Hello and welcome to ESPNF1's coverage of the Monaco Grand Prix. Sebastian Vettel will start on pole for the fifth time in six races with McLaren's Jenson Button alongside him. Can anyone stop the flying Red Bull?

The grid will be one man light today after Sergio Perez was ruled out following a heavy crash at the Nouvelle Chicane in qualifying yesterday. The latest news is that he will spend another night in hospital before a further scan tomorrow. We send Sergio out best wishes, and if you'd like to do so too then you can via the link above.

Of course you can contact us with any questions or comments that you have, both via that link and Twitter @ESPNF1_live.

The start is going to be crucial today, as the tyres seem to be lasting a lot longer here around the streets, so strategy should be more simple. We're expecting around one or two stops, so the overtaking opportunities are likely to be as slim as ever.

There was a late grid change yesterday as well as Lewis Hamilton had his Q3 time deleted for missing the chicane at the exit of the swimming pool complex, so he starts ninth. Vitaly Petrov will start tenth as everyone from tenth backwards move up a place after Perez was ruled out.

Fernando Alonso said Hamilton was favourite for pole, but Perez's accident scuppered his chances as he had yet to set a time. Team-mate Jenson Button did get a good lap in early though to take second, and he will be wary of third-placed Mark Webber starting on the clean side of the grid with the inside line in to Ste Devote.

Webber has said that he told Button on the drivers parade that he would be looking to get down the inside of him in to turn one - 3rd has beaten 2nd off the line in Monaco at the last three races.

Don't think it will necessarily be won and lost at the start though - we had four safety cars last year and have had numerous in the GP2 races this weekend. There's no chance of rain today, but one slight mistake and the barriers are waiting...

The grid is a hive of activity with three minutes to go. The grandstands are full, and so is the marina. It really is a fantastic setting for a grand prix.

The front eight all have to start on the super-soft tyres because that is what they qualified on, but Lewis Hamilton can choose because his time was deleted, so he's starting on the harder (soft) compound.

We're away on the formation lap, 23 V8's cruising around the streets ahead of 78 laps.

Jenson Button is complaining of really heavy steering on the formation lap, could be a power steering issue. McLaren say they are looking in to it as the grid forms...

Lap 1

Vettel away well, Button slots in behind him as Alonso jumps up ahead of Webber in to third.. A good start from Rosberg in to fifth. Schumacher passes Hamilton for ninth at the Loews hairpin.

Lap 2

Vettel is streaking away as Alonso pressures Button for second. The Red Bull is three seconds clear already. Webber has dropped Rosberg slightly, and he has Massa and Maldonado on his tail. Hamilton was complaining of contact with Schumacher at Ste Devote, but no puncture for the McLaren

Lap 3

Vettel takes another half a second out of Button behind him. Replays show Schumacher getting away slowly and Rosberg swerving around him. A good start for di Resta too, he's 12th.

Lap 4

Vettel continues to put in fastest laps, relentless pace from the Red Bull. The gap is now over four seconds. Hamilton is pressuring Schumacher for tenth despite being on the harder tyre.

Lap 5

The DRS is activated but we've seen it having little effect - it's the length of the pit straight. Button responding at the front with quicker first sectors.

Lap 6

Button pegs the gap for the first time. Replays show Schumacher ran in to the back of Hamilton in to turn one at the start and has slightly damaged the rear wing of the McLaren.

Lap 7

Button takes two tenths out of Vettel, and has dropped Alonso by two seconds. Hamilton is all over the back of Schumacher in to turn one but can't make a move.

Lap 8

Alonso sets the fastest lap, 0.2s quicker than Button and the same as Vettel at the front. Schumacher complaining over the radio that his rear tyres have gone off.

Lap 9

Vettel has been told to back off a bit, so the tyres are not holding up quite as expected. Hamilton makes a great move on Schumacher in to turn one, robustly pushing Schumacher wide, who didn't make it easy for him. The DRS working well there, fantastic close racing.

Lap 10

Alonso quick again at the front, taking time out of the front two. Six seconds seperate the first from third. Webber is four seconds further back, but has dropped Rosberg by nine seconds.

