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What the teams said – Qualifying in Monaco

Special Contributor

Becky Hart
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MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 25: Sergio Perez of Mexico driving the (11) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB20,

Ferrari

Leclerc picked up where he left off in FP2, topping final practice and heading into qualifying as favourite for pole. He didn’t start the session particularly dominantly, but did more than enough to make Q3 with ease before dialling it up and nailing those last two laps. His first was good enough for provisional pole, and he improved again to make it certain. Sainz has struggled by comparison, but he too found something a bit special in Q3 to grab a spot on the second row, as he finally found a set-up more to his liking.

READ MORE: Leclerc thrilled by ‘very special’ run to Monaco pole as he reveals nerves from last-minute engine change

Charles Leclerc, 1st, 1:10.270

"I’m very happy. We were fast right from the beginning of the weekend and I really think the whole team deserves this pole position. We know how important is track position here and having the possibility to start in front of everyone gives us the best chances.

"We know from the past that we have to win the race tomorrow on track but so far we have done an amazing job. Of course, I want to thank all the people here as I felt their support right from Wednesday. Now we have to complete the job, and we will do our best to bring home this victory."

Carlos Sainz, 3rd, 1:10.518

"I feel that I've progressed well today after a difficult start to the weekend yesterday. Of course I’m not satisfied as I would have preferred to be on the front row. However, we have a good fighting chance for tomorrow and we still have a long race ahead of us. Congrats to Charles for the pole position at home! Let’s race."

Fred Vasseur, Team Principal

"We know how important is pole position at Monaco, but we also know there are no points on Saturday and the target for tomorrow is to confirm the position with Charles and possibly gain one with Carlos.Charles has done an amazing job from the beginning of the weekend supported by the whole team and was able to progress steadily as the track was evolving.

"Carlos was also able to constantly improve getting more and more confidence with the car and the track and at the end was fighting for a place on the front row.Looking forward to tomorrow I expect a close fight between McLaren, Mercedes, Red Bull and us. It will be interesting."

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MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 25: Pole position qualifier Charles Leclerc of Monaco and Ferrari celebrates in parc ferme during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco at Circuit de Monaco on May 25, 2024 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

McLaren

Piastri looked on it from word go in qualifying, and was able to make it to Q3 using just the three sets of softs. His team mate was forced to use an extra set and thus only had one lot of fresh rubber for Q3. That left Norris on the back foot, so fourth is a very decent result considering but he just couldn’t match his team mate out there. Piastri grabbed a brilliant P2, and looks well placed for a tilt at a first rostrum of the season – if not a maiden Grand Prix victory.

READ MORE: Piastri outlines goal after securing front row grid slot in Monaco as Norris hails ‘better than expected’ result

Lando Norris, 4th, 1:10.542

“A good Qualifying result for us. It was just so close. Of course, we would have loved to have been one or two positions higher, especially here where overtaking is so difficult, but, I’m happy with it and we’re in a good place. A good job by the team for Oscar to be in P2. We’ve got a good team result and we’ll try to maximise it.”

Oscar Piastri, 2nd, 1:10.424

“I’m really pleased with that. It’s great to be starting on the front row, and next to Leclerc who has been incredibly quick all weekend. I feel like we’ve been building momentum, and what better colours to do it in than these. Our aim for tomorrow is to get a good start, and take the opportunities that will come to us. While overtaking will be tricky, we’ll give it everything. We’ve got a good starting spot, so let’s see what we can do.”

Andrea Stella, Team Principal

"As usual, a very tense Qualifying session here in Monaco. There were many teams today with a realistic shot of getting into Q3, and we needed to be incredibly careful with our approach, always being on track with the right tyres, because you simply could not tell when the time was to do the lap that would see you progress the most.

"In Q1, there was a moment of concern when Lando had a large portion of an advertising banner stuck under his car. It required a rapid response from the entire team to get rid of this and get him back out for the crucial last couple of minutes, which the team did very well. Both drivers performed well under pressure today, culminating in strong starting positions for tomorrow, upon which we will try to capitalise the best we can."

