Formula 1

QUOTES FROM THURSDAY PRACTICE IN MONTE CARLO

Valtteri Bottas: It’s great to be here in Monaco and good fun with the current cars. There are still some improvements we can make to be quicker and the rain didn’t help in the afternoon, but we do have some good data to work from. Saturday will be vital in the morning for set-up and of course qualifying around Monaco is key to having a good weekend. Overall I am feeling positive and I’m looking forward to getting back in the car.

Felipe Massa: Today was a tough day. I had some issues this morning with the power unit sensor so that limited my running, or at least the amount I could push. This afternoon it was wet and so I only went out at the end of the session and then suffered with traffic. The car is quick and Valtteri has shown that, so qualifying on Saturday will be very important.

Romain Grosjan: “This morning was a learning experience as the tyres are pretty hard here so it’s difficult to find enough grip. This made things a little tricky today as there’s no space for mistakes here. Certainly the car is working well and we could run through a decent programme today, even with missing a lot of the afternoon session because of the wet track. We hope the weather will be better on Saturday and we will have found a better balance with the car too.” 

DANIEL RICCIARDO: “It was a shame we didn’t run so much this afternoon due to the conditions, but if it rains over the weekend then we’ll want to use the tyres, so there was a bit of waiting around, At the end the track still had a few damp patches, so we didn’t really learn that much this afternoon but I think the morning went well, so we’ve just got to try and get the set-up from that. The few laps I did this afternoon felt similar to the morning in terms of car balance and the things we need to work on, so I think the direction we’ve got to go is pretty clear. If we’re going to challenge the Mercs then I think this is the place for it, they don’t seem to have one sector at the moment which is blowing everyone away, but obviously it’s still early days.”

SEBASTIAN VETTEL : “Obviously we’d love to run in the dry the whole time here, but of course if it’s wet it’s the same for everyone. Mercedes were very quick this morning and we see that usually, come Saturday, they are able to pick up their pace, so we’ll try to do the same. We potentially are a little bit closer here, but you know at the moment it’s all guessing. I think the big advantage on this track would be that there’s not that many straights, but we have to wait and see. We were obviously limited today on what we could learn in terms of pace and range, we know that it’s quite important to qualify in the front here so if there is a chance then we have to use it.”

Nico Hulkenberg: “The wet weather did not give us an opportunity to run much this afternoon, but I feel we have made the most of the time available this morning. In terms of performance the car is feeling okay and we just need to make some set-up tweaks and work on the balance before Saturday. The focus has to be on qualifying here because it’s even more important than at any other track. So we just need to optimise the car to be ready for Saturday.”

Sergio Perez: “The day was disturbed by the weather so the work we have done is quite limited. I feel quite happy with the car and we ran in the top eight all day so it’s been positive. That’s where we need to be aiming for Saturday because qualifying well here is so important. There are still quite a few unknowns because I did not manage to do any long runs or race preparation, but it’s the same for everyone.”

GP2

JOLYON PALMER SETS THE PACE IN MONTE CARLO
 Series leader quickest in morning free practice
Series leader Jolyon Palmer has set the record straight in this morning’s free practice: the Briton posted the quickest laptime with a blazing 1:20.707, three tenths faster than Johnny Cecotto. Monegasque Stéphane Richelmi finished third in the other DAMS car.
The session opened in overcast conditions. All cars fed onto the track on soft Pirelli tyres with Palmer sitting pretty at the top of the standings early on. As the clock continued to tick down, the track improved and so did the latpimes. Cecotto looked pretty fast, but traffic at La Rascasse meant he could not dip under 1m22s. That was not the case for Felipe Nasr: the Brazilian set a laptime of 1:21.949, but Coletti snatched the top spot going four hundredths faster than the Carlin man.
At mid-session, most drivers came back to the pits to switch to Super Soft tyres, including Nasr who was on a flier when he slightly touched the wall at the entrance of the tunnel, then missed the apex at Turn 10 and ended his course into the wall at Turn 11. The session was briefly red flagged as marshalls recovered the damaged Carlin machine. At the re-start Cecotto went P1 but once again lost a bit of time at Sector 3 behind Facu Regalia. Palmer had a clear track and broke the 1m21s barrier on super soft compounds. His laptime was never bettered.
In the dying minutes, Richlemi found some extra pace to move up to third ahead of countryman Coletti. Mitch Evans, Sergio Canamasas, Rio Haryanto, Nasr, Julian Leal and Alexander Rossi completed the top ten. The qualifying session will be divided into groups of sixteen minutes each. Following a ballot which took place during the GP2 drivers’ briefing, the two groups have been established. Group A will consist of odd numbered cars whilst Group B will consist of even numbered cars.
Monte Carlo – Free Practice
Driver
Team
Laptime
Laps
1.
Jolyon Palmer
DAMS
1:20.707
24
2.
Johnny Cecotto
Trident
1:21.043
24
3.
Stéphane Richelmi
DAMS
1:21.573
22
4.
Stefano Coletti
Racing Engineering
1:21.902
24
5.
Mitch Evans
RT RUSSIAN TIME
1:21.929
23
6.
Sergio Canamasas
Trident
1:21.933
24
7.
Rio Haryanto
EQ8 Caterham Racing
1:21.935
21
8.
Felipe Nasr
Carlin
1:21.949
15
9.
Julian Leal
Carlin
1:22.132
24
10.
Alexander Rossi
EQ8 Caterham Racing
1:22.183
25
11.
Simon Trummer
Rapax
1:22.237
26
12.
Daniel Abt
Hilmer Motorsport
1:22.296
26
13.
Rene Binder
Arden International
1:22.386
23
14.
Stoffel Vandoorne
ART Grand Prix
1:22.442
24
15.
Raffaele Marciello
Racing Engineering
1:22.937
26
16.
André Negrao
Arden International
1:23.028
24
17.
Kimiya Sato
Campos Racing
1:23.353
26
18.
Arthur Pic
Campos Racing
1:23.453
25
19
Adrian Quaife-Hobbs
Rapax
1:23.545
24
20.
Daniiel De Jong
MP Motorsport
1:23.605
23
21.
Facu Regalia
Hilmer Motorsport
1:23.821
25
22.
Tio Ellinas
MP Motorsport
1:24.126
22
23.
Takuya Izawa
ART Grand Prix
1:24.201
24
24.
Conor Daly
Venezuela GP Lazarus
1:25.356
17
25.
Artem Markelov
RT RUSSIAN TIME
1:25.694
23
26.
Nathanaël Berthon
Venezuela GP Lazarus
2