2013 Monaco GP Driver Reaction - Qualifying
The 22 drivers have their say on the qualifying action in Monte Carlo
By William Esler. Last Updated: 25/05/13 6:04pm
The 22 drivers have their say on qualifying in Monaco where Nico Rosberg took his third consecutive pole of the season.
Sebastian Vettel: "I was a bit annoyed with my flying lap in Q3; I think I maybe pushed a bit too hard here and there. The start of the lap wasn't bad, but also it wasn't great; with hindsight I should have gone for two flying laps at the start of Q3 and not one, but I decided for that. I thought the tyres would be good enough for the first lap.
"I have been struggling all weekend, but in the end it was tight. Pole was probably possible today, but we are third. I think with the Mercedes in front, it was expected that they would be strong. We have a good race car and should be able to do well from there tomorrow."
Mark Webber: "Yeah I'm pretty happy with that. It's very easy to be towards the back when you have a disruptive session with those conditions, but we managed to survive all the tricky sections and put together a reasonably tidy effort.
"You can always look at timings later and think you could have done things differently, but in the heat of the moment you make the decision as to what you think is right and overall it wasn't too bad. The conditions are changing and the tyres are tricky, so starting on the second row here is not bad. It's a long race and a lot of strategy can unfold, so we'll see what we can do from there."
Fernando Alonso: "Unfortunately, today did not go as we had hoped, even if we tried our very best. We weren't as competitive as in the first two free practice sessions on Thursday, but I don't think we can lay the blame for this step backwards on the cooler temperatures, because the conditions are the same for everyone. There was less grip today and on the Softs, maybe we struggled a bit more this morning. I think it's much simpler than that and we struggled to adapt our car to this very special track, so different to all the others.
"We usually go better in the race, but it's a different story here because it's almost impossible to overtake. This is a race where anything can happen, and we need to be very careful at the start to avoid ending up stuck in a pack. Fortunately, the Mercedes are on the front so that my closest rivals in the classification are not too far, with Kimi starting next to me and Vettel just one row ahead. Let's hope I can pass both of them so that they can't pull further away in the championship.
"I feel sorry for Felipe, as the team did its very best but could not get him out in time for qualifying. I am well aware how starting from the back of the grid here in Monaco can make a difficult race even harder. However, I hope he can do well and that together we can bring home as many points as possible."
Felipe Massa: "I am disappointed not to have been able to take part in qualifying and it was really frustrating. This morning in the final practice session, I braked on a bump, the car bottomed and unexpectedly both front wheels locked up and from then on, there was nothing I could do. After hitting the guardrail I was waiting for the next impact with the barriers.
"Fortunately I'm okay, I've just got a bit of muscle strain, but the car was very damaged and the mechanics efforts to try and repair it in time came to nothing. It was a lot of work for the team, they all made a huge effort and for this I really want to thank them. It's a real shame starting from the back, especially on a track where it's so difficult to overtake, but now we need to be optimistic and concentrate on tomorrow's race.
"There will be a lot of work to do to assess if we need to change something in terms of set-up and strategy, to try and come up with something different which might give us an advantage. We know we are starting from a very difficult position, but the race is long and anything can happen. We will try and make the most of any opportunity, pushing to the maximum as usual."
Sergio Perez: "It's not great to cross the finish line, feel like you've just done a mega lap, and find that you're only seventh. Still, I put in a really strong performance here today, and I felt like I'd really maximised the full potential of the car.
"We know we're not quite there yet performance-wise, so we need to keep pushing. But the team has done a fantastic job so far this weekend, and I hope we can keep the momentum going tomorrow and score some good points. Anything can happen at Monaco on Sunday."
Jenson Button: "I'm not sure what happened on my final lap in Q3. We had an issue with the car right at the end - I didn't have any power, so I couldn't post a quick lap.
"It's a pity because, apart from that problem, which we also saw a sign of at the end of Q2, it had been a great qualifying session for me. The team did a great job in terms of putting me out on the right tyres at the right time, while I felt I was driving well, making the most of the conditions.
"Tomorrow's race will be difficult, starting from P9, but on this occasion there's absolutely nothing I could have done about it."
Nico Rosberg: "It's a great feeling to be on pole in the city where I grew up and it means so much to me to drive through the streets here in a Silver Arrow. The conditions were really difficult out there today with the rain at the start but we handled it well.
