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Webber on pole as Alonso suffers a disaster
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Webber on pole as Alonso suffers a disaster
Posted By: James Allen  |  15 May 2010   |  3:36 pm GMT  |  117 comments

Mark Webber stunned F1 again today with his second pole position in eight days as he dominated qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix.

It is the sixth pole in six races for Red Bull this season. That is championship winning form and after early season reliability issues, they need to make sure they again convert it to a win tomorrow.


All predictions, including his own, were that it would be very close. In the end it wasn’t close at all. Webber was 3/10ths of a second ahead of Robert Kubica’s Renault, with Sebastian Vettel in third, 4/10ths behind Webber.

But the big story was Fernando Alonso’s accident in the morning practice session, which destroyed his car and meant that he missed qualifying. He will start the Grand Prix tomorrow from the pit lane in a newly made-up car.

It was an uncharacteristic error by the two times world champion and is the second major error this season, after his jump start in China which led to a drive through penalty on a day when he could have won the race. Alonso accepted full blame for the incident, “I lost the car,” he said glumly.

Comparisons will be drawn with Michael Schumacher’s drive through the field in 2006, but the conditions are very different. For a start there is no refuelling strategy nowadays, so less tactical options. Also there are more cars on the track than there were back then and the slowest ones are much slower. And finally he doesn’t enjoy the same level of car advantage as Schumacher did in 2006 on the Bridgestone tyre.

Webber’s lap was really something special, Christian Horner told me that the telemetry shows the tiny corrections on the steering wheel through Casino Square are amazing. He described Webber’s form as being a ‘purple patch’ and it will be fascinating to see how long it lasts. Certainly Vettel’s expression afterwards said it all, he is being soundly beaten at the moment.

But Webber’s fight was not with Vettel in the sister Red Bull car, but with Kubica. The Pole also elevated himself today with some incredibly committed driving. He reminded us in the interviews afterwards that his car was a second and a half off the Red Bull in Spain, so it was quite an achievement.

The surprises of the qualifying were Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton, whom many had expected to challenge for pole position. Massa was third until the final seconds when Vettel stole the place from him on his last lap, while Hamilton ended up 5th, six tenths slower than Webber. Team mate Button was 8th.

All the leading cars had advantages in different areas; the McLaren is quick up the hill in sector 1, while the Red Bull is very strong in the low speed middle sector and the final sector with the Swimming Pool. This is where Massa wasn’t so strong.

Nico Rosberg was fastest in the second part of qualifying, but couldn’t carry that form through to Q3, ending up 6th, 5/100ths faster than team mate Michael Schumacher. “It just went completely wrong in the last qualifying – just didn’t get it together – too many laps with traffic and just made a mistake myself,” said Rosberg, going on to describe his performance as a “disaster”.

Earlier on the Lotus of Heikki Kovalainen came very close to making it into Q2 for the first time as he set a blistering pace for a new team car. He was ninth for a time, but ended up just under a second slower than the Toro Rosso of Jaime Alguersuari.

Once again the Virgin cars were two tenths behind.

MONACO GRAND PRIX – QUALIFYING
1. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:15.035 1:14.462 1:13.826
2. Kubica Renault 1:15.045 1:14.549 1:14.120
3. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:15.110 1:14.568 1:14.227
4. Massa Ferrari 1:14.757 1:14.405 1:14.283
5. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:15.676 1:14.527 1:14.432
6. Rosberg Mercedes 1:15.188 1:14.375 1:14.544
7. Schumacher Mercedes 1:15.649 1:14.691 1:14.590
8. Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:15.623 1:15.150 1:14.637
9. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:15.590 1:15.083 1:14.901
10. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1:15.397 1:15:061 1:15.170
11. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1:16.030 1:15.317
12. Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:15.445 1:15.318
13. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:15.961 1:15.413
14. Petrov Renault 1:15.482 1:15.576
15. de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1:15.908 1:15.692
16. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:16.175 1:15.992
17. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:16.021 1:16.176
18. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1:17.094
19. Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1:17.134
20. Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:17.377
21. di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1:17.864
22. Senna HRT-Cosworth 1:18.509
23. Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 1:19.559
24. Alonso Ferrari Did not set a time

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117 Comments
  1. InternetF1 says:

    Alonso crashing always makes my day.

