Thursday, 29 May 2014

Novak Djokovic & Roger Federer through plus quotes of the day

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer cruised into the third round of the French Open with straight set wins.
Djokovic, who needs to win the French Open to complete a career Grand Slam, took just over 90 minutes to beat Jeremy Chardy 6-1 6-4 6-2.
It was Djokovic's ninth win in as many meetings against the world number 42, who has never taken a set off the Serb.
Federer, the 2009 French Open champion, beat qualifier Diego Sebastian Schwartzman 6-3 6-4 6-4.
The Swiss will play Russian 31st seed Dmitry Tursunov in the next round for a place in the last 16.
Djokovic next faces 25th seed Marin Cilic of Croatia, who beat Germany's Tobias Kamke 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-0.
Roger Federer

Court Philippe Chatrier

A Schmiedlova (Svk) beat V Williams (US) (29) 2-6 6-3 6-4
Since losing in the fourth round of Wimbledon in 2011, Williams, 32, has lost in the first or second round of every Grand Slam she has taken part in, except for the 2013 Australian Open, where she reached the third round.
N Djokovic (Srb) (2) beat J Chardy (Fra) 6-1 6-4 6-2
"I managed to make him play an extra shot," said Djokovic. "I managed to stay solid from the baseline, and I think that forced him to make a lot of unforced errors, which definitely helped me to win in straight sets."
J-W Tsonga (Fra) (13) beat J Melzer (Aut)6-2 6-3 6-4
"Last year I had not set myself any objectives," said Tsonga. "I simply tried to take the rounds as they came. I'm going to do the same this year, and I just hope it's going to work out and take me as far into the tournament."
M Sharapova (Rus) (7) beat T Pironkova (Bul) 7-5 6-2
Sharapova looked in danger of following the top seed out of the tournament at 4-2 down in the first set, but the 2012 champion fought back to take her clay-court record for 2014 to 14-1.
Maria Sharapova

Court Suzanne Lenglen

G Simon (Fra) (29) beat A Gonzalez (Col) 6-4 6-0 6-2
G Muguruza (Spa) beat S Williams (US) (1) 6-2 6-2
"I don't think anything worked for me today," said Williams, after her shock defeat. "It was just one of those days, you can't be on (your game) every day. It's not the end of the world, there's always next year."
R Federer (Sui) (4) beat D Schwartzman (Arg) 6-3 6-4 6-4
Federer, who has not reached a Grand Slam final since winning his 17th major title at Wimbledon in 2012, said "I think it was kind of tough all the way through. "I didn't feel relaxed for the entire match. I can see why he's ranked where he is and why he probably is going to move up in the rankings."
T Townsend (US) beat A Cornet (Fra) (20) 6-4 4-6 6-4
Townsend, 18, made a major impact on her Grand Slam debut by knocking out French number one Cornet on Court Suzanne Lenglen with some huge hitting. The world number 205 only qualified by virtue of winning the USTA's wildcard challenge competition.
Andy Murray on Twitter:  "How good is Taylor Townsend! #talent And she has a great smile! Gutsy win."

Outside courts - selected results

A Radwanska (Pol) (3) beat K Pliskova (Cze) 6-3 6-4
T Berdych (Cze) (6) beat A Nedovyesov (Kaz) 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 7-5 6-3
A Kerber (Ger) (8) beat V Lepchenko (US) 6-2 7-5
M Raonic (Can) (8) beat J Vesely (Cze) 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 6-1

Who wants to coach a Wimbledon champion?

There have been enough names circulated to fill the most generous of player boxes, but the identity of Andy Murray's next coach remains a mystery.
Former Wimbledon and Australian Open champion Amelie Mauresmo was among those mentioned in despatches, and discussed on BBC 5 live on Friday.
However, BBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller caught up with her and, employing his finest French conversational skills, was told there have been no talks with the Murray camp. Mauresmo's presence on Court Suzanne Lenglen during Murray's match on Tuesday was apparently just part of her role covering the tournament for TV.
Where this one goes next is anyone's guess.

Quotes of the day

Garbine Muguruza
Garbine Muguruza on making it big in Paris: "I never played on such a big court before, I never won any match in a Slam against her, so that was totally new. Before I felt very small, but today I thought, I'm not going to feel very small."
Venus Williams is asked if there is anything wrong with her sister. "Even if I had anything to say, I wouldn't say it here."
Serena Williams describes her 2014: "I haven't gotten past the fourth round of a Grand Slam this year. I have a couple words to describe it, but I think that would be really inappropriate so I'm going to leave it at that."
Novak Djokovic is asked how he copes with the effects of clay on his socks: "Luckily where I'm staying there is a washing machine, so I'm washing my socks every day."
Canada's Eugenie Bouchard confirms that she and twin sister Beatrice were named after the Duke and Duchess of York's children. "My mom is right over there. She was probably a little bit royal obsessed, so yeah."
Serena Williams

Serena's exit - dissecting defeat

The early departure of Serena Williams is the shock of the tournament so far, and her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, has been discussing the defeat.
"The only thing that I can say is most of the time she's able to play her aggressive game, hit a lot of winners, but today there were not the amount of winners she usually makes," he said.
"On the other hand, Muguruza played a very good match. She was aggressive, she took the ball early and she served well. As I've always said it can happen to any player to have a bad day, and to play someone who has the best day of her career. It's the only explanation I can give today.
"There is no physical problem, she's fine. Age is not a factor. She's still in really, really good shape and very competitive."

Selfie of the day

Juan Monaco and John McEnroe
Is there a cooler looking fifty-something than John McEnroe? The seven-time Grand Slam champion makes Juan Monaco, the former world number 10, a very happy man. 

Wozniacki shocked by McIlroy split

Caroline Wozniacki admits her split with golfer Rory McIlroy came as a shock and disrupted her preparations for the French Open.
But the Dane says she wants to "move on" after suffering a first-round exit in her first match since her engagement to ended.
"You are not prepared for something like this," Wozniacki said, in reference to the end of her relationship. "It came as a bit of a shock. I just tired to prepare the best that I could and really tried to focus on my match and what I had to do."
The former world No.1 lost 7-6(5) 4-6 6-2 on Tuesday to Belgium's world No.64 Yanina Wickmayer.
It's the first time Wozniacki has been beaten in her opener at Roland Garros since 2007, when she made her debut at the tournament.
At the outset of Wozniacki's post-match news conference, Wozniacki spoke briefly before taking questions, never mentioning McIlroy by name.
She said: "I don't really want to talk about my personal life. I hope that you all can understand that. The only thing I really have to say is that, you know, [I want to] thank everybody for their support and sweet messages."
She continued, shrugging her shoulders: "What happens in my personal life, I just want to really keep that between my closest people around me. You know, I just have to move on."
One on-court issue for Wozniacki is a lingering knee injury that forced her to skip this month's Rome Masters. "It doesn't make it easier that I haven't been able to play that many matches because I have been injured," she said. "I felt a bit rusty and it wasn't a pretty match. But I tried."
Last week, McIlroy was close to tears while telling reporters that he and Wozniacki decided to split only days after sending out wedding invitations. They began their relationship in 2011 and became engaged on New Year's Eve.
On Sunday, McIlroy fought back for the unlikeliest of victories at the European Tour's BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.
Until Tuesday, Wozniacki had six wins and one defeat in her career against Wickmayer, who had sympathy for her beaten opponent.
Wickmayer said: "We all live difficult times with the boyfriend or when somebody dies or when you have personal issues. We all have our personal issues. Everybody is aware of it, because they're a famous couple. But there are other players who have very personal problems. I think she's strong. She's going to recover."

Serena Williams knocked out of French Open in second round

Serena Williams
Defending champion Serena Williams followed sister Venus out of the French Open on a dramatic fourth day.
Serena lost 6-2 6-2 to Spain's Garbine Muguruza after Venus had been beaten 2-6 6-3 6-4 by Slovakian Anna Schmiedlova at Roland Garros.
It is the first time in her career that Serena has failed to reach the second week of a Grand Slam as the top seed.
It means a projected third-round clash between the Williams sisters will now feature Muguruza and Schmiedlova.

Who will win the women's title

"The tag of favourite may be a curse, but Maria Sharapova's form on clay over the past four years means she fully deserves that title (whether she likes it or not). Of those seeded above her at Roland Garros, 22-year-old Simona Halep looks the best bet - although this year's Australian Open was the first time she had reached a Grand Slam quarter-final. If you prefer to back a former Grand Slam champion, then Ana Ivanovic and Samantha Stosur are worth keeping an eye on."
Muguruza, 20, took full advantage of a very out-of-sorts Williams on a cool and breezy Court Suzanne Lenglen.
The 32-year-old American made 29 errors and just eight winners in a 64-minute defeat that means she will not add to her 17 Grand Slam titles this fortnight.
"It was one of those days," said the 2002 and 2013 champion.
"You can't be on every day, and, gosh, I hate to be off during a Grand Slam. It happens, you know. It's not the end of the world. It is what it is.
"I think she played really well and she played really smart.
"You know, it's great, because I'm going to go home and work five times as hard to make sure I never lose again."
She looked inexplicably underpowered as her usually mighty serve failed to win enough free points and the rest of her game disintegrated.

Williams' double defeat

Serena Williams
  • Serena and Venus Williams last lost on the same day at a Grand Slam at Wimbledon in 2011
  • Serena's 6-2 6-2 defeat is her worst in terms of scoreline in her 16-year Grand Slam career
There was a brief moment of hope for coach Patrick Mouratoglou in the stands when his charge got a break back at 3-1 down in the second set, but a dreadful service game followed as she was broken for the fourth time to love.
The world number one looked as bemused as those watching, shaking her head and looking to the sky, while Muguruza remained impressively calm at the other end of the court.
The Venezuelan-born Barcelona resident recovered from 0-40 to move 5-1 ahead, as dark clouds gathered, before coolly serving out her first ever win over a top-five player to love.
Muguruza said: "I was thinking I have a chance. I have to play really good to win.
"There was a moment in the last games of the match, I was like, 'Oh, my God, I'm winning the set,' and then 4 1 or something like this.
"I was nervous, but I said, 'OK, be calm. She's also nervous. I have the opportunity, so I have to continue like this to win.'"
Serena said: "I just can't serve. I mean, my serve hasn't been good yet. I can't say this whole tournament, because my tournament didn't last long, but just in general."

Who is Muguruza?

Garbine Muguruza turned pro in 2011 and is making only her sixth Grand Slam appearance. The world number 35 reached the fourth round of this year's Australian Open, her best Grand Slam performance to date.
Asked to describe her year, she added: "My first few months I don't think have been great at all. I haven't got past the fourth round of a Grand Slam this year.
"I have a couple of words to describe it, but I think that would be really inappropriate so I'm going to leave it at that."
Venus Williams, 33, had earlier made a strong start before losing eight of nine games on her way to defeat against 19-year-old Schmiedlova on Court Philippe Chatrier.
"I felt like this was a match that I was most likely going to win," said Venus. "I don't know how Serena felt, but I'm sure she feels like that every time she goes on the court.
"So I think our expectation was to play in the next round."

Serena and Venus stunned at Roland Garros.

Day four of the 2014 French Open began with the prospect of Serena and Venus Williams setting up their 25th career meeting in the third round.
But less than two-and-a-half hours after play started at Roland Garros, both sisters were headed home.
Elder sibling Venus went a set up against Anna Schmiedlova before going down 2-6 6-3 6-4, but it is world No.1 and defending champion Serena's defeat to 20-year-old Garbine Muguruza that sent shockwaves through Paris.
The second set was a tense affair. Having cruised through the first, Muguruza stormed into a 3-0 lead before Serena broke.
But unseeded Muguruza, ranked 31 places below her opponent, broke straight back to love before holding from love-40. The Spaniard held her nerve to serve out for the match.
"It was one of those days," said Serena, who has never won fewer points in any of her 288 grand slam matches. "You can't be on every day, and, gosh, I hate to be off during a grand slam. It happens, you know. It's not the end of the world. It is what it is."
Serena struggled from the start against Muguruza and finished the match with only eight winners and 29 unforced errors.

"I don't think anything worked for me today, which is just nothing really worked," she added. "I don't know anything that actually worked."
When handed the microphone, Muguruza screamed "I'm so happy!" It was greeted by a huge roar from the Court Suzanne Lenglen crowd.
"To beat Serena Williams at Roland Garros feels amazing. I didn't expect that, but I played very well.
"I had to be really aggressive and keep focus because she is an unbelievable player and very difficult to play against so I think I did that well."
With the Williams sisters out, as well as second seed Li Na, Maria Sharapova must now be the clear favourite for a second Roland Garros title in three years after moving into the third round by beating Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria 7-5 6-2.
"You just worry about your own path," Sharapova said when asked about this week's upsets. "I need to focus on what's in front of me."
There was another shock out on Court Six as Italian 12th seed Flavia Pennetta was upended by Swede Johanna Larsson 5-7 6-4 6-2.
Larsson will face Eugenie Bouchard - who last week broke her WTA title duck - as the young Canadian 18th seed came from a set down to beat Germany's Julia Goerges 2-6 6-2 6-1.
Eighth seed Angelique Kerber is also through after seeing off American Varvara Lepchenko 6-2 7-5.

