Monaco: Qualifying report

Montanari helps himself to pole Originally from the Principality of San Marino, Christian Montanari (Draco Multiracing USA) took pole position in-- the Principality of Monaco, in the dying seconds of the session. He will joined on the front row...

Montanari helps himself to pole

Originally from the Principality of San Marino, Christian Montanari (Draco Multiracing USA) took pole position in-- the Principality of Monaco, in the dying seconds of the session. He will joined on the front row by Dutch driver Jaap Van Lagen (KTR). The second line will be occupied by the Spaniard Adrian Valles (Pons Racing) and Polish driver Robert Kubica (Epsilon Euskadi).

Four drivers were ruled out of the meeting at the end of Thursday's free practice , having failed to comply with the regulations when yellow flags were shown: Pastor Maldonado, Matteo Meneghello, Andreas Zuber and Colin Fleming. This meant that 26 cars lined up on the grid for the two series of qualifying sessions. In order to avoid too many cars being on the tight Monaco circuit at any one time, drivers were split into two groups (even and odd numbers), each series lasting 25 minutes.

In the even-numbered session, the battle for supremacy quickly turned into a duel between Robert Kubica (Epsilon Euskadi) and Markus Winkelhock (Draco Multiracing USA). The German bettered his best time from free practice on only his second flying lap, in a time of 1'27''802.

Jaap Van Lagen (KTR) and Damien Pasini (Cram Competition) were unable to go any faster-- but Australian Will Power (Carlin Motorsport) managed to do so, moving to the top of the timesheets in 1'27''689. Tomas Kostka (Victory Engineering) came to grief at Swimming pool, spinning and then stalling in middle of the track. The red flag was brought out, suspending the session so that the Czech driver's car could be removed from the circuit.

When the session resumed, Robert Kubica took provisional pole (1'26''652) while Power was unable to better his earlier time. Winkelhock retaliated with a time of 1'26''214-- but the German then ran into the barrier at Sainte-Devote, just after crossing the start-finish line! Kubica snatched the top time back on the next lap. And then the Polish driver was unseated from top spot by Van Lagen, who produced a stunning lap of 1'25''655. Milos Pavlovic (GD Racing) grabbed the third quickest time, but his car then suffered mechanical failure on the last corner, just like Sven Barth's car ( On home territory, Nice-born driver Damien Pasini managed an excellent 4th quickest time.

Adrian Valles (Pons Racing) was the first to set a significant time in the odd-numbered session. Enrico Toccacelo (Victory Engineering) retaliated and the two men began a fine duel. Christian Montanari (Draco Multiracing USA) then got involved in things, taking the best time.

With less than ten minutes to go to the chequered flag, the session was red-flagged after Giorgio Mondini (Eurointernational) went off at Massenet. No sooner had the session resumed than Karun Chandhok (RC Motorsport) took his turn to slip up.

Frenchman Tristan Gommendy confirmed KTR's good form by grabbing the best time of the session in a lap of 1'25''757. But Adrian Valles came back straight away with a 1'25''680! Hampered by Bennani during his final attempt, Gommendy couldn't improve his time, leaving Montanari the chance to sneak ahead of everyone on the line, with a time of 1'25''465 !

As Montanari's time was the best overall from the two sessions, the Draco driver will therefore start tomorrow's race in pole position. All drivers in the odd-numbered series will start behind the polesitter. The even-series drivers will line up behind Jaap Van Lagen.

Christian Montanari: "I didn't get a clear run on any lap on Thursday during free practice. We had some minor problems with the car that have been resolved. I am grateful to the team because the car was perfect. This is the first time I have raced at Monaco and I didn't expect to take pole position."

Jaap Van Lagen: "The car was perfect, I really attacked in the last few minutes. Monaco is totally unforgiving, any errors are really punished, but there was just so much grip out there--"

Robert Kubica: "I am not happy with our set-up. The end result isn't that bad considering my lack of experience at Monaco. I can improve during the race."

Milos Pavlovic: "At Zolder I was two seconds behind pole position. Here, I'm just a few tenths away, so I am very pleased with my progress."

Markus Winkelhock: "I locked up the front left wheel and the car pulled right at Sainte-Devote. I could have got pole position, I was feeling stronger lap by lap."

Simon Pagenaud: "I am very pleased with my qualifying session. The practice I had on my games console paid off -- except that the straights seem a little shorter in reality!"


Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula V8 3.5
Drivers Christian Montanari , Karun Chandhok , Tristan Gommendy , Robert Kubica , Will Power , Matteo Meneghello , Markus Winkelhock , Adrian Valles , Pastor Maldonado , Damien Pasini , Giorgio Mondini , Andreas Zuber , Milos Pavlovic , Simon Pagenaud , Tomas Kostka , Sven Barth
Teams Carlin