Monaco Grand Prix Qualifying – Marussia Virgin Racing
ALL OR NOTHING
Free Practice 3 & Qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix
Monte Carlo, Monaco
Saturday 28 May 2011
After Friday’s break from on-track action, Marussia Virgin Racing took to the streets of Monte Carlo again today for the third Free Practice session and Qualifying for Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix, round six of the 2011 Formula One World Championship.
With the track at 43°C and in much better condition than on Thursday, Timo and Jérôme geared up for qualifying during the final hour of practice. They both completed 21 laps each in a session that was interrupted by two red flags.
For qualifying both cars ran the Option tyre, with the drivers choosing to run twice, setting their fastest time in the last laps of their second runs.
“That was pretty much the perfect Saturday for me. Free Practice went well this morning and that was one of the best qualifying laps I’ve ever driven here at Monaco. I put everything into it. A couple of times I just brushed the wall and had a couple of slides close to the barriers and in the end I just got a massive lap out of it. Just before the crucial lap I said to my engineers “This is all or nothing”, and it turned out to be four tenths quicker than the lap before! Big thanks to the team – they did a good job and I took my chance to make a bit of a difference. In the end we are only a tenth away from one of the Toro Rossos and right with Lotus, so I’m quite happy with my job today.”
“Not a great Qualifying session for me. I think we went a bit backwards compared to this morning and Thursday, so we really need to understand why we didn’t continue to make progress. We just need to focus on that and understand and then see how we get on in the race.”
John Booth, Team Principal
“First of all, that was a very big crash for Perez today and we wait for positive news regarding his condition. For our team, after a day spent looking through all the data, we applied most of the setup changes that we had done on Friday to both cars this morning. Whilst initially both drivers reported a loss of track grip, both were reasonably happy with the setup of the cars. The red flags interrupted our programme slightly but we still came out of the session reasonably happy. In a place where mechanical setup makes a huge difference, the engineers have done a good job to optimise both cars. Timo’s lap in qualifying was perhaps one of the best we have seen from him and it’s good to see him enjoying himself around a circuit where the driver can make the most difference. On Jérôme’s car a small setup change was made before qualifying, going back to a setting that he had run on Thursday and, at the time, he was happier with. Unfortunately this was perhaps not the way to go today, however overall we are pleased with his progress over the weekend so far. Looking ahead to tomorrow, we will be looking for a solid race from both cars. There’s been a lot of action on the track so far and we’ll be staying sharp to maximise any opportunity that comes our way.”