2010 Monaco GP, qualifying: Driver quotes 

Written by Nick on May 15th, 2010 at 5:47 pmLast Update: May 15th, 2010 at 5:49 pm

Nico Rosberg: “My pace has been really good here throughout the weekend and in the first two qualifying sessions today, so it was a disappointing result to only qualify in sixth position. I was hopeful of competing for the front row after our performance in Q2 but the final session just didn’t work out for us today. I had a lot of traffic to overcome and made a mistake on what should have been my fastest lap. Unfortunately the tyres were not at their best then for the final quick lap. It’s difficult to make up positions in the race here as overtaking is almost impossible. However you never know what can happen and we will work hard to try and finish in a better position tomorrow.

Michael Schumacher: “Qualifying confirmed that the gaps between the teams are smaller here but not small enough to really get some profit out of it, which is what we would have wished obviously. We all had some concerns about qualifying because of the number of cars but I have to say that from my point of view, everybody did a great job. I had a clean situation most of the time, except for once unintentionally with Nico. I think we got out of the car what we could today and the positive news is that I am on the inside which is a good starting position and our starts have gone well recently. So we can at least hope to make up one or two positions for the race.”

Heikki Kovalainen: “The first run was very good so on the second run I decided to go for it, take some risks and see what happened. The gap to the next car was about 0.9 so I thought if I really nailed a lap we might break into Q2, but to be really honest it was a bit out of control and it was just going over the edge and it became untidy. In the end I was able to put myself ahead of all the other new teams so I think that’s fine.”

Jarno Trulli: “It was a bit difficult out there today as I’d lost quite a lot of track time yesterday, which meant my last setup change was right before qualifying. Despite that, I did my best out there and we are much closer than a lot of people expected to the cars ahead. We have also shown a good improvement from where we started the season, so I’m reasonably happy with where we are.”

Sebastien Buemi: “I am a little bit disappointed, because I had hoped to do a bit better, maybe getting into Q3, based on what I had done in this morning’s practice. So, if you don’t get the maximum out of the car, you cannot be satisfied. I did not have too much trouble with traffic, but I don’t think we managed well the situation regarding the change of temperature between the morning and the afternoon, which meant the tyres were working a bit differently. My aim tomorrow will be to get into the points, which means getting ahead of at least three cars. It’s a very long race here, so before doing that, the most important element will be to make sure we get to the finish. On the positive side, our pace over a long run has been good so far this weekend.”

Jaime Alguersuari: “I can be satisfied with the fact that I tried my best, but I’m not happy about how much traffic I met on every lap, especially on the last run, when I really had to back off in the last two corners, which means my day ended in Q2. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s race, which will be very long and to a certain extent on this very special track, my main aim will be to finish, as that will give me plenty of experience for next year.”

Rubens Barrichello: “I’m happy with ninth. I took everything out of the car that I could and I don’t think we could have done much better. We all thought traffic was going to be an issue this afternoon, but really it was fine. Monaco is a good track for our car so hopefully we will do well tomorrow.”

Nico Hulkenberg: “As expected, it was a bit busy in Q1 but everyone seemed to get a lap in. The car felt pretty competitive, but my lap wasn’t perfect and I’m disappointed to have missed out on Q3 by a fraction. Eleventh is not bad, but when your team mate is ahead of you it’s never very pleasant. It’s still possible to have a good race from 11th though and I’m hoping for a decent result in my first Monaco Grand Prix.”

Felipe Massa: “Fourth is not a bad place. It will be a long race tomorrow with lots of unexpected situations and starting from the second row puts me in a strong position. Sure, I’d hoped to do a bit better because I was pleased with the handling of the car but, on my last lap in Q3, I was nearly always behind Rosberg and I was unable to improve my time. In all three sessions of qualifying, the time came at the end of the series of laps: I managed it in Q1 and Q2, but not in Q3. It’s a shame as I could have got onto the front row. I will try and pick up as many points as possible, because in this championship, it is vital to always finish in the top ten. Here, the F10 is easier to driver than at the last two races and the tyres are working very well, especially the harder ones.”