French Open 2014: Third seed Stan Wawrinka beaten in four sets

Stan Wawrinka
Stan Wawrinka became the first major casualty at this year's French Open with a wayward performance against Spain's Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.
The Swiss third seed and Australian Open champion made 62 unforced errors in a 6-4 5-7 6-2 6-0 defeat.
Wawrinka, 29, had been trying to become the first man since Jim Courier in 1992 to win both the Australian and French Open in the same year.
Garcia-Lopez, ranked 41st, now faces France's Adrian Mannarino in round two.
Even so, Wawrinka had a 4-2 record from their previous encounters and had won his first Masters 1000 title on the clay of Monte Carlo only last month.

Wawrinka makes horrible history

  • Wawrinka is the first Australian Open champion to lose in the first round of the subsequent Roland Garros since Petr Korda in 1998.
  • The last Grand Slam champion to lose in the first round of their next major was reigning Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon in 2013.
  • The Swiss repeated the feat of Australian Lleyton Hewitt from 2002 - the last man to lose in the first round of the next Slam following a maiden major title. The 2001 US Open champion lost in the first round of his home Slam next time out.
"The match wasn't good at all," said Wawrinka. "I was trying to find my game, trying to be aggressive, trying to find anything, and I didn't.
"I don't have all the answers for why I didn't play that good. I feel some I need to take a few days off to see exactly what's happened."
He looked anything but a reigning Grand Slam champion on Court Philippe Chatrier, however, and appeared uncomfortable from the early stages after play did not get under way until approaching 6pm local time.
An early break of serve was quickly snuffed out by Garcia-Lopez, who took the opening set in 36 minutes, and after getting back on level terms in the second, Wawrinka's challenge evaporated.
The Swiss, who was in the same quarter of the draw as Andy Murray, could barely keep the ball in court as he won just two games in the final two sets.
"I was feeling OK," Wawrinka added. "I was practising well. I was feeling OK with the pressure, for sure. I always put a lot of pressure on myself, but before the match and during the match it was not really about only the pressure.
"I think it's just a different story. Now it's a different picture for my career.
"I need to put the puzzle back together, but differently than in the past, because now, after winning a Grand Slam, a Masters 1000, being number three in the world, everything is different, and I still didn't find all the pieces."
Garcia-Lopez added: "I had my foot on the accelerator 80%, and when you play this kind of player they try to destabilise you, but he did not manage it because I felt very strong today.
"And I think at the end of the day what made him lose is that he was not so strong mentally, whereas I felt very comfortable."

Djokovic and Federer march on

Avoiding the sort of upsets this French Open has been producing, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer kept their bids for Roland Garros glory on track with neither dropping a set on Wednesday as they moved comfortably into the third round.
In eight previous matches between the pair, Jeremy Chardy has never taken a set off Djokovic - so no surprises when the Serbian world No.2 eased past him.

LIVE - French Open

The Court Philippe Chatrier crowd had just witnessed a huge upset as Venus Williams was downed by Anna Schmiedlova while sister Serena, the world No.1 and defending champion, suffered a defeat to 20-year-old Garbine Muguruza over on Court Suzanne Lenglen that sent shockwaves through Paris.
The Williams sisters joined a growing list of early Paris casualties including Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka, but there were no such problems for Djokovic in a 6-1 6-4 6-2 victory. He needed only 92 minutes to eliminate Chardy and has yet to drop a set to him in the 22 they've played.
Owner of six major trophies but never the champion at Roland Garros, Djokovic is trying to become the eighth man to complete a career Grand Slam. He's been to the semi-finals in five of the past seven years in Paris, losing to Rafael Nadal in the 2012 final.

Next up for Djokovic is 25th seed Marin Cilic of Croatia after his 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-0 victory over Tobias Kamke.
Federer continued his quest for an 18th grand slam title with a 6-3 6-4 6-4 win over qualifier and grand slam main draw debutant Diego Sebastian Schwartzman.
The Swiss now faces Dmitry Tursunov in the third round after the 31st seed beat American Sam Querrey 6-4 7-5 6-1.
Elsewhere, 18th seed Ernests Gulbis swept aside Argentine qualifier Facundo Bagnis 6-2 7-5 6-0. The Latvian will take on Radek Stepanek in the third round after the Czech beat Russian 15th seed Mikhail Youzhny 6-0 6-3 3-6 6-4.
Tomas Berdych, the sixth seed, recovered from dropping the first set against Aleksandr Nedovyesov to win 6-7(4) 6-4 7-5 6-3 and earn a third-round match against Roberto Bautista Agut, who downed Benoit Paire 6-4 7-6(4) 6-2.
Home favourite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga had little trouble in dispatching Jurgen Melzer 6-2 6-3 6-4 on Court Philippe Chatrier while his compatriot Gilles Simon breezed past Alejandro Gonzalez 6-4 6-0 6-2.
Simon will be up against eighth seed Milos Raonic after he battled through a tough first set that lasted just over an hour to see off Jiri Vesely 7-6(4) 6-4 6-1.

Aegon Championships: Stan Wawrinka given Queen's wildcard

Stan Wawrinka
World number three Stanislas Wawrinka has been given a wildcard for the Aegon Championships at Queen's Club after his early exit at the French Open.
The 29-year-old suffered a shock first-round defeat by Spain's Guillermo Garcia-Lopez on Monday.
Wawrinka will use the tournament, which begins on 9 June, as part of his grass-court preparations for Wimbledon.
"I'm really looking forward to playing and very grateful the tournament saved a wildcard for me," said Wawrinka.
"I love London, I love the atmosphere. It is an important tournament with a lot of history, and playing at Queen's Club gives me the best possible chance to become comfortable on grass."
Wawrinka, the Australian Open champion, has lost in the first round in three of his last four visits to Wimbledon, including a straight sets defeat by Lleyton Hewitt last year.
British number one Andy Murray, Tomas Berdych, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Grigor Dimitrov are among the other star names in action at Queen's, while British numbers two and three Dan Evans and James Ward have also been given wildcards.

Tennis. Andy Murray set for French Open match with 'funny guy' Matosevic

Andy Murray
Britain's Andy Murray will be facing a relieved man when he plays Australian Marinko Matosevic in round two of the French Open on Thursday.
The pair meet on Court One at around 14:00 BST, while Heather Watson follows against fourth seed Simona Halep.
A thrilled Matosevic rolled in the clay after beating Dustin Brown on Tuesday to win his first Grand Slam match at the 13th attempt.
"It was an interesting celebration," said Murray.

Murray's French Open record

  • 2013 - DNP
  • 2012 - Quarter-finals
  • 2011 - Semi-final
  • 2010 - Fourth round
  • 2009 - Quarter-finals
  • 2008 - Third round
  • 2007 - DNP
  • 2006 - First round
"I have not seen that before. I get on very well with Marinko. He's a funny guy. He's a good ball striker, he can play good tennis. He's a strong guy. It will be tough."
Murray won their only previous match, on the grass of Queen's Club last year, but the 28-year-old Australian will go into Thursday's match in high spirits after finally ending his Grand Slam slump.
"You feel like there is a huge gorilla off your shoulders," said Matosevic, ranked 66th. "It's just relief more than anything else. Hopefully it can free me up now."
Murray, 27, is seeded seventh in Paris after slipping down the rankings following back surgery last September, but he remains as motivated as ever to contend for the major titles.
"I felt once I had my surgery was when I started looking forward again," he told BBC Sport.
"The way I train in the gym is tough, it's hard. I enjoy that and getting into shape to perform over five sets in the tournaments, and my goal is to try to win Grand Slams. That's what motivates me.
"Some people think number one should be my goal but what motivates me is Grand Slams, so I want to get myself in the best possible shape to win another one if I can."

Watson's French Open record

  • 2013 - First round
  • 2012 - Second round
  • 2011 - Second round
Watson is brimming with optimism ahead of her encounter with Romania's Halep, arguably the form player in women's tennis over the last year after Serena Williams.
The pair met at the US Open in 2013, with Halep prevailing in three sets, but Watson is on a run of nine consecutive wins as she employs a more attacking style.
"If anything, I'll try to be more aggressive against a player like that, so solid, so high up in the rankings, doing so well," said the 22-year-old from Guernsey.
"You're not going to get free points. You have to win those matches. That's what I'm going to have to do.
"I'm not going to hope for her to miss, because she's not going to miss."

TENNIS. Murray: Give me grand slams over world No.1

Andy Murray says he is not bothered about being the best player in the world - he just wants to win grand slams.
The British No.1 has slipped to seventh in the ATP Tour rankings following back surgery in September, having reached a high of No.2 in 2009.

Wawrinka adds Queen's to schedule

Stan Wawrinka's French Open lasted just one match © Getty Images
  • Stan Wawrinka has taken a wildcard for Queen's following his early exit at the French Open.
  • The world No.3 and Australian Open champion was shocked in the first round at Roland Garros by Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and has decided to add a tournament to his schedule ahead of Wimbledon.
  • "I am really looking forward to playing [at Queen's] and very grateful that the tournament saved a wildcard for me," said Wawrinka, who will be the top seed ahead of defending champion Andy Murray.
  • "I love London, I love the atmosphere. It is an important tournament with a lot of history, and gives me the best possible chance to become comfortable on grass."
And with the comeback process coming along as planned, Murray, who won the US Open in 2012 before adding the Wimbledon title last year, is targeting more major glory.
"I felt once I had my surgery was when I started looking forward again," he told BBC Sport.
"The way I train in the gym is tough, it's hard. I enjoy that and getting into shape to perform over five sets in the tournaments, and my goal is to try to win Grand Slams. That's what motivates me.
"Some people think number one should be my goal but what motivates me is Grand Slams, so I want to get myself in the best possible shape to win another one if I can."
Murray takes on Marinko Matosevic in Thursday's second-round clash.
The Australian won his first grand slam match at the 13th attempt on Tuesday before celebrating by rolling around in the Roland Garros clay.
"It was an interesting celebration," Murray added. "I have not seen that before.
"I get on very well with Marinko. He's a funny guy. He's a good ball striker, he can play good tennis. He's a strong guy. It will be tough."
Matosevic was beaten by Murray in their only previous meeting - at Queen's Club last year - but the 28-year-old will be in high spirits going into Thursday's encounter.
"You feel like there is a huge gorilla off your shoulders," said world No.66 Matosevic. "It's just relief more than anything else. Hopefully it can free me up now."

CYCLING. Tiernan-Locke's anti-doping hearing postponed

British Team Sky rider Jonathan Tiernan-Locke has delayed his anti-doping hearing until the summer.
Tiernan-Locke, the 2012 Tour of Britain winner, is being investigated over discrepancies in his biological passport.
The anomalies were detected last September with the 29-year-old pulling out of the World Championships and suspended by Team Sky, though he denies any wrong-doing.
Tiernan-Locke requested the delay, according to the United Kingdom Anti-doping Agency (UKAD), who are handling the case on behalf of cycling's governing body, the UCI.
Team Sky said the readings were taken before he joined them in 2012, with the UCI opening disciplinary hearings against Tiernan-Locke in December.
A UKAD statement read: "Proceedings are confidential until their conclusion, as dictated by the anti-doping rules.
"To protect the rights of all involved and the integrity of the process, we are unable to comment further or disclose exact time-frames, which are in any event changeable depending on outcomes.
"However, as soon as appropriate we will publish the decision on our website.

CYCLING. British Cycling restructures pathway to podium success

Andy Fenn
British Cycling is to restructure its "performance pathway" as it seeks to capitalise on the sport's burgeoning popularity and maintain the stream of elite-level medals won by its riders over the past decade.
Since 2003, when the Manchester-based governing body established its Academy programme, 203 riders have come through the system.
According to Great Britain Cycling Team's Ian Yates, one in 10 has won a World or an Olympic medal.
The challenge now is to establish a programme that produces winners after the Olympics in Rio.
"It's a positive position we are in," the performance pathway manager told BBC Scotland at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow.


  • Club Clusters of Training : typical age 12-16, run by club coaches and supported by British Cycling's regional performance pathway coaches and Go-Ride coaches
  • Regional Schools of Racing : typical age 14-16, 300-350 riders, for youngsters who perform well at club and regional level
  • Olympic Development Apprentices : typical age 14-15, 80-100 riders will receive coaching support from a regional performance pathway coach, regular group training sessions, access to world-class facilities
  • Olympic Development Programme : typical age 15-17, 40-50 riders
  • Olympic Academy Programme : typical age 18-22, 25-30 riders, full-time residential, a "finishing school" for GB cyclists
  • Olympic Podium Programme : supports elite athletes aiming for European, World, Commonwealth and Olympic medals
"But cycling is a completely different sport in Britain nowadays compared to 2003.
"We used to have 1,300 riders at under-18, now we have 11,500, and 8,000 of those are racing."
In 2008, British Cycling had 20,000 members. The exploits of Sir Bradley Wiggins, Sir Chris Hoy et al boosted the numbers to 50,000 by 2012.
Today there are 90,000 members, 8,500 of whom are in Scotland.
British Cycling, with Shane Sutton as its technical director, decided its rider development plan could be improved. It has created a new six-step performance pathway to come into effect later this year which allows it "to identify, confirm and develop the best young talent".
From "Club Clusters", youngsters will move on to "Regional Schools of Racing" and hope that they can progress to become "Olympic Development Apprentices" in their early teens.
There follows three stages for an even more select bunch - the "Olympic Development Programme", the "Olympic Academy Programme" and the "Olympic Podium Programme".
Yates lists the achievements by British cyclists in the past decade: among them the two golds at the Athens Olympics in 2004; pathway graduate Mark Cavendish's World Championship gold in the madison the following year; the eight golds at the Beijing Olympics; Britain's women winning 2009 World Championship team pursuit gold; Sir Bradley Wiggins's Tour de France glory in 2012 and the gold medal haul on road and track at the London Olympics.

