Lewis Hamilton missed out on the coveted Monaco pole by less than two hundredths of a second. Had it not been for an over cautious third sector on his last flying lap, things might be looking distinctly rosier for the British ace.
Hamilton had been looking impressive at the Monte Carlo street circuit ever since his first lap on Thursday, but when it came to the crunch in qualifying it all fell away from the Briton.
A lack of traction out of Portier on his final hot lap left the Briton slower than he would normally be through the tunnel straight, and over cautious breaking into La Rascasse cost the McLaren ace those crucial tenths of a second that he needed to steal pole.
Despite lining up behind the scarlet cars in tomorrow’s race, Lewis Hamilton is confident with the race strategy that he and McLaren have decided upon.
“Obviously I would have preferred to be on pole,” explained the 23-year-old, “but I am pleased with how the car felt and our strategy.”
“The team did a solid job, and I didn’t have any problems with traffic. My two flying laps in the final part of qualifying were good, but I lost a bit of time in the second sector, because I lacked a bit of traction accelerating out of turn eight, and in the third sector, at the last corners, I did not brake as late as I should.”
“But we have a good strategy, and I am quite confident for the race – tomorrow anything can happen particularly with the weather forecast promising rain.”
Heikki Kovalainen in the sister McLaren was similarly disappointed not to have qualified on the front row. The Finn, who had been giving it everything on each of his flying laps, was left scratching his head with fourth place.
“I am little disappointed as I put maximum effort in my last qualifying run. The car felt good, so I don’t know where the small gap to the cars in front comes from.”
“I did not put a foot wrong in all three sessions. I want to thank my team who had repaired the damage from this mornings incident well, so I could make best use of my car without any problems. The race is a different affair, and I expect us to be in good shape.”