Lap 11

Rosberg is slow at the moment, with Massa and Maldonado all over the back of him and Petrov joining the party too.

Barrichello dives up the inside of Schumacher in to Mirabeau with another strong move on his old Ferrari team-mate.

Lap 12

Schumacher is unsurprisingly the first man to pit, and he fits a new front wing too. Hamilton is quick and cruising up behind Petrov in eighth.

Lap 13

Massa is ragged all over the back of Rosberg. It's now a queue behind the Mercedes, 1.5 seconds between Rosberg in fifth and Hamilton in ninth.

Massa touches Rosberg on the run up the hill out of turn one and damages his front wing slightly. He makes a move stick in to Tabac though, and Maldonado follows him through ahead of the swimming pool complex.

Lap 14

Vettel coming up behind an HRT, and Button has got the gap down below four seconds before pitting for another set of super-soft tyres.

Lap 15

Rosberg pts, he was having a difficult time of it. Button has been released in to some clear air and Red Bull respond by pitting Vettel but make the call too late and aren't ready. Button leads.

Lap 16

Alonso leads, sorry, but Button is second and clear of Vettel. Webber also has a slow pit stop but he was in a race of his own. Alonso pits.

Lap 17

Button sets the fastest lap and leads by 3.7s. Alonso comes out behind Vettel, but both are on the harder compound while Button has the super-soft tyres on.

Hamilton is still stuck behind Petrov.

Lap 18

Button sets another fastest lap with a 1:18:091, and his lead is now 6.2s. Looking good for the McLaren at the moment. Still 60 laps to go though.

Lap 19

Massa has pulled well clear of Maldonado, who is now holding up Petrov and Hamilton. Hamilton needs the two in front to pit soon.

Webber is down in 14th after his pit stop, being dropped in to traffic. Schumacher is 20th

Lap 20

The tyres are giving Button a big pace difference right now. He's over a second a lap quicker than Vettel and now has the lead up to 8.8s. Di Resta pits in the midfield.

Lap 21

Schumacher almost runs in to the back of Rosberg at the Nouvelle Chicane as they run around 18th and 19th.

Vettel posts his best lap of the race so far, but it's still 0.9s slower than Button. Hamilton is now half a minute behind his team-mate and yet to pit.

Lap 22

Hamilton pits but the mechanics weren't ready for him either. He puts on the super-soft tyres and rejoins in heavy traffic behind Trulli and Alguersuari. Nightmare for Hamilton.

Lap 23

10.6 seconds is the lead for Button, as Rosberg struggles to pass Glock. Hamilton has already dispatched Alguersuari and Trulli, which was crucial to any hopes of points.

Lap 24

Massa is fourth, but 16 seconds behind Alonso and yet to pit. Webber is still stuck behind Buemi and Heidfeld, he's 12th and will have Hamilton on his tail in a few laps on current pace.

Lap 25

Maldonado puts from fifth, as replays show di Resta putting a move on Alguersuari in to the Loews hairpin and losing part of his front wing. A bit of a late dive from the Scot.

Lap 26

Massa pits from fourth, he rejoins just behind Webber in 11th place.

That di Resta incident is under investigation by the stewards.

Lap 27

Hamilton is all over the back of Massa for 11th as the Ferrari tries to get up to speed. Massa is on the harder compound tyre, and Hamilton is seriously quick.

Drive through penalty for di Resta for causing a collision. Hardly surprising. The Mercedes pair are now a lap down.

Lap 28

Petrov pits from fourth

Slow lap for Button, as Vettel takes 1.4 seconds out of him. Probably due to traffic though as he is immeditaely back on the pace.

Lap 29

Petrov is slow getting away and he rejoins behind Maldonado, so Hamilton managed to jump the Renault and Williams comfortably with the undercut. A lot of cars out of position at the moment, Barrichello currently fourth.

Lap 30

Heidfeld is seventh and has a queue of Buemi, Webber, Massa and Hamilton behind him.

