Team and drivers report from qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix.
My first Q3 of the season feels pretty good, even if I would have preferred it to keep raining right until the end. But even in the dry I got a good lap in, but I aborted my very last lap as I wasn’t able to improve. I think this is about where we should be having improved the car still further, which means we are making progress race by race. I believe that our performance in race conditions tomorrow should be better than it was now in qualifying so we will be hoping for a good result, whatever the weather. Anything can happen on this track so we can definitely aim for points tomorrow. Getting into Q3 is good but there are no points given out in qualifying, so we still have to concentrate and produce a strong performance tomorrow.
I am disappointed with that qualifying, as I think this afternoon was a missed opportunity. I really wanted Q3 today and with the mixed conditions, the opportunity was there. But we weren’t quick on the Inters and after that I felt we could have done better with the Super Softs, maybe if I’d got in one more lap to get the tyres up to temperature better, so we still have some work to do now. I feel the car has got a good pace on a long run, certainly better than in qualifying, but with the difficulty in overtaking here, starting twelfth is not ideal. So now we need to come up with a good strategy to try and make up for this afternoon.
James Key (Technical Director)
The fact that it rained only slightly made the conditions very difficult to judge and, of all places, at Monaco all the complexities of this track made it even more complicated. The team in the garage and on the pit wall did a fantastic job to manage the situation, to make the right calls and predictions with the right tyres. Both drivers coped with it extremely well. It was a fantastic effort from Jean-Eric, who was on good form this morning, after we made a lot of changes since Thursday. Even if the times in FP3 were nothing special, we could see we were in reasonable shape. He thoroughly deserved to get into Q3, controlling his driving in these difficult conditions really well. It could have been even better if the rain had come at the end instead of the beginning. Daniel sadly just missed out on Q3, as he did not feel the grip level in the car quite as much as his team-mate, but he made progress since Thursday. We are now in a position where both cars can fight for points tomorrow.