Grand Prix of Monaco – Qualifying

Qualifying is the most important session for the Monaco weekend – overtaking is virtually impossible.

Free Practice:

  1. FP1: RIC (1:12.126), VER, HAM, VET, RAI
    First showing of the hypersoft tyres at a race weekend – they could be worth 1sec/lap but with a correspondingly shorter lifespan
    SIR was the first to hit the wall, but not the last – GRO touched the barriers too, and HAR had a close call
    VER out-braked himself and ran wide; stewards investigating whether he rejoined in an unsafe manner
  2. FP2: RIC (1:11.841), VER, VET, HAM, RAI
    A loose drain cover brought out the red flags temporarily – they’ve had this problem in past years too
  3. FP3: RIC (1:11.786), VER, VET, RAI, HAM
    VER wipes out on the barriers at the swimming pool; red flags
    https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/headlines/2018/5/fp3–ricciardo-edges-it-as-Verstappen-crashes-out-in-monaco.html

Remember GRO was given a three-place grid penalty for causing the collision on the first lap in Spain

Less than 30 minutes until the start of Quali and Red Bull’s mechanics are still working hard to rebuild VER’s car.
It could well be both Red Bulls on the front of the grid – they’ve been P1 & P2 in every practice session.

Air temperature 25°C; track 49°C; humidity 52%; wind 0.8m/s
Tyre compounds for this weekend are: hypersoft, ultrasoft and supersoft – pick your superlative 🙂

5mins before Q1; VER’s car still under construction
2mins to go: rumour of a gearbox problem

Qualifying session 1 (Q1)
Green lights for the start of Q1, and half a dozen cars dash for the track
Halfway around the out lap, and they’re already jockeying for space
RIC is the last one to leave the pits, except for VER
HAR 1:13.793
GAS 1:13.724
GRO 1:13.663
SIR 1:13.305
PER 1:13.249
Yellow flag for a split second
VET 1:13.165
(HAM P3)
RIC 1:12.769 despite catching a Renault in Anthony Noghes
SIR 1:12.706
ALO 1:12.698
Red Bull have confirmed they’ve got to change VER’s gearbox, so that’s a penalty plus he won’t be able to run in Q1 so he’ll have to appeal to the stewards for permission to race
RAI 1:12.670
Radio from STR – “headrest is loose”; “if it’s dangerous, pit”; “no, just *bleep* fix it!”
RIC 1:12.013
BOT under investigation for impeding RAI in the tunnel
(HAM P2)
(VET P2)
5mins left of Q1; bottom 5 are HAR, ERI, STR, MAG and VER
HAR goes P13, relegating LEC to P16
MAG P17
LEC P7, BOT P16(!)
ERI P16
STR P18
2mins left; bottom 5 are ERI, BOT, STR, MAG, VER
BOT P3, HAR P16
Yellow flag in sector 1 – LEC ran wide
Chequered flag
Back of the grid: HAR, ERI, STR, MAG, VER*
*VER will need to appeal to the stewards as he didn’t set a lap time
No penalty for BOT

Replay of LEC locking up into Turn 1 (Sainte Devote); he even managed to stop braking, steer away from the armco barrier, then continue braking as he entered the runoff road

Qualifying session 2
SAI waits at the pit exit; green lights
HAM and BOT are running on ultrasofts; the hypersofts are about 1sec/lap faster but ultras will last longer, given the top 10 have to start the race on their Q2 tyres
RIC, VET and RAI are all on hypersofts
SIR 1:12.722
GAS 1:12.548
OCO 1:12.455
PER 1:12.194
VET 1:11.518
RIC 1:11.353
Radio from GRO – “no front end” – presumably he means lack of grip
(HAM P10 but he’s still warming his tyres)
HAM starts a quick lap; good Sector 1 but poor S2; he pits
5mins left; bottom 5 are: HAM, SIR, LEC, BOT, GRO
HAM and BOT are now on hypersofts
HAM P3; GAS P11
BOT P5; SAI P11
3mins left; bottom 5 are: SAI, GAS, SIR, LEC, GRO
SIR P12
GRO P14
GAS P9; HUL P11
SAI P9; VAN P11
Chequered flag; bottom 5 are: VAN, HUL, SIR, LEC, GRO
RIC 1:11.278
HUL P11
Radio from SAI – “please tell me it’s good enough”
Middle of the grid: HUL, VAN, SIR, LEC, GRO*
*GRO has a three-place grid penalty from Spain

Qualifying session 3
Top 10 shootout is between RIC, RAI, VET, HAM, BOT, OCO, PER, ALO, SAI & GAS
SAI waits at the pit exit again
SAI 1:12.266
**missing updates**
RIC 1:10.810
Order after the first run: RIC, HAM, VET, RAI, BOT, SAI, ALO, PER, OCO, GAS
VET P2
HAM P3
GAS P7
OCO P6
RIC P1 but doesn’t improve on his time
SAI P8
Front of the grid: RIC, VET, HAM, RAI, BOT, OCO, ALO, SAI, PER, GAS

Why did VET skip the top 3 drivers’ interview?

Provisional grid: RIC, VET, HAM, RAI, BOT, OCO, ALO, SAI, PER, GAS, HUL, VAN, SIR, LEC, GRO*, HAR, ERI, STR, MAG, VER*
*GRO will drop from P15 to P18
*VER will need to appeal to the stewards as he didn’t set a lap time

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