Interview: Mountain biker Grant Ferguson talks to British Cycling
"It's fairly well published we've had 34 Olympic medallists since the Sydney Olympics in 2000," he added.
"But what's more interesting is that since Beijing we've had 33 individuals who have won a World Championship or an Olympic Games medal.
"Two-thirds are graduates of the pathway and just over half have been with us since a youth or a junior, that's 15-17-year-olds."
So why change a system that produces such results?
Yates wants to make the most of having "an ever-growing population of bike riders" to choose from. But there is also the desire to increase the contact time between the most promising riders and the best coaches and facilities.
In Scotland, where 154 clubs are affiliated to Scottish Cycling, there will be one Club Cluster in each area of the country. The programme will try to bring together like-minded clubs to create "a more performance-driven environment".


  • Ross Edgar
  • Neil Fachie
  • Andy Fenn
  • Grant Ferguson
  • Kenta Gallagher
  • Craig MacLean
  • Iain Paton
  • Tao Geoghegan Hart
  • Katie Archibald
  • Callum Skinner
For riders in their mid-teens, the Regional Schools of Racing will offer one full-day session a month that covers riding skills and "off-bike" skills such as bike maintenance.
"We have got to make sure there are events and coaches in the regions," said Lynne Munro, head of development at Scottish Cycling.
"We want to have that local scene really thriving. We must ensure there's the right support in our clubs and that's why we need to educate our coaches."
There are separate schools for track, road, mountain bike and BMX, but for Munro there is a fantastic crossover of skills between the disciplines.
She and Yates cite the example of Peebles rider Grant Ferguson, one of 10 Scots in the British Cycling set-up, who is doing well not just in mountain-bike racing but on the road too.
English rider Joanna Rowsell, is flanked by Rebecca Wiasak of Australia and Scotland's Katie Archibald
Scotland's Katie Archibald (right) joined British Cycling's programme after excelling in the Scottish scene
And last year's BMX world champion Liam Phillips was just two years ago trying out the track to build up speed and power that would give him the edge over rivals at the start ramp.
The existing 30-day camp-based "Talent Team" of 30 riders will be replaced by Olympic Development Apprentices aged 14 and 15 who will have a full-day session every fortnight.
"We wanted to increase the frequency of access to world-class facilities and coaches that a larger number at the right level could get," said Yates.
"We would expect to have a bunch of track-based riders operating out of this velodrome in Glasgow, and a bunch of mountain bike riders at another facility, and for the cohorts to work together later in the day on the road and then in the classroom.
"It will be real quality work at an age where their skill development is very important.
"We want to really push them for the step up to the national programmes, either for GB or for Scotland, so that when they step up they are closer to being a finished product."
That next step takes riders from the first three stages of the regional performance pathway to the national scheme. The most promising will be invited on to the Olympic Development Programme, which is typically for riders aged 15-17, to develop their skills and fitness for racing. Riders are taught by Great Britain Cycling Team coaches, given individual training and race programmes, and are aided by the GB performance support team.
Successful progression leads to what British Cycling refer to as its "finishing school", the full-time residential Olympic Academy Programme in Manchester. Its aim over two to three years is "to provide a tough and demanding environment so riders understand the requirements, expectations and principles of what it is to be a world and Olympic champion".
Finally, the very best riders will make it on to the Olympic Podium Programme which is dedicated to supporting elite riders targeting medals in European, World and Olympic championships.
For a young rider, the pathway to the podium is clear. Now, who has the legs to make the journey?

Glasgow 2014: Wales judo coach Craig Ewers to compete at Games

Natalie Powell (white) of Great Britain and Kerstin Thiele of Germany compete clash at the the 2013 Judo Grand Slam in Tokyo
National coach Craig Ewers is to compete in judo for Wales at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Darren Warren will cover for Ewers away from the dojo when he challenges in the 81kg class.
Ewers competed at the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games for Wales - the last time the sport was included.
Wales also include International Judo Federation 78kg number 13 ranked Natalie Powell among 10 judoka, along with her 57kg sister Kirsty.
Only Ewers has previously been involved in a Commonwealth Games.
He said: "It's fantastic to see judo back on the schedule. It's been 12 years and the sport has developed a lot in that time.
"We have selected a really strong squad to represent Wales in Glasgow and we're all going out there to compete to the best of our abilities and to hopefully bring medals back with us."
Commonwealth Games Council for Wales chief executive Chris Jenkins said: "For nine members of the team it will be their first major multi-sport competition and it will be a great experience for them all."

Wales Judo team

Kyle Davies, under 66kgs
Jamie MacDonald, under 66kgs
Curtis Dodge, under 73kgs
Connor Ireland, under 73kgs
Craig Ewers, under 81kgs
Ruslan Rancev, under 100kgs
Mark Shaw, over 100kgs
Jade Lewis, under 52kgs
Kirsty Powell, under 57kgs
Natalie Powell, under 78kgs

CYCLING. Battaglin wins stage 14 as Uran retains lead

Rigoberto Uran kept hold of the pink jersey as Italy's Enrico Battaglin won stage 14 of the Giro d'Italia.
Bardiani Valvole rider Battaglin edged compatriot Dario Cataldo, of Team Sky, in a thrilling finish to the 162km mountain stage from Aglie to Oropa.
Australia's Cadel Evans cut Uran's overall lead to 32 seconds by finishing five seconds ahead of the Colombian.
Nairo Quintana is still more than three minutes back despite gaining 25 seconds on Uran, who delivered a second successive stage win for his team after Marco Canola's victory on Friday.
"I am not used to winning that kind of stage," said Battaglin. "At the beginning I did not think our breakaway could go all the way."
"It was a very tough day," said Omega Pharma - Quick-Step rider Uran. "There are a lot of other mountain stages and the only standings that will matter are the final standings."

CYCLING. Glasgow 2014: Three medallists among latest Scots choices

Sarah Clark
Three Commonwealth Games medallists are among the latest 29 competitors to be named in Team Scotland to compete at Glasgow 2014 this summer.
Judo returns to the Games for the first time since 2002, when Sarah Clark took silver in Manchester, and she is among 14 who will compete this time.
Adam Cox, who won high bar bronze in Melbourne in 2006, is included in a 10-strong gymnastics team.
Judo was our most successful sport when it was last included in a Games programme and we have a strong line-up once again
Weightlifter Peter Kirkbride will aim to improve on his Delhi 2010 silver.
But he is Scotland's only male competitor in the Scots' team of four.
Michael Yule will be sole representative in para-sport powerlifting at heavyweight.
It brings the total Team Scotland numbers selected so far to 178, with an anticipated final team in the region of 270.
The latest group to be named for Team Scotland contains 22 Games debutants.
Chasing podium places in gymnastics will be London 2012 Bronze medallist Dan Purvis and Daniel Keatings.
Peter Kirkbride
Peter Kirkbride won silver in Delhi and competed at the Olympics in London
The judo team will be led by team manager Graeme Randall and head coach David Somerville, who took gold and silver respectively as Scotland collected 10 medals in Manchester to become their country's most successful sport.
John Buchanan will be making his second Games appearance, as is silver medallist Clark, who is one of five Olympians in the team, the others being Euan Burton, James Austin, Chris Sherrington and Sally Conway.
Team Scotland Chef de Mission Jon Doig said: "Judo was our most successful sport when it was last included in a Games programme and we have a strong line-up once again.
"We also have a good pedigree in artistic gymnastics and weightlifting with athletes who have won medals at previous Olympic and Commonwealth Games."
Judo Scotland national high-performance coach David Somerville was also confident that the Scots could deliver on home soil.
"When judo has been included in the Commonwealth Games, Scotland has produced strong performances and the athletes selected are a determined and focused group," he said.
"We believe that the team contains an accomplished balance of experience and youth with realistic opportunities for medal success."

The latest 29 selected

Artistic gymnastics

Frank Baines, Adam Cox, Liam Davie, Daniel Keatings, Daniel Purvis. Cara Kennedy, Erin McLachlan, Amy Regan, Carly Smith, Emma White.


James Austin, John Buchanan, Andrew Burns, Euan Burton, Patrick Dawson, Matthew Purssey, Chris Sherrington, Sarah Adlington, Sally Conway, Sarah Clark, Stephanie Inglis, Connie Ramsay, Kimberley Renicks, Louise Renicks.


Peter Kirkbride, Georgina Black, Louise Mather, Sophie Smyth.

Para-sport powerlifting

CYCLING. Uran retains Giro lead as Aru claims stage 15

Fabio Aru enjoyed victory on home soil as he clinched stage 15 of the Giro d'Italia on Sunday, while overall leader Rigoberto Uran extended his advantage over Cadel Evans.
Aru moved up from seventh to fourth in the general race classification and is now two minutes and 24 seconds behind Uran.
Uran crossed the line 42 seconds behind Aru, but gained another 31 seconds over Evans, who finished the 255km stage in 10th place and was one of many riders to struggle with the 1,400-metre ascent in the closing 20 kilometres.
Nairo Quintana, the pre-race favourite, finished third to make up 24 seconds Uran, but still trails the race leader by two minutes 40 seconds.
Monday will see the rider's take their final rest day before they return on Tuesday for a 139km stage, which will include three climbs, from Ponte di Legno to Val Martello.

CYCLING, Glasgow 2014: Katie Archibald named in Scotland's cycling squad

Scotland's Katie Archibald
Recently-crowned world team pursuit champion Katie Archibald will lead Scotland's 30-strong cycling squad at the Commonwealth Games.
Sixteen men and 14 women will represent the host nation in track, road and mountain bike events.
Charline Joiner is included despite breaking her back earlier this year.
Paralympians Aileen McGlynn and Neil Fachie are also named in the squad, with the latter piloted in the men's tandem track events by Craig MacLean.
The squad is Team Scotland's biggest ever cycling group for a Commonwealth Games.
McGlynn, who has won medals at the last three Paralympic Games, will race in both the sprint and time trial events with tandem pilot Louise Haston.
Despite only taking up the sport just over a year ago, Laura Cluxton and pilot Fiona Duncan - UCI World Cup gold-medallists - are also in the team.
In the men's tandem track events, Fachie will aim to add to his two World Championship titles and London 2012 1km time-trial gold and individual sprint silver. He will be piloted by MacLean, who earned Commonwealth medals in both 2002 and 2006.
There are also two road events, a time trial and road race.
Newcomer Archibald, who started her racing career on a grass track in the Highlands and has recently competed in the UK Women's Tour, will be accompanied by Joiner, Eileen Roe and Claire Thomas.
In mountain biking, 2013 British national cross-country champions Grant Ferguson and Lee Craigie will be joined by Gareth Montgomery, Kenta Gallagher and Jessie Roberts.
Paralympian Aileen McGlynn
Aileen McGlynn will race in the sprint and time trial
Team Scotland chef de mission Jon Doig said the size of the squad offered proof of cycling's burgeoning appeal.
"Scotland has always had a strong tradition in cycling and its popularity has gone from strength to strength on the back of the amazing achievements of Sir Chris Hoy and Craig MacLean, the accessibility of the magnificent velodrome in Glasgow and the determination of Scottish Cycling to maximise these fantastic opportunities," he said.
"This 30-strong team is proof of the progress that has been made over the last four years and we look forward to some exciting action on the track, on the road and over the cross-country course at Cathkin Braes."
Gary Coltman, Scottish Cycling's Head of Performance, said Glasgow 2014 offered "an opportunity of a lifetime" for the Scottish riders.
Team Scotland's cycling squad:
Jonathon Biggin (Track Sprint) Bruce Croall (Track Sprint) Neil Fachie (Track Para-Cycling) Andy Fenn (Time Trial, Road Race) Grant Ferguson (Mountain Bike XC) Kenta Gallagher (Mountain Bike XC) James McCallum (Track Endurance, Road Race) Craig McLean MBE (Track Para-Cycling Pilot) David Millar (Time Trial, Road Race) Gareth Montgomerie (Mountain Bike XC) Evan Oliphant (Track Endurance, Road Race) John Paul (Track Sprint) Christopher Pritchard (Track Sprint) Alistair Rutherford (Track Endurance) Callum Skinner (Track Sprint) Mark Stewart (Track Endurance)
Katie Archibald (Track Endurance, Time Trial, Road Race) Laura Cluxton (Track Para-Cycling) Lee Craigie (Mountain Bike XC) Jenny Davis (Track Sprint) Fiona Duncan (Track Para-Cycling Pilot) Anne Ewing (Road Race) Louise Haston (Track Para-Cycling Pilot) Charline Joiner (Track Endurance, Road Race) Aileen McGlynn OBE Track Para-Cycling Eleanor Richardson (Track Sprint) Jessica Roberts (Mountain Bike XC) Eileen Roe (Track Endurance, Road Race) Claire Thomas (Road Race) Anna Turvey (Track Endurance, Time Trial)

