Among the many characteristics of the Monaco GP is the fact that it is the only one on the F1 calendar that conducts the first free practice session on the Thursday, allowing the drivers to rest somewhat on the Friday, before undertaking the ...
Among the many characteristics of the Monaco GP is the fact that it is the only one on the F1 calendar that conducts the first free practice session on the Thursday, allowing the drivers to rest somewhat on the Friday, before undertaking the daunting task of Saturday qualifying.
On the occasion of his first day behind the wheel of an F1 contender here in Monte Carlo, Jordan rookie Tiago Monteiro set out to clock up as many laps as possible on the extremely tricky track, where the smallest error can result in a trip into the barriers. Mission completed, as Tiago worked his way through a reliable and progressive program over the course of the day.
"We used tyres that were completely unknown to us, as Ferrari had tested them but not us," the Portuguese driver explained. "The doubt therefore persists in regard to the right tyre choice for the race and it will be necessary for us to analyze all the data in a very detailed way before making a final decision. This will come in particular thanks to my sessions and all the laps Robert Doornbos completed as we completed a lot of mileage."
Indeed, Tiago clocked up 54 laps on the streets of Monaco and as such managed to find his reference marks throughout the course of the day^Å.
"On this circuit, my first concern was to go slowly but surely, without making any errors in order to familiarize myself well with the layout and to move forward. I know that I can progress even further and I am eager to continue on Saturday, when even more rubber is deposited on the track so that it will have more gip," he analysed. "We will make Friday profitable by analysing the data collected, but our competitiveness here will be decided by our choice of Bridgestone tyres."
Monteiro finished the day in 20th overall and constantly dominated his Jordan teammate Narain Karthikeyan, on the most selective circuit of the season. After his superb race on the circuit of Catalunya, twelve days ago, Tiago confirmed that he will gradually take over the lead from Narain and that his method of working in analytical fashion will pay dividends.
The Jordan Toyota driver was however 3.1 and 2.6 seconds behind the two Ferrari's, that were also equipped with Bridgestone rubber but perfectly accustomed with the Japanese tyres. How these work on the famous Monaco circuit during Saturday qualifying will be crucial as overtaking during the in race is almost impossible.
"We are looking to the car for Saturday, and I am confident that we can much better!" Tiago concluded.