Motor racing-Hamilton takes his first Monaco F1 pole

Sat May 23, 2015 11:11am EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

MONACO (Reuters) - Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton took the first Monaco Grand Prix pole position of his career on Saturday as Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg blew his own hopes of a qualifying hat-trick.

Rosberg, winner from pole for the past two years on the twisty metal-fenced streets where passing is almost impossible, qualified second in an overcast final session with rain threatening.

"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 place on the grid.

"It wasn't an easy session... I didn't have the rhythm until the last two laps.

"This is incredibly special for me," added the Monaco resident, well aware the race has been won from pole for the last six years, of his 14th successive front row start and fifth pole in six races.

Rosberg's hopes disappeared when he locked up the front wheels at the Sainte Devote corner at the start of his abandoned final quick lap to leave Hamilton 0.342 seconds faster.

"I just lost touch a little bit there towards the end. Of course you are going for it because you have to... it didn't work out, that's it," said Rosberg.

Sebastian Vettel will start third for Ferrari on Sunday, after struggling to get heat into his tires, with his former Red Bull team mate Daniel Ricciardo alongside him on the second row.   Continued...

Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain   drives his car during the qualifying session for the Monaco F1 Grand Prix May 23, 2015. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini