F1 Monte Carlo - SAT - Qualifying - Lewis 5th, Jenson 8th


Monte Carlo, Principality of Monaco, May 15, 2010

Fifth and eighth - and ready for battle on Sunday!

- MP4-25A-01
- P3 programme: 4th, 1m15.038s (+0.232s), 25 laps
- Qualifying:
- Q1: 12th, 1m15.676s (on Primes)
- Q2: 4th, 1m14.527s (on Options)
- Q3: 5th, 1m14.432s (on Options)

“I put everything into those three qualifying sessions, especially on my last flying lap, when I literally got every last drop of performance from the car – there was absolutely nothing left!

“Today, I touched all the barriers I could possibly touch and used all the road I could possibly use, so I’m happy with my performance. But it’s clear that the Red Bulls have more downforce than we do, particularly in the middle sector, and it’s evident that we need to find a decent step in performance to keep up with them in future. They can get onto full throttle earlier than we can, and they can carry more speed into the corners, and that gives them greater confidence to attack.

“But we’re definitely getting there, and it’s very close on the grid ahead of me. It would have been great to have been on pole, but the race is tomorrow, I’m on the inside line for the start and it’s not over ’til it’s over.”

- MP4-25A-03
- P3 programme: 10th, 1m15.682s (+0.876s), 22 laps
- Qualifying:
- Q1: 10th, 1m15.623s (on Primes)
- Q2: 10th, 1m15.150s (on Options)
- Q3: 8th, 1m14.637s (on Options)

“In Q1 my car felt pretty good on the harder tyres, but we didn’t run them in Q3, which was a little bit of a shame as it was probably the better option. Like everyone else, we ran the softer tyre at the end, and I struggled on it – there was a lot of movement at the rear and understeer in the low-speed corners. It didn’t feel great, to be honest.

“I don’t really know what Felipe [Massa] was thinking in Q3 – there were only 10 cars out there, so it should have been relatively easy for him to keep out of the way of other cars. I guess he obviously wasn’t looking in his mirrors. I don’t know what my laptime on that lap would have been, but it was annoying because that lap was compromised. The next lap was compromised as well because I obviously got a bad run onto the pit straight.

“Our race pace has looked great all weekend, so it’s frustrating to be where we are now, because the likelihood is that we simply won’t be able to deploy that pace in the race. To sum it up, then, I’ll just say that today was a tough day.”

Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

“Over the weekend so far, we’ve seen strong long-run pace from both our drivers, but we’ve found it a bit more difficult to get sufficient pace from the tyres in the early laps. Unfortunately, we couldn’t rectify that issue to the extent that we’d ideally have liked prior to qualifying, and the consequence was that both Jenson and Lewis had to dig very deep to get through Q1 and Q2 and into Q3.

“As always on race day at Monaco, grid positions will be crucial, and undoubtedly we’ll have a battle on our hands tomorrow. But, as I’ve said before and don’t apologise for saying again, both Jenson and Lewis are supremely combative race drivers – and, even at Monaco, where it’s notoriously difficult to overtake, they’ll be doing their utmost to convert their starting positions into the maximum possible points haul for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes.”

* Official photos and info courtesy of VODAFONE MCLAREN MERCEDES *

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