Max starting from P3 in Monaco: 'They were a bit quick'
Published on 25 May 2019 by Mike Motilall
Max Verstappen will start the Monaco Grand Prix from the second row. On the 3,340 meter long Monte Carlo street circuit he managed to qualify third fastest. Lewis Hamilton was the quickest in his Mercedes, followed by team mate Valtteri Bottas in second. Max’ team mate Pierre Gasly finished the session in fifth.
“They were a bit quick”, says Max after the qualifying session, referring to Mercedes who have locked out the front row. “My lap in Q2 was good, but in Q3 the first lap, I lost it a bit in Turn one because of cold tyres. But it was still a reasonable lap. When you’re pushing in these streets, your heart rate goes up. And in my second lap, my outlap was too slow. So I went into Turn one with cold tyres and when you see you’re two tenths down, you can’t risk it anymore. So I decided to abort the lap.”
Max continues: “P3 is good, because ten minutes before the session there was not even a floor on the car. The mechanics did a great job today to get the car in one piece before we went out.”
There is a slight overcast and about 21 degrees when Q1 gets underway. The chance of it raining during qualifying is negligible. Charles Leclerc is reprimanded by the Stewards before the session starts for driving too fast during a virtual safety car. This was a close shave for the Monegasque. George Russell is the first one out on track in order to be ahead of traffic. Both Red Bulls are the only ones to really take their time in the pits before heading out on track in Q1.
After everyone has done their first run, we see Max leading the pack ahead of Kevin Magnussen’s Haas, while Gasly remains ahead of the Mercedes in P3. In the knock zone we find Nico Hulkenberg, Sergio Perez, Lance Stroll, Russell and Robert Kubica. At the end of Q1 we surprisingly see that Leclerc has failed to make the cut. Perez, Stroll, Russell and Kubica can all hit the showers. The rest can get themselves ready for Q2.
When the second part of qualifying gets underway, Mercedes wastes no time in getting out on track. The rest of the field follow the Silver Arrows. Hamilton sets a time which Bottas immediately betters. Max also does a good lap and splits both Mercedes. We don’t see any drivers that are willing to take a shot on the medium compound tyres. This means that the entire top-ten will be starting on the softs. After the first run, Norris, Magnussen, Kimi Raikkonen, Antonio Giovinazzi and Romain Grosjean are facing elimination.
Everyone heads back out again for a second run. Max manages to work his way up to P1. The fast Dutchman does a 1:10.618 and is 83 thousandths of a second faster than Bottas. Hulkenberg, Norris, Raikkonen and Giovinazzi are done for the day and won’t be seen back again in Q3.
At the start of the defining third part of qualifying, Bottas, ahead of Vettel and the two Toro Rosso’s, is the first one out on track. Apart from Daniel Ricciardo, everyone is out on track immediately at the start. Bottas opens with a 1:10.252. Max is quick but is not able to better Bottas’ time. With only a purple third sector he is second fastest. Hamilton demotes the Dutchman one spot more moments later, resulting in Mercedes provisionally locking out the front row.
Sebastian Vettel is the first one to head out on track for a second run. The rest follows not too long afterwards. Hamilton is making tracks and snatches P1 from his team mate. Max is unable to improve his time and remains third fastest. After having hit the wall, Vettel is also unable to better his time. Bottas also makes a mistake in his final attempt and with that, the reigning world champion takes pole position.
|3||Max Verstappen||VER||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:11.597||1:10.618||1:10.641|
|5||Pierre Gasly||GAS||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:11.740||1:11.457||1:11.041|
|6||Kevin Magnussen||MAG||Haas Ferrari||1:11.865||1:11.363||1:11.109|
|8||Daniil Kvyat||KVY||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||1:11.602||1:11.412||1:11.271|
|9||Carlos Sainz||SAI||McLaren Renault||1:11.872||1:11.608||1:11.417|
|10||Alexander Albon||ALB||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||1:12.007||1:11.429||1:11.653|
|12||Lando Norris||NOR||McLaren Renault||1:11.845||1:11.724|
|13||Romain Grosjean||GRO||Haas Ferrari||1:11.837||1:12.027|
|14||Kimi Räikkönen||RAI||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:11.993||1:12.115|
|15||Antonio Giovinazzi||GIO||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:11.976||1:12.185|
|17||Sergio Perez||PER||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||1:12.233|
|18||Lance Stroll||STR||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||1:12.846|
|19||George Russell||RUS||Williams Mercedes||1:13.477|
|20||Robert Kubica||KUB||Williams Mercedes||1:13.751|