When and where: Qualifying for the 2012 Formula One Grand Prix in Monaco gets underway at 8 a.m. ET on Saturday. Live coverage will be provided by Speed. Detailed live timing and data will be accessible on Formula1.comSpeedTV.com will have a live stream of the final practice session, starting at 5 a.m. ET.

Viewers in the U.K. can access a live stream via SkyGo.

Preview: Formula One is getting set for the most celebrated Grand Prix on the calendar in Monaco this weekend. And Saturday also brings arguably the most crucial qualifying session of the year.

With overtaking notoriously difficult on the tight road circuit, getting a good grid position and the holy grail of pole position can make all the difference come Sunday. Indeed, in seven out of the last eight years, the car sitting on pole has gone onto claim the checkered flag.

In this most unpredictable of seasons there were few clues on Thursday's practice as to what might transpire in qualifying.

Fernando Alonso set the fastest time in the day's first practice session, followed 0.392 secs back by Romain Grosjean in his Lotus. But the day's second session was interrupted by rain 15 minutes in and continued intermittently throughout.

Jenson Button recorded the fastest time, before the rain arrived, with Grosjean again second. And the McLaren man has said that he believes Lotus is the outstanding team this weekend.

The cars that look very fast to me are the Lotuses, Button said, according to BBC Sport.

If you look at the runs, when they're out, they're very competitive, so I would say the Lotus is probably the car to beat this weekend.

As far as the McLaren itself, Button said he was relatively pleased with how the car was developing.

I definitely feel like the car improved from P1 to P2, he said, according to the Formula One website. We tried something different for this afternoon's session and I was happier with how the car felt. There's still room for improvement, but we know what direction we want to take.

The Ferrari looked promising, with Felipe Massa also looking more impressive after what, so far, has been another season of under-par performances. And there is big pressure on the Brazilian to deliver this weekend after Ferrari chief Luca di Montezemolo urged him to up his game.

There will also be increased attention on seven-times world champion Michael Schumacher in the principality. Mercedes has had a disappointing campaign to date, despite Nico Rosberg's victory in China, and team principal Ross Brawn said that Michael Schumacher must take a portion of the blame for only taking two points so far in 2012.