Monaco Grand Prix 2021 – Qualifying
– George Russell qualified 15th and Nicholas Latifi 18th for the Monaco Grand Prix
– George Russell reached Q2 once again, posting a personal best on his final flying lap with a 1:11.830
– Nicholas continued to improve throughout his Q1 session, before finally setting a 1:12.016, his fastest lap of the session
Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: The cooler conditions today meant the tyre behaviour was a bit different and this caught us out a little in FP3. However, we were able to regroup ahead of the qualifying session and get the tyres back into a good window. Nicholas found the limit in FP3 and damaged the car against the wall, but fortunately, the damage wasn’t too extensive, and his team did a great job to repair the car ahead of qualifying.
Qualifying in Monaco is always a fraught time, and this is especially the case when teams adopt differing tyre preparation strategies. We managed the situation well and both drivers got a good set of pushing laps amidst the chaos. Nicholas recovered well having lost the end of FP3 and was close to beating Alonso. George did well after a challenging FP3 and built up his speed as the session went on. He got almost everything available from the car in Q1 to qualify for the second part of qualifying. He continued to push the limit during Q2 but couldn’t quite find enough to better P15.
The race tomorrow will be difficult for everyone and as we have seen over the last couple of days, any driver can make a mistake at any time. Monaco is also tough on the cars, and opportunities will therefore present themselves. Our job will be to maximise any advantage that comes our way.
George Russell: That was the maximum today, and the Q1 lap was great. It is just exhilarating to get a good lap around here because it is not easy. It was very difficult in practice and I was struggling to get the confidence in the car, however in qualifying things seemed to come together. We knew that our car isn’t that well suited to low speed corners and we knew the Alfa Romeos could be quick. To outqualify an Alpha Tauri and an Alpine to get P15 is the best we could have done. It is an interesting race here; it is a difficult street circuit where a lot of things can happen. Tomorrow is going to be won and lost for everybody in the pits, so let’s wait and see what happens.
Nicholas Latifi: Firstly, I would like to say a huge thanks to the team for getting me back out there after the crash in FP3. Although that happened, I got all the references that I needed so I wasn’t lacking confidence going into qualifying. Today we had much cooler conditions and I struggled to get the soft tyres in the right window and the balance wasn’t feeling as good as Thursday. I felt there was more in there today as I would have liked to have been a bit closer to Q2, but nonetheless it was still one of the most exciting laps of the year so far.