CYCLING. Quintana takes pink jersey amid controversy

Nairo Quintana took hold of the race leader's pink jersey after winning a controversial 16th stage of the Giro d'Italia in treacherous conditions.
The Colombian producing a climbing masterclass in the snow, fog and rain to take the lead away from Rigoberto Uran and open up a gap of one minute and 41 seconds on his compatriot.
Quintana left his general classification rivals in the dust on a tricky descent off the Passo dello Stelvio before powering up the ascent to the summit finish at Val Martello.
Ryder Hesjedal trailed Quintana in second place, eight seconds back, with Pierre Rolland in third, while Uran was a distant four minutes and 11 seconds adrift in ninth.
Cadel Evans drops to third in the overall standings after falling three minutes and 21 seconds behind Quintana.
However the race was mired in controversy with organisers tweeting that the descent off the Stelvio was to be neutralised with riders not allowed to compete, due to the dangerous conditions.
Confusion reigned though when the tweet was later deleted with teams not officially instructed to stop racing and an unaware Quintana took advantage by bursting down in a small group.
He then extended his gap on his rivals with a powerful display on the 22.3km climb to Val Martello.
Quintana said afterwards: "At the descent, Europcar and Hesjedal started going strong and [Gorka] Izagirre and myself followed their wheels. It wasn't an attack, by any means, nor did I hear anything about the race getting neutralised, neither from the organisers nor from the team radio.
"I don't understand why there is an argument. I made up more time on the climb, we didn't make so much on the descent.
"I did the last climb at my own rhythm but I gave it everything I had.
"Since the start of the season, I think I've shown my runner-up place at the Tour de France [in 2013] was no fluke.
"In this Giro I've encountered a few problems but I've never lost hope. The team have been right behind me and kept my confidence intact."
The peloton made its way up the Stelvio Pass in treacherous conditions during the 16th stage of the Giro d'Italia 

CYCLING. Team Sky bike is 'best in the world' says Sir Dave Brailsford

The Dogma F8
A £12,000 bike developed for Team Sky by Jaguar is the "best in the world", according to team principal Sir Dave Brailsford.
Sky won the past two Tour de France races, with Sir Bradley Wiggins and current champion Chris Froome, and launched the Pinarello Dogma F8 at Jaguar's site in Gaydon, Warwickshire.

Built to win

Close-up of the bike
  • Jaguar engineers developed the frame to improve the aerodynamics and reduce the drag of components, including the forks and seat post
  • It was tested using the same methods used to optimise the aerodynamics of new Jaguar Land Rover cars
  • The company says wind tunnel tests suggest the bike is 26.1% more aerodynamic than the previous model
Sir Dave said the bike, developed at the car maker's virtual innovation centre, is light, fast and aerodynamic.
The Tour starts in Leeds on 5 July.
'The best shot' Jaguar has previously supplied support cars for Team Sky but the company said this was its first involvement in bicycle engineering.
The model, which was a collaboration between Jaguar designers and Italian bicycle frame makers Pinarello, makes its competitive debut at the Critérium du Dauphiné race in France on 8 June.
Sir Dave said: "One of the challenges has been to try to create a bike that has the components of lightness, handling and aerodynamics all in one bike.
"That's the trick with this bike - it's the best on every level.
"I'm confident we will be able to give the Tour de France the best shot we can. We have the best bike and the best equipment.
The bike alongside a car The bike was tested using the same methods to optimise the aerodynamics of new Jaguar Land Rover road cars
"It's a three-week race and a lot of things can happen but we are going there confident we can defend our title."
Jon Darlington, head of aerodynamics at Jaguar, said: "Taking our level of engineering capability and applying it to a bike project is something that has not been done before."

CYCLING. Pirazzi takes stage 17 as Quintana retains lead

Italy's Stefano Pirazzi held on to win stage 17 of the Giro d'Italia in Vittorio Veneto as Nairo Quintana retained the race leader's pink jersey.
Pirazzi was part of a five-man break and edged out his rivals for a maiden Giro stage victory, breaking down in tears after securing the win. It was the Bardiani team's third victory of this year's Giro.
Colombian Quintana retained his lead of one minute 41 seconds over compatriot Rigoberto Uran in the overall standings as well as his three minutes 21 seconds gap over third-placed Cadel Evans after crossing the line as part of the peloton almost 15 minutes after the breakaway group.
However the controversy over Quintana's actions during Tuesday's 16th stage still dominated the day, after he took the race lead partly aided by making up time during a descent off the Passo dello Stelvio that many teams thought had been neutralised by race organisers due to treacherous conditions in the snow and rain.
Some of the riders had not raced the section, with Quintana able to put time between himself and his rivals before powering up the ascent to the summit finish at Val Martello.
Team principals held meetings before racing began on Wednesday to discuss the situation, with team owner Oleg Tinkoff calling for the stage 16 result to be cancelled.
In an interview with on Wednesday morning, Patrick Lefevre, of Uran's Omega Pharma - Quick Step team, called for race organiser Mauro Vegni to resign.
"Mr Vegni should go home. For me he should resign," Lefevere said. "He's not from this cycling any more. He doesn't care about the riders. This isn't the first time, it's always him. I pay the riders, not him and I had a few million Euros riding around and they give us s***, 60,000 to ride the race. We put a lot into riding that race.
"The men in charge are the race organisers, not the UCI commissars and we have proof that on the top of the Stelvio the radio said there would be motorbikes with flags and that no risks would be taken and that at the end of the descent every group could start with the gaps they had at the top. Then afterwards the Giro d'Italia removed their tweet about the neutralisation.
"Then, and how can you be more of a coward than this, they put the guilt on the man from radio. It wasn't his decision. I think they just changed their minds because they were happy that Quintana, [Ryder] Hesjedal and [Pierre] Rolland were in a break and it was nice for the Giro."
Lefevere also said other team managers were angered over the issue, adding: "They were all upset because their riders were stopping on the Stelvio, changing clothes because of the things that were said.
"The Giro hasn't been stolen from us, but the pink jersey has. It's not about whether Quintana is the best climber, it's about principles. Uran might have lost the jersey, he might have lost it later in the race. Cycling wants to become a big sport but it's never going to become a big sport if it's run like this."

CYCLING. Chris Froome Tenerife anti-doping claims investigated by UCI

Chris Froome
The UCI is investigating claims by defending champion Chris Froome that he has not been drug-tested at a Tour de France training camp.
The Briton, 29, also claimed there had been no tests for leading riders Alberto Contador and Vincenzo Nibali.
"We're looking into the matter with the Cycling Anti Doping Foundation," the sport's governing body told BBC Sport.
Froome had said he was "disappointed" at not being tested while training in Tenerife during the last two weeks.
He said on Twitter: "Three major TDF contenders staying on Mount Teide and no out of competition tests for the past two weeks. Very disappointing."
Froome has been high-altitude training with Sky team-mates in the area around Mount Teide ahead of the Criterium du Dauphine in June and the Tour de France, which starts in Yorkshire on 5, July.
Froome, the 2013 winner of France's annual race, later followed up with a further tweet, which said: "To clarify, I am one of those three and I think it's in all our best interests to be able to prove we are clean no matter where we train."
The UCI has responsibility for anti-doping tests. Riders are obliged to provide the UCI with their whereabouts at all times to allow random anti-doping tests as part of the scheme which provides a biological passport.
The UCI responded on Thursday by insisting Froome's allegations would be investigated.
"The UCI has seen the comment by Tour de France winner Chris Froome regarding a lack of out of competition testing at Mount Teide, Tenerife," a spokesman said.
"Out of competition testing is clearly an essential component of any effective anti-doping programme and we are looking into the matter with the Cycling Anti Doping Foundation, which is responsible for planning and executing anti doping tests in cycling."

What is a biological passport?

An individual, electronic record for each rider, in which results of all doping tests are collated. A passport for each rider contains:
  • Results of individual urine tests
  • Results of individual blood tests
  • A haematological profile consisting of the combined results of haematological parameters analysed in a series of blood samples
  • A steroid profile consisting of the combined results of steroid levels in a series of urine samples
After his initial tweets, Froome then expanded on his comments in an interview with Cycling News,  claiming that leading riders and potential Tour rivals Nibali (Astana) and Contador (Tinkoff Saxo) had also not been tested while on the island.
Contador was banned for two years in 2012, backdated to January 2011, and stripped of his 2010 Tour de France victory after testing positive for clenbuterol.
The Spaniard has maintained that the failed test was a result of eating contaminated meat.
"I've asked around with other teams just out of interest, because we've been up here before and not been tested," Froome said.
"So, I just wanted to see if it was the same case for everyone, but none of them, from what I could gather, had been tested either.
"Alberto, Vincenzo, we're all up here with our respective teams and, at the end of the day, we're the ones that have to stand in front of the television cameras in July and justify performances.
"All three of us are GC (General Classification) contenders and the probability is that whoever is in the yellow jersey in July is going to have to answer questions. If we're not getting tested, that doesn't look good on any of us.

"It would be good to have more testing done here, especially this close to the Tour de France. I would have expected to see more testing and it's disappointing."
Froome has never failed a doping test but repeatedly had to answer questions about the subject on his way to winning the Tour de France for the first time last summer.
He claims he has only been tested once during his visits to Tenerife despite Sky and other pro teams regularly using the area for high-altitude training.
"I've been tested once and I've been up here maybe four or five times," the Kenyan-born rider added.
"In my opinion they're not helping by not doing controls at this part in the season. I think that if we're trying to show that the sport has changed it's difficult to do so if we're not being tested up here."

FORMULA1. Merc will put 'sensitive' Hamilton 'back in shape' - Wolff

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is confident Lewis Hamilton will get over the events of the Monaco Grand Prix weekend and is happy to allow psychological games to continue between his two drivers.
Tension between Hamilton and team-mate Nico Rosberg upped a gear at the Monaco Grand Prix, with Hamilton saying that he and Rosberg were just colleagues and no longer friends by the end of the weekend. The major flash point occurred during qualifying when Rosberg took to the escape road at Mirabeau, ruining Hamilton's quick lap and ensuring he took the crucial pole position that led to victory.
The events of the weekend appeared to affect Hamilton more, but Wolff said "it always takes 12 hours" for his driver to calm down after a race. He believes Hamilton is the more sensitive of the two, but is confident Mercedes can keep him in a happy state of mind for the duration of the season.
"Lewis is a very sensitive person and a very competitive person," Wolff said. "I think one of our duties is to understand what the drivers need, protect the drivers and make them function at their best. If they function at their best, that's the best for the team. Both of them are very different and need a completely different environment, and I think we have a pretty good understanding of what Lewis needs and how we can put him back in shape."
Ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix, Hamilton made comments about being the hungrier of the two Mercedes drivers because he had a more difficult upbringing than Rosberg. Wolff said such mind games would be tolerated going forward and expects both drivers to try to gain every possible advantage in their championship battle.
"This I would qualify as being part of the little psychological games you are allowed to do. If you have a difficult upbringing maybe you are more hungry, but I guess if you are the son of a world champion and you have been brought up in Monaco and you make it to being a grand prix winner, you must be a tough character as well because you have a lot of odds that went against you.
"But let's not finger point. I think they are both very competitive and will try to gain every advantage. It's up to us to manage it."
Wolff said he works alongside executive director (technical) Paddy Lowe and non-executive Chairman Niki Lauda to try to calm the tension between the drivers.
"Mostly it's Paddy and myself because we come from different angles. Niki is very important because he almost has a mentoring function for Lewis. He's a three-time world champion and that is important for Lewis. We all have different roles."