Fernando Alonso: “This is the worst possible place to have to start from pit lane, given that overtaking is always problematic. It is a real shame, because the car was going very well. It was my mistake but, it was also very unlucky, because with an impact at ninety, you don’t normally write off a chassis! Unfortunately, the angle of impact with the barrier was such that the damage could not be repaired and the rules don’t let you use the spare chassis. So, I had to watch qualifying from the garage, along with the team, hoping to see Felipe end the Red Bull domination: it was very close and tomorrow we will do our best to bring home some points that can be useful for the classification. Do I think I’ve made too many mistakes this year? In Barcelona, where I am maybe under the most pressure, I did my best qualifying lap and had my best race. If after ten years in Formula 1, I still have to prove that I do not feel pressure, then it’s not worth talking about it anymore…”

Pedro de la Rosa: “Fifteenth doesn’t sound fantastic, but actually I’m satisfied of what we did. We have changed the car a lot since the first practice and the set-up and balance are as good as possible. Qualifying here was never meant to be an easy one for us. We still struggle in the low speed corners, but we did a good in qualifying. I gave everything I have and the team did very well. We now have to concentrate on the race and finish it.”

Kamui Kobayashi: “It is really hard for us, and probably our hardest weekend of the season. Monaco is exceptional. I expect us to perform a lot better in Istanbul. I find it tough here. However, on this circuit anything can happen in the race and I will try my hardest to make the most of any chance I might get.”

Lewis Hamilton: “I put everything into those three qualifying sessions, especially on my last flying lap, when I literally got every last drop of performance from the car – there was absolutely nothing left! Today, I touched all the barriers I could possibly touch and used all the road I could possibly use, so I’m happy with my performance. But it’s clear that the Red Bulls have more downforce than we do, particularly in the middle sector, and it’s evident that we need to find a decent step in performance to keep up with them in future. They can get onto full throttle earlier than we can, and they can carry more speed into the corners, and that gives them greater confidence to attack. But we’re definitely getting there, and it’s very close on the grid ahead of me. It would have been great to have been on pole, but the race is tomorrow, I’m on the inside line for the start and it’s not over ’til it’s over.”

Jenson Button: “In Q1 my car felt pretty good on the harder tyres, but we didn’t run them in Q3, which was a little bit of a shame as it was probably the better option. Like everyone else, we ran the softer tyre at the end, and I struggled on it – there was a lot of movement at the rear and understeer in the low-speed corners. It didn’t feel great, to be honest. I don’t really know what Felipe Massa was thinking in Q3 – there were only 10 cars out there, so it should have been relatively easy for him to keep out of the way of other cars. I guess he obviously wasn’t looking in his mirrors. I don’t know what my laptime on that lap would have been, but it was annoying because that lap was compromised. The next lap was compromised as well because I obviously got a bad run onto the pit straight. Our race pace has looked great all weekend, so it’s frustrating to be where we are now, because the likelihood is that we simply won’t be able to deploy that pace in the race. To sum it up, then, I’ll just say that today was a tough day.”

Karun Chandhok: “I am mystified by the lack of pace. It is a bit confusing considering our relative pace in practice both today and on Thursday. I will sit with my engineers tonight and try to understand why we are losing so much time. They are now looking at the differential to try and understand the time deficit to the other cars. We have a 78 lap race tomorrow, so a really long one and we will do the best we can.”

Bruno Senna: ” Today was a good day. For a while I have been struggling with a lack of performance in high speed corners and I would like to thank the team for working tirelessly to analyse and trace that issue. With some new parts for today my car came back to life and I could drive more naturally with confidence again in qualifying. We are working hard with what we’re have and I am hopeful of a brighter future.”

