Monaco Grand Prix – Qualifying

Tyre this weekend are: prime=soft, option=super-soft

ROS has been fastest in all three practice sessions this weekend, so that bodes well for Mercedes.

Lotus and Ferrari have both been busy rebuilding cars after GRO and MAS both hit the barriers during practice.

MAS has picked up a 5 grid-spot penalty after a gearbox change.

There’s drizzle, which should make for an eventful Quali session
Air temperature 17°C; track 23°C; wind 1.5m/s; humidity 44%

Qualifying session 1 (Q1)
A queue forms at the pit exit, waiting for the lights to change
Looks like everyone’s going out on intermediate wet tyres
Lights go green
BIA has stopped on his out lap – it was smoking even as he left the pits
VDG 1:44.473
PIC 1:43.423
ROS 1:40.661
HAM 1:39.376
BUT 1:38.451
WEB 1:36.529
DIR 1:35.705
Radio from HAM asking if he can use DRS; team says yes – that’s brave given how slippery it is
ALO 1:34.947
VER 1:33.863
HAM 1:32.920
Only MAS and GRO still in the pits as their cars are being rebuilt
VET 1:31.431
Looks like the rain is easing off but the track is still wet and greasy
ROS uses the escape road at Mirabeau
MAL 1:30.126
10mins left of Q1; no lap time from BIA, MAS or GRO
VER 1:29.819
HAM 1:29.248
DIR 1:28.989
WEB 1:27.288
Radio for WEB asking if it’s time for slicks – WEB says turns 5, 6, 7, 8 still slippery
MAL 1:26.761
VET 1:25.352
ROS 1:24.826
5mins left of Q1; still no lap time from BIA (who parked in his first lap), MAS or GRO (both still waiting for their cars to be ready)
Radio for BUT – “keep pushing”; BUT says rears are going off
HAM 1:23.779
GRO finally on track but MAS still in the Ferrari garage
3mins left; bottom 6 are HUL, VDG, CHI, GRO, BIA, MAS
BUT 1:23.733
GRO 1:23.738 – wow, one flying lap and straight to P1
MAL 1:23.452
BUT cut Turn 10
Chequered flag; bottom 6 are PIC, GUT, CHI, SUT, BIA, MAS
Radio for RAI telling him he has one flying lap left; RAI says he has no traction
(SUT P12; DIR to P17)
Back of the grid: DIR, PIC, GUT, CHI, BIA, MAS* … which means Caterham’s VDG makes it through to Q2 for his first time
*MAS was given a 5 grid-spot penalty for a gearbox change but he’s already right at the back

Qualifying session 2
Still a light rain falling
Just a couple of cars waiting for the lights to change – ROS followed by VET
Everyone but SUT and VDG on track – all on inters
ROS 1:34.439
GRO off at Turn 1; rejoins
VET 1:33.144
WEB 1:32.132
BUT 1:30.766
PER 1:29.537
ROS 1:27.790
MAL off at Turn 1; rejoins
HUL 1:27.519
RAI 1:27.474
PER 1:25.809
GRO 1:25.601
RAI 1:24.558
BUT 1:23.014
ROS 1:22.119
Dry line around most of the track – who will be first to brave dry tyres?
VDG switches to options (super-soft)
5mins left of Q2; bottom 6 are BOT, VDG, ALO, SUT, RIC, MAL
BUT and WEB switched to options too
Radio for HAM – “inters or dry tyres”; HAM very clear that he wants dry
3mins left; only MAL and HUL still on inters; bottom 6 are RAI, BOT, VDG, ALO, SUT, RIC
MAL and HUL now on options too
VET missed apex of Turn 10
ALO cuts the chicane on his out lap
WEB 1:19.254
GRO 1:18.603
1min left of Q2
WEB 1:17.322
Chequered flag; bottom 6 are VDG, BOT, SUT, MAL, VER, HUL
HUL to P6; ALo to P11
VET 1:15.988
ALO to P5
Middle of the grid: HUL, RIC, GRO, BOT, VDG, MAL

The battle over the top 10 grid spots is between VET, RAI, ROS, HAM, ALO, SUT, WEB, BUT, VER & PER
No accidents as yet; just BIA out with a car problem

Qualifying session 3
Once again they’re lining up at the pit exit
RAI first on track; he’s on options
Looks like everyone is going out on new super-soft tyres
RAI 1:20.269
HAM 1:15.790
(ROS P3)
(PER P3)
(ALO P2)
WEB 1:15.134
Everyone completes their first lap; order is WEB, HAM, ALO, VER, BUT, PER, VET, SUT
HAM 1:14.968
ROS 1:14.919
WEB 1:14.726
VET 1:14.333
Order is VET, WEB, ROS, HAM, ALO, RAI, PER, VER, SUT, BUT
Quick pit stops for new rubber
VET pushed into the garage
3mins left; order is VET, WEB, ROS, HAM, ALO, RAI, BUT, PER, VER, SUT
VET still in his garage
1min left
Radio from BUT – “problem with power”; “keep pushing”
(RAI P3)
WEB 1:14.181
HAM 1:13.967
Chequered flag
ROS 1:13.876
(VET P3)
Looks like everyone’s backing off
Front of the grid: ROS, HAM, VET, WEB, RAI, ALO, PER, SUT, BUT, VER
Mercedes front row, with local boy ROS on pole

Provisional grid: ROS, HAM, VET, WEB, RAI, ALO, PER, SUT, BUT, VER; HUL, RIC, GRO, BOT, VDG, MAL; DIR, PIC, GUT, CHI, BIA, MAS.

My GridBids picks for this race are VET, WEB, BUT, ROS, HAM & HUL.

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