Monaco GP: Fernando Alonso is 'best driver in world' say Ferrari

Lewis Hmailton in action in Monaco
Ferrari have described Fernando Alonso as "the best driver in the world" after he said he felt a lack of support from his "closest friends".
Mercedes boss Dieter Zetsche described Alonso as "perhaps the best F1 driver" on a factory visit in Spain on Tuesday.
Alonso said: "It's good to receive good comments but it's funny when you see the opposite in your closest friends."
Ferrari president Luca Di Montezemolo said Alonso "gives 200% in races" and dismissed any notion of a rift.
Spanish Grand Prix: Fernando Alonso - Amazing gap to Mercedes
Spanish GP: Fernando Alonso - Mercedes' advantage is 'amazing'
The Italian's comments came in a statement by Ferrari following a day of fevered speculation at the Monaco Grand Prix in the wake of Alonso's remarks.
The 32-year-old double world champion was asked about Zetsche's praise on his arrival in Monaco on Wednesday.
He said: "It's always welcome when people see your job in a good way and respect what you try to do and what you try to achieve.
"It's sometimes, not sad but sometimes strange to see good comments and good compliments from people from outside and from the side that is supposed to be close to you there are the opposite comments. That's motivating for me."
His remarks were interpreted by some as a barb at Di Montezemolo, who last summer publicly admonished the Spaniard after he said in a TV interview he wanted "someone else's car" for his birthday.
But Ferrari said on Wednesday that Alonso had been referring to critical articles in the Italian media in recent days.
Di Montezemolo added: "Fernando is the best driver in the world, who always gives 200% in the races.
"He knows how much I count on him, even away from the race track, in terms of his contribution and the impetus he gives to the team.
"I think it's incredible that there are still some so-called experts who don't understand that and are always looking for a polemical situation that simply doesn't exist."
Ferrari have been going through a turbulent period in recent weeks.
Their former team boss Stefano Domenicali resigned after Alonso and Raikkonen finished ninth and 10th at the Bahrain Grand Prix last month, which was attended by Di Montezemolo.
Domenicali's replacement Marco Mattiacci has already said the team would bring in new staff if they felt they would add to the team.

Alonso at Ferrari

  • 2010: Five wins, 2nd in drivers' championship
  • 2011: One win, 4th in championship
  • 2012: Three wins, 2nd in championship
  • 2013: Two wins, 2nd in championship
They are believed to have made an approach to Red Bull's design chief Adrian Newey, but he has insisted here in Monaco that he is "committed to Red Bull for the foreseeable future".
Di Montezemolo added that Raikkonen was "another incredible driver" and said both "need a competitive Ferrari and giving them that is our sole objective.
"We are working very hard, starting with Marco Mattiacci, who knows what needs to be done and who will instigate many changes at a technical and organisational level and in speeding up the decision-making process.
"That's what I want, as do our drivers and our fans, while all the rest is just idle chat."

Fernando Alonso: Ferrari driver says Pirelli's F1 tyres are too hard

Nico Rosberg wins the Monaco GP
Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso has criticised Formula 1's tyres.
He says the Pirelli tyres "go off" too quickly to allow drivers to push to the limit throughout a race and are this year too hard to provide good grip.
The Spaniard, who finished fourth in Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix , said drivers had to back off within a few laps to make the tyres last whether they provided enough grip or not.
"They are too hard. There are no secrets," he said.
"When they bring normal tyres with good grip, we finish the tyre in two or three laps. When they bring harder tyres we finish the tyre in eight or nine laps but we go very slow."
The double world champion's criticisms echo those of other drivers this year - Force India's Sergio Perez said earlier this month that the harder tyres this year were "embarrassing" for F1 because the back-of-the grid cars were slower than the fastest GP2 support-race cars.

Alonso: Mr Consistency

Monaco marked Fernando Alonso's 20th straight race without a win, but in that time he has:
  • Completed every race
  • Secured seven podium finishes
  • Finished in the top five on 15 occasions
  • Only once finished out of the top 10
Alonso added: "This is what we have - it is the same for everybody. The tyre is what it is and what it has been for the last four years unfortunately."
Pirelli's remit when it came into F1 in 2011 was to provide tyres that degraded rapidly and forced teams to make at least two pit stops in a race.
This year the company has chosen to supply more conservative tyres because it was worried about the potential effect of the greater torque of the new turbo hybrid engines.
Paul Hembery, the Pirelli motorsport director, had a public row with Alonso at last year's Korean Grand Prix after the double world champion criticised the tyres. 
Pirelli declined to comment on Alonso's latest criticism, saying: "Pirelli prefers not to reply to remarks which have not been made directly to us. The only direct comments we received so far are positive."

