The new two-part qualifying session format introduced for Monaco to tackle the traffic congestion issues that beset the 2011 event ended up providing not just one but two last-second surprise group winners.

Carlin's Max Chilton stole the top spot in Group A by unexpectedly topping Caterham Racing's Giedo van der Garde with his final run, while in the second a late red flag led to a sudden death one-lap shoot-out that saw Johnny Cecotto Jr. set the fastest time of the afternoon ahead of Max Chilton to claim overall pole position for Friday's feature race.

Starting grid

1. Johnny Cecotto Jr. Barwa Addax Group B
2. Max Chilton Carlin Group A
3. Marcus Ericsson iSport Group B
4. Giedo van der Garde Caterham Racing Group A
5. Luiz Razia Arden Group B
6. Jolyon Palmer iSport Group A
7. Davide Valsecchi DAMS Group B
8. Josef Kral Barwa Addax Group A
9. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering Group B
10. Esteban Gutierrez Lotus GP Group A
11. Tom Dillmann Rapax Group B
12. Stefano Coletti Scuderia Coloni Group A
13. James Calado Lotus GP Group B
14. Stephane Richelmi Trident Racing Group A
15. Julian Leal Trident Racing Group B
16. Nathanael Berthon Racing Engineering Group A
17. Rodolfo Gonzalez Caterham Racing Group B
18. Felipe Nasr DAMS Group A
19. Nigel Melker Ocean Racing Group B
20. Simon Trummer Arden Group A
21. Fabio Onidi Scuderia Coloni Group B
22. Fabrizio Crestani Group A
23. Rio Haryanto Carlin Group B
24. Victor Guerin Ocean Racing Group A
25. Giancarlo Serenelli Venezuela Lazarus GP Group B
26. Ricardo Teixeira Rapax Group A

Qualifying times

Group A

1. #26 Max Chilton Carlin 1:21.320s (10 laps)
2. #12 Giedo van der Garde Caterham Racing 1:21.475s -0.155s (10 laps)
3. #8 Jolyon Palmer iSport 1:21.530s -0.210s (10 laps)
4. #2 Josef Kral Barwa Addax 1:21.776s -0.456s (8 laps)
5. #10 Esteban Gutierrez Lotus GP 1:21.796s -0.476s (10 laps)
6. #14 Stefano Coletti Scuderia Coloni 1:22.174s -0.854s (10 laps)
7. #16 Stephane Richelmi Trident Racing 1:22.326s -1.006s (10 laps)
8. #6 Nathanael Berthon Racing Engineering 1:22.475s -1.155s (9 laps)
9. #4 Felipe Nasr DAMS 1:22.650s -1.330s (10 laps)
10. #22 Simon Trummer Arden 1:22.997s -1.677s (10 laps)
11. #18 Fabrizio Crestani Venezuela Lazarus GP 1:23.193s -1.873s (10 laps)
12. #24 Victor Guerin Ocean Racing 1:23.792s -2.472s (8 laps)
13. #20 Ricardo Teixeira Rapax 1:25.661s -4.341s (10 laps)

Group B

1. #1 Johnny Cecotto Jr. Barwa Addax 1:21.195s (9 laps)
2. #7 Marcus Ericsson iSport 1:21.249s -0.054s (9 laps)
3. #23 Luiz Razia Arden 1:21.858s -0.663s (10 laps)
4. #3 Davide Valsecchi DAMS 1:21.912s -0.717s (10 laps)
5. #5 Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 1:22.053s -0.858s (10 laps)
6. #21 Tom Dillmann Rapax 1:22.288s -1.093s (11 laps)
7. #9 James Calado Lotus GP 1:22.598s -1.403s (10 laps)
8. #17 Julian Leal Trident Racing 1:22.762s -1.567s (11 laps)
9. #11 Rodolfo Gonzalez Caterham Racing 1:22.873s -1.678s (7 laps)
10. #25 Nigel Melker Ocean Racing 1:22.996s -1.801s (10 laps)
11. #15 Fabio Onidi Scuderia Coloni 1:23.020s -1.825s (10 laps)
12. #27 Rio Haryanto Carlin 1:23.539s -2.344s (10 laps)
13. #19 Giancarlo Serenelli Venezuela Lazarus GP 1:25.907s -4.712s (9 laps)


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