    1. Torrent says:

      Waiting for hamilton to emulate him tomorrow !

      1. LT says:

        Alonso did it to himself, why bring Hamilton into it?

    2. GektorS says:

      A true F1 fan should never be happy with other’s disgrace the same as in normal life. Sorry to tell you

      1. Formula Zero says:

        Couldn’t agree more. And I don’t even like Alonso.

    3. PaulL says:

      Yeah wait till Hammy blows out another tyre.

      1. Mario says:

        How humans grow so insecure to the point that they feel the need to get on top of their opponent at all cost including devaluing?

        Can we have a meaningful conversation instead of just exchanging punches?

        Or this is just the way to do it and I am kind of asking stupid questions?

  2. DK says:

    It will be exciting to see what Kubica can do starting from first row. I think Renault’s car is good at take off, so it should be interesting at first corner!

    By the way, let there be rain during the race please.

    1. Pawel says:

      I’m not sure Renault car driven by Kubica is ggod at take off – vide poor start in China and Spain. I hope he has sorted that problem out already…

      1. A.K. says:

        The poor starts have been more a matter of coming together with other cars rather than a bad launch. In fact his getting off the line has been very very good this year and even in Spain he had at first made up a number of places before hitting another car.

      2. Pawel says:

        Perhaps you watched another Spain race – Kubica lost position to Massa in turn2 and then after hitting with probably Kobayashi Kubica was overtaken by Sutil and Alguersauri. As such he didn’t make up number of places.

  3. Seb says:

    First Alonso and karma are now even for that Massa China pitlane move.

    Second, wow, what a performance by Webber and Robert.

    Third, where the heck are the crowds in Monaco? Those are some darn empty stands.

    Last, is anyone as excited to see if that amazing Schumi performance from 2006 of pit-to-5th can be matched? Alonso has the Ferrari hardware. No excuses Fernando! 5th is the benchmark.

    Can I brag a bit James? I was there in 2006. :-)

    1. Jon says:

      Didn’t you read what James said, the circumstances are very different for this race, compared to 2006. There was a tyre war and Bridgestone was strong, which helped Schumacher alot. Also, there was SC’s and there were more strategy options. This years boring rules see an end to that. :(

      Alonso needs a miracle.

    2. moi says:

      He’s not gonna be 5th! This is not 2006! You can’t compare this to schumi’s run back then.

      If he finishes in the top 10 (very unlikely) it would be a miracle.

    3. Brace says:

      You obviously failed to read the article first.
      At least the part of comparing Shumi and Alonso in Ferrari in tomorrow’s race.

    4. m de p says:

      so when alonso won, you didn’t enjoy yourself very much.

    5. EST says:

      Just like James told there’s 6 more cars to overtake and Ferrari doesn’t have the advantage it had in 2006. Also not much room for a tactics. So how can you compare these 2 seasons? I just don’t get it.

      I think your last sentence says it all.

      1. Sebee says:

        Sure, circumstances were different, but let’s see the race please. Bottom line, both starting from pit, both are/were in a Ferrari. I have 2006 on DVD in entirety because it was a keeper, so I’ll review tonight. Let’s remember that Shumi did make some all or nothing passes. I also clearly remember that while the Ferrari was fast, the Renault was faster, and Alonso was on track to take pole. Also, let’s remember that this type of performance was done by Schumi many times, including Brazil 2006. I was there too. It was before I had kids, F1 could take up all my free time. ;-) I’m sure Kimi still has nightmares about that last lap pass for forth.

        Let’s stop making excuses for Alonso. His fault he’s in this pickle. I remember Schumi was written off in 2006 too. He just willed his way up there. I’m not an Alonso fan as you probably sense, but if he puts on a show you have to respect it as a racing fan. Schumi was a man on a mission that day, regardless of circumstance. Alonso should take an older engine he doesn’t have to worry about crashing with and new transmission and go on mission.

      2. Satish says:

        So, Alonso has finish in 6th after starting 24th from the pitlane.

    6. LT says:

      Karma for his fanboys too after they spent the last week taking glee at Hamiltons rim failure, and insisting it was his fault when all factual analysis say otherwise LOL!! Suffer Alonso fanboys!!!

  4. M Harries says:

    Any penalty/reprimand for Massa blocking Button in q3?

    1. Torrent says:

      only Button’s speed blocked him today, he was annoyingly smooth as BBC 5 live said which was a compliment by the way but he was awfully off the pace.

      I was hoping he gonna give Lewis a run for his money, I’m starting to fear for him.

    2. Henry says:

      It did look like there should have been a penalty, with only ten cars on the circuit there really was not much of an excuse for massa’s behavior…

    3. Pawel says:

      As I could see, Button was able to slow down even more to make a room for a clean lap. Instead he followed Massa very closely, why?

      1. moose says:

        he was on a timed lap.

  5. Richard says:

    Interesting to see that despite outward appearance nothing has changed at the FIA…

    Despite a blatant block by Massa on Button, no penalty seems to have been applied.

    Ferrari Insider Advantage strikes again!!!

    1. GLM says:

      hahaha yeah ok… change the record.

      Massa gets held up on his timed lap, in doing so holds up Button… not sure how you make it Massa’s fault.
      Prob because that is all you see, but if you look into the pictures closely you can see the car holding up Massa.

      But it doesn’t matter as you will always put the Ferrari team in the guilty corner.

  6. parthi says:

    Hi James, any news on wether Massa is being investigated for blocking?

  7. smellyden says:

    I hope we do not have boring race tomorrow, hopefully we will see a strong run Alonso. Seems like it will be a pole to flag victory from Webber though, unless his car proves unreliable again!

  8. derek says:

    wow kubica was unbelievable, monaco is the on circuit that weight of driver skills is higher than the weight of car performance.. give him a decent car and he’s gonna be the real deal

    kudos to webbo, was it just me, or was vettel truly frustrated, he had that “wtf just happened” look on his face

    1. Jonathan says:

      I found it interesting that Hamilton said he had pushed his car to its limits, couldnt go any faster, yet Kubica went much faster in a inferior car to that of the McLaren. sooooo does that mean Robert is a faster driver???

      Stirring the cauldron!

      1. Phil says:

        I think it means this particular Mclaren wasn’t suited to this track.

  9. PaulL says:

    And for Schumacher in 2006, he passed few significant runners (Button and JV are the main ones). Most of the positions gained were through penalties, safety car shuffles, and retirements.

    None-the-less, maybe Alonso can start with the harder tyres.

    1. Knuckles says:

      Tyre rule 2010: top 10 need to start with the same set of tyres they set their fastest Q3 time with. And he needs to run both compounds anyway if it’s dry.

      1. Andrew says:

        Alonso wasn’t in the top 10.

      2. Knuckles says:

        Um, I somehow forgot. Of course you are right. Still, he needs to run both compounds, so starting on the harder ones just means a later stop.

  10. Jim Slip says:

    “And finally he doesn’t enjoy the same level of car advantage as Schumacher did in 2006 on the Bridgestone tyre.”

    Er, I don’t recall Schumacher having a big advantage on the Bridgestones in 2006 in Monaco. If anything, it was the Renault on the Michelins that had the edge at that point in the championship.

      1. Jon says:

        Agree.

      2. Jim Slip says:

        If that’s the case, then why didn’t Schumacher capitalize on the big advantage with a pole position, and instead resorted to the infamous parking incident?

      3. Jeroen says:

        Fact is that Schumacher/Ferrari wasn’t the fastest package in Monaco on Saturday, but it emphatically was on Sunday. Michael must’ve been really miffed when he realised that any qualifying position in the top ten would have been enough to challenge for the win.

        Maybe a temperature change between Q- and raceday made the difference?

      4. Formula Zero says:

        Any idea what really happened between Q2 & Q3 that nearly all the cars from 3rd place down to 8th were so slow compare fo Webber & Kubica? When Schumacher clocked a time with 2/3 minutes to go, he was over a second behind Kubica!!! In any practice or even in Q1 & Q2 everybody looked much closer than that. So, what happened?

    1. Sebee says:

      If Renault and Michelin didn’t have an advantage, why was Alonso on track for pole?

      Here is the 411 for you on 2006.
      Michael was fastest through speed trap and had the fastest lap on the day set on lap 74. Here is a bit of info for you about how he drove. He started from the pit. He was 18th by end of lap 1 and there was nothing major that happened on lap 1 outside of Monteiro needing a new nose. By lap 20 he was 15th. Beside Monteiro only Alberts pitted by 20. No retirments until about lap 45. Safety car came out on lap 49 – late. 6 retirements, drive through for Rubbens on lap 63. OK, he got some help. Just so happens that Massa started from pit on same strategy and finished 9th. See the difference?