Robert Kubica: “Second on the grid at Monaco is a great result for us. The car has been great all weekend and I think we got the most from it today. We took a different approach to the session and saved two sets of option tyres for Q3 so I could do two runs on new tyres. On the final lap of my second run I did a very quick first sector, but for the second half of the lap the tyres were already gone so I struggled for grip and could only match my earlier lap time. When you come so close to pole, you are always a bit disappointed to miss out, but I think we can be very happy with our performance because we are in a great position to have a strong race tomorrow.”

Vitaly Petrov: “The balance of the car is quite good here in Monaco and we made quite big changes in time for qualifying so I think it would have been possible to make Q3 today. But unfortunately in Q2 I was struggling with the brake balance and my front tyres were locking all the time. I tried to change the brake balance to the rear, but it was too much for my first flying lap and the rear locked, I spun and touched the wall. For tomorrow my target will be to finish the race. It’s very difficult to make up ground at the start, but anything can happen so hopefully I can score some points.”

Timo Glock: “It is quite frustrating that I was only able to complete three laps in this morning’s Free Practice session, because it meant that I had to go into Qualifying blind. So I was quite surprised about how close we were with Lotus but then I felt my lap was really spot-on, with the car almost kissing the Armco in places to get the best time possible. I’m pleased with my time and happy with the job I’ve done today. As for the rest of the weekend, only some of that is in my hands now because in Monaco you never know what might happen. I’m optimistic for the race as our car looks better on heavy fuel, so we have to think about what we can do through the strategy and make the most of every opportunity. I think it’s worth having a gamble here. We have Chris Ferguson, the professional poker player, with us for the race, so I might ask him which way we should roll the dice!”

Lucas di Grassi: “In Free Practice this morning I had another good session. The car was reliable and performed well – we had no issues at all. In Qualifying, I expected to do a better time but the car felt different at the rear end, so we’ll have a good look at the data tonight and make sure everything is good for tomorrow. I’m looking forward to the race tomorrow. Spain was my last race with fuel-saving techniques. This is a track where I will be able to push very hard without that issue and then I get the new car for Turkey and the rest of the season. I’m expecting a better race for myself and the team in the Monaco Grand Prix.”

Mark Webber: “It’s a sensational feeling to be on pole in Monaco. It’s a vicious venue in terms of punishment for mistakes. It felt like I found another gear in terms of confidence in the car today, I knew how important it was to nail a good lap because of the competition. The last thing I wanted was to be sitting on row three or four of the grid. When you’re concentrating that hard and you’re putting everything on the edge like that your heart rate goes so high! Then you have that horrible wait when everyone else is finishing their laps and you can’t do any more. It’s a special day. I know every team works hard, but our guys were here at 5am this morning to work on some things, so this pole is a credit to them. I hope we can convert it to a good finish tomorrow.”

Sebastian Vettel: “Even though there were only ten cars on track I got a little bit of traffic, which was quite a surprise. It wasn’t ideal to use the tyres properly, they came in nicely but when there was the peak I couldn’t use it. I got space in the end, but obviously the lap time wasn’t enough. All in all, it’s a good result for the team, congratulations to them and also to Renault; it’s great for them to have the top three cars on the grid. I’m looking forward to tomorrow, it’s a long race and a lot of things can happen.”

Adrian Sutil: “Today was a difficult session as the car was very fast but I just couldn’t manage to get any lap in Q2. There was a lot of traffic and then the Renault crash in turn one came just at the wrong time and hit me quite badly. I’m quite disappointed as when I did get some clear air my tyres were cold and the lap I did was not enough. We just missed getting to Q3 but it should still be a good race. P12 is right in the middle of the field and I like the circuit, the car feels good and I’m going to try my best to get some points tomorrow. You never know what can happen here.”

Tonio Liuzzi: “It’s been a good day for us, Q3 was definitely the target and we got it, which is really great after the last two difficult qualifying sessions. I think we could even have got P9 as I was going quicker on the last lap but just locked up into the chicane and lost a little bit. But I love Monaco – it’s such a special event – and it’s good to start so high up. Being in the top 10 puts us in a strong position for tomorrow’s race as overtaking is so difficult to do here. We are positive we can fight for points this race, which is the most important for the team at this point in the season.”

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