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MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 25: Oscar Piastri of Australia driving the (81) McLaren MCL38 Mercedes on track during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco at Circuit de Monaco on May 25, 2024 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Mercedes

Mercedes had one of their best Fridays of the season, and Saturday started well, with Russell’s steering problems very much solved. He therefore was in the mix come qualifying, as was Hamilton despite only the former having the latest front wing spec. They both had two sets of fresh softs in Q3 to play with, but Hamilton – who had had the edge all weekend – suddenly started to struggle. He had to settle for seventh, while Russell had no answer to the pace of the Ferraris and McLarens and grabbed fifth.

Lewis Hamilton, 7th, 1:10.621

"The car has felt great this weekend from the get-go and we were competitive through Friday and this morning in practice. I’ve been pushing the limits everywhere and the qualifying laps felt good. But each time I go into qualifying, I struggle to keep making progress with the car and it feels like I lose performance relative to the cars around me. There was a bit of a difference with our cars in the high-speed corners, as George is running the new wing this weekend, but it is great to see the team pushing so hard to bring upgrades to the last race and this one, too. We have been much closer to the front here, and the car is feeling much better than it has in Monaco in previous years; we just have to keep on pushing and getting closer to the front through the year."

George Russell, 5th, 1:10.543

"That was a strong result today. It’s just two hundredths of a second to P3, so of course it’s frustrating when the gaps are so close, but the main thing is that we are making progress. The team has worked flat out to bring new parts here sooner than expected, and that’s massively appreciated because the car was feeling great. The car was dancing a lot in the first sector and my lap felt very strong – afterwards, you can always convince yourself there was bit more in there, but it’s just such an amazing adrenaline rush to drive a lap on this circuit. Overall, I am happy because we could have been P3 today, but most importantly we are making progress and hopefully this can be a bit of a turning point given that our car has never been super strong here. The race has been pretty chaotic in the last couple of years and I’m not sure what the weather will be like tomorrow, I guess a bit of rain would be welcome to spice things up!"

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport

"When you look the final positions on the time sheets, P5 and P7 probably looks like a bit more of the same, but in fact the pace was good, and we were just a few milliseconds away from P2 or P3 with George. Lewis has put together a very strong weekend, but it wasn’t to be on that final run. The sport is so close right now, probably more than it has ever been, and it’s a fight for tiny margins in every area. As always, it was a challenge to find the sweet spot of the tyres, but we hit all our targets for those final laps and probably that’s the pace of the car right now. Ultimately, this has always been a tough track for us, and we’ve enjoyed a pretty competitive weekend so far. I also want to pay tribute to the work of the team back at the factory to produce our updates for this race. They did a mega job to get them all ready and working properly, and it’s great to see everybody pushing flat out like we are. Hopefully now we can build from here."

Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director

"The team has put together a solid weekend so far and both drivers had good pace today. It's difficult to not be frustrated with 5th and 7th, especially when you look at how small some of the gaps are and how easily we might have found enough pace for both to be further up the grid today. It's always a tricky circuit and it wasn't straightforward getting the new tyres to the right temperature for the first lap. We can at least reassure ourselves that the work we are doing to improve our speed seems to be effective. George was running a new front wing here and that looks like a step in the right direction. We'll have that on both cars for the next race in Montreal. The race will be interesting tomorrow: the tyres were quite fragile on Friday but hopefully we've improved the car to look after them. It's difficult with our starting positions but the race here is rarely dull, and incidents often throw up a few surprises. We'll do our best to finish higher than we start!"