FORMULA1. Monaco Grand Prix as it happened

Juan Pablo Montoya celebrates his 2003 Monaco win
  1. 16:45: 
    Mercedes celebrations
    It was all smiles and cheers as Mercedes had their celebratory team photo after yet another one-two, but bubbling under the surface, an air of discord continues to build and build. Nico Rosberg looks delighted while Lewis Hamilton is simply putting on a brave face. Rosberg says they will continue to be friends, having known each other so long, Hamilton says they are "colleagues". How will the next chapter of this battle unfold? Canada holds the answer. I'll see you there. Until then, it's good afternoon from me. See ya!
  2. 16:40: 
    Lewis Hamilton
    The next race takes place on the Circuit Gilles-Villenueve in Canada, a track that Lewis Hamilton loves. It's where he won his first F1 race in 2007. And it's live on BBC TV, radio and online. First practice starts at 15:00 BST on Friday 6 June. I'll be back at 14:30 BST to begin build-up while also recapping events in the gap between races.
  3. 16:34: 
    It's time for me to depart, folks. Here's Andrew Benson's race report. Keep checking the BBC F1 pages and follow @bbcf1 for the latest news and reaction from the Monaco Grand Prix.
    We'll have highlights of the race up online at 17:00 BST with the highlights show on BBC One starting at 17:05.
  4. 16:30: 
    Monaco GP
    Only four drivers finished on the lead lap - Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton, Daniel Ricciardo and Fernando Alonso. That's the fewest since the 2011 Spanish Grand Prix.
  5. 16:26: 
    Nico Rosberg's victory in Monaco ends a run of four-straight wins for Lewis Hamilton. "It is a special win definitely because Lewis had the momentum, the results and everything and I needed to try to break that momentum and I managed to do that this weekend," said the German.
  6. 16:20: 
    Lewis Hamilton
    Lewis Hamilton tells BBC Radio 5 live's Jennie Gow that he thinks the victory was lost in qualifying. "It made a huge difference. In the race, I was told I had to get close before the pit stop and I was starting to do that but then the safety car came out and it was just fortunate for him. There was nothing I could do after that."
  7. 16:15: 
    Juan Pablo Montoya celebrates his 2003 Monaco win
    Former F1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya, who won the 2003 Monaco Grand Prix, will attempt to win his second Indy 500 when the famous American race gets under way in a little over an hour. The Penske Racing driver returned to the single-seater series this year and starts 10th.
  8. 16:10: 
    Adrian Sutil
    Adrian Sutil made his 115th grand prix start in Monaco, which pulls him equal with 1996 world champion Damon Hill, but while Hill won a title, Sutil has yet to record a podium finish in his career. The German did some overtaking lower down the field before crashing out at the chicane in Monaco today.
  9. 16:06: 
    Nico Rosberg
    The last man to win back-to-back Monaco Grands Prix while leading from start to finish each time was Ayrton Senna in 1990 and 1991. Victory for Nico Rosberg means Mercedes have now won more races - 10 - since their return to the sport in 2010 than they did in their first spell in Formula 1 in 1954-55.
  10. 16:00: 
    Ayrton Senna wins in the rain in 1984 in Monaco
    This year marks the 30th anniversary of the infamous 1984 Monaco Grand Prix, when Ayrton Senna made his mark on the sport by nearly winning the thing in torrential rain.
    The race was abandoned just seconds before Alain Prost was passed by the Brazilian, who was classified as finishing in second place.
  11. 15:55: 
    Fernando Alonso drives past the marina
    Fernando Alonso's fourth place finish means Ferrari extend the all-time record for races in the points in a row to 74 races. The last time either Ferrari failed to finish a race in the top 10 was the 2010 British Grand prix.
    However, failure to win in Monaco means Alonso has now gone 20 races without a win, the longest barren spell since joining Ferrari in 2010.
  12. 15:50: 
    Nico Rosberg tells BBC Radio 5 live pit lane reporter Jennie Gow that because he and Lewis Hamilton known each other for so long, "there's always been difficulties....but we sit down, discuss and move on".
  13. 15:44: 
    Lewis Hamilton adds that when he was at McLaren, they had two strategists - one to get the best race for him, the other to get best race for his team-mate. At Mercedes they only have one.
  14. 15:41: 
    Lewis Hamilton sprays Champagne after finishing second in Monaco
    When Lewis Hamilton is asked if he had had any communication with Nico Rosberg since the race had finished, the 2008 world champion replied: "No." When asked if communication between team-mates is important, he replied: "No."
    Jamie Smith: I hope Bianchi gets to keep his points. That's some achievement for Marussia and Bianchi himself!
    Sam Payne: Fed up with Hamilton's constant complaining in the car. Needs to cool down and stop blaming his team for everything. Great race though
    James Caine: It's going to be all out war between Lewis & Rosberg till Abu Dhabi, roll on Montreal.
    Allan McNish, BBC Radio 5 live F1 analyst
    "Big result for @Marussia_F1Team with 9th place, those 2 points are like like wins to other teams."
  17. 15:37: 
    1) Rosberg 2) Hamilton 3) Ricciardo 4) Alonso 5) Hulkenberg 6) Button 7) Massa 8) Grosjean 9) Bianchi 10) Magnussen
    11) Ericsson 12) Raikkonen 13) Kobayashi 14) Chilton
    DNF: Gutierrez, Bottas, Vergne, Sutil, Kvyat, Vettel, Perez, Maldonado
  18. 15:33: 
    Nico Rosberg
    Victory for Nico Rosberg was his second of the year, after his triumph in the season opener in Australia, fifth of his career and second in a row in Monaco.
    Marussia's Max Chilton: Massive well done to my teammate @Jules_Bianchi for getting our first points for @Marussia_F1Team.
  20. 15:29: 
    There's lots of respect for what Marussia have done with Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff heading over to congratulate Marussia CEO Graeme Lowdon and give him a pat on the back. Nice touch.
  21. 15:27: 
    Jules Bianchi
    "Finally we have a point!" said Jules Bianchi on the team radio after he heard that he finished ninth, after the five-second penalty was applied to his race time. Later in interviews, he says "it's just amazing for us" and that the team have been "waiting for this for a long time and now we have done it".
  22. 15:25: 
    Mercedes' move even further ahead in the constructors' championship with 240 points. Red Bull are their closest rivals with 99 points. Ferrari are 11 points further back with Force India a strong fourth.
  23. 15:21: 
    Nico Rosberg
    Nico Rosberg reclaims the lead of the drivers' world championship with Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton four points behind in second. Fernando Alonso retains third place, but he's got exactly half the points - 61 - that Rosberg has amassed. Daniel Ricciardo is fourth on 54 points.
  24. 15:16: 
    The news conference with the top three has started with the print journalists. Lewis Hamilton says his Ayrton Senna reference on Saturday was "just a joke", reports Andrew Benson.
    Force India: Well done also to @Marussia_F1Team - welcome in the points-scoring club!
    Marussia: Yes!!!!!!!!!!
  27. 15:11: 
    The champagne arrives at the Marussia garage. Time to get the party started.
  28. 15:08: 
    I think the biggest party in Monaco will it be at Marussia, the minnows scoring their first ever points in Formula 1 since joining the sport in 2010. A very impressive driver from Jules Bianchi.
    Rich Skelding: Well 100% on my prediction for this race even the Vettel retirement, good job from Lewis to hold off Ric with one eye
    Daydream Books: Don't normally mind Rosberg but that win is a black mark for me. Well done to JB, Ricciardo and Lewis.
    andrea priest: Well it will be party time for Marussia, it must be as good as winning the race.
    Daniel Ricciardo, who finished third: "It's really nice to be on the podium. The start was not great, it was frustrating. Sebastian had a problem and I got fourth, then Raikkonen had a puncture so we inherited third. At the end, we closed in on Lewis. We tried to put pressure on but third was best we could do."
    Lewis Hamilton, who finished second: "It was just something that came through the visor - it was nothing important. It was a good day for us - it's very important for the team to get another 1-2. I had great pace and I felt I was strong but it's incredibly difficult to overtake."
    Nico Rosberg celebrates with his pit crew after winning
    Nico Rosberg, who won the race: "It's another special day for me, for sure. Lewis drove well and pushed me massively hard. The pressure was on but I kept it cool and pulled a bit of a gap at the end because of the refreshed tyres. Thanks to the team for all their great work."
  33. 15:04: 
    Interesting that Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg didn't make eye contact or shake hands after that race. The cracks in the relationship just got a little bit bigger.
  34. 15:02: 
    They've let Sherlock - Benedict Cumberbatch - take care of the interviews once more. He clearly impressed with the job he did in Malaysia.
  35. 15:00: 
    Nico Rosberg heads over to his team and showers them in champagne. He then takes a swig of the bubbly stuff before preparing himself for the interviews.
  36. 14:58: 
    Nico Rosberg looks delighted as he hoists his winners' trophy aloft on the red steps of this unusual podium in Monaco. Lewis Hamilton can hardly raise a smile.
  37. 14:57: 
    THE TOP 10
    1) Rosberg 2) Hamilton 3) Ricciardo 4) Alonso 5) Hulkenberg 6) Button 7) Massa 8) Grosjean 9) Bianchi 10) Magnussen
  38. 14:56: 
    Nico Rosberg parks on the start-finish straight, as is tradition in Monaco. Lewis Hamilton pulls alongside, with Daniel Ricciardo parking on the other side. The German leaps out of his car and bounces over to his mechanics. I've never seen him so happy.
    Ben Edwards, BBC F1 commentator
    "Nico Rosberg went to school along these roads, he knows them so well. Back-to-back victories here, only the second time that's been done in 20 years."
  40. 14:55: 
    Race winner Nico Rosberg: "Wahoo, thank you everyone! This car is really amazing."
  41. 14:54: 
    Lewis Hamilton holds off a chasing Daniel Ricciardo to take second. Fernando Alonso crosses the line for fourth.
  42. 14:53: 
    Nico Rosberg raises his hand out of the cockpit as he crosses the line to clinch victory and retake the World Championship lead.
    Nico Rosberg
    Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg wins the Monaco Grand Prix.
    LAP 78
    Nico Rosberg starts the final lap, the German heading for back-to-back victories in Monaco.
    Ben Edwards, BBC F1 commentator
    "The leader has lapped everybody up to fourth place."
    LAP 77
    We're onto the penultimate lap in Monaco, with Daniel Ricciardo hustling Lewis Hamilton for second. Pulsating stuff. Nico Rosberg is in command in the lead, eight seconds clear.
    LAP 76
    Lewis Hamilton is under significant pressure with three laps remaining. The gap to Daniel Ricciardo behind is just 0.5 seconds.
    LAP 75
    Daniel Ricciardo is all over the back of Lewis Hamilton. The Red Bull looks so much faster at this stage of the race. Nico Rosberg is six seconds clear at the front. Meanwhile further back, Jules Bianchi is eight in the Marussia! Sensational scenes.
    LAP 74
    Jenson Button passes Kevin Magnussen down the start-finish straight for sixth place just as Lewis Hamilton and Daniel Ricciardo close on lapping them.
    Kimi Raikkonen then tries a pass on Kevin Magnussen at the hairpin but gets it wrong and they both stop after lightly hitting the barriers. They both get going again, though.
    LAP 73
    The gap down to 1.9 seconds as Daniel Ricciardo hunts Lewis Hamilton down. What a final few laps we're in for, albeit for second place rather than for victory.
    LAP 72
    Red Bull tell Daniel Ricciardo that he will catch Lewis Hamilton, adding that the Mercedes driver has problems with vision. The gap is down to just 3.4 seconds. Nico Rosberg has this race win in the bag.
    LAP 71
    I think Lewis Hamilton should be thinking about Daniel Ricciardo, though. The Australian is just five seconds behind as he sets a new fastest lap of the race.
    LAP 70
    Lewis Hamilton asks his team to keep him up to date with the gaps. His engineer tells him what the gap is to Ricciardo in third. "I don't care about Ricciardo, what's the gap to Nico?" "OK Lewis, the gap is 5.9 seconds with eight laps to go."
    LAP 68
    Lewis Hamilton is now 5.6 seconds adrift of Nico Rosberg with Daniel Ricciardo only 7.9 seconds behind in third.
    Ben Edwards, BBC F1 commentator
    "It's so easy to make a mistake in the later stage of a race. There's a massive attrition rate here, with 14 cars left."
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    Cristo Di Ferro: Bianchi in 10th!!! This is the most exciting thing to happen all race!
    Jacob Coates: Shh... Say it quietly... Bianchi in 10th.
    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator
    "The dirt can get into the cockpit. If he's got a piece of debris in there, metal, dirt or oil. Well, he's dropped off the pace. I'm not suggesting he doesn't have something in his eye, but are mind-games involved here?"
    LAP 66
    Lewis Hamilton stays out, rather than pitting.
    Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton: "I can't see out of my left eye - I've got some dirt or something in my eye."
    LAP 65
    Lewis Hamilton has fallen back from to four seconds behind Nico Rosberg. The Mercedes team are out in the pits.
    LAP 64
    Daniel Ricciardo sets the fastest lap of the race in the Red Bull. He's currently 13.6 seconds behind Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton.
    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator
    "Fatigue got the better of Gutierrez, and he just turned into the corner too early. Uphill into the safety lane would be the safest way to get the car off I would have thought. Visor firmly down as he exits, that's partly due to embarrassment I'd say."
    LAP 63
    Esteban Gutierrez's retirement means Jules Bianchi moves into 10th in the Maurssia! Will the Frenchman get a penalty for his earlier infringement, though?
    LAP 62
    We've got double yellow flags at Rascasse as Esteban Gutierrez hits the barrier, causing a puncture. The Mexican spins round and that's afternoon over. It completes a miserable afternoon for Sauber.
    LAP 61
    Tom Clarkson reports that Kimi Raikkonen pitted for a second time, which dropped him down the field from third, because he had a puncture following contact with Max Chilton.
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    Waѕiyullah Budye: Hamilton has been attacking from the start. Rosberg is not giving up yet. It's going to be a cracker at the end.
    Tshepo Ramonyaluoe: This is Monaco! You don't take chances. The barriers will punish you! Lewis will, sadly, have to settle for 18pts.
    LAP 60
    It's not looking good for Jules Bianchi as he is under investigation with the stewards for taking his five-second penalty at his pit stop when the safety car was out, which is against the regulations. Marussia's wait for a first point looks like it may well continue.
    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator
    "The cooling aspect here means you just don't have the volume of air going through the cars."
    LAP 59
    The yellow flags are put away as the marshals do another impressive job quickly removing the stricken Williams with the use of a crane.
    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator
    "Bottas looks like a Red Arrow with the amount of smoke coming out of the back of his car."
    LAP 58
    Valtteri Bottas' retirement, his first of the season, means Jules Bianchi moves up to 11th, one place away from a first ever point for the team. Marussia have never been so close!
    LAP 57
    We've got smoke pouring out of the Mercedes engine in the back of the Williams of Valtteri Bottas. The Finn comes to a stop at the hairpin.
    LAP 54
    Valtteri Bottas is really struggling for pace in eighth place. Esteban Gutierrez has caught him, as has Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa. We've got a four car train.
    Ben Edwards, BBC F1 commentator
    "The last two laps, Hamilton has been quicker, first by two-tenths, then by four-tenths of a second."
    LAP 53
    Lewis Hamilton is back on it, the gap is down to one second now. But you don't need me to tell you passing round here is so difficult.
    LAP 52
    Smoke pours out the rear of Jean-Eric Vergne's Toro Rosso as he exits the tunnel. He manages to get back to the pits but that's the Frenchman's afternoon over.
    Ben Edwards, BBC F1 commentator
    "Is Lewis Hamilton storing up a little bit of something for the last stage of the race, or is he genuinely falling further behind?"
    LAP 51
    Lewis Hamilton has dropped back to 1.6 seconds behind Nico Rosberg.
    LAP 50
    Jean-Eric Vergne is all over the back of Jules Bianchi in the battle for 12th.
    LAP 49
    The gap is up to one second between race leader Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton at the front of the field. Twenty nine laps to go.
    Ben Edwards, BBC F1 commentator
    "Rosberg's been told he's still a little over target as far as fuel is concerned, but he's getting closer."
    LAP 48
    Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton are the only drivers able to lap in the 1m19s. Their nearest challenger Daniel Ricciardo is 12.9 seconds adrift in third.
    Antonio Banderas (centre) at the Monaco Grand Prix
    The celebrities keep coming thick and fast: Spanish actor Antonio Banderas has turned up.
    Caterham: Damage to the rear of @kamui_kobayashi's car after contact with BIA is costing Koba a lot of time. He's now 16th with @Ericsson_Marcus 15th
    LAP 46
    Lewis Hamilton is told by his engineer that Nico Rosberg is lifting and coasting at Turn One and Turn Three. That's code for, there's a good chance to heap pressure on his team-mate in those parts of the circuit and try and force a mistake.
    LAP 45
    Good stop from Williams to service Felipe Massa quickly and get him back out ahead of the Marussia of Jules Bianchi. Massa 11th now, one place behind Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari.
    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator
    "When it comes to fuel, Lewis Hamlton is the conservationist of Formula 1."
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    Nuala: Lewis has been attacking the whole race, he is going to be exhausted
    Kanishk: Perez out, Maldonado gone, Kyvat out, Vettel out. Is this F1 or Game Of Thrones?
    James Allen, BBC Radio 5 live commentator
    "Relentless pressure from Hamilton on his team-mate Rosberg here."
    LAP 44
    Mercedes' Nico Rosberg is told to keep using the longer gears because fuel consumption is increasing. That's not what the race leader will want to hear.
    LAP 43
    Can Lewis Hamilton find a chink in Nico Rosberg's armour? The Briton is able to close on his team-mate in the first part of the lap, but he has struggled to get a good exit out of Portier which means Rosberg just gets away through the tunnel and a chance to overtake at the chicane at the tunnel's exit, easily the best place to pull off a pass, is lost.
    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator
    "Lewis has been able to save more fuel than Nico this season from the figures we've seen, almost two laps' worth. If we assume that information is continuing in this race, then that could be absolutely crucial in the closing elements of this grand prix."
    LAP 42
    Monaco GP
    Lewis Hamilton is so close to Nico Rosberg at the hairpin. The Briton is not going to let the German win this race easily.
    LAP 41
    Fernando Alonso
    Fernando Alonso edges closer to getting into the DRS zone as he chases Daniel Ricciardo for third. The gap is now just 1.7 seconds
    Nico Rosberg's race engineer: "Nico, fuel will become critical if you don't start using longer gears."
    LAP 40
    Romain Grosjean passes Kamui Kobayashi for 14th at the chicane. Meanwhile, Fernando Alonso reduces the gap to third-placed Daniel Ricciardo to 1.9 seconds.
    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator
    "If Lewis runs out of patience and has a dive down the inside, there's no guarantee the first two will finish."
    LAP 39
    Lewis Hamilton is keeping the pressure on Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg, the Briton just 0.8 seconds behind. Will Rosberg crack under the pressure?
    LAP 38
    Jules Bianchi is up to a brilliant 12th as he gains a place courtesy of Jean-Eric Vergne's drive-through penalty. The Toro Rosso driver lost seven places.
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    Martin Larbey: Smart strategy would have been pitting as soon as Sutil crashed. Sadly slow reaction has placed Lewis at a disadvantage.
    Istvan Simon: Come on Lewis Hamilton! I love your driving style & speed, but you should behave like an adult.
    Shohidur Rahman: Such a shame for Kimi. He had a real chance of a podium. His race is wrecked now.
    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator
    "Bianchi thought 'I'll have a bit of that' there."
    LAP 36
    Replays show that Kimi Raikkonen and Kamui Kobayashi almost collide as they braked for the chicane. The Japanese driver backs out of it and Raikkonen takes the place.
    We've got British Touring Car-style racing at the rear of the field as Jules Bianchi forces his way past Kobayashi at La Rascasse, the Frenchman clipping Kobayashi not once, not twice, but three times. That was for 13th.
    LAP 34
    Jean-Eric Vergne, who is driving a superb race in sixth, has been given a drive-through penalty for an unsafe release by his team in the pits. The Frenchman almost crashed into Kevin Magnussen.
    LAP 33
    Kimi Raikkonen overcooks a pass on the Caterham of Kamui Kobayashi at the chicane as he tries to make up lost positions. The Finn cuts the corner and gives the place back.
    Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel, who has retired: "It's obviously disappointing - after a good start we lost too much pressure from the turbo and we had to retire. I feel quite helpless in the car because I don't know what the problem is. I hoped they'd have an answer but they didn't this time. How do I escape from this? I don't have a boat here, but I'll try to get home as quickly as I can."
    LAP 32
    Great move from Nico Hulkenberg who passes Kevin Magnussen into Portier corner, just before the tunnel. I don't think I've ever seen a pass there. That was for seventh.
    LAP 31
    It's another good restart for Nico Rosberg who leads away from Lewis Hamilton with Daniel Ricciardo third and Fernando Alonso fourth. Felipe Massa is fifth having decided not to stop. Interesting choice of strategy.
    LAP 30
    Monaco GP
    The safety car is coming in this lap. Bad news for Kimi Raikkonen who has to pit again, dropping him from third to 13th. Chances of a podium all but over now.
    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator
    "Hamilton was more thinking out loud than having a go at his team there. He knows he needs to keep everyone onside because you win as a team and you lose as a team."
    LAP 29
    Lewis Hamilton's frustrations are boiling over as he realises his chance to win this race is probably over as he and his team-mate Nico Rosberg will not need to pit again. "It's all down to degradation now," says his engineer.
    Ben Edwards, BBC F1 commentator
    "All of this from Hamilton is just adding to the atmosphere of suspicion at Mercedes."
    Lewis Hamilton: "I can't believe we just had to pit - can you just inform me of what options I have."
    Lewis Hamilton: "We should have pitted on that lap (before) - but I knew you wouldn't call me in guys."
    LAP 28
    Nico Rosberg retains the lead from Lewis Hamilton. Both swapped to soft tyres, which means they don't have to stop again. Meanwhile, there's a tense moment in the pits as Toro Rosso release Jean-Eric Vergne into the path of Kevin Magnussen. The McLaren has to take avoiding action. Toro Rosso are likely to get a fine for that. "That is as un-safe a release as you'll see," says David Coulthard.
    LAP 27
    It's a great stop from Mercedes who service Nico Rosberg quickly. Lewis Hamilton drops back so he doesn't have to queue. Slick work from Mercedes who are ready for the 2008 world champion and get him out quickly, too.
    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator
    "Are Mercedes going to stack the two cars? If they do then Lewis will be at a disadvantage."
    LAP 26
    The safety car is out! Cue lots of activity in the pit lane.
    LAP 25
    Red Bull have confirmed it was a power unit problem for Sebastian Vettel.
    Meanwhile, Adrian Sutil's pushed it a bit too much this time, losing the rear on the run down to chicane and smashing into the barriers. A marshal, stood on the other side of the barrier dives for cover.
    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator
    "I wouldn't like to be a strategist at Mercedes right now."
    LAP 24
    Nico Rosberg is really struggling with his tyres at the moment, locking up a number of times in the last few laps. Will Mercedes be forced into a two-stop strategy?
    LAP 23
    The leaders are starting to catch traffic. Could this be a chance for Lewis Hamilton to pass Nico Rosberg?
    LAP 22
    Daniel Ricciardo is on the move, the Red Bull driver closing to just 1.1 seconds of Kimi Raikkonen in the Ferrari. He was one second quicker on the last lap.
    LAP 21
    Nico Rosberg locks up again at Mirabeau but again he manages to make the corner. Impressive stuff.
    Cristo Di Ferro: Sutil's moves remind me of Perez last year, just underbraking everyone. Good on him for making Monaco more racey
    RookGP: Rosberg being ahead could be a blessing in disguise for Lewis. He may finish the race attacking for once instead of defending
    James Humberstone: Interesting how Rosberg has managed to get round the corners so far.
    LAP 20
    We're as you were in terms of position in the top 10, the field nicely spread out with no one looking like launching a pass on another just yet.
    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator
    We're hearing that Nico's complaining of some front graining on his tyres. It means he could have to come in quite early and we're in that two-stop window if he has an issue."
    Sergio Perez
    Sergio Perez's Monaco grand Prix lasted just half a lap thanks to a moment at Mirabeau when he got a little too close to McLaren's Jenson Button.
    LAP 19
    It's a five-second stop and go penalty for Esteban Gutierrez, which will be taken at the end of the pit stop as per the rules this season, for lining up in the wrong grid slot at the start. The Sauber driver is currently 12th.
    Max Chilton and Jules Bianchi are given the same penalty, too.
    Jennie Gow, BBC Radio 5 live pit-lane reporter
    "It's the 'MGUK', the kinetic energy gathering unit of Vettel's car, that has had a failure."
    Some Body: Should be a bit more spice when they get to lapping the tailenders.
    A.Nail: Great start from Vettel. Was on the verge of getting a podium but his car failed him.
    Mark Bartlett: Vettel must be wondering how he ended up with Webber's car.
    James Allen, BBC Radio 5 live commentator
    "Interestingly, Hamilton has used less fuel than Nico Rosberg."
    LAP 18
    Big lock-up from leader Nico Rosberg at Mirabeau. The German didn't go down the escape road this time...
    LAP 17
    Adrian Sutil completes a straight-forward pass on Max Chilton into the chicane for 15th. Next up is Jules Bianchi in the other Marussia. The German is having a wonderful time out there.

