Monte Carlo – An exhilarating qualifying for the Ferrari with Kimi Raikkonen, with a mere 25 thousandths of a second behind Jenson Button, therefore gaining the second position on the grid for tomorrow’s Grand Prix. A good qualifying also by Felipe Massa, making up ground after the problems at the start of Q1, finishing fifth on the starting grid. It’s the first time this year that the Prancing Horse manages to place the two F60s amongst the first five cars on the grid. In addition to that Kimi drove the fastest lap time of all the free practice sessions and the qualifying this weekend in Q2 with a time of 1'14"5.
The Finn is extremely motivated for tomorrow’s race, although he just missed the pole position by the blink of the eye. It would have been a striking result for the F60, remembering last weekend’s qualifying. But Kimi will be Kimi: he promised to have a fulminant start to recapture position one in the field. Same satisfaction for Felipe, although with some regret for the fast lap he missed in Q3, which might have made the weekend at Monaco even more exciting for Ferrari. For the Team everything is still completely open: the single-seaters of the Prancing Horse demonstrated, that they are competitive, running exceptionally well on the soft compound and they were the only cars on the top of the grid, which can count on the KERS at the start.
We’ll see, but the signs are very encouraging for the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, confirming the positive signs we could see already at Barcelona. It confirms the excellent work by the technicians and mechanics at Maranello, despite this year’s difficulties and no possibility to test the car between one GP and the next. Here at Monte Carlo the F60 shows up with some improvements on important details, such as the front wing. What’s positively surprising is the fact that no other car was able to improve their cars as Ferrari did from the GPs in Asia to the ones in Europe.
Tomorrow the 56th Monaco Grand Prix will be started with temperatures of around 25° C and track temperatures of 35C. The start of the race is at 2pm local time.
Barcelona – This season’s first GP on a European race track, at Montmelò, and the Ferrari F60 is right there. This is good news. Although, there’s also bad news for Raikkonen, who will only start from position 16, due to his elimination in Q1. Tomorrow Felipe will start from the second row from the fourth position. His best result so far in the qualifyings in 2009. Kimi will start from the eighth row, due to a mistake in estimating the situation during Q1. “The performance is there,” Stefano Domenicali said after the qualifying, “it’s a shame we used only half of it.”
One could already see during the third free practice session in the morning that the two Ferrari single-seaters were in top form: both did a lap in 1.20'5", which is more or less the same time it took Jenson Button to conquer the pole position for tomorrow’s race. Today Felipe was ready. He drove this morning’s best lap time and he was on top of the time sheet in Q1. In Q2 and Q3 he drove the fourth fastest times, with just four tenth behind the pole position’s lap time. Kimi set the same lap times with his new super-light chassis, missing Q2 by a whisker; he might have been able to gain a much better position on the grid, but now he’s got a difficult pursuit race ahead.
Sebastian Vettel managed to place his car between the two Brawn GP single-seaters on the grid, with his Red Bull teammate Webber on position five, right behind Massa, followed by the Toyotas with Glock and Trulli, Alonso on eight, Rosberg and Kubica. The reigning World Champion Hamilton will start from position 14. The temperatures during tomorrow’s race will be around 25C with the track temperatures at around 37/39C, which shouldn’t stress the tyres too much. The start will be a crucial moment, because overtaking is extremely difficult on this circuit. The F60, with its new aero package and the KERS, is ready for the challenge. We, the Ferraristi, have to believe in it: we need your support for tomorrow’s demanding race at 2 pm CEST.