"I have to say thank you to everybody at the team for all of their hard work in improving our car and our performance so much since last year. Having said that, we know that race pace has been our weakness. We've learnt a lot since the last race, and this track should suit us, but we'll have to wait until tomorrow to find out if this will be enough."
Lewis Hamilton: "Congratulations to Nico and the team today, a great job all round. It's a big improvement for me after struggling in the practice sessions here so I'm really happy to be on the front row of the grid. I didn't have a great first sector on my lap today but after that it really came together.
"I've got some work to do as I haven't felt completely comfortable in the car this weekend but I'm confident that we can have a good race tomorrow and we'll be aiming to get the best possible result for the team."
Kimi Raikkonen: "It was a difficult day today because of the weather, but it was the same for all of the drivers. Obviously, qualifying here is never the easiest with the traffic and the barriers and you'd always prefer it to be dry as it's so slippery when it's wet.
"I'm happy we made it through to the top ten and P5 was more or less the best we could do with seven tenths to the next fastest car. I'm not sure what we'll do in the race; we don't have a clear picture yet as you never know exactly what the strategies from everyone else will be, but for sure we'll find out tomorrow."
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Romain Grosjean: "The team did an unbelievable job to get the car ready for me after what happened in P3 this morning; I'm extremely grateful to all of them. I really owe them today and I think that's more drinks I will have to buy at the end of the weekend.
"We had the car to do something very good in qualifying, but I caught Daniel [Ricciardo] in Q2 when the track was getting drier and faster. I had just two laps on the slicks and we weren't able to get through to the top ten which is really frustrating. What can you say? This is Monaco. We have seen different weather conditions and it is a unique circuit. We will see what happens in the race tomorrow."
Nico Hulkenberg: "It was a challenging qualifying. Q3 would have been possible as I was six tenths away. But we changed too late onto the super softs and only had one timed lap, which was a missed opportunity. However in changing conditions like those here in Monaco we can be happy we managed to stay out of trouble. P11 is just outside the top ten, so we can choose our strategy for tomorrow accordingly, which is quite good.
"I simply have to get the most out of the start, gain one or two spots, and stay out of trouble in the first corner. Then one of the most challenging races lies ahead, but I am looking forward to it, because Monaco has its own rules and, in the end, this is why we love it so much here."
Esteban Gutierrez: "It was a disappointing qualifying because we didn't look in bad shape and just our pace on the intermediate tyres wasn't good enough. I wasn't able to find more time, I put the lap together and just couldn't find the grip.
"It's going to be a tough race tomorrow, considering that it is really hard to overtake here in Monaco. But we will try our best and hopefully a good strategy will help us to get through the traffic."
Adrian Sutil: "Very tricky conditions today with the track half wet and half dry. We never knew if it was really drying out or if more rain was coming, so it was important to be on the right tyres at the right time. The team did an excellent job of choosing the tyres and making the correct decisions. I also need to thank my crew who worked so hard to fix the car in time for the session after the incident this morning.
"Tomorrow I will be pushing hard to move forward. A podium is my target and there are seven cars ahead of me, so with a good strategy anything is possible. I just have to concentrate and make the most of this opportunity."
Paul Di Resta: "We failed to deliver today, which is a real shame because we were very strong in the wet and this is the most crucial qualifying session of the year. The intermediate tyres were working fine for me, but we didn't read the conditions well enough from the pit wall. I needed a set of fresh intermediates towards the end of the session, but by the time we realised it was too late and there was no time to pit.
"The only option was to stay out, but my tyres were finished and I didn't have a chance to progress any further. It's a painful position to be starting from tomorrow given the speed we had in the car today."
Valtteri Bottas: "The conditions were not good today as they were changing all the time. We made the most of what we had and although the car is not where we want it to be, we feel we're in a good position in terms of knowing the development direction to go. The race will be difficult with some quick cars starting behind us, but I'm confident we can still push forward and gain some positions in tomorrow's race."
Pastor Maldonado: "We were quick in Q1 as I know this track very well and in damp conditions I know where to take risks. As it was getting dry the car wasn't working as well though, as the front was locking quite a lot. I think the top ten was possible as there is some improvement, especially if it had stayed wet. It is looking good for the future though with the data we have gathered this weekend so far."
