Grosjean: Pole was in sight

Frenchman thinks Lotus race pace will figure again

By Mike Wise in Monaco.   Last Updated: 27/05/12 8:01am

  • Share:

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Romain Grosjean reckoned pole position at the Monaco Grand Prix was his for the taking but for a slow second sector in Saturday's qualifying session.

THE ONLY PLACE TO BE

Sky Sports F1 HD is THE only place to watch the 2012 Formula 1 season in full live. Our extensive coverage of the Monaco GP culminates with Race Day.

SUNDAY 27th - Race from 11.30am

To find out all the different ways to watch the action, click here

The Frenchman, who is making his Formula 1 debut in the Principality this weekend, appeared on course for top spot after setting the fastest first sector time during his final qualifying run but subsequently lost time and will start the race fourth on the grid.

Grosjean in fact set the fifth fastest time of the final session but has been promoted a place in light of the penalty handed down to the fastest driver in qualifying, Michael Schumacher, after the Spanish Grand Prix.

"I lost one-and-a-half tenths, I think, compared to the best one," he said. "I haven't looked at the data at the moment (so) I don't know why but I noticed we struggled a little bit more since the beginning.

"It's not a huge difference but this is where we probably lost pole position."

Grosjean has appeared confident all week in Monaco and this attitude again seemed evident on Saturday as he set a time of 1:14.639s on his first flying lap in the top-ten session.

Only the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg was faster than him at that point, but Grosjean's second attempt was slower, and also bettered by Schumacher, Mark Webber and Lewis Hamilton.

"I think after the first run in Q3, we saw that Rosberg was only six hundredths quicker than us so yeah, let's go for it and see what we can do. But it was not enough," Grosjean admitted.

Rain on Thursday prevented Lotus from running the supersoft compound - which is making its season debut this weekend - until final practice on Saturday morning.

Grosjean admitted that the lack of running on the red tyre had introduced a greater element of the unknown into the strategic equation but reckons Lotus's strong race pace will again figure.

"I think it will be quite tough for the engineers on the pitwall to see what we can do. For us as well, to give an idea of what we think of the tyres, which phase we are in and how long can we keep them," he said.

"But then we know that normally our car is pretty good on race pace, even better than on qualy. So let's hope it's going to be a good race."

Of his chances of jumping polesitter Webber at the lights, Grosjean added: "I'm on the second row, it's good - there's a gap in between the cars in front of me, I can jump really quickly with a good start and then let's see where we are at the first corner: second, third, stay in fourth.

"We'll see in the race. Seventy-eight laps is quite long and even if we are a bit disappointed with P5 - or P4 as Michael gets a penalty - it's only my first Formula 1 qualifying in Monaco."

  • Share:

Related

Monaco Grand Prix 2012

Martin on the Monaco grid

It's Only The Moaning That's Boring...

Martin Brundle reflects on the difference between what was said before Monaco and what was whinged after the race with the reminder that not every race can be a classic. Perhaps 2012 has been spoiling us this season....

Michael Schumacher: Suffered another DNF

Brawn vows to solve Schu issues

Ross Brawn has promised Michael Schumacher that Mercedes will do everything they can to ensure his car doesn't continue to suffer from reliability problems.

Fernando Alonso: Says Ferrari are heading in the right direction again

Alonso: Next races 'important'

Fernando Alonso has said that the coming weeks remain "important" in the development of Ferrari's F2012 as they look to maintain their recent revival.

Related Profiles

Most Popular

Features

2015 driver numbers

2015 driver numbers

The numbers the 18 confirmed drivers will be racing with when the 2015 F1 season gets underway.

2014 driver review

2014 driver review

From Lewis Hamilton to Andre Lotterer, every driver's year reviewed and rated from the 2014 season.

F1 dates for 2015

F1 dates for 2015

Your essential one-stop guide to the driver line-ups, testing and race schedules for next season.