After a week full of racing on the streets of Monte Carlo, the final countdown to the Monaco Grand Prix got underway this afternoon as the drivers entered the decisive Qualifying hour.
The weather conditions on the streets of the Principality were dry and sunny in contrast
to the forecast. In Free Practice 3 this morning, spirits were dampened when Timo Glock's VR-01 ground to a halt after only three laps. Lucas di Grassi was on good form though, continually improving his times and finishing 21st in the session.
In Qualifying, both cars performed reliably and also managed to run faster than in the morning's session. Traffic, as always at Monaco, was an issue as drivers looked to find space, but in their second runs both Timo and Lucas picked slots that enabled them to set good lap times.
Timo Glock, Race Driver #24
"It is quite frustrating that I was only able to complete three laps in this morning's Free Practice session, because it meant that I had to go into Qualifying blind. So I was quite surprised about how close we were with Lotus but then I felt my lap was really spot-on, with the car almost kissing the Armco in places to get the best time possible. I'm pleased with my time and happy with the job I've done today. As for the rest of the weekend, only some of that is in my hands now because in Monaco you never know what might happen. I'm optimistic for the race as our car looks better on heavy fuel, so we have to think about what we can do through the strategy and make the most of every opportunity. I think it's worth having a gamble here. We have Chris Ferguson, the professional poker player, with us for the race, so I might ask him which way we should roll the dice!"
Lucas di Grassi, Race Driver #25
"In Free Practice this morning I had another good session. The car was reliable and performed well -- we had no issues at all. In Qualifying, I expected to do a better time but the car felt different at the rear end, so we'll have a good look at the data tonight and make sure everything is good for tomorrow. I'm looking forward to the race tomorrow. Spain was my last race with fuel-saving techniques. This is a track where I will be able to push very hard without that issue and then I get the new car for Turkey and the rest of the season. I'm expecting a better race for myself and the team in the Monaco Grand Prix."
Nick Wirth, Technical Director
"Overall, an encouraging day. Lucas had a good trouble-free morning session whilst Timo was put on the back foot by a steering rack leak which stopped him on-track and lost him the whole session, which at Monaco is very difficult to recover from. Nevertheless, both Lucas and Timo did a good job in Qualifying and despite Timo's lost time, it was very encouraging to again measure the downforce gains that the new parts fitted to Timo's car yesterday which gave the expected boost in aerodynamic performance. There is now a substantial difference in performance between the old and new cars and I'm looking forward to Lucas getting that spec the next race in Istanbul, as the data clearly shows he would have been faster than he was today with the new car. The next step is to build on the two-car finish from Barcelona again tomorrow with a solid and reliable race."