Sergio Perez gives Force India plenty to smile about with his P7 in qualifying while both Toro Rosso kids made it into Q3.
Sergio Perez: "I’m really happy and excited with seventh place today. I always say qualifying in Monaco counts for 90% of your final result, so it was important to be strong. To be quick here you need confidence in the car and in yourself, and I had both today. To make it through to Q3 was already a great effort by the team, but to be starting P7 means we have already done a lot of the hard work for the race. We went out early in Q3 because we thought the rain was coming and I had a mega lap. I was worried some of the others might improve their times, especially with the track evolution, but fortunately it was not the case. Tomorrow we have a good opportunity to score some important points. We know that anything can happen on a Sunday in Monaco, but I’m focussed on getting a clean start and a good first lap."
Nico Hulkenberg: "My final lap was a very good one and I believe I could have been firmly in the top ten, but unfortunately I made a small mistake in the final corner, which cost me enough time to miss out on Q3. Obviously it is disappointing, especially knowing how important your starting position is here. I am likely to be 11th on the grid, which means we will need to choose the right strategy to try and make up some positions. If we make the right calls tomorrow, we should be able to get some points. The brush with the wall in Q1 didn't do any damage but it cost a lot in terms of rhythm: you spend a long time trying to get the right confidence around Monaco and an incident like this sets you back a little. Qualifying in Monaco is always a challenge, but one I really enjoyed. The car feels much better than it did in Barcelona and we seem to have more performance in our hands which is encouraging. Nevertheless, I expect a tough race where good tyre management will be especially important."
Carlos Sainz: "Considering where we were in FP1, FP2 and FP3, a P8 in today’s qualifying session could have seemed disappointing, but we need to remember that our objective was always to get into Q3 in order to fight for points in tomorrow’s race, and that’s what we had done today. I was actually quite satisfied and happy with a P8 in my debut in Monaco, but the stewards’ decision for me to start from the pit lane for not stopping at the weighing bridge in Q1 is very disappointing. 78 laps around here in tomorrow’s race will now be even tougher. In Monaco it’s very difficult to overtake but I will try my best."
Max Verstappen: "I’m disappointed with qualifying in P10 here in Monaco. Q1 and Q2 were okay, even though I was already starting to struggle with the tyres, but in Q3 it was really difficult to get the tyres up to temperature. I had no grip at all and started to lock-up a lot, and in my last run I was only eight hundredths faster with a new set of tyres. We have to make sure we look into this and understand the reason. We will try and make the most out of today’s result in tomorrow’s race, but it won’t be easy. I will try and make a good start, stay out of trouble and hopefully fight for some more points."
Pastor Maldonado: "That was not too bad. The car felt better from this morning as we made some beneficial changes. I think we could have done better, but we had to hold the car a while to get some track space for the final lap and that meant that everything cooled a little. P8 is a strong position to start from and I have a feeling that tomorrow will be a good race for us."
Romain Grosjean: "I made a mistake on what should have been my fastest lap in Q2 and I was aiming for a much better lap time which would have put me in the top ten. Basically I locked a wheel heading into turn fifteen and went straight-on which lost me about four tenths. The car is looking good for the race, even if I have it all to do with my penalty meaning I start from P15 on the grid."