Schumacher dives up the inside of Rosberg at the Loews hairpin. That's for 14th place.

Lap 31

Alonso is matching Vettel, just 3 seconds behind the Red Bull. Button's pace has dropped in to the 1m19s, but he has been lapping cars and now has a bit of air before he comes up behind his team-mate.

Lap 32

Button and Barrichello pit.

Glock parks his car on the inside of the swimming pool chicane having broken the right rear suspension.

Lap 33

Button rejoins in clear air.

Hamilton tries to pass Massa in to the Loews and they make contact. Massa has gone off heavily now and the safety car is out.

Lap 34

Schumacher has also stopped on the entrance to the pit lane and he is out too. Great news for Button as Vettel doesn't pit, so the McLaren is right behind the Red Bull having made an extra stop.

Lap 35

Replays show that Hamilton was then passing Massa in the tunnel and Massa ran wide on the marbles and hit the wall. When the pair came together earlier it shows that Massa also hit Webber at the same time. Something for the stewards to look at, but Hamilton tells the team on the radio that Massa turned in on purpose.

Lap 36

Safety car in this lap.

We're still behind the safety car. On board with Button shows that he has super-soft tyres on, so he needs to pit again too. Vettel is still on the harder compound so he can pit only once too, if he can make his tyres last...

Lap 37

We're racing again, and Button has three cars to clear to get behind Vettel. He's cleared Barrichello but is already over 4 seconds down on Vettel.

Lap 38

Hamilton is behind Webber in seventh place. Lots more cars out of position right now though.

Lap 39

Button appears to have cleared everyone he needed to as he sets a quick first sector and begins to eat in to Vettel's lead.

Hamilton and Massa are under investigation for their coming together.

Lap 40

Button reeling Vettel in, taking almost 2 seconds out of him on the last lap, and another 0.4s in sector one.

Massa looking on, probably expecting a penalty for Hamilton after di Resta did something similar earlier in the race.

Lap 41

Vettel is told to try to hold Button off. This is a crucial phase as the McLaren is all over the back of the championship leader.

The men to benefit from the safety car appear to be Vettel, Sutil and Kobayashi. The latter two are now fourth and fifth.

Lap 42

Vettel is now in to his 26th lap on this set of tyres. Button will be losing life in his super-softs as he tries to get past the Red Bull.

Lap 43

Red Bull will need to hold Button up and try to make him waste his tyres stuck behind Vettel.

Hamilton gets a drive-through penalty, and takes it immediately. He rejoins in ninth.

Lap 44

Sutil and Kobayashi have Webber right behind them both in the battle for fourth.

Lap 45

Blue flags being waved at Kobayashi, but he is racing for position and rightly ignores them.

Paul di Resta ran in to the back of d'Ambrosio at the Loews hairpin and damages his front wing.

Lap 46

Button is within a second of Vettel, and is told over the radio that he has to pass Vettel on track if he wants to win the race.

Lap 47

While the two are close at the front, Alonso is six seconds behind them and has run the harder compound. He's not out of this race yet either...

Lap 48

Button pits for soft tyres. He's going to try and get to the end of the race on this set. A very quick stop, but now he needs to pump in some very quick laps.

Lap 49

Hamilton pits for soft tyres and rejoins in clear air.

Alonso took another 0.4s out of Vettel on that lap. Gap below 6 seconds now.

Vettel stays out on his harder tyres, so all eyes are on lap times to see if Button can close the gap. He's in clear air at the moment.

Lap 50

Alonso does his fastest lap of the race and takes 0.7s out of Vettel. Button does the fastest lap of the race and is flying on the harder compound. Vettel could be looking at a third place at the moment...

Lap 51

Vettel needs to pit soon surely, Alonso is now less than 4 seconds behind him and Button is closing fast. It looks like Button's race if he can make his tyres last (and keep the car out of the wall)

Button flying again, another fastest lap and he has just taken 2 seconds out of Vettel. He's in a net lead as it stands.

Lap 52

The problem for Vettel is that he needs to make the super-soft tyres last for a long time, we still have more than 25 laps to go.