      I find it one heck of a coincidence that Kimi and Massa parked their Ferraria in the same spot in 2007. I remember having tears in my eyes I laughed so hard. Could be down to Ferrari karma. ;-)

  11. Mario says:

    Big thanks to RK for delivering a high tension moments to his fans. I am not sure how many of them really believed he can do that given Renault’s true pace is somewhere around fifth fastest.

    Congratulations to MW; how on earth did he managed to go so fast. Definitely it changed my opinion of him, I used to rate him rather low, way too low to what he deserves.

    I hope will have an eventful race.

  12. David Jerromes says:

    Top job by Red Bull and in particular one seriously inspired Mark Webber!

    My star of qualifying has to be Robert Kubica though, the way he hustled that Renault was awesome!

    I found Hamilton’s post-quali comments a touch too arrogant, even if what he claims is true – the car had no more to give in his hands..

    Talking of arrogant, poor old Alonso starting at the back, now with the predicted wet weather and the new teams in front it should be very exciting to see what he can pull off from the disaster that Monaco has been thus far.
    We know he’s quick for sure!

    The much-hyped traffic problems really didn’t come into play so much however there were many notable examples of experienced drivers such as Schumi blowing other’s laps..

    Such a shame Heiki just couldn’t quite break into Q2, he fully deserved it as did Lotus.

    Massa missed a golden opportunity with Alonso watching from the sidelines..

    If Kubica can get the jump on Webber…, should be an excellent race!

    1. drums says:

      “Talking of arrogant, poor old Alonso starting at the back”

      What a gratuit commentary. Alonso has taken it quite graciously, judging from his attitude and live commentaries after the accident.

      1. David Jerromes says:

        Yes he has taken it quite well considering the unmitigated disaster it has been for him and could well prove decisive in the championships.
        Still arrogant though, like Hamilton; very good at what they do BUT both supremely arrogant.

        I love to watch both racers regardless, hence commenting on how fun it should be watching Alonso trying to charge through the field, especially if it’s a wet race as some are predicting…

        I still think Kubica could surprise Webber!

    2. Pawel says:

      No chance Kubica got the jump on Webber… Watch Vettel how to do that on Kubica instead…

  13. Andy says:

    Actually, Kovalainen has already made it to Q2 once, in Malaysia, albeit with the help of rain and McLaren and Ferrari completely misjudging the conditions.

  14. manos says:

    james any news on williams?how the things with the car are going?thnak you in advance.

  15. Jon says:

    Very happy for Webber. Hopefully now he can start to get the respect he deserves.

    It was an epic duel with Kubica and I hope that at some stage we can see the pole lap. Stupid race director never showed it!!!!

  16. Steve McGill says:

    As I’ve said many times before, and yet been lambasted for – in the dry, Jenson Button is simply not the driver people seem to think he is.
    He constantly complains when he’s off the pace and claims to be perfect when he’s on it. At Hamiltons stays positive throughout. Shame for Alonso but that add some spice Id say. He should pit on lap 1! Kubica’s driving is simply sensational to watch on board – good for him. And good for Webber too, he seems to be in a sweet spot. Massa has to grab this opportunity to get his confidence back. Don’t quite know what to think about Merc situation – it all feels very lumpy.

    Anybody know if rain is forecast at all tomorrow?

    1. Jon says:

      If there was going to be rain, it would be today. No rain tommorow.

      I agree (to an extent) about Button. One thing that irritates me about Button is that his smoooooth driving style is mentioned so often. However it’s also a factor for his slowness. He is timid. It helps in some situations and hurts in others. Fair enough on that. But no one after quali was talking about the smoothness then, were they?

      I’ve always liked aggressive drivers but that’s neither here nor there.

      Jenson is a good driver and he’s a WDC. He’s just not happy when the car isn’t happy, he’s very fussy. He’s still a good driver. I agree he complains too much. He cares very much about what the outside thinks, and sometimes it doesn’t look good when he complains. Last year during the race.. some of the “how can this car be sooo bad” comments were a bit rich, his car won the WDC. But that’s just Button.

