Monaco Grand Prix Qualifying – Driver and Team Interviews


Monaco Grand Prix Qualifying – Driver and Team Interviews

It was a surprising qualifying session with Red Bull looking extremely strong in the early stages of qualifying – a different story can be said for Hamilton who struggled massively with his car today, not even making it through to Q3!

His team-mate Bottas on the other hand managed to get his car in 3rd position with the Ferrari team locking out the front row and with Kimi Raikkonen taking pole position.

Monaco tends to bring many surprising and more often than not – a safety car so it’s still all to play for! Lets take a look and see what the drivers and teams had to say after the Monaco Grand Prix Qualifying session which took place earlier this afternoon.

Ferrari – Monaco Grand Prix Qualifying

Kimi Raikkonen – 1st

Time -1:12.178

“It’s great to be on pole position, this is one of the races were it is probably most important to be at the front. Half 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 and this is a very special place. It’s a bit tricky to get everything working as we wanted but in qualifying, everything fell into place.”

“We got it right, the team put me in a very good position every time and things are running smoothly so tomorrow, we can hopefully get a good result with both 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, the cars are wide and it’s tricky to pass.”

“The most important thing for me is to be in the same position tomorrow when it all comes to an end.”

Sebastian Vettel – 2nd 

Time – 1:12.221

“I am not too happy with myself because pole position was up for grabs but it’s a great result 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 and as I said, it’s fantastic for the team.”

“I am not happy with my performance today, I should have done a better job overall and the car was good so this is my mistake. I was a bit too greedy in my last run.”

“Now it is impossible to make predictions for tomorrow, all we have to think about is the start, the pace and of course, the strategy – then we put everything together and we are going to prepare for the race as usual.”

Mercedes – Monaco Grand Prix Qualifying

Valtteri Bottas – 3rd 

Time – 1:12.223

“This weekend has been a little bit tricky for us. We started well in FP1 before getting a little bit lost with the set up in FP2. Then, it was difficult to get a lap together in qualifying as well.”

“It takes about two to three laps to build the temperature and find the right balance for the car. It was very close today but Ferrari seem to have the upper hand here – they were very strong this afternoon.”

“Of course, it would be nice to start on the front row but anything is possible from P3 on the grid – it’s difficult to overtake but it’s definitely a race of opportunity.”

“Tomorrow is Monaco, anything can happen.”

Lewis Hamilton – 14th

Time – 1:14.106

“I really struggled today with the car and I just don’t think the opportunity was quite there for me. It was a little bit unfortunate with the yellow flag but it doesn’t really matter now if I could have gone faster.”

“I think that my lap may have just got me into the top 10 but I would have struggled to make it into the top 5 with the pace that I had.”

“Valtteri didn’t have any struggles today so I’m a bit confused and I can’t pinpoint the problem at the moment. I’m feeling pretty deflated right now but I’ll try again tomorrow. It’s a great weekend for Valtteri as he extracted a good lap.”

“We just need to identify why I wasn’t able to be up there too – onwards and upwards.”


Toto Wolff – Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport

“Two very different qualifying results today for Lewis and for Valtteri. With Lewis, you could see even from the TV pictures that he was struggling with the car and nearly lost it a couple of times in qualifying.”

“We don’t know at the moment what went wrong – we took a false turn with the set-up on Thursday and since then, although we tried to retrace our steps, we never got it back on track for him.”

“Of course he was unfortunate with the yellow flag for Vandoorne in Q2 as he was on course to make it through the session but the car never felt good for him after FP1 and that made it tough to put together the laps.”

“Tomorrow’s race will clearly be a case of damage limitation for him and trying to maximise his points score – he will fight to the last lap.”

“For Valtteri, it was quite a different outcome. The result he achieved didn’t look possible for much of the session but he really pulled out a fantastic lap, especially on the final run in Q3 – and came just a few thousandths shy of a place on the front row.”

“Ferrari are clearly in the driving seat for tomorrow but we will also be in the hunt too.”

Red Bull Racing – Monaco Grand Prix Qualifying

Max Verstappen – 4th 

Time – 1:12.496

“I think in Q3 my fast lap was optimal. I was struggling a little bit with front grip so I couldn’t get the tyres to work how I wanted but in the end, we were not too far off.”

“It’s always nice to be closer but I think that the lap I did was pretty much on the limit. The Ferrari’s have looked good all weekend and Bottas managed to sneak between us which was a bit of a shame.”

“With a good clean start and a good strategy, we can be in the mix. Monaco is unique and it is hard to predict how the race will play out. There could be a safety car stoppage at any time so we have to wait and see.”

“I will keep an eye on how the tyres behave and pit when we think it is the right opportunity.”

“That is something you have to feel during the race. Being close to the top three means a podium is within reach but tomorrow, I am going to concentrate on my race and to try and finish – I want to break the ‘curse’ I have around here.”

