#F1 Qualifying Review: 2016 FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX DE MONACO

QualiReview

Brought to you by TheJudge13 contributor Mattpt55

Ambient 22° Track 42° Humidity 45% Wind 3.6 m/s

Prelude
Well Well, 5 spot for Kimi and his new gearbox and Vettel suddenly in the mix after P3. Racy sounding Horner sayingthey have yet to extract the maximum from their new PU as everyone wondered exactly how much more Mercedes had held back as is their usual tactic. Red Flags anyone? Several cars painted the barriers a variety of colours in FP3 and in addition to traffic that will be the thing most likely to mix up the top of the grid. Ferrari and Red Bull have been in the habit of going out late in Q1 and Q2, jus sayin’…

Summary
Holy hopping horseshite Monaco Quali always the best game in town and the writers really cooked one up for the show today. 2 red flags in Q1, the first when Nasr’s engine went all Horror Movie Smoke machine and the second when Kid Wonder, Max Verstappen firmly planted his nose in the barriers after breaking his RF suspension, the same side he clouted in FP3. This led to some epic slo mo of his wheel wobbling about as he straitlined it toward the wall and also some rather epic tweets

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Once the track cleared the games commenced and at the end of Q1 it was Hamilton having the upper hand over Rosberg and Vettel going quicker than both right at the end of the session as the track continued to evolve. On the mean streets at the back of the grid, however, once Nasr and Verstappen were accounted for it was Haryanto besting Wehrlein, the increasingly hapless Palmer and then Ericsson getting the boot.

Q2 upped the tension as Lewis put in a stonking lap, a 1:14.054 as his love of an oversteery car seemed to give him the edge over his teammate, who finished almost half a second back. Williams struggles continued as they languished around P10, and desperate for airtime, Magnussen may or may not have blown a red light in the pits, still being investigated at the end of quali.

AS the checkers approached it was surprisingly everyone back out and the last fling it wasn’t just the ususal suspects on it. Rosberg was having another go as he brushed the barrier at the same point where Verstappen broke his suspension as both Ricciardo and Vettel having superseded his first time, with Vettel having the slight edge.

And it was Rosberg first besting Hamilton then Ricciardo improving his time on a set of Supersoft tyres, meaning he will start tomorrow’s race on a tyre that will go longer and set him up to be on the fastest tyre at the end of the race, the best strategic wrinkle we’ve seen yet in qualifying. Oh yes, and making Q3 look to be a real nail biter.

Say hello to Stoffel, as Button, unlike Alonso could only manage P13. Surprisingly, after the race it turned out that the balance of the car had been an issue for the Brit….. Disappointment for Bottas as he missed on his last fling for glory P11 and Massa couldn’t do better than P14. Both Haas were out as well with Gutierrez leading his teammate as the n00b team continues to look for it’s early season form/luck.

And then the drama descended. With the pitlane opened for Q3 Hamilton rolled to a stop with a total loss of engine power whilst he attempted to exit onto the track. As Mercedes’ mechanics sprinted toward his car to roll it back to the garage, and the shares of tinfoil skyrocketed, Daniel Ricciardo took leisurely advantage of the lack of attention to put in an utterly scintillating 1:13.662, scaring the living daylights out of the current lap record, barely a tenth quicker. Rosberg came P2 and Vettel was utterly nowhere, nearly a second back, with Raikkonen also complaining hilariously about being stuck behind Vettel who was taking his sweet time to get round his warm up.

As the cars rolled back in, Mercedes finally got Lewis out on track but so late that 2 runs were never a real possibility, given it took 2 laps for them to get proper temps in their front tyres. Post race it was revealed to be a low fuel pressure issue that affected both Rosberg and Hamilton, but Nico’s occurred in the pits and delayed his release for his first Q3 run.

As Lewis trundled round there was immense speculation though as the cause of his misfortune was not yet known (+2 points for Paddy Lowe joke in comments BTW) and it’s worth speculating what those extra laps cost him as when he finally joined everyone for his last hot lap his tyres were 2 laps older and he seemingly started and backed off. At first he seemed to have the measure going nearly 0.2s up but he began losing ground in S2 and S3 was, relatively speaking a disaster where he lost nearly 0.3s. Rosberg improved to maintain his P2 but it was the Danny Ric show today, completely untouchable. Best runner to be completely ignored was Nico Hulkenberg in P5 with a 1:14.726, showing a bit of class for the Force India outfit. Vettel continued to demonstrate his mastery of English invective, this time with the tyres being the object of his unhappiness. sooner or later he will run out of objects without the word Ferrari in them to blame, but in the meantime one must appreciate his creative use of language as adding considerably to the entertainment of the show.

So with the possibility of rain for the race, different tyres on the pole sitter and Mercedes side by side going into Ste. Devote and young Max Verstappen starting at the back what possible reason could one have to tune in tomorrow, for what many say is the most boring race on the calendar?

Discuss!!

PS forgot to mention that the swimming pool much faster this year with new configuration so feel free to complain about that as well.

Play nice in the comments and thanks for stopping by!

MONQuali16

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15 responses to “#F1 Qualifying Review: 2016 FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX DE MONACO

  1. Thought of the day : I am always surprised by the number of people who hate Hamilton but then it’s true,because people often hate those they fear!

  2. Those features do however screw up the chronology of the articles. Have to scroll down to much to find em. Is that only on my phone?

  3. Good to see the Mercs beaten…in qualifying.
    RB seem to have a very good package, lets see withe the faster tracks.
    Lewis, very disappointing. Beaten in Monaco by Nico where it is supposed to be a drivers circuit. Where was the driver?

  4. Matt: he had traffic on his first attempt and backed off, the team then told him to do 2 slower laps, then go for it on the 3rd one.

    To do only one flying lap on a tire that had already done 3 laps and be within 3 tenth, says he had more time had he been able to do 2 runs like everyone else.

  5. How long before Hamilton demands the return of his mechanics?
    A wonderful lap by Ricciardo for pole, plus he will have a better tyre strategy than those around him.
    Interesting that Räikkönen felt he was held up by Vettel, maybe the love match is over now.
    The race looks like it will be the best Monaco for a while. Its not a “race track” I normally like to watch, as it mainly depends on qualifying position and then a procession til the end. This year the portents are good for an interesting race, with so many drivers in a position to win on Sunday, and there is the threat of rain too. Its going to be fun. 🙂

    • Is this the season’s Lowe point for Lewis? Will he rise from here? His stoicism in the face of such hurdles is Lauda-ble – he’s not looking at all pa-Nikki about the situation.

      This kind of luck is incom-Paddy-ble with defending his title, but I Toto-ly believe he can do it. In fact, I Wollf put money on it.

    • Props to the kid for straight up admitting it was his error – a simple misjudgement of the level of grip.

      There was no gripe about the car or the track. No shifty intimation that “something” wasn’t right on the set up. I like that.

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