Dani Clos overcame his rivals and the treacherous conditions in today’s qualifying session in Monaco to claim pole for tomorrow’s feature race in a last minute shoot out, ahead of Sergio Perez and this morning’s fastest man Pastor Maldonado.
In a session which went from wet to extremely wet and back to merely wet again, the Spaniard kept his nerve as everything hinged on the very last lap: with everyone improving their times on the drying circuit Clos claimed a best lap of 1:37.572 to take pole by just 0.033 of a second.
When conditions worsening just at the start of the session it was clear that we were in for a dramatic session, and with many of their rivals struggling to stay on track the fight for the top spot was a three way shoot out between Maldonado, Perez and Clos, with all three claiming provisional pole at various times only to be denied by one of the others.
Nobody else was able to get close to the trio, with the run off areas at St Devote and at the bottom of the hill from Casino Square hosting peak hour traffic as the rest struggled to get on terms. With a minute to go it looked like Maldonado, who had set much of the running, had done enough when he put himself into P1, but he clouted the wall hard at the next turn, giving Perez and Clos the opportunity to get the one more run that counts.
And on that last lap the timesheets were ticking over just below the top three, with P4 changing almost every time someone crossed the line: in the end it was Alberto Valerio who sits on row two tomorrow, just ahead of Fabio Leimer, Jules Bianchi, Davide Valsecchi (who had a slow motion crash with Maldonado’s stricken vehicle straight after) and Jerome d’Ambrosio for tomorrow’s feature event.
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