Lap 53

Vettel now only leads Alonso by 2.4 seconds. Button a further 10 seconds back and closing at over a second a lap. Red Bull will be hoping Button takes too much out of his tyres during this stint.

Lap 54

Maldonado pits and rejoins ahead of Hamilton.

Sutil is still fourth and holding off Kobayashi and Webber. Maldonado and and Petrov are closing on Webber. Hamilton is all alone in ninth, with Heidfeld tenth.

Lap 55

We have a Red Bull in the pit, but it's Webber. He may well be responding to Maldonado's stop.

Di Resta now all over the back of Rosberg who has just made a third stop. they're fighting for fourteenth.

Lap 56

Vettel has only stopped once, Alonso has stopped twice and may be able to go a bit longer. He's within a second of the Red Bull now with Button 6 seconds further back.

Lap 57

Hamilton is pressuring Maldonado for eighth - the Williams on the super-soft tyre.

Sutil and Kobayashi can go to the end of the race if they can make their tyres last. Petrov is about 5 seconds behind them in sixth and he too has only stopped once.

Lap 58

Alonso is all over the back of Vettel now. Button is cruising up behind them and the gap is just five seconds between the three now.

Lap 59

Vettel and Alonso are both on heavily worn tyres. One slip and the barriers await, Alonso especially has seemed very eager on the throttle.

Lap 60

Button just tagging on to the back of the pair now. Surely Vettel can't get to the end of this race on these tyres...

Lap 61

These three are so far clear that Vettel and Alonso might as well stay out and try and hold each other off. It's looking like a 16 lap scrap for victory...

Lap 62

The radio message to Vettel sounds like he is going until the end of the race. Alonso definitely will match the Red Bull.

Less than a second seperate the top three. Vettel understeers a touch wide at Massanet. They're line astern.

Lap 63

Vettel parking his car on the apex of every corner, he has to drive defensively for 14 laps.

Lap 64

Alonso gets close in to turn one but decides against throwing it up the inside. Button is watching closely. Sorry if we don't cover the rest of the field too fully for the remainder of this race, but this is anyone's to win

Lap 65

0.6 seconds is the gap between Vettel and Button, with Alonso sandwiched in between.

Kobayashi tries a move on Sutil for fourth at Mirabeau, there's contact and eventually he makes it through.

Lap 66

Traffic causing issues for the front three too. Alonso is so close to Vettel in to turn one but doesn't make a move, very nearly hitting the rear of the Red Bull.

Lap 67

Alonso cuts the Nouvelle Chicane, are his tyres wearing worse than Vettel's?

Vettel is driving superbly, he's not put a wheel wrong so far.

Webber passes Sutil for fifth exiting Tabac, and there's a train back to Hamilton in ninth.

Lap 68

The leaders were right behind the train from fifth, and Sutil had a puncture, which backed everyone up at the swimming pool chicane and there was inevitable contact between Alguersuari and Petrov. They weren't the only ones, but the leaders managed to pick their way through.

Hamilton has a broken rear wing from the incident and will have to retire.

Safety car is out.

McLaren seem to think Vettel's tyres will go off.

Lap 69

Sutil ran wide and hit the wall at Tabac as Maldonado passed him. Behind them, Hamilton passed Petrov in to Tabac but had to brake to avoid Sutil as he cut the chicane, and Alguersuari ran in to the back of Hamilton. Then Petrov went in to the back of the Toro Rosso.

Lap 70

This is playing right in to Vettel's hands once again, as he is able to cruise around on the worn tyres behind the safety car.

Lap 71

The medical car is on track, as Petrov is still in his car. Worrying scenes.

Lap 72

Engines are being fired up and wheel covers taken off. The front three are all on super-soft tyres now, and fortunately still in a row at the front of the grid.

DRS will not be enabled on the restart.

Red Bull telling Vettel over the radio that the safety car could well come in at the end of the first lap - which we also expect. Drivers are able to overtake from the safety car line, which is between Rascasse and the final corner.

McLaren are still working on Lewis Hamilton's rear wing, and it has to be fixed and approved before the restart.

