Grand Prix of Monaco – Qualifying


Most of the discussion has, of course, been about Niki Lauda who died on Monday. [FIA]
Mercedes have posted some nice photos on their instagram feed: the red cap amongst the headsets, the single red star on the car, and the red halo. [More tributes on FIA site]

Not much else in the news since Spain:

  • Dutch Grand Prix to return at Zandvoort from 2020 [FIA]
  • Alonso failed to qualify for the Indy 500 [BBC]

Free Practice:

  1. FP1: HAM (1:12.106), VER, BOT, LEC, VET
    GAS got the Red Bull’s tail out and almost hit the wall
    GRO and MAG were both black flagged (told to return to the pits) after a total communications failure for Haas! [pitpass]
  2. FP2: HAM (1:11.118), BOT, VET, GAS, ALB
    A few cars ended up in the escape road at Sainte Devote
  3. FP3: LEC (1:11.265), BOT, HAM, VER, GAS
    VET got it wrong into Turn 1 and put his Ferrari into the tyre wall at Sainte Devote, bringing out the Virtual Safety Car [FIA video]
    LEC was under investigation for speeding under the VSC
    STR locked up in Ste Devote too but he took to the escape road and was able to continue

The stewards have announced a reprimand but no penalty for LEC’s speeding in FP3

Now for the most important part of the weekend, because it’s virtually impossible to overtake in the race. (I’m glad to hear more people discussing how Monaco is a terrible circuit and wouldn’t be on the calendar if it wasn’t for the ridiculous amount of money involved!)

Under 10 minutes before Quali starts, and the Red Bull mechanics are still working on VER’s car – the floor is off, so it might be a while before he’s ready to roll

Apparently there’s a 40% chance of rain in the next hour, but there’s barely a cloud to be seen
Air temperature 21°C; track 44°C; humidity 64%

Qualifying session 1 (Q1)
Cars are streaming out of the pit lane but they’ll need to space themselves out if they hope to get a decent run
NOR 1:16.640
KVY 1:13.522
MAG 1:12.869
(HAM P2)
(RAI P2)
(BOT P2)
LEC 1:12.825
GIO blocked the end of HUL’s quick run
GAS 1:12.647
VER 1:11.725
(HAM P2)
(ALB P3!)
(BOT P2)
Incident involving GIO and HUL is under investigation
(GAS P2)
VER 1:11.597
Radio from PER – he thinks he’s tapped the wall
HAM cuts the chicane
(MAG P2)
LEC locks up in Rascasse and barely makes it round
(HAM P2)
BOT 1:11.562
Looks like LEC missed the weighbridge; Ferrari mechanics are pushing him back to be weighed
4mins left of Q1; bottom 5 are HUL, PER, STR, RUS, KUB
VET hits the armco barrier; heads for the pits
PER P12
HAM 1:11.542
HUL P15; VET P16 (!)
VET leaving the pits to try to get out of Q1
HUL P15, bumping VET P16
Chequered flag; bottom 5 are HUL, VET, STR, RUS, KUB
VET 1:11.434 but that pushes teammate LEC to P16
Oh dear Ferrari!
Back of the grid: LEC, PER, STR, RUS, KUB

Qualifying session 2
HAM 1:11.124
BOT 1:10.701
(VER P2)
(HAM P2)
MAG locked up, turned in and tagged the armco with his front right
5mins left of Q2; bottom 5 are NOR, MAG, RAI, GIO, GRO
GRO P12
HUL P12
VER 1:10.618
HUL P9; ALB P11
ALB P6; MAG P11
Chequered flag; bottom 5 are MAG, NOR, GRO, RAI, GIO
NOR P11
MAG P5; HUL P11
GIO P15
Middle of the grid: HUL, NOR, GRO, RAI, GIO
GRO was fuming after catching right up to the tail of GAS

Qualifying session 3
Top 10 shootout is between VER, BOT, HAM, VET, MAG, KVY, ALB, GAS, RIC and SAI
Between Q2 and Q3 apparently the track workers have been repairing a kerb in the swimming pool chicane
BOT 1:10.252
VET P2
KVY P3
ALB P4
SAI P4
GAS P3
MAG P4
VER P2
HAM cut the chicane
HAM P9
Order after one run: BOT, VER, VET, GAS, MAG, KVY, SAI, ALB, HAM, and no time from RIC as yet
HAM P2
5mins left; BOT, HAM, VER, VET, GAS
RIC P6
VET hits the barrier
VET P4
HAM 1:10.166
Chequered flag
SAI P8
MAG P6
KVY P8
Front of the grid: HAM, BOT, VER, VET, GAS, MAG, RIC, KVY, SAI, ALB
Radio for HAM telling him he’s on pole; HAM screams in excitement
He seems pretty emotional as he parks the Mercedes

Provisional grid: HAM, BOT, VER, VET, GAS, MAG, RIC, KVY, SAI, ALB, HUL, NOR, GRO, RAI, GIO, LEC, PER, STR, RUS, KUB
But there are a couple of incidents under investigation

Interviews:
HAM – It doesn’t matter how many times you come here, it’s still a dream. It means so much to me, I had to dig deeper than ever
BOT – I’m disappointed, I felt I had it today but obviously not. Anything can happen, there’s no point giving up after Saturday, there’s a long race ahead
VER – In these streets, to push your heart rate goes up a bit! Still, P3 was good, with ten minutes before the session there was not even a floor on the car so the mechanics did a good job

Race control: HUL, LEC and PER under investigation for “weighbridge procedure” in Q1