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MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 25: 7th placed qualifier Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes talks to the media in the Paddock during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco at Circuit de Monaco on May 25, 2024 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Peter Fox - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Red Bull

After a tricky Friday, Red Bull didn’t start Saturday looking much better. Both drivers were still complaining about their car at the end of practice, but they did at least look in the mix in the top 10. But disaster struck in Q1 when Perez caught traffic on his last flying lap. That cost him enough time that he exited at the first time of asking for the second year running here, and faces an uphill battle tomorrow. As for Verstappen, he made Q3 and looked in the mix – but his first flying lap in Q3 wasn’t good enough, and his second got abandoned after he clipped the wall coming out of Sainte Devote. Sixth ends his run of eight straight pole positions.

Max Verstappen, 6th, 1:10.567

“It has not been a good weekend for the Team in general. We have tried a lot of changes over the past few days and nothing has helped optimise the performance of the car. In general, it drives well on the straight but has been very difficult over the curves and bumps so has not been good to drive on this kind of track. The ride of the car is not good and it has been bouncing around a lot, which makes it really tricky. The issue isn’t a new thing for us and we have been struggling with this for a while. We have tried everything to solve the issue but I still felt like I was often close to going into the wall. Although I did feel comfortable pushing it to the limit, it is a huge challenge to be consistent and we just didn’t have the fastest car today. Looking to tomorrow, we will work hard to try to find the problem. In Monaco things can happen that you don’t expect, so never say never, but we are not expecting miracles."

Sergio Perez, 18th, 1:12.060

“Today was a complete disaster, we didn’t get into the rhythm and we didn’t have the pace. On my final lap when things were looking good, I came to turns six and seven, they were full of traffic, then there were some stickers or something laid down on the track and I couldn’t get the lap that I needed. Two or three tenths would have changed it, but I didn’t get it and then unfortunately the tyres were too warm and I couldn’t get through Q1. We should have been in Q3 and given the margins were so small, a better lap would have changed things dramatically, we were P5 this morning, so we knew what we were capable of. It has been a very tricky, difficult weekend for us and not ideal overall. I am just very disappointed because we couldn’t get the maximum out of the car today and we had so much more potential than we showed. Unfortunately, unless there is some rain tomorrow, we cannot hope for much, there is nearly zero chance to overtake around here."

Christian Horner, Team Principal

“Ferrari were quick all weekend, particularly Charles. The first sector was pretty strong today for us, it was mainly the tight hairpin around Lowes and then turn five and turn ten which were our weak areas. I felt we were letting ourselves back into it with Max but the car has not been at its optimal all weekend. We have been struggling with certain characteristics here, but I still thought there was a chance for maybe sneaking a second or third out of it but in that last run, we didn’t get it and we ended up in sixth. Unfortunately for Checo it wasn’t quite his day either, traffic created some issues for him, he was stuck and couldn’t make it out of Q1. We will take the lessons out of today and look to tomorrow. It will be tricky as barring a safety car, the race is pretty much done but we will come back fighting tomorrow.”

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MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 25: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing looks on in the garage during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco at Circuit de Monaco on May 25, 2024 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

RB

Ricciardo struggled with tyre preparation, the C5 rubber seemingly having a very narrow working window here which was exacerbated by so many drivers jostling for position. As such, he couldn’t make it to Q3, but Tsunoda made the top 10 shootout yet again. He is becoming a regular feature in Q3, this time grabbing eighth to head up the midfield runners and put himself in a great position to bag some more points.

Daniel Ricciardo, 13th, 1:11.482

“It was a tough day today. Qualifying is very important here in Monaco and it hurts starting outside the top 10 for tomorrow’s race. Yesterday we felt we were in a good place, I knew there was a little bit to come for us so I was definitely excited coming into today, but unfortunately, it feels like we took a little bit of a backstep. I’m not disappointed with the way I drove, it just simply wasn’t quite enough to get the most out of it where I needed to. The car was slightly trickier in some places and I was struggling a little, but it wasn’t a matter of us making any big mistakes. Personally, I just found it difficult to get the tyres going in the first lap and then, whenever I was able to lift the pace, we couldn’t find as much time as the others. I’ve qualified a few times around this position here and certainly, it won't make our life easy. It’s frustrating, but we’ll work together with the team to understand a few things better and we’ll try to get on top of it for the race.”

