For the second year in succession, Sergio Perez was bitten by qualifying in Monaco but, while not as serious as the accident that left him in hospital in 2011, the Mexican will be forced to start from the back of the grid after failing to post a time.
The Sauber driver's first Q1 exit since graduating to the top flight came as he headed into the Swimming Pool section, after appearing to get his line fractionally wrong. The Sauber hit the outside barrier with his left front corner, before then losing the rear on the same side as that too slapped the wall. Conspiracy theorists were quick to suggest that there may have been some hangover from the FP3 contact with Pastor Maldonado, but the result is the same - Perez will start from the back after asking for dispensation from the stewards.
The remaining non-qualifiers were familiar, with Caterham, Marussia and HRT all failing to progress one of their drivers. Heikki Kovalainen came closest to escaping, improving to 17th fastest and forcing countryman Kimi Raikkonen to go again but, when the Lotus driver vaulted into the top five, the battle was all but over, despite Sebastian Vettel feeling under enough pressure from the Caterham to bolt on a set of supersofts.
At the other end of the field, Nico Hulkenberg used the same option tyres to post the fastest time, putting his previously struggling Force India ahead of Kamui Kobayashi - who survived his own brush with the barriers - Romain Grosjean, Vettel, Michael Schumacher, Nico Rosberg, Bruno Senna, Felipe Massa and Mark Webber, with Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button only 13th and 16th for McLaren.