Although Ralf Schumacher impressed by being second fastest in the final qualifying for the 2004 Monaco Grand Prix, both the BMW WilliamsF1 Team drivers will start from mid-field for Sunday's race. Ralf drops down ten places in the grid order...
Although Ralf Schumacher impressed by being second fastest in the final qualifying for the 2004 Monaco Grand Prix, both the BMW WilliamsF1 Team drivers will start from mid-field for Sunday's race. Ralf drops down ten places in the grid order because of an engine change, which became necessary on Friday. Team mate Juan Pablo Montoya ended up in tenth place in the final qualifying session. In the first of the two single lap qualifying sessions Ralf was fastest overall whilst Juan Pablo came ninth.
"It's a bitter-sweet result, of course, but all in all I am more pleased with my qualifying performance rather than depressed about the penalty. We got the best out of the car and I am sure we have a competitive set up for the race, but it's going to be difficult from where we'll be starting on the grid. I'm not worried too much about the penalty, though. The important thing is that we keep our morale at a high level. Our car looks better here than it did in Barcelona, as we were expecting, since we thought we had a good package for this track. Let's hope we collect some points tomorrow."
Juan Pablo Montoya:
"My car felt much better in qualifying than in pre-qualifying, after we made some changes to it. But I had a big moment in the last corner, and lost some time there. The set-up is pretty good and I think we have got a very good race car, but again we are not quick enough. It would be good to get some points tomorrow. It is going to be a tough race, though."
Sam Michael (Chief Operations Engineer, WilliamsF1):
"Ralf did a good job in qualifying, but he takes the ten place penalty and will now start from 12th position. But regardless of the disappointing race start positions, we will try everything to get both cars up into the points. Strategy will be exciting tomorrow."
Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director):
"The outcome of the qualifying proves it again: Monaco has its very own characteristics. The grid is full of surprises. Ralf's qualifying performance was very good. By achieving the second quickest lap time, he has shown the car's potential. It is a shame he has to cope with the ten place penalty after we had to change the engine on his car on Thursday. In both of today's qualifying sessions Juan Pablo just did not manage to get a really good lap in. Now both our drivers will start in the middle of the pack. The engines ran without any trouble today."
Ralf Schumacher: 2nd (starting 12th due to engine change)
Chassis: FW26 07
Best time: 1:14,345 min
Juan Pablo Montoya: 10th (will start from 9th place)
Chassis: FW26 06
Best time: 1:15.039 min