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    A nail-biting Saturday

    Qualifying Report

    Monte Carlo 27 maggio 2023

    Monaco qualifying is usually fought out to the nearest thousandth of a second and today’s session certainly didn’t disappoint. From the very start of Q1 to the final moments of Q3 the three sessions were spectacular with plenty of drama. 

    Exciting. The first part was red flagged after Sergio Perez ended in the barriers at turn 1. After the restart, Charles stayed with the same set of tyres, but Carlos opted to fit another set of new Softs. The two Ferraris then comfortably made it through the first two phases. For the last 12 minutes of track action, both drivers had two sets of new Soft tyres available, which is crucial on a track that is in a state of constant evolution. Carlos went second quickest on his first run ahead of Charles and behind Fernando Alonso. But after fitting the second set of tyres, all ten drivers were able to improve their times. The first to top the time sheet was Charles in 1’11”471, but a few second later, Alonso crossed the line, beating the Monegasque’s time by 22 thousandths and then Max Verstappen secured pole, with a lap one tenth quicker than Leclerc. Carlos also improved to take fifth place in 1’11”630 behind Esteban Ocon. 

    Predictably unpredictable. Being the only team with both its cars in the top five, could offer the Scuderia a greater range of strategy options, while the forecast suggests that rain might also want to have its say in a street race that is often far more exciting and unpredictable than its reputation suggests.


    Charles Leclerc #16

    It was a very tricky qualifying on a weekend where I have struggled quite a lot with the car. I think our SF-23 is not handling the bumps so well but in qualifying it was a bit more alive and we managed to secure P3, very close to the pole position time. A qualifying lap here is like nowhere else on the calendar and it feels really good to drive.
    So all in all I can be happy but I would of course have preferred to be first. For tomorrow, I need a bit more luck than in the past years here. The forecast says there is a chance of rain and if that is the case anything is possible. I will go for it anyway and then we will see where we end up.


    Carlos Sainz #55

    Honestly, I’m not happy with how things ended in Q3. Having to pass three slow cars during the last push lap is far from ideal especially when things were so tight. I’m disappointed because the weekend had been quite positive up to this point.
    Anyway, we still have a chance to do well in the race tomorrow, so we’ll aim to use our good pace and the strategy to try and make up some places


    Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal

    Of course, it’s a bit frustrating to find yourself P3 just one tenth of a second off pole and two hundredths off the front row. Today it was quite difficult to give the drivers a car they were comfortable with, which at Monaco is always key, since being quick on this track is a matter of having the right feeling with the car, avoiding the walls and gradually picking up the pace over the weekend. 
    We were able to improve the car after FP3 for qualifying and in the end the result is not that bad as we are the only team with two cars in the top five. That means we can look at how we can play with the strategy with our two drivers to move up the order in the race, given that it’s almost impossible to overtake. Now we will look at the data and prepare for tomorrow, bearing in mind that the weather could also play its part

    27 maggio, 2023