Ferrari dominated the action in the qualifying session for the Monaco GP. Kimi Räikkönen and Sebastian Vettel locked out the front row for the Scuderia in a qualifying thriller which saw the Finn emerging as the quickest of the two.
The fabled Italian team has showed commanding speed through the whole Monaco GP weekend so far. The SF70-H behaved very consistently on the narrow streets of the Principality and was in harmony with the behaviour of Pirelli’s relatively hard tyres.
Ferrari and its drivers got rid of long-time ‘droughts’ in more senses. Kimi Räikkönen secured his first pole position since the 2008 French GP. Ferrari scored its first Monaco pole since 2008 when Felipe Massa went fastest in his F2008.
“It’s great to be on pole position this is one of the races where it is probably most important to be at the front. Half of the job is done, but we still have a big challenge in front of us tomorrow. So far so good, I’m happy with the car,” started Räikkönen his analysis.
Räikkönen whose wife Minttu gave birth to their second child only a couple of days ago was happy that his team of engineers found the sweet spot for his car in terms of setup after some balance issues during the Thursday practices.
“This is a very special place, it’s been a bit tricky to get everything working as we wanted, but in qualifying things fell into place: and very small things make a massive difference in the lap time here . We got it right, the team put me in a very good position every time; things were running smoothly and hopefully tomorrow we can get a great result with both cars.”
The 2007 champion hopes he can get well off the line as overtaking has been almost impossible around Monaco which could become even more difficult with the wider cars.
“We have to make a good start and try to stay out of trouble. It’s quite a short run to the first corner, cars are wide and it’s tricky to pass. We’ll try to do our best, but it’s not going to be easy, as many things can happen out of your control. The most important thing for me is to be in the same position tomorrow when it comes to the end”, said the pole-sitter.
Sebastian Vettel was happy for his team and his team-mate to score the best result a team can achieve in a qualifying session.
“I am not happy with myself because pole position was up for grabs, but it’s great for the team. If I had to give up pole position and hand it to someone, I would choose Kimi. I am happy for him. He did a very good job in qualifying.”
The German who set the pace in the second and third practice session with ease was angry with himself that he could not put a perfect lap together in the all-important dying minutes of qualifying.
“As I said, it’s been fantastic for the team, but I am not totally happy with my performance today. I should have done a better job overall. The car was good, so it was my mistake. I was a bit too greedy in my last run.”
Ferrari’s start practices have not been the best over the weekend so far. The German thinks predictions are useless for tomorrow’s race, therefore his team follows the usual preparation work.
“Now it is impossible to make predictions for tomorrow, all we have to think about is the start, the pace, the strategy, and then try to put everything together. So, we are going to prepare for the race as usual”.
Vettel’s day was, however, not faultless as the German got a reprimand for crossing the white line at the pit exit. The incident happened at 14:56 when the quadruple champion exited the pit for his very last stint in Q3.