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May 25, 2013 at 07:40pm IST

Nico Rosberg takes pole position for Monaco Grand Prix

Monaco: Nico Rosberg set the fastest qualifying time at the Monaco Grand Prix on Saturday to secure his third consecutive pole position and a fourth straight for Mercedes.

The German driver finished ahead of team-mate Lewis Hamilton and, with Monaco's track the hardest to overtake on in Formula One, Mercedes have a great chance to clinch a first win of the season on Sunday. Red Bull have won the last three Monaco GPs - all from pole - but this time defending champion Sebastian Vettel will start from third ahead of team-mate and last year's winner Mark Webber.

Ferrari driver Felipe Massa goes from the back of the grid. The Brazilian was unable to start qualifying after a heavy crash in the morning's third and final practice session, in which he was unharmed. He would anyway have incurred a five-place grid penalty because Ferrari had to fit a new gearbox following his crash.

Nico Rosberg takes pole position for Monaco Grand Prix

Nico Rosberg set the fastest qualifying time at the Monaco GP to secure his third consecutive pole position and a fourth straight for Mercedes.

Rosberg climbed slowly out of the cockpit and clenched both of his fists. It was almost like a win on home track for the German, who has spent much of his life in Monaco.

Kimi Raikkonen is only four points behind championship leader Vettel, but the Finn will have his work cut out after finishing fifth. After his victory at the Spanish GP two weeks ago, Fernando Alonso will start from sixth.

Massa, Frenchman Romain Grosjean and German Adrian Sutil had all crashed in practice. There was a brief but sharp shower before the start of qualifying and the track was still damp when drivers started.

In the morning, Massa and Grosjean both crashed at Sainte Devote - where Grosjean had also crashed in Thursday's second practice session. Massa's impact was considerable as the front-left of his Ferrari took the full force before the car slid around into another barrier.

Sutil lost his Force India on the run up the hill through Massanet, hitting the barriers to his right.

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