Ferrari believe that their impressive qualifying display will allow the team to challenge for a strong finish in tomorrow’s Monaco Grand Prix. Kimi Raikkonen was in superb form, missing out on pole position by less than a tenth of a second.
Despite colliding with the barriers in Q1, Felipe Massa was also able to produce a strong qualifying time, taking fifth.
Kimi Raikkonen -2nd: “Second place is a nice result but I’m disappointed that I missed out on pole by a few hundredths. Here, there is a much bigger difference between starting from first or second place. The car has improved and that can be seen from the performance level. Today, we felt ever more comfortable as the track’s grip level improved bit by bit. I had some difficulties on the first run in Q1, but then things got better all the time. In the end, I had the possibility of doing another lap, but I went long at the first corner: I don’t know if I could have done a better time. Tomorrow’s race will be long and tough. The start will be very important and on the short straight here, the KERS will definitely be a help, but not as much as elsewhere. All the same, it’s good to be back in the fight for the top places and I will give it my best shot to try and win, because that’s the only thing that matters.”
Felipe Massa – 5th “Today’s showing confirms we are capable of fighting for the top places. We were in with a chance of getting into the top three, but I never managed to get a clean lap, partly because of traffic and partly through some small slip ups. These things can easily happen in Monaco and fifth is still a good place to start the race. I am confident for tomorrow. It will be a long race, but the F60 is competitive. Step by step we are getting back to where we are used to being. The accident at the start of Q1? I had new brakes and the harder tyres, which struggled a bit more to get up to temperature, so as soon as I touched the brakes, I locked the wheels and ended up against the guardrail.”
Stefano Domenicali, Team Principal: “This is a good result and confirms the team is working well. There’s obviously slight regret at Kimi missing out on pole by a whisker and at the fact that Felipe hardly managed a single clean lap in Q3, which prevented him from getting a better grid position. Overall, we can be reasonably satisfied: we are in a good position for tomorrow’s race and we have confirmed that we have made progress on the performance front over these past few weeks. There is still some way to go but we’re moving in the right direction.”
Chris Dyer: “A great result for the team: two cars in the front three rows is a reward for all the work we’ve done. Kimi drove fantastically well, while Felipe was almost always in traffic, which prevented him from doing better. It was a very complicated qualifying session, starting with Felipe’s accident, which meant he had to come straight back to the pits to change the nose and the ensuing red flag period, which had an effect, because for us at least, the tyres were only at their best after the first flying lap. The team and drivers worked really well in managing the situation and the credit for this result goes to them and everyone back at the factory who worked on preparing for this Grand Prix. We are in a good position for tomorrow’s race, in which we will do our best to bring both cars home on the podium.”