Senna: Qualy could be 'nightmare'
Brazilian warns that getting a clean lap might prove even more difficult
By Mike Wise in Monaco. Last Updated: 23/05/12 5:43pm
Bruno Senna thinks the wide-open state of competition in Formula 1 right now means that qualifying for this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix could prove a "nightmare".
The Brazilian, among those aiming to become the sixth different winner in as many races, reckons that getting a clean lap on Saturday - so important at the street circuit - will be even more difficult than usual.
"I can see it's going to be very tough to get a lap. In Barcelona it was a nightmare to get a clean lap - and Barcelona is a normal track. I think because everybody's so close, then everybody's on the track a lot more," Senna said.
"It's going to be a nightmare I think. But it's the same for everybody and I hope that everybody has a sensible attitude to the qualifying and to not slow down at Rascasse and queue another 20 cars up."
Senna arrives in the Principality after a difficult weekend in Spain where, after a spin in qualifying, his race was ended when he was rear-ended by the Mercedes of Michael Schumacher.
The underwhelming performance was emphasised, of course, by team-mate Pastor Maldonado's victory - although placed in context by the fire that engulfed the Williams garage post-race.
Maldonado - I’ve always been quick in Monaco
Of his own display, the 28-year-old - whose car has had to be completely rebuilt as a result of the blaze - said it was a case of "lesson learnt" but added that he had taken heart from Maldonado's success.
Key to the Venezuelan's win was his speed through the tight sector three in Barcelona - which enabled him to stay ahead of the pursuing Ferrari of Fernando Alonso on the start-finish straight.
Senna reckons the performance of the FW34 through those corners will serve the team well in Monaco but also paid tribute to his team-mate's own skill.
"It's very encouraging that the car was so competitive in the last sector like that," Senna said. "But to be fair, Pastor was doing a great job keeping his tyres together all the way to the last sector. So he was very good in the first sector but not the best. Then he was keeping his tyres well in the second sector so that when he got to the third sector, his tyres we're still alive.
"So there's a car factor but there's a good Pastor factor. He did a good job."
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However, Senna was quick to shrug off the rumour that he could be replaced by reserve driver Valtteri Bottas if Maldonado maintained the upper hand.
"It's always important to have good results and consistency. There's been a lot of talk that I've been in trouble but people forget very quickly that up until the last race I was in front of Pastor in the Chamionship, had some good races," he said.
"Because I had a bad weekend and Pastor won the race then people are like 'Oh he's out'. It's typical F1 gossip and very quickfire but the only way to put it out is to shut peoples' mouths up by having a good result."
Bottas replaced Senna in opening practice at the Circuit de Catalunya - something the latter cited as a factor in his underwhelming weekend.
Senna will get all the laps he needs this weekend, although he admitted he would need to perform heroics in order to make the arrangement permanent.
"Maybe if I get a couple of wins then I can negotiate that," he added.