Bahrain GP: McLaren Saturday qualifying notes

Team McLaren Mercedes driver Juan Pablo Montoya finished today's qualifying session for the Bahrain Grand Prix in fifth position on the grid with a time of 1m32.164. Kimi Raikkonen will start tomorrow's race from the back of the grid after a right...

Team McLaren Mercedes driver Juan Pablo Montoya finished today's qualifying session for the Bahrain Grand Prix in fifth position on the grid with a time of 1m32.164. Kimi Raikkonen will start tomorrow's race from the back of the grid after a right rear suspension failure on his first flying lap which meant that he failed to set a time.

This was the first time all the teams experienced the three-stage knockout system introduced for this year. In the first session Juan Pablo Montoya set a time of 1:33.233 and finished in fifth place and the second session saw him finish with the second fastest time of 1m31.487.

Juan Pablo Montoya:

"I think we did a good job with the new format, and it ran very smoothly for me. I am a little surprised to finish so far up as we had not been looking good in the earlier sessions when I have been suffering from understeer, but that is what the car could do when it counted. I think we have a good strategy for the race, so we will have to wait and see what will happen tomorrow."

Kimi Raikkonen:

"There is not much I can say about today. It is very disappointing to not even complete one timed lap as I believe that the team had a good strategy for the new qualifying system, and I could have been amongst the quickest. Although it is far from ideal to start from the back of the grid, there are overtaking opportunities at this track, and I have done this before and still achieved good results. We will just have to see what happens in the race tomorrow."

Ron Dennis:

"A painful first experience of the new qualifying. Our overall competitiveness is still difficult to judge as the fuel load used for the final qualifying still plays a significant role in respect of race strategy. Juan Pablo's set up is still not perfect and Kimi's car suffered a rear suspension lower wishbone failure which was caused by a manufacturing fault, which, after many thousands of kilometres of testing, is difficult to come to terms with."

Norbert Haug:

"It is a shame that Kimi suffered from a rear suspension failure. In more than 8000km of testing we have not experienced such a breakdown. We have what we think is a good strategy and a solid basis for a good performance in the race and our speed so far looks OK."

Chassis allocation
Kimi Raikkonen: MP4-21 02
Juan Pablo Montoya: MP4-21 03
T-car: MP4-21 01

-mclaren-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Mercedes , McLaren