Daniel Ricciardo – 5th 

Time – 1:12.998

“It was a frustrating one for me today as I think that we could have done better.”

“In Q3, we did one lap and we needed to push hard on the out lap to really get the tyres ready and warm, the ultrasofts are not that soft here and need to be worked hard.”

“We came out and had cars in front of us and it just seemed like I had a gap behind me, I don’t know why we didn’t wait for that gap so I could push in the out lap.”

“I started the lap with the tyres not where I wanted them to be and obviously, around here that’s a big thing! As it is for getting it right in Qualifying.”

“However, we have tomorrow and we will see what happens.”

Christian Horner – Team Principal

“It was certainly an exciting qualifying session. To end up fourth and fifth only three tenths off pole position here in Monaco demonstrates the progress for us.”

“Max has looked competitive all weekend so far and put in everything he could today.”

“With Daniel, we opted to do a one-lap run with him at the end and perhaps a build push, would have been better but it was very marginal to which was the preferred strategy.”

“Hopefully we are in a position to capitalise on those grid positions in tomorrow’s Grand Prix.”



McLaren – Monaco Grand Prix Qualifying

Stoffel Vandoorne – 10th 

Time – No Time Set In Q3

“This is a positive day. It’s my first time in Q3 and I really should have been out on track for that last session however sadly, I didn’t make it.”

“We came here expecting to be a bit more competitive and we definitely showed that we have made a step this weekend. For every session, we’ve been able to run inside the top 10.”

“I felt very calm and confident in the cockpit. It’s a shame my qualifying session ended with a little crash, that’s what happens sometimes when you’re pushing hard on the limit around this place.”

“I think it’s really starting to come together for me with the team, tomorrow – I just want to get out there and have some fun.”

Jenson Button – 9th

Time – 1:13.613

“It was a lot of fun out there. Practice was fine but in qualifying you reach a point where you really need to fine-tune the car’s performance and that’s still a bit of a learning curve for me.”

“This year’s tyres are completely different to last year’s in terms of how they work, how they fade away and how they last – it’s been tricky trying to find those last few per cent.”

“I’m happy, in my one and only race this year – I qualify 9th…….and start 20th!”

“I never expected to have this opportunity so this is a great memory for me, driving around Monaco in these monsters – such great machines, I’m very lucky.”

“I’ll take that ninth position home with me at the end of the weekend – I should be chuffed to bits with that.”

Force India – Monaco Grand Prix Qualifying 

Sergio Perez – 7th 

Time – 1:13.329 

“I’m very happy with our result today. I think we got the maximum we could from every session and every lap in qualifying is crucial here because you need to be on the pace from your first lap in order to get a good result.”

“We made the right calls to avoid the traffic and we found the rhythm straight away – this is why I only had to complete one run in Q1.”

“I am very proud of what we achieved as a team but it’s a shame that Esteban couldn’t be in Q3 with me. Everything and anything can happen in Monaco so I am not going to make a prediction for tomorrow.”

“The race will be long and you cannot have any lapse in concentration – any mistake here means you can get a puncture or crash out of the race so we need to focus on the job and try to bring home another good result.”



Esteban Ocon – 16th 

Time – 1:14.101

“I’m feeling very disappointed today because we had a quick car and the pace to make Q3 – just as Sergio did.”

“That’s what happens when you crash before qualifying – the team did a great job to repair my car and both sides of the garage helped get me out in time for Q1. This shows our great team spirit and I have to say a big thank you to everybody.”

“After an accident, the car never feels the same and you just lose the feeling you had. I had to adjust quickly and I couldn’t find the pace we showed in practice.”

“Considering the circumstances, P16 was the maximum that I could do and going into the race, I still believe we can fight for points.”

“Anything can happen here, it’s a long race.”



Sauber – Monaco Grand Prix Qualifying 

Pascale Wehrlein – 19th 

Time – 1:15.159 

“The weekend continues to be difficult here on the street track in Monaco.”

“Since Thursday, we have tried to increase the grip in order to improve our performance and we have changed a lot on the set-up side of the car but we have not yet found the right one.”

“Starting the race from P19 in Monaco is not ideal but I will of course do my best.”

Marcus Ericsson – 20th 

Time – 1:15.276 

“It has been taught since the practice sessions on Thursday. I have been struggling to get confidence in the car and we have tried many different set-up directions but it doesn’t seem to work for us here.”

“In qualifying, I was pushing to the maximum so on my last lap, I went a bit too close to the wall in Turn 10. I touched the barriers with my left rear and that was enough to damage the rim.”

“The puncture forced me to stop the car and tomorrow we well be doing our best to fight back.”

As always we will be writing LIVE race updates from the Monaco Grand Prix and of course – we will be sharing wonderful photos from Monaco right here.

Make sure you check back for the latest – it looks like we’re going to have a good race on our hands!

The Formula 1 Girl 🙂


Photos – Kym Illman F1 



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