      Is it possible to be overrated and underrated at the same time? If it is, it’s Button. Button on his day is fantastic. But if he’s not happy, he’s average or below. It especially hurts at Monaco because it’s a confidence track. His 2006 pole was breathtaking but some of his Monaco qualifyings have been awful.

      It’s the same story with his racecraft. Sometimes it’s fantastic, but sometimes he is too polite or timid and doesn’t go defensive enough. Alot of people admire the “gentlemen” racers, but I want to see my driver give it everything they got and fight tooth and nail before they concede position.

      How often do you see Button make contact with something? He and Lewis are polar opposites in almost every way.

      1. Jon says:

        Correction – His 2006 Melbourne pole.

      2. Martin says:

        Jon,

        I reckon you’re spot on there. In Autocourse Ross Brawn was quoted as saying that when the car is perfect Button is faster than Schumacher at his peak. Jackie Stewart said he wished he looked as good as Button in terms of smoothness. This is something that drivers admire, but from the outside this looks similar to a car that is cruising.

        Watching Hamilton is usually an event, but in a way it would be even better if he had an understeering car on turn in, as we’d get to see him countering it by getting the back out under braking. In a “perfect” car he is probably slower, particularly in fast corners, but cars are rarely perfect across an entire race (e.g. Button in Turkey).

    2. Mario says:

      No rain, just partly cloudy.

    3. Liam says:

      Button was 2 tenths off Hamilton who said he couldn’t get any more out of the car… Yep Button is sooooo slow.

      Agree with everything else though… Kubica is defo worth a punt at the bookies, I can’t help thinking the Red Bull will be too hard on those softs again.

    4. BeenDun says:

      Button was so obviously blocked by Massa its comical for someone to say otherwise. Was it intentional? We have no way of knowing. If you watch the lap in question, Massa slowed down and forced Button to ruin his lap. As for Button not being the driver ppl say, he’s schooling his teammate this season and making him look like a candidate for a switch to NASCAR. Lol.

      1. Phil says:

        What complete and utter baloney, ‘schooling his teammate’.

        He has yet to match Lewis’s race pace, and without the tire failure at Spain, there would be but one point between the two.

      2. Cliff says:

        The trouble with your last point Phil is that it may prove to be the deciding factor at the end of the season. From a team perspective, Button is still in the pound seat.

      3. Phil says:

        Don’t disagree with that. Lewis, as with every driver has to make every point count, and luck can play a part. We will see.

  17. senzo says:

    James please don’t make excuses in advance for alonso, let him prove his status as the so-called
    most complete driver in f1 by doing better in the race tomorow than schumachers” feat in 2006

    1. James Allen says:

      No excuses, but I wouldn’t be doing my job properly as a journo if I didn’t point out some differences.

      1. Jonathan says:

        He has a couple more cars to pass too than Michael had in 2006. James do you think the hard tires will last a full race, in which case someone’s suggestion of pitting on lap 1 could gain him a hell of a lot of time.

      2. Tim Lamkin says:

        If you remember MS got a number of very critical breaks to get his 5th place finish…..very good breaks!

      3. Sebee says:

        Yeah, breaks…to be 15th by lap 20 on a heavy load. You make your luck, and he did it that day by driving the wheels of that car, fastest through speedtrap and setting fastest lap on 74th lap, stopping once and driving a heavy car.

    2. Henry says:

      I would agree but unfortunately the races are fairly different – its not excuses its just the way it is. We will see how well he does, I’m sure it’ll be a brilliant drive from him.

    3. JimmiC says:

      Why does Alonso have to prove anything? Besides, it’s a different car in a different season. If he makes it to 6th from the pit, it’ll be a stellar drive. Period.

      1. senzo says:

        My point is not that alonso must neccessarily finnish 5th,
        but that his cv could do with a memorable fighting drive from
        the back and thus “prove” that he is as “complete” as people
        like to claim that he is -which I doubt

        Another the point, Schumacher is villified for his 2006 monaco “incident”
        but those same people conspicously not only overlook but applauad a similar
        case of sly opportunism from a sportsman committed
        by diego “hand of God” maradonna-HYPOCRACY

      2. senzo says:

        My point is not that alonso must neccessarily finnish 5th,
        but that his cv could do with a memorable fighting drive from
        the back and thus “prove” that he is as “complete” as people
        like to claim that he is -which I doubt

        Another the point, Schumacher is villified for his 2006 monaco “incident”
        but those same people conspicously not only overlook but applauad a similar
        case of sly opportunism from a sportsman committed
        by diego “hand of God” maradonna-HYPOCRACY

        Anyway great blog James, 4got to mention it earlier

      3. JimmiC says:

        Alonso has had many battling drives – I remember Paul Stodart’s quote about Alonso in a Minardi at Suzuka 2001 driving “53 qualifying laps” and earning a midfield position in a race not through attrition but speed. His stints in the Renault in 2008/09 were remarkable considering the car was not on the pace of the front runners.

        I don’t know what you are talking about with your second point about Maradona, whether in relation to Alonso or Schumacher.

  18. michael says:

    hello james,

    the race certainly will be interesting all be it the start will actually be breathtaking i think.

    Anyway, James i would like to hear your thoughts on whether McLaren’s restructuring of the drivers engineers will have caused more problems than expected especially for LH? I am asking because of the admitted error on McLaren’s side having given Lewis the wrong info on heating up his tires plus the extra pit stop decision in two separate venues.

    thanks
    tomorrows results
    1 LH
    2 Vettel
    3 Massa

    1. m de p says:

      what about webber? Accident at st devote with kubica?

      1. Jon says:

        Apparently those two drivers aren’t very good according to this LH fan.. lol.

      2. michael says:

        I figure Webber will either fall back dramatically fifth or sixth or retire fully due to fragility.
        Sorry but heh who knows for sure ;-)

      3. Liam says:

        If the podium consists of Hamilton, Vettel and Massa I’ll actually eat my own house… Seriously.

    2. Henry says:

      I think you might be optimistic to think that hamilton can jump from 5th to 1st…even if webber and kubica crash or retire…

    3. Mario says:

      1.Kubica (Webber spins tyres on start)
      2.Webber
      3.Vettel

      or so I wish

  19. m de p says:

    one of the few mistakes!!! James, you will have to reconsider your position on alonso. He seems to me that the magic he had during his championship years, is hard to be found. I would say he is mistake prone these days.
    His championship hopes are now gone, he’ll have problems with lack of engines at the end of the year, and he might be behind the red bulls tomorrow in the points table. What is it going to happen when the red bulls get to the fast tracks during summer, they are going to be hard to stop.

    1. jenson marks says:

      hahhahaha

      I don’t think this crash will cause that much damage, dear! Just wait and see, Alonso will bounce back, as always.

      You seem like a frustrated fangirl.

    2. Knuckles says:

      His championship hopes are gone? As of today he is still second, 3 points back, so in the worst case he will be 28 points behind on Sunday evening, which is equivalent to a win and an 8th place (I think) according to new points. It’s 13 races to go in this season and we have already seen drivers lose and make up as many points in the first five.

      I also doubt he will have an engine problem. He might have to manage them a bit more than he’d like, and he certainly wishes not to have made the mistakes in China and today (and yes, he does try too hard and makes too many mistakes), but “gone” it is not.

      1. Fausto Cunha says:

        I have to agree, I´m not Alonso fan but there´s a lot of water to go under the bridge before the end of the year.

        The championship is very open for many drivers including Alonso even if he doesn´t score points tomorrow.

        I kind expect a 4 away fight for the championship: the 2 Red Bull drivers, Alonso and Hamilton.

  20. Peter says:

    Perhaps if Alonso stops the ridiculous Ferrari love talk guff he can start driving properly.

  21. paddy says:

    Go Webber Go. After all these years of getting up at god knows when to watch him in shitty cars that blow up after he put the car in an impossible positions. Its great to see him kicking some arse. Im gonna put this out there if your from Australia or Poland you work a lot harder to get anywhere in F1 or London for that matter. So well done boys and keep on proving the doubters wrong.

    1. Azz from OZ says:

      Go webbarrrrrrrrrrrrr GO GO GO GO GO GO GO. At last webber is really showing just how good all us Aussies know he is!!!!

      P.S James are you doing a pre race interview with Webber for ONE HD?? Keep up the great work James..

      1. James Allen says:

        Yes. Did it last night

  22. Steve McGill says:

    James, do the drivers that live in Monaco go home in the evenings or do they stay in motorhomes etc to keep in the zone?