Yuki Tsunoda, 8th, 1:10.858

“Today was much harder than expected, but we picked up the pace quite a lot and managed to improve lap by lap in every session from Q1 to Q3. Q1 was a bit of a struggle considering the pace we had in free practice, but we managed to squeeze out every millisecond from the car. It was super intense, one mistake is a big compromise here. I felt a little bit of pressure, but at the same time enjoyed it, I managed to keep my mind calm and extract the performance of the car. It’s going to be tricky tomorrow, it’s hard to overtake here so the start is very decisive and the main thing is to have a clean race. The pace is good, so we just have to extract all car’s performance. Overall as a team, we did a fantastic job, consistently this week. Ending up in P8, it’s a nice feeling and definitely special here.”

Guillaume Dezoteux, Head of Vehicle Performance

“After a solid Friday and the usual overnight analysis and simulator work, our plan was to dedicate the third free practice to the optimisation of the soft tyres for the quali. In the qualifying session, we knew the competition would be very tight and that finding a good traffic window was critical, especially in the busy Q1 with 20 cars on track. Engineers and mechanics did a great job at being out at the right time and finding good positions around the circuit. We did competitive laps on the first set of tyres, but it was clear that the high track evolution would force everyone to run again. During the second qualifying session, it was again close and Yuki did a strong lap in his second set securing the access to Q3. Daniel struggled a little bit more with the balance of his car but still managed to beat Stroll and get very close to Hulkenberg, who is a focus of ours for the weekend. Q3 was definitely easier as for traffic management, with only 10 cars on track. Yuki has done a great job at securing the eighth position. It's another Q3 for us and once more we top the midfield runners. We are in a strong position for tomorrow. Now its's time for our strategy group to review the various race scenarios, run many simulations and we will discuss and define our final plan in the morning. The target is clear: bring home some more points.”

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MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 25: 8th placed qualifier Yuki Tsunoda of Japan and Visa Cash App RB looks on in parc ferme during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco at Circuit de Monaco on May 25, 2024 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Williams

Sargeant was pleased with his lap in Q1, feeling he got the most out of his car. But as he headed off to check the data, Albon was in Q2 yet again. But this time the Thai driver didn’t exit in P14 for the fifth straight race weekend, instead making Q3 for the first time with a brilliant lap. He came out early in Q3 as he only had one set of new softs, and put in a very decent lap to grab a brilliant P9.

FACTS AND STATS: Albon scores his first Q3 in 2024 as Williams bag best starting slot in Monaco for 8 years

Alex Albon, 9th, 1:10.948

"It was great out there today; I really enjoyed those laps. We’ve had the car in a good place all weekend, however we’re still struggling a little with understeer in Sector 2, so we’ve made some changes throughout the day to try get on top of it. It was all about getting the tyres in the right window, so we chose clean air, focusing on the tyres and not worrying about the track evolution as much. Looking to tomorrow, graining might be a problem, so we’ll have to manage this throughout the race. Hopefully, I can get some clean air and look after the tyres. On paper, this track is the least weight penalising of the year, so it’s allowed us to play on a slightly more level playing field. For the team, I think with Logan not having the upgrades and with a slightly alternate setup, it was potentially the difference in him making it into Q2."

Logan Sargeant, 17th, 1:12.020

"It was a good session for us. I’ve been driving well since FP1 and I was really happy with my laps in Qualifying – I felt like I got everything out of the package I had today. Obviously, we’ve been open that we have some cross-car differences this weekend and I can only expect quite a bit of the difference is coming from that. It is tough to overtake here but we need to focus on ourselves, try to have clean stints and see what we can do tomorrow. Monaco is one of the most special tracks to drive. To sit in an F1 car and pull out of the garage for Qualifying is like no other and to be able to put the car on the edge like that is everything we dream of so it’s a pleasure to drive here."