Jean-Eric Vergne: "My first Q3 of the season feels pretty good, even if I would have preferred it to keep raining right until the end. But even in the dry I got a good lap in, but I aborted my very last lap as I wasn't able to improve. I think this is about where we should be having improved the car still further, which means we are making progress race by race.
"I believe that our performance in race conditions tomorrow should be better than it was now in qualifying so we will be hoping for a good result, whatever the weather. Anything can happen on this track so we can definitely aim for points tomorrow. Getting into Q3 is good but there are no points given out in qualifying, so we still have to concentrate and produce a strong performance tomorrow."
Daniel Ricciardo: "I am disappointed with that qualifying, as I think this afternoon was a missed opportunity. I really wanted Q3 today and with the mixed conditions, the opportunity was there. But we weren't quick on the Inters and after that I felt we could have done better with the Super Softs, maybe if I'd got in one more lap to get the tyres up to temperature better, so we still have some work to do now.
"I feel the car has got a good pace on a long run, certainly better than in qualifying, but with the difficulty in overtaking here, starting twelfth is not ideal. So now we need to come up with a good strategy to try and make up for this afternoon."
Charles Pic: "First I want to say well done to Giedo and the whole team for the job everyone did today. It's obviously a bit disappointing I wasn't with my teammate in Q2 but it was very close and the team did a good job to give us both a chance today.
"This morning, FP3 was all about understeer for me. We started the session with quite a long run on the softs and the car was understeering everywhere, so we spent most of the session trying to dial that out and get a better balance. By the end of the session it was improving but even on the supersofts I still wasn't really getting everything out of it.
"In quali we went out early, first cars on track, and put in a good run on the inters with the times coming down throughout the session. We made the call to come in for a new set of inters with about five minutes left of Q1 but I couldn't quite get enough out in the last sector due to traffic, but 18th is still OK around Monaco. We've had good pace on the long runs here, and very good degradation levels on the tyres, so let's see what happens tomorrow."
Giedo van der Garde: "I'm obviously very pleased to put my name into the Q2 timesheets for the first time this year and I want to thank Tony, Cyril and the whole team for the jobs everyone did today. Honestly, it's a great feeling, but it's still part of the learning process for me. I've said since the start of the season that I'd make progress, and today showed how far we've all come in just six races, and there's more to come.
"Saturday started pretty well and in FP3 we went out for a long-ish run on the softs straight away but, like Charles, for me the car was understeering a lot. I was having to use throttle to help turn the car so we made a couple of mechanical changes and from then it was a bit better, but the tyres weren't really coming in as much as we'd have liked, so we tried another mechanical change for quali and the results are pretty obvious!
"In Q1 we went out very early as there were reports of more showers coming. As it turned out that wasn't the case, but we timed the stop well and had about four more quick laps on the inters at the end of Q1, enough time to put myself into Q2.
"Q2 started with a bit more rain, so we again went for the inters, but after one lap I thought it was dry enough for slicks so we boxed, went onto the supersofts and was the first car to make the switch. For a while we were looking at Q3, but that's not where we are performance-wise yet, so we're all really happy with Q2.
"Sunday could be very interesting. I start between the two Williams cars of Bottas and Maldonado and I've had good starts all year, so hopefully I can have another good launch, avoid anything like the GP2 mess on Friday, and from there anything's possible. I finished on the podium here last year in GP2 and, while that's not going to happen this year, we will definitely be racing quite a few cars all afternoon."
Max Chilton: "After a good start on Thursday, today has been quite a big challenge with the tricky conditions we had in qualifying. Naturally I was hoping for a better grid slot because it's all about grid position in Monaco. I think I got the best out of the tyre too early and it just wasn't there at the end when the track was a bit drier. It's disappointing because it will be a long race tomorrow. The weather looks fine, so with a clean first lap I'll be hoping to make the best of any opportunities which come our way."
Jules Bianchi: "Of course I was hoping for a good shot at qualifying for my home race, so it is very disappointing to have to pull over so soon and not take part in the session. The Team aren't entirely sure of the full cause of the problem just yet but it was clear that I would not have been able to complete any laps, which is why they asked me to pull over.
"We have to wait to see what happens. I think it could be a very exciting race for everyone tomorrow; things have not been straightforward through the field so we have to remain focused and see what happens and then do the best job possible in what are tough circumstances."