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GP Week : Issue 221
pOS driVer team Q1 Q2 Q3 LapS 1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:16.588 1:15.864 1:15.098 28 2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:16.526 1:15.471 1:15.440 25 3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:17.502 1:16.181 1:15.849 24 4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:17.254 1:16.706 1:16.041 28 5 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull 1:16.845 1:16.453 1:16.182 26 6 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:17.660 1:16.440 1:16.427 23 7 Sergio Perez Force India 1:17.376 1:16.999 1:16.808 22 8 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:17.246 1:16.762 1:16.931 29 9 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:17.630 1:16.775 1:16.946 30 10 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:16.750 1:16.546 1:16.957 29 11 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:17.767 1:17.007 22 12 Jenson Button McLaren 1:17.492 1:17.093 20 13 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:17.552 1:17.193 16 14 Felipe Massa Williams 1:17.679 1:17.278 22 15 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:17.778 1:26.632 11 16 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:18.101 11 17 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:18.434 10 18 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:18.513 11 19 Will Stevens Manor 1:20.655 9 20 Roberto Merhi Manor 1:20.904 10 Q1 107% Time 1:21.949 formula 1 round 6 monaco gp – Qualifying QUALIFYING There is no more important qualifying session. The tight, twisty streets of Monaco are notoriously difficult to pass on. even with all the gadgets now afforded to drivers in an attempt to spice up the show, passing is all but impossible. Qualify on pole and, so long as one gets a good start, that is more or less the race. Just keep it out of the armco. As a cricuit, Monaco has always favoured the brave. While still important, the car is less of a factor. Laptime is measured in testosterone as much as horsepower. Lewis Hamiton had never been on pole around the twisting Principality streets. A fine expondent of the single lap dash, the Englishman had been beaten by teammate Nico Rosberg in the last two years. Emphasising how important qualifying is, Rosberg went on to win both races. Rosberg has an affinity with Monaco. He grew up on the Cote d'Azur and as a child his school bus went through the tunnel. He has a groove in the way Alain Prost and Graham Hill did. So, to end up second is a dissapointing result, below what was expected of him. Throughout practice he'd been fast, typically a couple of tenths up on Hamilton. He looked nailed on for pole position even in the early stages of qualifying too. But he choked. His first timed lap in the third session was solid but nothing more. His second attempt was poor to the degree he didn't even bother completing it It's not to say Hamilton's lap was lucky, he did the best job on the day and ultimately that is what counts. Rosberg was disappointed not to do better. He was in good company. More competitive than it has been in recent races, Red Bull managed to get both cars into the top five for the first time in 2015. Daniel Ricciardo was fourth but was displeased with his lap. The Australian had begun the lap with the wrong engine map after a mix up in communications. It cost him two tenths on his best lap, the time he was behind third placed Vettel 76 seconds later. Cooler track conditions made generating tyre temperate difficult for the red cars. Both Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen struggled for grip in the final moments of qualifying as a result. Pirelli had introduced an all-new supersoft tyre for Monaco. It was the first time it had been used, with many teams struggling to get it working. Even the soft compound tyre took a handful of laps to work up to its operating window. With tyre wear less of an issue around Monaco it advantaged those cars which worked their tyres hard. Sauber was not one of them. Nor was Williams. Valtteri Bottas exited qualifying after the first session, his 1:18.4 a genuine laptime without traffic or overt mistakes. It owed to his inability to get heat into his tyres. It was the same problem for 24 GPWEEK.com // 24 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> MONACO PARTNERS: Finding the rhythm