Sven Smeets, Sporting Director

"Free Practice this morning was all about learning how to bring the Soft tyre into the right window for Qualifying runs. As always in Monaco, Q1 is very busy and you need to be a bit lucky with traffic and start your push laps with the tyres in the right window. We managed with Alex to proceed to Q2 but unfortunately just missed out with Logan, which was a real shame. Missing some of the updates probably cost him a place in Q2. Alex delivered a great lap in Q2 that brought us for the first time into Q3 this season and we are happy to start from P9 tomorrow. Now it will be key for Alex to have a good start, stay out of trouble in those first laps and try to consolidate his good starting position into points. For Logan the race will be tough as overtaking will be difficult, but we will be ready to take every opportunity to make progress."

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MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 25: Alexander Albon of Thailand driving the (23) Williams FW46 Mercedes on track during final practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco at Circuit de Monaco on May 25, 2024 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Peter Fox - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Alpine

Alpine have struggled with an overweight car this year, but that is less of a handicap around Monaco than other tracks. As such, they suddenly found themselves looking much more competitive. Ocon had one frustrating moment with traffic in the form of Hulkenberg in qualifying, but came close to making Q3 – knocked out at the last moment by his own team mate. Gasly put in the lap of the segment in Q2 to wind up a tenth and a half off P1 and make Q3 for the first time this year. Once there, he made a mistake on his only flying run on fresh softs but P10 is still a very decent starting slot at a track where overtaking is tricky at best.

Esteban Ocon, 11th, 1:11.285

“It’s been a very busy Qualifying day in Monaco. From my side, it’s definitely mixed feelings. There are positives as we made some good improvements to the car to really be in contention for the top ten in Qualifying. We got through Q1 comfortably but I made a mistake on my Q2 lap by locking up into Turn 1, which most likely cost us a spot in Q3. We had the pace and I pushed to the limits to optimise everything we had in hand and sometimes mistakes do happen. We are starting close to the points and there are always opportunities to take in Monaco. We will give it our all from where we are starting with the ambition of scoring points for the team.”

Pierre Gasly, 10th, 1:11.311

“I’m very pleased we reached Q3 today for the first time this year. I took a lot of risks and touched the wall one time too many but these are the chances you have to take in Qualifying in Monaco. In the end, I’m pleased with the outcome, even if more was possible. We had to work hard yesterday and the simulator team back at Enstone did a great job to try out a few test items and suggest some changes to improve the car. We know Monaco is a track full of opportunities and we have put ourselves in contention to score points in tomorrow’s race. There’s still a long race ahead of us. We will need to be prepared for many scenarios with the target to come away with points for the team.”

Bruno Famin, Team Principal

“As a team, it is our first appearance in Q3 this season and that sets us up to have a positive race tomorrow afternoon. While we are satisfied there was certainly more on the table and having both cars in Q3 was realistic given our pace throughout Qualifying. Our drivers pushed hard as we expect from them. We made some improvements from yesterday through to today. Credit must be given to the simulator work at Enstone and our Reserve Driver Jack Doohan who did a great job overnight to try a few things out and improve the car set-up. Tomorrow we will assess our options on strategy. We will do what it takes to ensure the best possible team result.”

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MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 25: Pierre Gasly of France driving the (10) Alpine F1 A524 Renault on track during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco at Circuit de Monaco on May 25, 2024 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Peter Fox - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Haas

Magnussen finally made it out of Q1, after a torrid run of luck involving plenty of traffic incidents. As such it is ironic that at a track where traffic is such a problem, Magnussen made it into Q2 with ease for the first time since Australia. Hulkenberg was involved in some traffic, baulking Ocon which was investigated by the stewards. However, although that incident was later dismissed, both Hulkenberg and Magnussen were ultimately disqualified from qualifying after their drag reduction systems were found to not be in compliance with the regulations, meaning both Haas cars will start from the back on Sunday.