  134. "Interesting that Lewis Hamilton has given that bit of information about his tyres to the world, to the other teams...and to his team-mate of course."
    LAP 15
    Lewis Hamilton has dropped back to 1.7 seconds behind team-mate Nico Rosberg. Kimi Raikkonen is in a lonely third, 7.3 seconds behind the Mercedes but four seconds clear of Daniel Ricciardo.
    Lewis Hamilton: "I already feels my rears going."
    LAP 14
    Adrian Sutil barges his way through at the Loews hairpin again, this time Marcus Ericsson loses out. The Sauber driver is now up to 16th and really on a charge. Max Chilton is next up the road.
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    Gary Grafter: Nico was off like a scalded cat there!
    Rich Skelding: SC in lap 1, I knew it.
    Jeremiah Kariuki: Lewis unable to grab lead at 1st Corner, only hope for an undercut or delayed pit lane! What a start for Raikkonen!
    Lotus: Early indications are it was a fuel-system related issue for @Pastormaldo but we won't know for sure until we get the car back.
    LAP 13
    Daniil Kvyat rolls into the Toro Rosso pitbox and switches off the engine. That's the Russian's afternoon done. He becomes the fourth retirement of the race, following Sebastian Vettel, Sergio Perez and Pastor Maldonado.
    LAP 12
    Replays show Adrian Sutil launching the car over the kerb on the inside of the hairpin and essentially forcing his way past the Lotus of Romain Grosjean. The Frenchman sensibly gives the Sauber space to avoid contact. That was for 17th.
  142. "There's very little benefit in terms of performance when it comes to new tyres in this race."
    LAP 11
    Max Chilton, Jules Bianchi and Esteban Gutierrez are being investigated by the stewards for cars being out of place on the grid. Daniil Kvyat could have a problem because he's dropped from eighth down to 13th.
    LAP 10
    Monaco GP
    Nico Rosberg's lead is up to one second with 68 laps remaining. Meanwhile, the incident between Jenson Button and Sergio Perez will be investigated after the race.
    So Nico Rosberg leads from Lewis Hamilton with Kimi Raikkonen third and Daniel Ricciardo fourth. Fernando Alonso is fifth, Kevin Magnussen sixth and Jean-Eric Vergne seventh. Daniil Kvyat, Nico Hulkenberg and Jenson Button complete the top 10.
    It's all over for Sebastian Vettel in Monaco as his team instruct him to return to the pits and retire the car.
    Sebastian Vettel reports: "I'm stuck in first gear." Oh dear. Luck has well and truly deserted the reigning world champion this year.
    Lewis Hamilton sets the fastest lap of the race to reduce the deficit to Nico Rosberg to 0.6 seconds. Kimi Raikkonen is running strongly in third, two seconds off the pace.

  149. "Vettel's got a wounded car. That might be something to do with the recovery system on the car. He's now in a re-set mode."
    "Come on guys....I mean you're trying everything.," says Vettel who blows hot and then cold straight away when he realises his team are doing what they can to rectify the problem. The German had an electrical problem yesterday. He's made it back to the pits. They service the car and then send him back out again.
    Nico Rosberg slows right down ahead of the restart and then puts the hammer down out of the corner. The German leads comfortably across the line, with Lewis Hamilton staying close. Sebastian Vettel, in third, can't do the same, though. He's got a problem and is dropping down the field! More misery for the reigning world champion.
    The safety car will be coming in at the end of this lap, thanks largely to swift work from the marshals to clear up the mess at Mirabeau.
    Lewis Hamilton: "How are my brakes? Feels like my temperatures are dropping."
    The safety car is out already as the damaged Force India needs clearing up.

    Sergio Perez is in the wall on the exit of Mirabeau after getting tagged by the McLaren of Jenson Button. That causes a blockage, forcing drivers to back off significantly to get round.
  156. 13:04: 
    It's a beautiful start from Nico Rosberg who blasts away from pole and takes the first corner unchallenged. Lewis Hamilton tucks in behind him, with Kimi Raikkonen making a stunning start in the Ferrari to move up to fourth after Daniel Ricciardo bogs down from third.
  157. 13:02: 
    Here we go, then. One light, two lights, three lights, four lights, five lights. Let the Monaco Grand Prix begin!
  158. 13:00: 
    Nico Rosberg leads the field away for the formation lap. Everyone gets away apart from Pastor Maldonado in the Lotus. He'll start from the pit lane.

  159. "Barring rain, the Monaco Grand Prix will be a one-stop race, that much is clear. But after that, strategy is an unknown. Both tyres are very hard for the low-abrasion track and there is almost no wear on either the soft or the super-soft. The key will be the rate of thermal degradation and although predictions are that the super-soft will run to around lap 28, no-one actually knows. The soft will run to the end of the race, whenever a driver stops for it, but it is at least a second slower than a super-soft, so people will be delaying the switch as late as possible.
    "Normally in F1, a driver stopping earlier will gain time on a rival who stops later. But if someone can keep their super-softs in good shape, he could benefit from running longer while the others struggle to get their softs up to working temperature.
    "In 2012, Fernando Alonso used this strategy to leapfrog Lewis Hamilton for the final place on the podium by setting 'purple' fastest of the race sector times on his in-lap on lap 31. And if Ferrari had been a bit sharper in their thinking at the time and left him out for a lap or two longer, he might have won the race. The super-soft this year is effectively the same tyre as the super-soft in 2012. Will someone - perhaps even Alonso himself - pull the same trick again?"
  160. 12:58: 
    What a first corner we have in store, folks. It sounds like Lewis Hamilton hasn't let what happened yesterday slide based on comments from Niki Lauda and Toto Wolff. Don't go anywhere.

  161. "Rosberg's starts recently have been dodgy."
  162. 12:56: 
    Not long until the start of the formation lap, folks. Don't forget you can listen to BBC Radio 5 live commentary by clicking the link at the top right of this page.

  163. "Can the Red Bulls or perhaps Fernando Alonso's Ferrari challenge the Mercedes drivers in this race? It's unlikely, given the inherent pace advantage Mercedes have, but not impossible. Alonso said: 'I think it is going to be closer due to the pace we will have in the race. I remember last year the Mercedes were holding everyone creating a big train of cars. With the advantage they have I'm sure they will not push too much. While they can be 50% all the laps, we can be 110% all the laps.
    "'That will make the train a little bit closer and we could be around there. But after the start and the laps around the pit stops it is difficult to overtake, so we just have to be very focused. We have some forecast of rain and if that happens probably it will change a lot and anything can happen. We did a couple of laps in FP2 in wet conditions and it felt really slippery, more than any other year. I don't know whether it's the asphalt or the lines or whatever, but in case of rain tomorrow the race will be quite difficult, easy to make mistakes and it is what we don't want to do.'"

  164. "It's the royal race. It may be the lowest-placed podium in F1 but it's the one every driver wants to top."

  165. Eddie Jordan and Noel Edmonds
    "EJ and Noel... Separated at birth?"
  166. 12:54: 
    Lewis Hamilton looks fully focused as he sits in his Mercedes waiting the start of the race. The 2008 world champion is leading the championship for the first time since the end of the 2012 Canadian Grand Prix and he has not led the championship for more than one round at any tie since midway through the 2010 season.
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    James Lockey: Alonso can win from 5th moving to the pit exit at turn one as the Mercs take each other out and the Red Bull's take damage.
    Stew Bone: Hamilton will not finish the race, will go to aggressive and hit a barrier.
    Paul McGuiness: Niki Lauda is kidding himself and is in danger of losing as much respect as Rosberg did yesterday. We know what he did and so does he.
    McLaren melon
    McLaren: You should see what they did to the bananas.
  169. "Strong performances from both Toro Rosso drivers put Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniil Kvyat seventh and ninth on the grid. The Russian was particularly impressive on his first ever visit to Monaco in any capacity. He lost it coming over the notorious crest after the Tunnel early in first qualifying, swiping the nose of his car. But he had the presence of mind to radio his team to say the car was otherwise undamaged, and to coolly go out again and scrape through into Q2. To go from that to ninth on the grid is the latest stand-out performance from an already highly accomplished debut season."
  170. 12:52: 
    George Lucas considers buying a car
    Star Wars mastermind George Lucas, who traditionally books the same room in the same hotel overlooking the hairpin every year, is on the grid, soaking up the atmosphere before the start of the race in the playground of the billionaires.
  171. 12:50: 
    Four-time world champion Alain Prost is asked by Jennie Gow on BBC Radio 5 live about Lewis Hamilton's comments about taking a page from Senna's book. The Frenchman replies: "He could have chosen me! I don't think it was deliberate from Nico. I hope there's no problem between the two because it's too soon."
  172. 12:48: 
    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says "It's getting intense, but all is OK," with regards the relationship between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. He adds on BBC Radio 5 live, which you can listen to by clicking the link at the top of this page. "There's always tension but it's what F1 is all about."
    "Kimi Raikkonen was fortunate this weekend that the gap between the top three teams and the rest is as big as it is, as there have been recent seasons when that 0.703secs margin between himself and team-mate Fernando Alonso would have been 14 places on the grid, not one. Those who know both well had predicted Raikkonen would struggle around Monaco this weekend compared to Alonso. The Pirelli tyres are hard and not easy to get into their working range, and Ferrari struggle with this more than most. And while the improvisational Alonso can adapt to whatever is required - which is why his car has looked so alive this weekend; he realised he needed to drive it like that to get it to work - Raikkonen needs things to be just so before he can be at his best. And a good feel for - and grip from - the front is critical to his ability to perform.
    "'It was a difficult weekend so far again,' Raikkonen said, 'just fighting with the car all the time. It's not really a set-up problem. We don't seem to get the tyres working well and are struggling with the front end and, at a place like this, if you don't have a good feeling with the front it is difficult because you can't push. In normal circuits if you run wide it's fine, but here there is no second chance.'"
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    Ashley Wilkinson: Lewis said he wants to take a Senna approach to Rosberg. It's a short run to turn one. There'll be fireworks. Can't wait.
    Dan Knowles: Defo start of a Prost/Senna Rivalry forming - Reckon Hamilton is gunna take out Rosberg in the first Corner!
    Scott Smith: Monaco GP a highlight of the season as usual. Any potential tension at Mercedes up front after Rosberg Quali controversy a bonus.
  175. 12:44: 
    There will be a unveiling of a plaque in tribute to three-time world champion Jack Brabham by F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone before the start of the race. The Australian died on Monday, aged 88.
  176. 12:42: 
    Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda: "This thing we have with Lewis accusing the other of doing something stupid; I tried to fix this this morning with Lewis but I couldn't. if they hit each other at the first corner then they have a problem with me."
  177. 12:40: 
    If Mercedes win in Monaco on Sunday, they will become only the second manufacturer in F1 history to win the opening six races of a season behind McLaren in 1988 who managed 11 in succession.
    If it's Lewis Hamilton, who stands on the top step, it will be the first time he has won five races in a row since is title-winning Euro F3 season in 2005.
  178. 12:38: 
    Nico Rosberg (centre) arrives at the Monaco Grand Prix
    Nico Rosberg was all smiles this morning as he strolled into the paddock. Can he follow up last year's victory on his doorstep with another triumph this year? We'll find out in 78 laps time. The formation lap begins in 22 minutes' time.

