Jenson Button was the high profile casualty of the second phase of qualifying in Monaco, but could easily have been joined by a couple more in a frantic 15-minute dash.
The Briton was unable to pull out an improvement on his final flying lap, leaving himself only 13th fastest and facing a second tough grand prix after similarly missing the cut in Spain two weeks ago. While the result was at odds with his happy demeanour on Thursday, there was a moment when Button appeared not be alone in biting the dust earlier than expected, as both Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean also battling to escape the drop zone.
Grosjean had been on the pace throughout the weekend, but both Lotus cars struggled to make it out of the opening qualifying session, and continued to do so second time around. While the Frenchman staked his claim for a place in the pole shoot-out with a minute remaining, Raikkonen needed a last-ditch flier in order to steal tenth place from Nico Hulkenberg.
Once again, Sebastian Vettel was also at the wrong end of the times, struggling to keep his Red Bull in the top ten. Once again, however, the world champion did just enough to join fastest man Felipe Massa, Nico Rosberg, Pastor Maldonado, Mark Webber, Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton in the final thrash.
Joining Button in sitting out, Jean-Eric Vergne did his chances no good at all by finding a bump and clouting the wall exiting the tunnel, while Daniel Ricciardo, Paul di Resta, Bruno Senna, Kobayashi and Hulkenberg all failed to find the necessary pace.