Nico Hulkenberg, 12th, 1:11.440

“I think the car is where it’s been looking all weekend, just not quite good enough for the top 10. My last lap was pretty clean in Q2 so I’m happy about that. Unfortunately, we just weren’t quick enough, but where we are in P12, we’re going to need to roll the dice and take some risks to get a result. We’ll have to see where everything unravels after the start.”

Kevin Magnussen, 15th, 1:11.725

“The pace was there in the car and I think we could’ve been fighting for Q3, and Q3 in Monaco means you score points, so I’m pretty gutted again. We fuelled the car for another lap in case in the first lap we encountered traffic, and we could abort. I started the push lap, gained more than one tenth in the first corner but we aborted the lap. In the second lap, there was traffic the whole lap.”

Ayao Komatsu, Team Principal

“It was a bit of a tricky one. On Kevin’s last attempt, he felt the tyre was ready on the first push lap, but on that lap after Turn 1 we aborted to then use it as a prep lap. Then on his push lap, he locked it going into Turn 1 and didn’t have any green sectors, and didn’t improve. That wasn’t great and we didn’t maximise our potential.

“Nico’s lap was pretty clean and he made a decent improvement from the first run, but in Turn 18 he lost time so all in all, I feel like we didn’t maximize our potential. If we did everything perfectly, would we have made it to Q3? I’m not sure, I feel we didn’t have quite enough speed. It's going to be difficult in Monaco, but we’ll work something out to be able to take some opportunities.”

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MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 25: Nico Hulkenberg of Germany driving the (27) Haas F1 VF-24 Ferrari on track during final practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco at Circuit de Monaco on May 25, 2024 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Aston Martin

Alonso looked to be back to his best after a disappointing time in Imola, and went into qualifying full of confidence. But he fell foul of traffic in Q1 and exited in a very dispiriting P16. Stroll at least saved the team’s blushes by making Q2, but he couldn’t go any further to leave Aston Martin in a very difficult position going into the race, with damage limitation the order of the day.

READ MORE: ‘Wrong place, wrong time’ – Perez and Alonso offer their reactions to shock Q1 exits

Fernando Alonso, 16th, 1:12.019

“It was a case of wrong place and wrong moment today for me. This is Monaco and you need to find some luck here too! I lost quite a bit of lap time with the traffic in Q1 and there is nobody to blame as we can't expect the traffic to vanish. Heading into Qualifying, we were thinking Q3 looked possible. It will be a tough day tomorrow, but we will take any opportunities that come our way.”

Lance Stroll, 14th, 1:11.563

“I think more was possible today. I put in some strong lap times to progress through to Q1, but then hit some traffic during my final flying lap in Q2. That cost us a couple of tenths. It's especially tough to pass here, so I expect we'll have a difficult day tomorrow, but we'll still be looking to fight for points.”

Mike Krack, Team Principal

“It has been a really tough day in Monaco and disappointing for our fans, the drivers and all of the team. There are no excuses, we simply did not have a race car capable of reaching the top ten today. The margins are very small, and we were on the wrong side of them. We now face an uphill battle to score points from P14 and P16, but we will do what we can to capitalise on any opportunities that might materialise in the long race tomorrow. Going forward we need to bring more performance to the AMR24.”

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MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 25: Fernando Alonso of Spain driving the (14) Aston Martin AMR24 Mercedes on track during final practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco at Circuit de Monaco on May 25, 2024 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images)

Kick Sauber

Bottas had the biggest moment in FP3, hitting the walls out of Piscine and breaking his front suspension. That ended his session earlier than planned, and left both him and his team on the back foot for qualifying. His car was just about ready for the start of Q1, but the lack of practice time caught up with the Finn and he exited in Q1. His team mate followed him out, to leave Kick Sauber with a very long race on their hands tomorrow.

