Grand Prix of Monaco – Qualifying

The focus of most of the news since the Grand Prix of Spain is ALO qualifying 5th for this weekend’s Indy500 [BBC] and Jenson Button standing in for him at Monaco. [BBC]

Reminder: VAN has a 3 grid spot penalty following his collision with MAS in Spain.
Also: Valtteri Bottas says he braked “too early” in the first-lap collision at the Spanish Grand Prix which left two other drivers out of the race. [f1fanatic]

Free Practice:

  1. FP1: HAM (1:13.425), VET, VER, BOT, RIC, KVY, RAI, PER, SAI, OCO
    Radio from VET asking his team to check because he brushed the wall (but he was only one of many to kiss the barriers in FP1)
    Radio from BUT asking why he went into neutral for a moment; told he pressed the wrong button!
    Toro Rosso was the only team not to run the ultra-soft tyres in FP1
    Looks like Red Bull may need to replace VER’s floor after he rode a kerb a bit hard
  2. FP2: VET (1:12.720), RIC, RAI, KVY, SAI, VER, PER, HAM, MAG, BOT
    It’s a bit overcast – will there be rain in FP2?
    OCO took a bit too much kerb and clouted the Armco barrier with his rear left wheel; he pits so the Force India team can check it out
    PAL parks in an escape road as smoke rises from his Renault
    Radio from VER saying he’s getting “massive push from the downshift – it makes me lock up”
    15mins gone; Ferrari mechanics still have VET’s car up on stands – rumour is they’re changing a sensor
    ERI taps a barrier but he’ll probably get away with it
    Radio from HAM complaining the super-soft tyres are “taking ages to get up to temperature”
    VET almost 0.8sec faster than HAM with them both on super-softs
    Red Bull on ultra-softs top the timings about 30mins in; RIC 0.05sec ahead of KVY, RAI, VER; next is VET on super-soft
    Halfway through FP2; the Mercedes pair are down in P8 & P10 but they’ve only just come out on ultra-softs
    Yellow flags – STR has hit the barriers in Massanet, just before Casino Square; he’s getting out of the car
    He’d been on the radio a couple of laps ago complaining about a general lack of grip in the Williams
    Virtual Safety Car deployed … and then red flags to suspend the session because there’s a lot of debris to clear up
    The marshals are very efficient, lifting the Williams away, clearing the debris and checking the barriers
    Looks like someone’s setting up HasStrollCrashedToday.com … but HasStrollCrashed.today exists 🙂
    FP2 restarts after about 5 minutes
    20mins left; everyone on track (except STR and PAL, who have retired from FP2)
    VER tries to duck inside MAG at Rascasse but MAG closes the door
    Radio from BUT asking how to turn off the DRS beeps – maybe the beeps are set up by ALO to keep him awake? 🙂
    MAS has done 30 laps (so far) on a set of ultra-softs
    BUT passes HAM into the chicane – nice move!
  3. FP3: VET (1:12.395), RAI, BOT, VER, HAM, RIC, SAI, KVY, MAG, VAN
    RAI almost put his Ferrari in the wall
    HAM cuts the chicane
    OCO hit the barrier at the exit of the swimming pool, causing the session to be suspended so they could remove his broken Force India
    RIC stops – a brake-by-wire failure on his Red Bull

As expected, McLaren have made yet more engine changes which means a 15 grid spot penalty for BUT [FIA]

Air temperature 26°C; track 52°C; it’s sunny and not a cloud to be seen; humidity 40%

Qualifying Session 1 (Q1)
Green lights mark the start of the session, and a gaggle of cars head for the track
Force India still working on OCO’s car
RAI 1:14.296
RAI 1:13.496 on his second lap
VET 1:13.289
HAM only manages P4, behind his teammate
BUT goes P6
Everyone except OCO on track
VER 1:13.278
RIC 1:13.219
OCO heads out of the pits with just over 9mins left of Q1
PAL has a puncture – debris or did he hit the barriers?
VER 1:13.078
Radio from HAM saying his rear tyres are overheating
GRO loses the tail, spins at Mirabeau; yellow flags but GRO drives towards oncoming traffic, finds space to spin the Haas the right way round
5mins left of Q1; bottom 5 are GRO, STR, PAL, ERI, WEH
WEH P19
HAM is down in P10 but Mercedes must think he’s safe as he’s still in the pits
ERI pulls off after the tunnel – reports his left rear is broken
Chequered flag
GRO P12, relegating OCO
Back of the grid: OCO, PAL, STR, WEH, ERI
Replay shows ERI’s tyre has come off the rim after he slapped the barrier

Qualifying Session 2
BOT and RAI first out of the garages
Everyone on track; the top 10 will start on the same set of tyres with which they set their fastest Q2 time
BOT 1:21.274
RAI 1:12.780
HAM P2
HAM gets very close to the wall at Massanet; backs off and abandons that lap
GRO almost loses the tail again; uses the escape road; spins it around and finds the track again
RAI 1:12.231
Radio from HAM complaining “something’s not right”; “can we sort this out?”
Long pause as HAM gets called for the random weight check
HAM way down in P14 with 7mins left of Q2; will he make it through to Q3?
5mins left; bottom 5 are HUL, SAI, MAG, HAM, MAS
HAM had a moderate lap after his out lap; his engineer warns him not to lose too much heat
On a faster lap, HAM nearly loses the tail again
PER P9, relegating KVY
VAN in the wall at the chicane; yellow flags mean everyone has to slow, so HAM can’t improve hit time
Chequered flag
Replay shows VAN clipped the barrier, broke his front right suspension, then he’s a passenger as the car bounces over the kerbs and into the wall
Middle of the grid: KVY, HUL, MAG, HAM, MAS

Qualifying Session 3
Top 10 shootout is between RAI, VET, VER, BOT, RIC, GRO, VAN, SAI, PER & BUT … except BUT has a 15 spot penalty awaiting him, and VAN won’t be running after putting his car in the wall
SAI 1:13.584
BOT P2
RAI 1:12.296
PER P4
VET P3
RIC P2
BOT P3
Brief yellow flag
PER P5
VET P3
5mins left of Q3; order is RAI, RIC, VET, BOT, VER, PER, SAI; no time from GRO, VAN or BUT
GRO P6
BUT P9
BOT P2
RAI 1:12.178
1min left; order is RAI, BOT, RIC, VET, VER, GRO, PER, SAI, BUT, VAN
Chequered flag
SAI P6
VET P2
VER P4
Front of the grid: RAI, VET, BOT, VER, RIC, SAI, PER, GRO, BUT, VAN

RAI’s first pole since France 2008
Radio for RAI telling him he’s on pole; RAI sounds barely awake as he acknowledges it
Everyone seems excited about RAI’s pole except him

Provisional grid: RAI, VET, BOT, VER, RIC, SAI, PER, GRO, BUT*, VAN*, KVY, HUL, MAG, HAM, MAS, OCO, PAL, STR, WEH, ERI.

2 Replies to “Grand Prix of Monaco – Qualifying”

  1. “Vettel reprimanded for crossing pit exit line” [f1fanatic]
    Sebastian Vettel has been reprimanded by the Monaco Grand Prix stewards for crossing the yellow pit exit line during qualifying.
    The Ferrari driver, who qualified second on the grid for tomorrow’s race, was reported to the stewards by race director Charlie Whiting after crossing the dividing line at pit exit in Q3.
    The stewards reviewed video footage of the incident and have handed Vettel a reprimand for failing to stay within the pit exit line.
    It is Vettel’s first reprimand of the season. If any driver incurs three reprimands over the course of a single season, they will receive a ten place grid penalty.

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