Monaco GP: McLaren Saturday qualifying notes

West McLaren Mercedes driver Kimi Raikkonen claimed provisional pole position for the 2005 Monaco Grand Prix after setting a time of 1.13.644. Team mate Juan Pablo Montoya finished fifth overall with a time of 1:14.858. The session was red flagged...

West McLaren Mercedes driver Kimi Raikkonen claimed provisional pole position for the 2005 Monaco Grand Prix after setting a time of 1.13.644. Team mate Juan Pablo Montoya finished fifth overall with a time of 1:14.858. The session was red flagged towards the end following an accident involving Ralf Schumacher causing an approximate 15 minute interruption to allow the marshals to clear the track.

Kimi Raikkonen:

"I'm happy with my qualifying lap and the gap to the opposition. The car has been working well from the start of running so I knew we would be in with a good chance for provisional pole position. I could probably have gone even faster but was a little cautious at the Tabac corner where the track was still slightly slippery following Ralf Schumacher's accident and as a result I took a slightly different line. Pole position is always important but especially at Monaco, so we will continue to work hard to maintain our advantage. Well done to the entire team and let's continue our fight tomorrow."

Juan Pablo Montoya:

"A decent qualifying lap, but I suffered from lack of grip through Casino Square and slid a bit. However our Michelin tyre should be excellent in the race and in general the car is working really well here. It should be an interesting session tomorrow. Our target now is to improve our place on the grid in order to get a good starting position. A lot of people have been asking about the incident in this morning's second practice session. Basically I slowed down to avoid hitting Ralf and tried to move out of the way because I knew Villeneuve was behind me."

Ron Dennis:

"An outstanding lap from Kimi providing him with a significant time advantage going into tomorrow's second qualifying. The circuit conditions following Ralf Schumacher's accident were not perfect which of course makes Kimi's lap even more impressive. Juan Pablo's solid fifth placed performance puts him in a position where an improvement on the grid is more than possible."

Norbert Haug:

"An exciting first qualifying session which saw a fantastic performance from Kimi and the team who prepared a perfect car for him. Kimi's lap was just excellent and despite the bad track conditions at the Tabac corner after Ralf Schumacher's accident he maintained his concentration and posted the fastest lap time of the weekend so far. Juan Pablo's lap is hopefully a basis for further improvement in tomorrow's second qualifying."

Chassis allocation
Kimi Raikkonen: MP4-20 04
Juan Pablo Montoya: MP4-20 05
T-car: MP4-20 03 (Juan Pablo)
Spare: MP4-20 06

-mclaren-

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