Valtteri Bottas, 19th, 1:12.512

“Today has been a tricky day in the office. I slightly touched the wall this morning during the final practice session; nothing major, as I was still able to take part in Qualifying later in the day. Unfortunately, we just didn’t have enough one-lap pace to make it past the Q2 threshold – that was pretty straightforward. Overall, it hasn’t been an easy weekend for our team so far. Monaco is one of the most challenging tracks on the calendar – that’s both its best feature and what makes it so demanding. There will be plenty to investigate overnight, to find that extra step that could allow us to slightly improve tomorrow. Things should be a bit better in the race, once everything stabilises, even though it’s not going to be an easy one starting from the very back. Still, not all hope is lost; we know very well how anything can happen here, and we’ll make sure to be at our best to catch any good opportunity.”

Zhou Guanyu, 20th, 1:13.028

“The whole weekend has been difficult so far, and today’s qualifying session was no exception. We weren’t able to get everything – from tyres to temperature – in the right window today, and I struggled a lot with a lack of grip. On such a track, you need confidence and grip to extract most out of your laps, and while I reckon that my efforts were quite clean, we’re still a second off. In Monaco, Saturday matters most, however, the race is always a different story, and we’ll use it to better understand what we’re lacking to close the gap. As a team we’ll look further into our setup to see how we can improve ahead of tomorrow.”

Alessandro Alunni Bravi, Team Representative

"Today’s not the time to analyse, but to react. Of course, tomorrow’s starting grid is difficult to digest for everyone in the team: the drivers, our trackside team, and the team back in Hinwil. What we can do is to react and prove that we are able to turn a page and improve – even in difficult times. Of course, we won’t avoid a thorough analysis of what happened today and why we have to start from the last row in Monaco. We have seen that we’re lacking overall performance, but there is not one single element that generates performance in a team. We understand that we need to take a step in every single area – and we know that it’s the most important thing to see from every member of our team to reach and to not give up. It’s not a situation we can tackle without being motivated, determined, and willing to go through this job all together.”

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MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 25: Valtteri Bottas of Finland driving the (77) Kick Sauber C44 Ferrari on track during final practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco at Circuit de Monaco on May 25, 2024 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Peter Fox - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Pirelli

Mario Isola, Motorsport Director

“In Monaco, much of the excitement is usually to be experienced on Saturday and once again, in this 70th edition of the race, that proved to be the case. The 60 minutes to decide the grid were very intense and uncertain right to the very last moment. Congratulations to Leclerc for his third pole at his home race, but also to the other 19 drivers because seeing them fly around these streets brushing the guardrails is always breath-taking. Leclerc was already quickest yesterday and today he repeated that performance, but it was still a close fight, with three different drivers topping the time sheets in the three segments that make up the session and the time differences were very small, as can be seen from the fact that the top 15 in Q1 were all covered by less than four tenths of a second.

HIGHLIGHTS: Relive a frenetic Monaco qualifying as Leclerc delights his home fans with pole position

“From a technical point of view, the C5 proved it can perform very well on a track like this one and with this type of surface. Compared to last year’s qualifying, the times are noticeably quicker, pole by over a second, which is also quicker than the simulations provided by the teams (1’10”500).

“We have had plenty of excitement today and now we can expect a race that should have a fairly predictable outcome with a one-stop strategy pretty much obligatory, featuring the Medium and Hard tyres. Those who opt to start on the C3 will aim to extend the first stint as much as possible, hoping for an eventual Safety Car to give them a cheap pit stop in terms of time taken. In fact, it’s quite difficult to predict the ideal pit stop window as that will depend on whether or not incidents on track create any opportunities. But in theory, they would be between laps 25 and 35 for those on a Medium-Hard strategy and between 45 and 55 for those running Hard-Medium. We have less than 24 hours to wait to see if this turns out to be the case.”

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