  179. "Fernando Alonso described the lap that netted him fifth on the grid as 'probably the best of the year'. Which, given that he had already said his qualifying lap in China was one of the best of his illustrious career, means it must have been something truly special. He actually did two similar times - a 1:16.792 on his first run and a 16.686 on his second. The last one put him a massive 0.703secs clear of team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, a margin Alonso said he 'never' expected.
    "It emerged in his news conference that it was references to his allegedly poor qualifying form in the Italian media that had so angered him ahead of this race, and led to his now-infamous remarks about 'close friends' not being supportive in the way Daimler chairman Dieter Zetsche had been in declaring him 'maybe the best driver in F1'.
    "'Monaco has been my best circuit, or my best (for) qualifying. I looked before coming here; in the 13 years, I was always quite competitive. I think I was 11 times in front of my team-mate and two times behind. So it has been for sure my favourite circuit for one-lap performance, to take the risk. So it was funny to read that Saturday in Monaco was my weakness.'"
  180. 12:36: 
    We have not had rain during a Formula 1 race since the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix. We have had 24 races since then. The most recent rain-affected Monaco grand Prix was in 2012 when it was light rain at the end but the last "proper" wet Monaco Grand Prix was in 2008, when Lewis Hamilton won, on his way to the title. Today, rain is unlikely, with a dry, warm race predicted. That'll please those on the yachts in the harbour.
  181. 12:34: 
    Since Red Bull's first win in China in 2009, the reigning world champions have never gone six races in between victories. I thik they may just do that today unless the Mercedes run into trouble...

  182. "Five-one in Daniel Ricciardo's favour in qualifying in their first six races as Red Bull team-mates does not look great for Sebastian Vettel, but there have been mitigating circumstances in many of those races, and there were again here. Vettel ended up fourth, 0.163secs shy of the Australian, but explained: 'Somewhere in first qualifying I lost the ability to use all the electrical power to discharge the car. In the end we ended up running a mode that was fine but not as good as it should be. We tried lots of different modes but at some point you have to get your head down. It was pretty close. Unfortunately I had a yellow in the first sector so I couldn't go for the second run but the most important thing was the car was quick. Before qually I thought we could give Mercedes a hard time but we struggled ourselves and the gap was too big.'"
  183. 12:32: 
    The pit lane has opened its doors, which means the drivers can head out to the grid, or complete a few "out" and "in" laps to check all is well with the car before the start.
  184. 12:30: 
    Jamie Roberts (left) and Daniel Ricciardo
    Where do the VIP guests flock to when they arrive in Monaco? Red Bull's floating motorhome, complete with swimming pool and bar, of course. Here's Wales rugby player Jamie Roberts with Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo.

  185. "Both Red Bull drivers were a little disappointed after qualifying. Both had felt that they might be able to get in among the Mercedes drivers but it did not work out. Ricciardo, who said he 'had a chance to get closer and at least split them', made a mistake at Turn Eight on his final run and blew the lap. But he at least was able to joke about the tense atmosphere between Hamilton and Rosberg in the post-qualifying news conference. 'I thought I was going to be the miserable one in the press conference but it was a little bit awkward at times,' he said. The Australian has now out-qualified four-times world champion Sebastian Vettel five times in six races, but he played that achievement down. 'A lot of people are probably saying that's awesome, 5-1 now,' he said. 'But I'm just genuinely disappointed because I could have done better. I try not to look at him too much.'"
    BBC Radio 2 presenter Chris Evans: Very tense in Monaco. The word in the pits is today is the day Nico and Lewis file for divorce, or at the very least sign up for relate.
  187. 12:28: 
    Benedict Cumberbatch arrives at the Monaco Grand Prix
    Benedict Cumberbatch, better known as Sherlock, is back in the F1 paddock. He made his first appearance in Malaysia earlier this year and in a break with tradition, carried out the post-race podium interviews. Will he reprise the role later today?
    SPORTMASTA F1 pit-lane reporter A DEX DESTINY: "Mercedes co-team boss Toto Wolff admits that Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg were 'not happy to see each other' this morning, but adds: ' If your team-mate is main competitor for world championship he's not going to be your best friend.'
    "Asked if this was a defining moment, Wolff said: 'Every race is a defining moment. There is a long way to go to finish first in the championship and it is going to be adventurous for the rest of the season.' Have the team given the drivers instructions about the race? 'You don't need to give them instructions because they know they need to score points and you can't allow yourself to crash out even if there is heat in the situation."

  189. "The clutch on Nico Rosberg's Mercedes has been changed overnight, which means that he will have to gather all the data the engineers need for a good start on the formation laps. He has had a few ropey starts in a row and said earlier this weekend that he was confident the engineers had found out why. But will the clutch change affect his getaway?"
  190. 12:26: 
    Mercedes have taken every pole, won every race and led every lap so far in 2014, equalling the performances of Williams in 1992 and McLaren in 1988. This year, they have already scored 197 points, more than half their total from the entire 2013 season - 360. Will they continue that domination in Monaco or will there be a coming together at Turn One to let their rivals in with a shot? I've got an interesting snippet with regards Nico Rosberg's clutch coming up for you from Andrew Benson.
  191. 12:25: 
    So who is your tip for victory today? Based on the fact the Monaco Grand Prix has only once not been won from pole in the last 10 years, it's looking rather good for Nico Rosberg. But the one time it wasn't won from pole was when Lewis Hamilton claimed his first and as yet only victory in Monaco in 2008. And I think he's going to give it a ruddy good go into Turn One so he can't be ruled out.
    Fire over your thoughts using the #bbcf1 hashtag, leaving a comment on the BBC Sport Facebook page or by texting 81111 (UK only).
  192. 12:23: 
    Following his fifth place in qualifying, Fernando Alonso donned his Real Madrid shirt and pulled up a pew in the Ferrari motorhome to watch the Champions League final where Real Madrid beat Atletico Madrid 4-1. He tweeted: #HalaMadrid
    Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, who starts fifth: Today was one of those laps that leave you with a "smile" for the rest of the day. Very happy.

  194. "In engaging in a close title fight with Lewis Hamilton as his team-mate, Nico Rosberg is experiencing this year what only one man on the grid has before - Fernando Alonso, when he was at McLaren in 2007. What was the Spaniard's take on the sudden spike in tension following qualifying? 'I think it's normal in other sports and especially in F1 there is a lot of media attention, a lot of pressure, a lot of things going on inside the team,' he said. 'You should beat your team-mate to get a good respect and of course if you also have a championship battle in that garage things become more tense and more public and even sometimes exaggerated. I'm sure they will have some up and downs in the year and everything will be exaggerated but I hope they have a clean and good championship and whoever wins hopefully will be the best of the two and the one who deserves more.'"
  195. 12:21: 
    Saturday was a good day for Tony Fernandes. The Malaysian business tycoon, who owns Caterham, saw his other sporting hobby QPR win promotion back to the Premier League, netting them an extra £80m in TV income.
    Thanks to quick work from the decals makers, Caterham have a congratulatory message on their cars for the race.
    Sticking with Caterham, a story emerged in the Malaysian press that Fernandes is trying to sell the F1 team - who have yet to score a point since joining the sport in 2010 - and sportscar company for approximately £350m.
  196. 12:19: 
    Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Massa
    Marcus Ericsson will start today's race from the pit lane after the stewards found he was responsible for "recklessly colliding" with Felipe Massa during qualifying.
    The Caterham driver, who was 22nd fastest, was also given two penalty points on his licence. Massa was 10th fastest in Q1 but could not returned to the pits after damage and will therefore start 16th.
  197. 12:16: 
    1) Nico Rosberg 2) Lewis Hamilton 3) Daniel Ricciardo 4) Sebastian Vettel 5) Fernando Alonso 6) Kimi Raikkonen 7) Jean-Eric Vergne 8) Kevin Magnussen 9) Daniil Kvyat 10) Sergio Perez
    11) Nico Hulkenberg 12) Jenson Button 13) Valtteri Bottas 14) Romain Grosjean 15) Pastor Maldonado 16) Felipe Massa
    17) Esteban Gutierrez 18) Adrian Sutil 19) Max Chilton 20) Kamui Kobayashi 21) Jules Bianchi*
    Starting from the pit-lane: Marcus Ericsson
    *Jules Bianchi took a five-place grid penalty, having qualified 19th, for a gearbox change.
  198. 12:13: 
    Of course, there is more to today's race than just the battle between the Mercedes drivers. Daniel Ricciardo once again outperformed Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel in qualifying, and will start third on the grid with Vettel alongside.
    It is the first time Vettel has been out-qualified five times in the first six races by a team-mate. The battle for the final podium will likely be between these two and the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso in fifth.

  199. "What did Lewis Hamilton mean when he said: 'I quite like the way Senna dealt with' his dispute with Prost? The obvious inference was that he was referring to Suzuka 1990, when Senna, believing he had been the victim of an injustice, rammed his rival off the track at the first corner. Will Hamilton, assuming he makes a good-enough start, put himself in a position where Rosberg has to choose whether he wants to have an accident? Or will he have calmed down and accepted it was an honest mistake? How long will this now increasingly tense relationship fester? And will it blow up completely, as did that of Senna and Prost? The parallels between this season and 1988 just get stronger and stronger."
  200. 12:09: 
    The Nico Rosberg incident was investigated by the stewards but they cleared the German, who lives in the principality and won this race last year, of any wrongdoing.
    He'll start on pole position for today's race - in what is the sixth P1 start of his career, eclipsing father Keke's total. With Lewis Hamilton alongside, the rundown to Turn One at the start should be very interesting.
    It is traditionally very difficult to overtake at Monaco, but will Hamilton somehow find a way to get through?
    Pixie Lott
    Caterham: We were delighted to show @PixieLott around our Monaco garage - welcome back any time!
  202. 12:06: 
    Lewis Hamilton was certainly not in party mood on Saturday, though. The 2008 world champion had a face like thunder after he had to abort his final lap in qualifying because of yellow flags which had been brought out after his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg outbraked himself and slid into the escape road.
    As a result, Rosberg took pole, Hamilton had to settle for second.
    The parallels with Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost returned. Asked by BBC Radio 5 live whether his relationship with Rosberg was "even more like Senna and Prost now", Hamilton said after qualifying: "Essentially."
    When it was suggested the two drivers would have to sit down and discuss the incident, Hamilton said: "I don't know if Senna and Prost sat down and talked it out. I quite like the way Senna dealt with it, so I'm going to take a page out of his book."
    Let battle commence.

  203. "The private battle for the title between Mercedes team-mates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg was always likely to boil over this year, and here in Monaco on Saturday it finally did. On his final qualifying lap, Rosberg locked up at Mirabeau and took to the escape road, and the resultant yellow flags meant that Hamilton, next man on the road, could not improve his time. Hamilton, believing he had been on course to snatch pole, was furious, clearly suspicious it was deliberate. The stewards found otherwise, but not before Hamilton had said he would 'take a page out of Senna's book' to deal with it. This race was already a fascinating prospect, but the anticipation has now jumped several notches."
  204. 12:03: 
    Felipe Massa
    Hello everybody and welcome to our live coverage of the Monaco Grand Prix on the streets of Monte Carlo.
    Considered the jewel in the crown of Formula 1, the iconic race sees motor racing pilgrims descend on the principality for one weekend each May to watch the sport the "Monaco way". Big boats, balcony views, celebrities galore. It's the place to be.
  205. 12:00: 
    Ayrton Senna & Alain Prost
    McLaren team-mates Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost famously fell out during the 1988-89 seasons as they battled for the title.
    Twenty six years later, it's a different team with different drivers but similar signs of team-mate meltdown.
    Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg
    Mercedes pairing Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have been friends since they were kids but the cracks are beginning to show as the title fight intensifies.
    Rosberg starts on pole, Hamilton second. What a first corner we have in prospect.