  23. Irish conor says:

    I hear what your saying james about alonso. Surely an early stop should bring him back into a lower points contention and will just have to put up with worn tyres later on

  24. Jon says:

    Lewis’s post quali comments don’t sit well with me. All in the leadup to this race, he was spoken with optimism. This is the drivers track after all.

    Fair enough about Redbull’s downforce but what about Kubica and Massa.. why didn’t you outqualify them Lewis?

    He also said this weekend that this car feels great and that it’s much better then last years. Last year he was in the hunt for pole before putting it in the wall. His win in Hungary showed how strong that car was in slow corners (but it was HORRIBLE in the fast ones). It seems now in retrospect that last years car was faster at Monaco.

    It reminds me of when in last years preseason he said the car feels great and very similar to the car from the year before. He was using 2008 rear wing on the 2009 car, and didn’t even realise how badly the car sucked at that point.

    Does he really believe what he is saying or is he just playing the media like a fiddle?

    I’m not criticising his driving. He drove pretty well today. Not outstanding but pretty well. His PR comments put all the blame on the car though, and fail to address why he was out qualified by “going to be leaving Ferrari” Massa, and Kubica in the downforce lacking Renault.

    1. Fausto Cunha says:

      Alonso also says great things about the F10. But he has no poles yet.

      I guess they can only talk about the cars they are driving, if Lewis says that the car feels much better than last years that must be true.

      I don´t think his playing the media.

      I think he sounds a litle bit enthusiastic because he feels that he extracted all the pace from the car, it just wasn´t enough.

  25. Henry says:

    James, do you know what the lap time record for Monaco is? I know the race lap record is held by schumacher, but I was hoping to see the quali record, as webber’s lap seems pretty sensational.

    Cheers.

    1. Martin says:

      Henry,

      The best I’ve found is 2006, Raikkonen, Q2 with a 1:13.532. The year before when there was still aggregate solo qualifying, his Saturday low fuel time was 1:13.644 on tyres that lasted the whole race.

      Cheers,

      Martin

    2. Fausto Cunha says:

      Many says that the record belongs to Schumacher with 1:14.439 during the race.

      But i remember Kimi laping it with a 1:13:532 on Quali 2 in 2006.

      Maybe James can confirm this!

  26. Fausto Cunha says:

    I always love quali at Monaco, the improving track, the times falling down, the drivers running a lot,it´s just special.

    Watching Kubica today on that Renault was fantastic, on the limit lap after lap, i really enjoyed specially watching him.

    As for the race, it´s Monaco and anything could happen ,the weather, a safety-car, the start, so many things in prospect.

  27. Ginger says:

    Love the new mobile theme on my Blackberry, good work.

    I also hope for a little rain for the race. Last year Rubens in 3rd on the grid jumped Kimi for 2nd by the first corner, hope the same doesn’t happen tomorrow. I wonder if Alonso is hoping for a Webber win? Keeps the points away from Seb…..

  28. Jonathan Dye says:

    Hi James,
    What are your views on spare cars in F1 these days? Surely the teams have enough spare parts with them at each race to build a whole car so why not just allow them to have a spare car.
    Would it cost that much? It cost us Alonso in quali today.
    Thanks

    1. Andy C says:

      They do as I think Ferrari used a spare tub to rebuild alonsos car. They no longer are allowed to take spare cars to races for cost reasons (although they take them in spares it seems :-)

      think that’s right isn’t it James ?

  29. CL says:

    James,
    How do you feel about Alonso having to miss qualfying because of the crash? Does the lack of a spare car really save the teams any money? If anything, that rule hurts the show as we had 1 less competitive car shooting it out for pole to day.

  30. Mark V says:

    Nice to see two of the lesser hyped drivers truly show their stuff. Afer lasts week’s race where Vettel tried to bully his way past Webber at the first corner, I hope his frusration doesn’t lead him to get too aggressive and take Webber or Kubica out during tomorrow’s start.

    That kid is going to win championships, but for his own sake I hope his immaturity doesn’t lead him to causing accidents by getting too impatient to make it happen immediately.

    Webber’s a great guy and I’d like to see him win the championship before he retires but if the rumors of him retiring after this year are true, then it would be very cool to see Kimi in his seat next year.

