Courtesy of Red Bull Newsroom
The Scuderia Toro Rosso driver qualified an impressive sixth in Monaco.
The Spaniard finished immediately behind Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo this Saturday at the Grand Prix de Monaco 2017. The two Red Bull Racing drivers were respectively in fourth and fifth.
“This is definitely the most enjoyable lap in qualifying of the whole season – the one where you’re on the limit the most, the one that gives you the biggest adrenaline rush, the highest heart beat,” said a very enthusiastic Sainz. “And to qualify P6 at such a track is just an amazing result!”
Kimi Raikkonen from Ferrari will start from pole position on Sunday after he dominated the day, with teammate Sebastian Vettel in second and Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) in third.
Red Bull Racing
Position: 4th, 1:12.496 (Practice 3 – P4 1:12.940)
“I think in Q3 my fast lap was optimal. I was struggling a little bit with front grip so I couldn’t get the tyres to work how I wanted but in the end we were not too far off. It is always nice to be closer but I think the lap I did was pretty much on the limit. The Ferraris have looked good all weekend and Bottas managed to sneak in between us which was a bit of a shame. With a clean start and a good strategy we can be in the mix. Monaco is unique and it is hard to predict how the race will play out, there could be a safety car or stoppage at any time so we have to wait see. I will keep an eye on how the tyres behave and pit when we think it is the right opportunity. That is something you have to feel during the race. Being close to the top three means a podium is within reach, but tomorrow I am going to concentrate on my race and try to finish, I want to break the ‘curse’ I have around here!”
Position: 5th, 1:12.998 (Practice 3 – P6 1:13.392)
“It was a frustrating one for me today, as I think we could have done better. In Q3 we did one lap and we needed to push hard on the out lap to really get the tyres ready and warm, the ultrasofts are not that soft here and need to be worked hard. We came out and had cars in front of us and it seemed like I had a gap behind me, I don’t know why we didn’t wait for that gap so that I could push in the out lap. So I started the lap with the tyres not where I wanted them and obviously around here that’s a big thing, as is getting it right in Qualifying. However, we will see what happens tomorrow.”
CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal:
“It was certainly an exciting Qualifying. To end up fourth and fifth only three tenths off pole position here in Monaco demonstrates more progress for us. Max has looked competitive all weekend so far and put in everything he could today. With Daniel we opted to do a one lap run with him at the end. Perhaps a build push would have been better, but it was very, very marginal to which was the preferred strategy, but hopefully we are in a position to capitalise on those grid positions in tomorrow’s grand prix.”
Scuderia Toro Rosso
Carlos Sainz (STR12-03, Car 55)
Third Practice Session – Best lap: 1:13.400, pos. 7th, 27 laps
Qualifying – Best lap: (Q1) 1:13.526, (Q2) 1:13.397, (Q3) 1:13.162, pos. 6th
“Wow. Just WOW! I feel so good, what a lap! This is definitely the most enjoyable lap in qualifying of the whole season – the one where you’re on the limit the most, the one that gives you the biggest adrenaline rush, the highest heart beat… And to qualify P6 at such a track is just an amazing result! It’s something that we absolutely deserve after a very complete weekend, building it up until this afternoon’s qualifying. I must say that in Q1 I was a bit surprised with the pace of the midfield, as they all suddenly caught us up and we therefore had to start putting in fast laps from the very start – something I don’t like to do here in Monaco, I prefer to build it up little by little. Then in Q3, I was able to put the best lap of the weekend together and I’m a very happy man! I can still feel the adrenaline! Regarding tomorrow, I’m confident we can have a good race – we are fast in both long and short runs so we just need to make sure we get everything right at the start, lead the midfield and try and attack when possible! I will enjoy a good dinner tonight!”
Daniil Kvyat (STR12-01, Car 26)
Third Practice Session – Best lap: 1:13.563, pos. 8th, 23 laps
Qualifying – Best lap: (Q1) 1:13.899, (Q2) 1:13.516, pos. 11th
Daniil will start the race from P9
“I was unlucky with the crash that happened during the final moments of Q2, how frustrating! We’ve looked very promising all weekend, so it was a shame to miss out on Q3. I think we could’ve got through if the session hadn’t been yellow-flagged. However, realising that I will start tomorrow’s race from P9 because other drivers have been penalised makes the chances of finishing in the points even higher. I know it’s a different circuit, but in Barcelona I started last and finished in the top ten, so we’re not in such a bad situation here! There’s no point being upset, we just need to keep our heads down and work hard tonight to prepare the race well. Tomorrow we will try to go forward and hopefully fight for good points – anything can happen here in Monaco!”
James Key (Technical Director)
“So far, we’ve been quite happy with the weekend. In this morning’s FP3 we continued a little bit with the trend of what we saw on Thursday with setup and car balance, as well as investigating a few alternatives. We ended up in a situation where it was really all about fine-tuning, as there was nothing fundamental to fix. We knew the track conditions were going to make the balance of the car a little bit more difficult in the afternoon, so that was something to try and predict. Regarding this afternoon’s qualifying, I have to say we have mixed feelings – our heart goes out to Daniil a little bit; he’s been flying all weekend and he thoroughly deserved a Q3 place, but he had pretty much everything thrown against him during a very intense and difficult qualifying with the traffic and the requirements of the tyres with multiple laps. He got called to the scales, got blocked a couple of times in Sector 3, which lost him otherwise good lap times and then he caught the yellow flag at the end of the session on his final run… Therefore, he wasn’t able to get his lap time in and it’s a real shame – he missed out on a definite Q3 position. We will now try our best to make it up to him in tomorrow’s race as best we can. On the flip side, Carlos is exactly where we needed to be – he executed Q3 very well and made a good call on the approach with each run. P6 was just about as far as we could get today I think, even though we’re not that far behind the car in P5. He put a good lap together at the end and controlled it extremely well – a great job from him in difficult conditions. Now it is heads down in preparation for tomorrow’s race.”