Renault team principal Eric Boullier tells the BBC that Petrov had some leg injuries, but that there are no fractures and that it appears only to be bruising.

The ambulance is now leaving the scene and race control says the race will restart at 16:04 local time, in about 13 minutes.

It appears that teams are allowed to change tyres during this stoppage, which unfortunately means we won't see the climax we expected with Vettel and Alonso on such worn tyres.

MyTeamLotus (Lotus) on Twitter: "The boys are working hard to get everything back onto the grid. It looks like the race will be resumed"

Petrov is now out of the car as it is wheeled away by the marshals.

OfficialLRGP (Renault) on Twitter: "Vitaly is talking to us, reporting pain, not getting out of car without medical assistance"

Hamilton is having his rear wing repaired on the grid in case we get a restart. The red flag has NOT ended the race yet, but if we do restart it will be behind the safety car.

OfficialLRGP (Renault) on Twitter: "Petrov hits barrier, safety car out, Nick changes to new set of super softs, Vitaly is talking in the car"

All of the cars line up on the grid to carry out the red flag procedure. The BBC report that Petrov is complaining of pain in his back.

The red flag means that if the race is ended now Vettel will have won. Obviously a problem getting Petrov out of the car. Replays show he was the man to hit the barrier at the worst angle.

Lap 73

The safety car is in this lap, and we'll have a five lap sprint to the end.

The safety car leads away off the line and the race is live again, now all the mechanics need to clear the grid. Hamilton appears to be in the race.

Lap 74

Hamilton punts Maldonado out at the first corner, somehow the safety car isn't needed as the crane removes his car immediately.

We're racing again and Button had a slow start. Alonso close to Vettel but not as near as he was earlier.

Lap 75

DRS is re-enabled.

The front three are within two seconds, but Vettel seems to have the pace to hold on fairly comfortably.

Webber all over the back of Kobayashi, with d'Ambrosio in their way and Hamilton catching them both.

Such a shame for Maldonado, as he was looking food for points. Hamilton under investigation, and you have to say he deserves a penalty...

Lap 76

Alonso sets the fastest lap of the race, just keeping with Vettel and edging away from Button.

Lap 77

Webber all over the back of Kobayashi still, he tries a move under braking in to the Nouvelle Chicane and Kobayashi cuts it, before giving back the position to Webber.

Lap 78

Vettel celebrates on top of his car after taking his sixth win out of seven races so far this season.

Sutil, Kobayashi and d'Ambrosio are also under investigation.

Hamilton is still under investigation for that crash. McLaren will be disappointed after Button looked so well placed but was twice hampered by the safety car, and had his chances ended by the red flag.

Sutil is seventh ahead of Heidfeld, Barrichello and Buemi. That's Williams' first points of the season, but could have been so much more if it wasn't for Hamilton taking out Maldonado.

Vettel takes the win ahead of Alonso and Button. Such a close race really ended with the red flag.

Webber comes across in fourth, while Kobayashi comes home in fifth just ahead of Hamilton. Webber makes a point by setting the fastest lap on the final one.

We're on the final lap, and Vettel has it under control, 0.8s clear of Alonso with Button over a second further back.

Vettel stands on the Monaco podium and raises his trophy. Alonso does the same, smiling but he'll also have felt the race was there to be won. Button and Vettel both getting kisses on the podium, so they're very much grinning.

Christian Horner takes the constructor's trophy before the national anthem. These three had just begun a fantastic battle when the red flag stopped the race, and while we may well have seen a brilliant end to the race you can't take anything away from Vettel winning with just one pit stop.

Vettel now has 143 points and is 58 points clear of Lewis Hamilton. Webber is third on 79 points, Button fourth on 76 and Alonso fifth on 69. But that may change if Hamilton is penalised post race.

Thanks for joining us here on ESPNF1 for what was another enthralling grand prix, and stay on the site for all of the fallout from the race. Congratulations to Vettel and Red Bull - can anyone stop them? We'll be back in two weeks for the Canadian Grand Prix to find out.