  31. Stuart Fenton says:

    The best part wasn’t Marky getting the big P, but seeing Vettel’s face in the press conference. He gets such a cob on if he gets beaten. Especially if its mark. The look on his face, he hates it. Like a child. Its happenned Seb, moaning won’t change it, get on with it. He’s a great driver when he’s out front, other than that, hmmmmm

    1. moose says:

      When did he moan about it? Mark’s face and tone in voice was even more depressive than Vettel’s and he got the pole.

      You are only seeing what you want to see.

      If Vettel didn’t have all those technical issues which Mark never had, he would have double the points Mark has.

    2. Carl says:

      So when Vettel beats Mark, Mark is very happy?

      No, he looks down and beaten too, just like all the other driver’s of other teams if their team mate beats them. It is a natural reaction by a human.

      Non-issue only brought up for the sake of what?

    3. C Pitter says:

      I agree. Don’t think he is very nice actually. The way he spitefully tried to push Hamilton into the engineers in the pitlane in China was appalling and shows his true character.

      As for Alonso having a rare accident, I seem to remember him crashing last year in Monaco in the Renault. F1 pundritry seems to be more about perception and hype, than reality.

    4. Fausto Cunha says:

      Nobody likes being beaten by the teammate, someothers just hide the frustration much better.

      1. Stuart Fenton says:

        Nobody gets a moody face more than vettel if he isn’t sitting on that middle chair in the press conference. My problem with it? One, his anger at not being 1 is more obvious than any other driver. It simply isn’t professional! I want hand shakes and pat on the backs and bouquets

  32. Darren says:

    Lotus doing well. i would be a bit worried if i were Williams , force India and the like for next season,

  33. Jota says:

    Hello all!

    I disagree with your opinion that it will be harder for Alonso to go up the order this year that it was for Schumi in 2006.

    I think it could be even easier!
    Why?
    Because the limitations in strategy affects all, but Alonso “is more free” to adapt.
    Let’s say that Alonso pits to change his tyres on the very first lap.
    Then, for about 5 laps he will enjoy free track, and if the Lotus, Virgin and HRT facilitate his move (don’t see why not), then by lap 9 or 10 he will be on the back of the Saubers and Toro Rossos, that I’m pretty sure will also not difficult Alonso’s life (Ferrari oblige).
    So, by lap 15, Fernando could already be racing in 12 or 13 position, only with his stop already done!
    And if by then theres a pace car (Nelsinho, please came back :-)), better yet.

    So, with a little help from lady luck, Alonso could finish well inside the first five.

    Do you think I’m crazy??

    1. James Allen says:

      No, but your thoughts are at odds with the team strategists and engineers I’ve spoken to. It’s all about track position and he’s got no way of gaining it other than passing cars

      1. smellyden says:

        Which at Monaco is close to impossible

  34. InnocentBystander says:

    Go Webber! It seems to me Mark has gotten his quali mojo back in the last few races. He was always seen as a one lap specialist until Vettel came along. Now he’s 3 all with Vettel, this week beating him by a very solid margin. Fingers crossed no problems in the race for him so he can convert it to a win!

    Awesome quali from Kubica! Congratulations. If it was anyone else beating him to pole I’d be spewing for Bob. I was cheering for him until Webber popped up top from out of nowhere.

  35. Madhu says:

    Off topic but i will nevertheless ask. Is vettel’s career panning out just like Kimi’s? I see a lot of similarities, your thoughts?

    1. James Allen says:

      No, he’s quite different. How he overcomes Webber will be very interesting this season

      1. LoudHoward says:

        IF he overcomes Webber you mean :)

        As for qualifying, epic stuff from the front row, Liuzzi and Heikki.

        The directing was rubbish though, I swear we saw about 7 times more Alonso than we did the guy who got pole. Was horrible.

      2. Hutch says:

        I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who was wondering why were looking at Alonso’s face so much, instead of the Red Bulls.

      3. smellyden says:

        James, when you interviewed him after Quali, he seemed really angry or disgruntled about something, did you get that vibe from him? I dont think he is to happy with Webbo performance.

      4. James Allen says:

        He stayed that way the rest of the afternoon. He’s a competitive animal

      5. paddy says:

        Is Hamiltons career turning out like Kimi’s is more the question. Vettel’s very young this will make him stronger and faster. Vettel v Webber is shaping up to be awesome. I cant wait for the race in the morning.

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