Q1 unlikely to be split in Monaco

Drivers are unlikely to agree to split the first qualifying session for the Monaco Grand Prix later this month, it has emerged.

The idea was raised in Barcelona because it was thought the speed differential between the top teams and the newcomers combined with the tight, twisty streets of the Principality might be hazardous.

But McLaren chief Martin Whitmarsh said any move to split the first session was unlikely.

“I think the drivers themselves had a fairly sensible conversation about it, and the teams will discuss it today [Sunday],” said Whitmarsh.

“I suspect, however, we will have a Q1 with all cars on the track at the same time, and the challenge therein.”

“To have a speed differential, as we have between some of the cars at the moment, makes it difficult for the quicker drivers.

“It also makes it difficult for the slower drivers because they are going to spend the lap looking in their mirrors trying not to impede and get a penalty.

“It is a very confined, tight and claustrophobic circuit, and you have to try and tame a Formula One car.

“I don’t think you want cars with such great speed differential on the circuit at the same time.

“However, from midway down the grid and back, they (the FIA) want a lottery effect, and therefore are unlikely to agree to anything.”