Webber takes Monaco GP pole for Red Bull

MONACO (AP) — Mark Webber was fastest in qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix on Saturday to give Red Bull its sixth straight start from pole position this Formula One season.

The Australian, coming off a victory at the Spanish GP in which he led all the way, had the quickest lap of 1 minute, 13.826 seconds to claim his fourth career pole.

Robert Kubica of Renault will start second ahead of Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull and Felipe Massa of Ferrari is fourth, followed by Lewis Hamilton of McLaren.

Fernando Alonso will start from pit lane after he crashed into a barrier and damaged his Ferrari during the final practice session.

Webber beat Kubica by nearly three-tenths of a second to set a course record for pole.

"Pole at Monaco is a nice feeling, obviously," Webber said. "I'll use my experience and try to get through the race."

Webber is looking to become the second Australian after Jack Brabham to win at the circuit. With teams struggling to match Red Bull's pace and on a narrow circuit offering few overtaking chances, Webber is set up for a fourth career victory.

"You have to be very accurate," Webber said. "It was a good way to finish the session. It's a tough venue."

Kubica was on the leaders' pace in each of the three practice sessions and the Pole dominated the final qualifying session, along with Webber.

"For sure, a good effort for us, for the team," Kubica said. "I think we couldn't do better."

Overall F1 leader and defending champion Jenson Button will start eighth, behind Mercedes pair Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher.

Alonso, who set the previous pole record on his way to victory four years ago, watched qualifying from Ferrari's garage.

The Spaniard slid into the wall at Massenet corner after 21 minutes of the final free practice session, damaging his car's chassis, the front suspension and losing his front right tire.

"I locked the front left tire and I went straight into the wall," said Alonso, a two-time Monaco winner. "It was a little bit also (an) unlucky situation. If I crash 100 times, 99 (times) I will never break the chassis. But this time it happens, so (there's) nothing you can do."

Alonso will start behind the six cars from the new teams after Lotus, Virgin and HRT all failed to get past the first qualifying round for the sixth straight race weekend.

Despite 23 cars being on track for that first session, there were no traffic incidents. Vitaly Petrov swerved into the first corner padding and will start 14th.

Vettel, who starts third for the second straight race, believes his best chance of winning lies with one of the top two going out early. Only five pole sitters have gone on to win in the past 10 races.

"If they don't crash into the first corner, there won't be a lot of clean air," the German said. "But if you think you are unbeatable, you are also a fool."

Kubica said Red Bull's dominating speed would not guarantee a win.

"It's not about race pace, but bringing the car home," Kubica said. "Race pace helps, but even if you are one-second slower or quicker, it doesn't matter here."

Button leads the overall standings with 70 points. Alonso has 67, Vettel 60 and Webber 53. Hamilton and Massa each have 49, while Kubica has 44.

Button had a "tough" day after being impeded by Massa in the final session.

"I don't really know what Felipe was thinking — there were only 10 cars out there, so it should have been relatively easy for him to keep out of the way," Button said. "I don't know what my lap time would have been, but it was annoying because that lap was compromised."