walking down the pit lane to the medical centre to be with his son.

Reports then emerged that the driver was "conscious and speaking", with unconfirmed suggestions he had suffered a leg injury.

Overall, there was a delay of 38 minutes before the session could be restarted, the marshals carrying out sterling work to repair the barrier.

Renault's Vitaly Petrov led the list of those who exited Q2 at the end of the 15 minutes, with the Russian starting from 11th ahead of Rubens Barrichello in his Williams and Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi.

For the fifth time in six races in his rookie year, Paul di Resta managed to out-qualify Force India team-mate Adrian Sutil.

It was a remarkable achievement given Di Resta had not set a wheel on the track for six years until taking part in Thursday practice.

The Scot, however, bettered his team-mate by just three thousandths of a second and will start 14th, with Sutil 15th, followed by Nick Heidfeld in his Renault and the Toro Rosso of Sebastien Buemi.

Neither of Hispania Racing's cars were involved in Q1, with the team unable to repair Vitantonio Liuzzi's car after his accident towards the end of the final practice session. As for Narain Karthikeyan, a rear suspension failure prevented the Indian driver from taking part.

In not setting any time, Liuzzi and Karthikeyan are now at the mercy of the stewards who must now decide whether they can take part in the race.

For the opening 20 minutes that left just 22 cars fighting it out on track, and whilst it was no surprise to see the Lotus and Virgin cars dislodged, there was a shock as Jaime Alguersuari dropped out.

With the Lotus duo of Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli ahead of him in 18th and 19th, 20th on the grid equals the Spaniard's worst slot of his F1 career set in Italy in 2009. To add to his woes, he is also due to face the stewards after hitting a Sauber going through La Rascasse.

Behind him are the Virgio pair of Timo Glock and Jerome D'Ambrosio, both comfortably within the 107% time.

Expressing his sentiments towards Perez, Vettel said: "The most important thing is that Sergio is okay, that he is conscious.

"We're all thinking of him, we wish him the best and hopefully he can start the race tomorrow.

"I had to wait a long time to get the pole, but I'm very pleased."

Button, who endured his own shunt at the same spot eight years ago, said: "It's great that Sergio is okay and talking.

"I was the last person to go in there in 2003, and I know how much it hurts, so hopefully he'll be okay."

Webber added: "Sergio had a tough crash, our thoughts are with him. He is in great hands, and I'm sure he'll be back.

"Looking at safety it's one area we can look at for the future."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Carol O'Brien, whose son Rob suffered many years of depression
healthOne mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Life and Style
Sexual health charities have campaigned for the kits to be regulated
healthAmerican woman who did tells parents there is 'nothing to be afraid of'
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
The John Peel Lecture has previously been given by Pete Townshend of The Who, Billy Bragg and Charlotte Church
musicGodfather of punk will speak on 'free music in a capitalist society'
peopleAt least it's for a worthwhile cause
Shoppers in Covent Garden, London, celebrate after they were the first to buy the iPhone 6, released yesterday
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

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments