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Alonso: It's a big shame


Fernando Alonso has bemoaned his qualifying woes at Monaco as he felt his McLaren was good enough to start P6 on the grid.
Team-mate Jenson Button was eighth fastest in FP3 in the morning while double World Champion Alonso was down in 14th with the MP4-30 showing plenty of pace in clear air.
However, they failed to carry that form over to qualifying as the Spaniard suffered an electrical problem during Q1 and only managed the 15th fastest time.
"The problem I think is something electrical because the car completely switched off in the middle of the straight," Alonso said. "I had no power, no electricity, no light on the steering wheel, so something electrical..."
He added: "It's a big shame because we knew this qualifying was very important, because if we start from 15th tomorrow there are basically a train of cars and you are just following them. We have to improve for the next one.
"I think this morning the only lap I did without traffic I was third. Third was not realistic but sixth or seventh would have been possible today.
"We have to improve in every area, and the reliability too. We knew we are a bit fragile at the moment."
Alonso, though, will start at least P13 as Romain Grosjean has received a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change on his Lotus while Carlos Sainz will start from the pit lane after failing to stop at the weighbridge during qualifying.
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Another season ahead, will it be better than the last? I'm certainly hoping there will be less politics involved but that's just wishful thinking! Perhaps I will post less on such issues moving forwa

Bernie's really damaging the sport. He's so far behind the times it's impossible to listen to anything he has to say. Just looking at the way other sports leagues have grown over the past 20 years com

I disagree Massa only had one line to of the pits Hulkenburg saw him and could have avoided the contact and still passed Massa as he was on cold tyres. Good race though

Rosberg: It didn't come my way


Nico Rosberg concedes he lost his rhythm in qualifying for the Monaco GP, adding that it just "didn't work out."
The German had been vying for his third successive Monaco pole position but instead found himself behind team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
The World Champion set the pace on the first run in Q3 while Rosberg lined-up second. Hamilton then lowered the benchmark time on his second.
Rosberg, pushing hard to overhaul his team-mate and maintain his pole position run, locked up at Ste Devote and aborted his lap.
Finishing qualifying 0.342s slower than his team-mate, he will line up second on the grid for Sunday's 78-lap Monaco GP.
"Probably the opposite to Lewis as I had a good rhythm starting off in qualifying which I didn't have all weekend," Rosberg said. "And then I just lost touch towards the end.
"Of course, you know, going for it because I had to because you know Lewis is going to be quick."
"But," he added, "it didn't work out. That's it."
Asked if it had been a concern when Hamilton had been ahead of him after their first runs in Q3, something Rosberg achieved last year, the German said: "I didn't really see it as too much of a problem.
"It was very close and I was confident I could improve on my lap time.
"I changed the balance as in the first run I had too much understeer so I went up on the front flap.
"I was confident it would come my way but it didn't."
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Massa: We can still get points


Williams are set for a difficult Monaco Grand Prix with Felipe Massa starting P14 and team-mate Valtteri Bottas down in 17th.
The Grove are currently third in the Constructors' Championship, but they have been off the pace all weekend around the streets of Monte Carlo and their poor form was confirmed in qualifying.
For the first time this season Williams failed to make it into Q3 as Bottas crashed out in Q1 while Massa was only 14th fastest in Q2.
"It was clearly a tough qualifying session for us and we are out of our usual position," head of vehicle performance Rob Smedley said.
"We have been pouring through the data all week to try and find ways to improve our pace here, and whilst we have made some in-roads, qualifying has just come too soon for us to recover everything."
Massa insisted that they didn't have any problems and are paying for the fact that the track doesn't suit their car.
"There were no major issues during qualifying that caused us to be out of position; Monaco just isn’t a circuit that suits the characteristics of our car," the Brazilian said.
"We struggled throughout the day and found it hard to set the lap times we wanted. Tomorrow won’t be easy, but anything is possible due to the nature of the track. It’s not a great result as we have become used to qualifying higher, but I’m confident we can still get points and that must be our focus."
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Mercedes F1 team says three teams have enquired about customer cars


Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff claims to have been approached by three other current Formula 1 teams with regard to becoming a customer.
The subject of customer car teams has been on the agenda since it dominated a Strategy Group meeting earlier this month, with F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone insisting the plan could be pushed through.
To date, Sauber, Lotus, and now Force India, have made clear they have no intention of taking on such a status, while Williams has also long said it would not go down that route.
Williams is now regarded as a leading team, alongside Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull, with Toro Rosso naturally affiliated to the latter.
That leaves just four teams, and two - Force India and Lotus - are already 'customers' in that they have a power-unit supply contract with Mercedes.
Wolff said: "We need to have a contingency plan in place, and customer cars, or franchises, we have seen it in other sports, in NASCAR, and it functions pretty well.
"So if the contingency is about supplying our cars to customer teams, hopefully current teams, then yes we will very much be looking into it.
"Of course, it's about refining it, and what the sporting and technical regulations will be around it, but I wouldn't rule it out."
Put to Wolff the midfield teams had all ruled out the idea, he revealed: "It's interesting they say that because three of them came to see me yesterday [Friday] about whether we could supply customer cars. So it's not true.
"It is a good model. As a contingency plan it works, and if we can find a business case around it, we shouldn't rule it out."
Force India team boss Vijay Mallya, however, has now joined Sauber counterpart Monisha Kaltenborn and Lotus CEO Matthew Carter in ruling out becoming a customer marque.
"We've always been a constructor and we want to remain a constructor; we don't agree with the customer car concept," Mallya told AUTOSPORT.
"All I can say is the Strategy Group is dominated by the big teams who write the rules and they all protect their own interests and probably couldn't care less about sport.
"This is the only sport I know of where the participants are writing the rules, when normally it's the regulator and the promoter.
"But this is a funny case unique to this sport where the big four are writing the rules, and determining not only the technical regulations, but also financial distribution."
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Monaco GP: Formula 1 drivers says Pirelli's tyres far too hard


Pirelli's Monaco Grand Prix compounds are too hard and the super-soft feels like a medium, according to several Formula 1 drivers.
Throughout the weekend, drivers have complained about a lack of grip on both the softs and super-softs as they struggled to get heat into the rubber amid cool temperatures in Monte Carlo.
"These tyres, they take quite a long time to bring in," said polesitter Lewis Hamilton. "We had to push quite a lot to get the tyres to start working.
"They are very hard considering they are the soft and super-soft. They are incredibly hard.
"When we looked at wear life yesterday, there are a lot of laps you can do.
"This afternoon, it was a bit cooler and I had to do a warm-up lap, after the out-lap, and then the fast lap.
"Even on the fast lap, they were so slow. And I had to do that with both tyres."
The super-soft is making its first appearance of the season this weekend, with Pirelli saying this year's rubber possesses a different composition that provides greater resistance to graining and blistering.
Force India driver Sergio Perez suggested Pirelli had been too conservative with the composition of the super-soft tyre.
"This super-soft tyre that Pirelli has brought is not a super-soft tyre anymore," said the Mexican.
"It's a medium compound. It's very low grip, it takes a while to warm up, and we won't see an issue with degradation on the super-soft."
Williams's Valtteri Bottas argued that the soft is so durable teams could do a whole race distance on the compound.
"With the soft tyre you could do the whole race," he said. "[On the super-soft], about half the race we could possibly do with our car. It's going to be a one-stop race for sure.
"[The soft] is way too hard, even the super-soft is on the limit. I'm sure if you ask any driver, they will say the tyres are too hard for this circuit."
Bottas's team-mate Felipe Massa agreed: "For this track, yes the super-soft is too hard. Maybe it will work better at the next track we use it."
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Engine mode cost Daniel Ricciardo shot at third on Monaco GP grid


Daniel Ricciardo believes third on the Formula 1 grid for the Monaco Grand Prix was there for the taking but for a miscommunication on his final qualifying lap.
Ricciardo still matched his best grid slot of the year with fourth, one place ahead of Red Bull team-mate Daniil Kvyat.
The Australian, however, was left to rue a late call with regard to some switch changes going into his final run that cost him power, and ultimately a shot at third, finishing 0.192s behind Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel.
"People thought I was in a different engine mode, which I wasn't, so when they told me to make the standard change it's put us out of the correct one," said Ricciardo.
"Starting the lap I could feel the power was down, so I realised we were in the wrong one. I turned it back, but it was too late.
"So before Turn 1 I was two tenths down, and that was that.
"It was all a bit late. Normally I was getting the call to make whatever switches I needed to make around Turn 16, and that was fine. It was giving me enough time.
"But this call came in the second to last corner, just after Rascasse, so I quickly got on the switches, but coming out of the last corner I could feel the power wasn't right.
"We could have been third, which is the biggest frustration because we know it could have been better.
"To be fair to the engineers it's the first time it's happened, which is probably just due to the heat of Monaco, so to speak. It got the better of them."
Despite the apparent step forward for Red Bull, Ricciardo feels the improvement was primarily "track specific".
"We're able to run max downforce, to bolt everything on we can, and work on using the car where it can work rather than trying to sacrifice a bit of balance for power," he said.
"So most of it is the nature of the track, but I've always enjoyed driving around here as well."
Kvyat, after recent criticism of his performances by Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko, matched his best qualifying performance of the season with fifth.
"It was one of those few times this year I felt really confident in the car, so that was very important," said the Russian.
"But there were also lots of positive things from the general car behaviour, and now we're in a situation where we have to grow and take a few steps forward."
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Monaco GP F1 traffic "the worst it has ever been" - Jenson Button


Jenson Button has slated the traffic during Formula 1 sessions throughout this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix as "the worst it has ever been".
Button and fellow McLaren driver Fernando Alonso are to take their complaints to FIA race director Charlie Whiting at the next drivers' briefing ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix.
Both men believe the stewards should have clamped down on what they feel to be blatant acts of blocking.
Assessing the events in practice and in qualifying, Button said: "It feels the worst it has been.
"But then we're going to do it unless there is a penalty, and that's the problem.
"I'm sure at the next race [at the drivers' briefing] it won't only be us that complain about it.
"It has been very bad, and some of it has been because the tyres take so long to warm up.
"People are doing extra laps, more out laps, and it just gets very confusing."
Alonso, in particular, was held up badly at one point in Q1 by Lotus's Romain Grosjean towards the end of a flying lap, only for the stewards to ignore it.
Asked whether the stewards had been lenient with traffic issues this weekend, Alonso said: "I think so, yes.
"The traffic we've had this weekend has been quite bad.
"It seems a little strange there have been no more investigations going on.
"In free practice it was ridiculous. In FP3 there were no rules.
"People were going out of the pit lane, doing a very slow outlap, while you were on a fast lap, and they tried to close the door at every single braking point."
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McLaren drivers Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button complained on Saturday that stewards had been too lenient towards drivers who blocked others in practice and qualifying at the Monaco Grand Prix.
Overtaking is extremely difficult in the season’s showcase event and on-track traffic is always a problem.
However, drivers have also been having problems heating up the Pirelli tyres, taking more laps than usual to get up to speed.
“The traffic we had here this weekend was quite bad,” said Alonso, who will start 13th and is chasing the team’s first points of the season.
“It seems a little bit strange that there are not more investigations going on and in free practice it was just ridiculous,” added the Spaniard.
“In FP3 (the third and final practice before qualifying) there were no rules out there, people going out of the pit lane on a very slow out-lap, you were on the fastest lap and they tried to close the door in every single braking point.”
Button, who will start 10th, agreed that there had been a problem but suggested that was inevitable with the tyre situation.
“It feels the worst it’s been but we’re going to do it unless there’s a penalty. That’s the problem,” he told reporters.
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Williams reported that the tight and twisty Monaco street circuit just did not suit their Formula 1 car’s characteristics after Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas endured a difficult Saturday qualifying.
Finnish driver Bottas failed to get through the first phase and ended up in 17th place while Brazilian Massa was only 14th fastest for a Mercedes-powered team currently in third place overall.
Both will move up a place, however, after Spaniard Carlos Sainz’s Toro Rosso was demoted from eighth to the pitlane for missing a weight inspection.
“We have been poring through the data all week to try and find ways to improve our pace here, and whilst we have made some in-roads, qualifying has just come too soon for us to recover everything,” said head of performance engineering Rob Smedley.
Massa said there had been no major issues during qualifying on a track where traffic can make it hard to get in a clean lap or overtake.
“Monaco just isn’t a circuit that suits the characteristics of our car,” he explained. “We struggled throughout the day and found it hard to set the lap times we wanted.”
Bottas, who might normally expect to be challenging for the podium but will now have a battle to score points on Sunday, said he was slowed by traffic and could not keep heat in the tyres.
“On my timed lap I just lacked overall grip throughout the lap. We knew this track was not going to suit our car and we’ve been struggling to get the tyres to work throughout the weekend,” he explained.
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Nico Rosberg made it a hat-trick of wins at the Monaco Grand Prix, as he capitalised on a bad call by the Mercedes pit wall to bring in race leader Lewis Hamilton, for fresh supersoft tyres, after Max Verstappen instigated a red flag incident when he crashed heavily at Sainte Devote.
The first hour and a half of the Monaco Grand Prix was sedate and placid affair with Hamilton apparently cruising to victory, over a dozen seconds ahead Rosberg who in turn was stalked by the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel.
At that point Verstappen, who was on fresh rubber and circulating faster than anyone on track, was attacking the Lotus of Romain Grosjean. The young Toro Rosso rookie literally under the Lotus’ rear wing for a number of laps. On lap 64, of 78, going into Sainte Devote (Turn 1) Grosjean braked and Verstappen did not. The Toro Rosso launched and dug itself into the barrier. Verstappen climbed out unhurt, Grosjean continued and the safety car was deployed.
The real drama ensued thereafter when Mercedes called in Hamilton – at that point way ahead of his rivals – for a change to supersofts, but when the world champion emerged onto the track he was behind Rosberg and side-by-side with Vettel, although the Ferrari was a few centimetres ahead.
From a comfortable first place, Hamilton was suddenly down in third, and with less than ten laps to attack on a circuit where overtaking does not happen – that was that – game over and victory for Rosberg. His third in a row in his hometown, his first ever consecutive F1 victory and ten points shaved off Hamilton’s lead at the top of the standings.
Rosberg said afterwards, “I know it was just a lot of luck today. Lewis drove brilliantly and would have deserved the win for sure but that’s the way it is in racing. It’s difficult in the car to judge what decisions are being made.”
“It was hard to do the restart with the hard tyres which were very cold,” he added. “I know I got lucky , I will just enjoy the moment now. Lewis was a little bit stronger this weekend so I have to work hard.”
Hamilton’s pain was palpable, first on the radio when he asked not to be spoken to when what had happened dawned on him, then stopping just before the tunnel to ponder the loss and driving slowly back to the parc ferme, finally mounting the podium to ‘not celebrate’ his third place.
He said afterwards, “It was not the easiest of races. The team has done amazing all year long, we win and we lose together. I’m sure we will sit down afterwards and try to think of ways we can improve.”
And added that he would “come back and win the next one.”
Immediately after the race Mercedes head of motorsport Toto Wolff made no effort to hide the fact that his team had made a major gaffe, “We thought the gap was different to what it was. A complete misjudgement, I am so sorry. We screwed it up for him.”
For Vettel and Ferrari to split the Silver Arrows pair was a major achievement and certainly not on the cards when the race started. But credit to the Reds for constant and relentless pressure which in the end rewarded them unexpectedly.
Vettel reflected, “We were there in the moment when it mattered and able to pip Lewis when he came out of the pits. Second is a great finish for the team. The thing is these tyres are not made for cooling down and going again.”
“Me and Nico saved the tyres earlier because we maybe knew we couldn’t attack Lewis too much which helped when we restarted but it was incredibly difficult. After a few laps they warm up but at first it was hard,” added the quadruple world champion.
MIKA: I'd love to be in Monaco and watch the race but on TV it is rather boring. I was going to turn off when I seen the fiasco. Glad Rosberg won but in all fairness, feel a little gutted for Hamilton.. just a little. wink.png
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Lewis Hamilton would have the right to feel robbed of a comfortable win at the 2015 Monaco Grand Prix thanks to an inexplicable strategy call in the last dozen laps of the Monaco Grand Prix, prior to which he was cruising to victory. But instead the reigning Formula 1 world champion had to settle for a highly unsatisfactory third place. He spoke at the press conference after the race.
That didn’t work out today….
Lewis Hamilton: Yeah, it was not the easiest of races. But, you know, the team has done amazing all year long and we win and we lose together, so I’m just grateful for the job that I did and congratulations to Nico and Sebastian.
Can you tell us why your car was brought in? You had quite a big gap didn’t you and then the safety car picked you up. Your car was pitted and your team-mate’s wasn’t.
LH: I’m sure we’ll sit down afterwards and try and think of ways we can improve.
How bad is it? How bad do you feel now? You’ve lost the Monaco Grand Prix, it has been taken away from you. What’s going through your mind?
LH: Come back to win the next one.
Obviously we all understand how difficult this must be for you. The crowd clearly sympathised with you, you got a huge cheer when you collected your trophy. Can you just tell us what part, if any, you played in the decision to make that late pitstop and how that unfolded.
LH: To be honest it happened so fast I don’t really remember but it was a good race up until then and, still, we got good points there.
Did you think you had it won, obviously, at that point? Did you come into the pits full of confidence that you were doing the right thing at that time?
LH: As I said, we will probably analyse and try to figure out what we did wrong – but we’ll collectively – together as a team – try to rectify it in the future.
Can you gives us just some idea as to how you’re feeling right now. Obviously we see you’re very low, very down but just express in your own words how you’re feeling. And, secondly, when that Safety Car situation unfolded, did you not at all question whether to come in or not? Bearing in mind, regardless of the situation with the tyres, track position is ultimately king in Monaco.
LH: I can’t really express the way I feel at the moment. So I won’t even attempt to. You rely on the team. I saw a screen, it looked like the team was out and I thought that Nico had pitted. Obviously I couldn’t see the guys behind so I thought the guys behind were pitting. The team said to stay out, I said “these tyres are going to drop in temperature,” and what I was assuming was that these guys would be on Options and I was on the harder tyre. So, they said to pit. Without thinking I came in with full confidence that the others had done the same.
After what happened today, will you have 100 per cent confidence in the team’s strategy decisions in the future?
LH: Yes.
Can you imagine that maybe the strange situation of first having a virtual safety car and then all of a sudden a safety car could have added or contributed to the confusion?
LH: I’ve no idea. I was just driving.
Did you know the gap between you and Nico at that moment?
LH: Before the safety car came out I knew the gap. It didn’t worry me when we got behind the safety car. I didn’t know once we got behind the safety car.
Coming out of the pits side-by-side with Sebastian Vettel after the pit stop who was ahead?
LH: I was behind.
You’ve suffered loads before, I can think of Monaco and Belgium last year, obviously, to name but two. When you’re involved in situations like this, when you walk away at the end of the Grand Prix, do you still think ‘well, I’ve got a ten point lead, I’ve still got the best car in the field?’ Are they the kind of positives that you have to cling to?
LH: Sure, yeah. At the moment I can’t really think of anything else at the moment. Yeah, this is a race that has been very special… close to my heart for many years and so it was very important, it was a great feeling leading the race. I had so much pace as I have for many many years, including last year. I could have easily had that gap last year as well. Today, I didn’t really have to push too much, I could have doubled the lead if I needed it so on the one hand it’s a good thing that I had that pace and I’m grateful for that. You live to fight another day.
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Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel would not have predicted that he would be able to split the dominant Mercedes duo at the Monaco Grand Prix, but he did after a tenacious race on the streets of Monte Carlo where he stalked Nico Rosberg all the way to the flag and was well positioned to capitalise when the Silver Arrows made a huge gaffe which cost Lewis Hamilton the race. Vettel spoke after his drive to second place.
Suddenly you were looking for and fighting for a victory when you had been struggling with Nico for the whole race. You must be pretty satisfied; it was a strong race for you.
Sebastian Vettel: Yeah, obviously a bit of a turnaround in the end, which was a bit of a surprise, but we were there in the moment when it mattered obviously we were able just to pip Lewis when we he came out of the pits. I think it was pretty close but I was pretty confident I was ahead. Yeah, I think we tried all race to put pressure on Nico but I think, first of all, he had the speed to respond and second, when we decided to pit we were probably a little bit too far back and the undercut didn’t really work. Nevertheless, P2 is a great result for the team, thanks for the hard work. It’s good to be always there and I think we were a lot closer in the race than in qualifying so hopefully we can keep up this trend.
And you were saying on the radio ‘look, this is like swimming with weights on my legs and feet’. You were expecting a lot of trouble on the restart with cold tyres?
SV: It was, it was. The thing is these tyres are not made for cooling down and then going again. I think Nico and myself we both kind of saved the tyre; we knew that it was difficult to catch Lewis and difficult to really attack each other. So I think we didn’t get it all out of the tyre before, which helped at the restart but it was incredibly difficult to warm the tyres up and obviously Lewis behind with a fresh set of supersoft was in much better shape. But I think for all of us it was, you know, like being handicapped for two or three laps. After it was starting to be OK, but Nico drove very well after the restart. No chance for me to stay close, so I had to make sure that I keep the guys behind.
A couple of talking points for you really. Obviously you tried the undercut on Nico, it didn’t quite work out. Maybe you could tell us a bit about that. And also, behind the Safety Car you were on the radio saying that, exactly what Nico’s just said, that you were really concerned about how low the tyre temperatures were getting.
SV: First of all, for the undercut, it was a shame. I had to lap a Manor, I think, and I lost about one second, otherwise I think we would have been closer to Nico. Whether it would have been enough, I don’t know. Probably not. Obviously we were trying everything to jump him but they reacted straight away. My approach to the pitbox, as well, was not spot on, so I lost a bit of time there as well. So, not perfect in terms of lining everything up. And then at the end there, it was quite clear on the radio it was… I mean the rules are the rules but it was ridiculous how slow we were going. Trying to let the lapped cars go. In the end they are, I don’t know, racing nowhere when we restart because they’re just 30 seconds down the road but nowhere near the back of the field. So, I don’t know what’s the point. And then obviously we go so slow the tyres cool down a lot. And for Nico, myself, we were on the harder compound. Extremely difficult to get them up to temperature and it’s just… yeah, you need to understand the tyres are not made for that. That’s why its extremely slippery and obviously I was under huge pressure at the restart. I think Nico was a bit more comfortable with the warm-up but for us it took two, three laps just to bring them up again. It was very much on the limit I would say.
This [what happened to Hamilton] has probably happened to you in your past careers as well. Can you remember a time when you had the race won and it all went bad?
SV: Well, I think it’s normal that you have ups and downs. Probably the lowest low was in 2010 in Korea when I was in the lead and the engine blew up. Fernando, at the time, the biggest rival, three races to the end of the championship, won the race. That was pretty bad. We didn’t finish at all. I would have been happy at that time to finish third but I think today the circumstances for Lewis were totally different.
What did you think when you were climbing up to the Casino and you had Lewis side-by-side with you?
SV: Well, it was very close. I had something very similar back in 2008 here also, coming out of the pits with Jarno Trulli at the time. I was pretty confident that I was just ahead – thanks for the design office for the long nose, it helped today. And obviously… you’re quite emotional, I gestured to Lewis straight away to say I was ahead, you go back, but that’s the heat of the moment. I think we both waited for confirmation who ultimately was ahead. I think at the time we probably both thought we were in front.
Your race pace today was good, I think. Do you think that the Barcelona problem has been solved or it was due to the particularities of the track here in Monte Carlo?
SV: Well, I think it’s natural that the gaps are smaller on this track. It’s a shorter track so that’s normal. I think in the race we were a lot closer than yesterday. Obviously there’s a lot of things that we still need to learn and understand. Taking the restart is similar more or less to what caught us out yesterday, so that’s something we need to work on quickly to try and understand, but in the race itself I think for the majority of the race we were on a very good pace. Obviously I knew that it was pointless really to put Nico under pressure too much, because I would just burn my tyres. You don’t know what might be coming at the end, a safety car etc, and at the end there was a safety car. There was a point when I was driving around thinking ‘we can’t be at Monaco without a safety car’ and then I think four or five laps later there was a safety car. Yuh, you obviously have to prepare a bit for the unknown, but I think the pace was good today. I was happy.
Did you discuss with your engineers to go on supersoft for the last few laps when the safety car was out?
SV: Not for the safety car. Obviously depending on the gaps behind to the car behind, we spoke about some things, some options, should the safety car come at various times but at that time it was clear that we stay out.
There is a big difference in the performance of the car between qualifying and race; have you had some problems with tyre temperatures and the performance of the tyres in qualifying? In your opinion, is that due to the particular nature of your car or do you just have to adjust something in your set-up to try to improve in the next races?
SV: Well, first of all, you are making a good point. If I had the answer than I would go down straight away and tell everyone what to do, so obviously it’s something we need to try and understand, whether there is something we can change with the approach we are taking with the set-up or there’s something we need to change with the approach of how the car is made. As I said, obviously there’s a key to understanding it, because some part of the race is decided on Saturday and if we struggle in cooler conditions it can happen once, twice but we need to make sure we get on top of it, so if it keeps happening it’s not an excuse, it’s a mistake and it’s bad for us so we need to work hard and make sure we fix it.
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Nico Rosberg claimed his third consecutive Monaco Grand Prix victory, his second of the season and second on the trot while reducing his deficit to Lewis Hamilton in the world championship standings by ten points. Even he admitted that the triumph was a surprise when he spoke at the post race press conference.
The first time in your career you’ve won two races on the bounce but more importantly three consecutive races here in Monaco. The last man to do that was the great Ayrton Senna. That was quite a race.
Nico Rosberg: Yeah, for sure, very, very happy of course. But I know also that it was just a lot of luck today. Lewis drove brilliantly and he would have also deserved the win for sure. But that’s the way it is in racing and definitely I’m extremely happy and going to make the most of it.
You spent most of your time looking in your rear view mirrors because Sebastian was coming at you and Lewis was down the road. Can you explain to us why your car wasn’t brought in for a pit stop and Lewis’ was under the safety car?
NR: I have no idea, sorry. As always, we’re in the car and it’s very difficult to judge what decisions are being made and things like that. Of course it was extremely difficult to do the restart with those hard tyres and them being very cold but it worked out and I’m ecstatic.
You must love safety cars now and that’s helped you in the world championship and very much game on…
NR: Yeah, but at the same time, you know, I know that I got lucky today. I’ll just enjoy the moment now but I need to work hard because Lewis was a little bit stronger this weekend, so I need to work hard for the next race for sure.
Your third consecutive Monaco Grand Prix victory, a feat equalled before by Prost, Senna and Graham Hill, so you join a very elite group in having done that. I guess you take them how they come – but did you discuss a late pitstop behind the Virtual Safety Car that became then, obviously, a Safety Car? And how do you feel for Lewis now?
NR: For sure that’s the best words to describe it: take it as it comes, y’know? So, just very, very happy to have won the race. On the other side though, of course, Lewis was stronger this weekend. He deserved it for sure and I got lucky in the end there. I don’t even know what happened. But, yeah, ecstatic about that anyways. No, we didn’t discuss pitting in the end. It was quite treacherous out there with those hard tyres because they were really stone cold. They were telling me the temperatures, we’ve never ever had those temperatures before I think in those tyres – but did the best I could and managed to bring them back up and push, so that worked out well in the end.
This [what happened to Hamilton] has probably happened to you in your past careers as well. Can you remember a time when you had the race won and it all went bad?
NR: Not now, immediately, no but for sure it is an awful feeling, definitely, but that’s for sure, yeah.
How does it feel to win two races in a row for the first time in your career?
NR: It’s not something I think about at all. I’m just thinking about today. I told you the emotions from today and that’s it, sorry, so I don’t think about two races in a row or three times here in Monaco. It’s not something that’s at the top of my mind.
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Michael Schumacher’s manager Sabine Kehm says the condition of the Formula 1 legend is constantly improving.
The seven time world champion has not been seen publicly since striking his head on a rock whilst skiing almost 17 months ago.
“We are happy to say (he) still improves and I say this always regarding the severity of the injury he had,” manager Kehm was quoted as saying on Friday.
Kehm was being interviewed for an event to launch a carbon fibre Audemars Piguet watch that Schumacher was involved in designing prior to his skiing accident.
“Of course,” she was quoted by Le Temps, “the fight will take a very, very long time for everybody involved, and we are happy to take this fight” on.
On the weekend of the Monaco Grand Prix it is noteworthy that Schumacher won the fabled race on the streets of Monte Carlo on five occasions – 1994, 1995, 1997, 1999 and 2001 (pictured above) – second only to Ayrton Senna and tied with Graham Hill.
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For now, the tension between Red Bull and Renault remains but contrary to reports from the energy drinks camp that have emerged since the start of the season, the team aim to stay in Formula 1.
When asked about a sale of the team or an alliance with Audi, Horner answered: “Although there is a degree of frustration, we are not thinking of leaving F1.”
The explosive criticism of earlier in 2015 has now subsided, but it was Red Bull wanting to take all the credit on Saturday for a much better qualifying outing in Monaco.
“What we saw was that Red Bull has sorted out our problems with the chassis,” team official Helmut Marko told Speed Week. “This has nothing to do with Renault. This is just the car.”
Indeed, on the twisty streets of the Principality, the engine matters less.
“We are a team,” team boss Christian Horner told Marca, “so we win and lose together, but everyone can see that our big problem at the moment is the engine.”
Renault recently threatened to pull out of F1 together, or leave the premier Red Bull team stranded perhaps by buying the junior outfit Toro Rosso. It triggered rumours Red Bull might have to make its own engine.
“We are not engine specialists,” Horner declared in Monaco. “We are chassis specialists and at the moment we are not interested in that (making an engine).”
So for now, Renault and Red Bull – unified by contract until the end of 2016 – are staying together.
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Wolff: We screwed it up for Lewis


The Mercedes team bosses have held up their hands after Nico Rosberg was gift the Monaco GP victory at Lewis Hamilton's expense.
Hamilton was cruising to his second victory on the streets of Monte Carlo as he had a 24s lead over team-mate Rosberg with 14 laps to go while Sebastian Vettel in the Ferrai was not too far behind in third place.
However, Max Verstappen tagged the back of Romain Grosjean and put his STR in the wall and that changed the outcome of the result as Merc decided to pit Hamilton as a precautionary.
Rosberg and Vettel did not pit for new tyres and they ended up ahead of Hamilton on the track and that's the way the race finished with Hamilton having to settle for third place.
Mercedes motorsport boss Tot Wolff admitted afterwards that they got it wrong.
"Yes we lost Lewis the grand prix. We thought the gap was different than it was. Complete misjudgment," he said.
"We screwed it up for him. All we can do is apologise and apologise and apologise."
He added: "I'm sorry for Lewis that we made the mistake and I'm sorry for Lewis. It should have been a perfect 1-2 today.
"We made a decision and it was the wrong decision. We need to analyse it and to apologise to Lewis"
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Max penalised but blames Grosjean


Despite being hit with a penalty for causing a collision, Max Verstappen has blamed Romain Grosjean for braking too late.
Chasing the Frenchman around the circuit as they tussled over 10th place, the Dutchman slammed into the right rear of Grosjean's Lotus.
The impact sent Verstappen hurtling into the wall at Ste Devote while Grosjean was pitched into a spin. The Safety Car was deployed.
"The lap before I braked on the same spot as when I crashed," said Verstappen.
"But you could see when I braked the car ahead braked early and when you are going that speed and are quite close to each other you can't do anything, you don't expect them to brake early."
The stewards, though, did not agree and have handed the Toro Rosso driver a five-penalty grid penalty for the next race, the Canadian GP.
He was also handed two penalty points on his Super Licence.
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Button 'reasonably happy'


McLaren's points drought is finally over and Jenson Button is happy that they broke their duck "through outright pace" at the Monaco GP.
The renewal of the McLaren-Honda partnership got off to a stuttering start this year, but the MP4-30 has improved over the last few races.
Fernando Alonso predicted points for McLaren in Monte Carlo and that's exactly what they did as Button, who started P10 following penalties for Carlos Sainz and Romain Grosjean, finished eighth.
Alonso also looked good for a top-10 finish, but he was forced to retire due to a mechanical problem.
"It's a very good day. We're not going to pat ourselves on the back too much after P8, but we got the maximum out of the car," he is quoted as saying by
"The pace didn't seem too bad compared to the cars in front, so I'm reasonably happy - it's good to be so far up, and through outright pace too.
"This is one of the better circuits for us; I don't how we'll be in Canada - low speed corners but long straights.
"We'll have to make the car as slippery as possible if we want to score points again."
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Kvyat relieved after best-ever result


Daniil Kvyat has set his sights on a podium spot after a career-best P4 finish at the Monaco Grand Prix.
The Russian scored only five points in the first five races of the season and was generally overshadowed by team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.
However, things clicked for Kvyat in Monte Carlo as he came from fifth on the grid to finish behind Nico Rosberg, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton.
His afternoon got off to a magical start as he got the better of Ricciardo off the line and he held off his team-mate until he was ordered to let the Australian through in the final few laps.
Ricciardo was told to put pressure on Vettel and Hamilton for the final podium place, but he couldn't pull it off and was then ordered to hand fourth place back to his team-mate.
"It was a strategy gamble," Kvyat, whose best finish in F1 was P9 before Sunday, told reporters. "He was meant to overtake the people in front, the Mercedes and Ferrari, but it didn’t happen.
"So then we stick to the fair plan because they tried the strategy with him, not with me."
He added: "It was a very positive day," he said. "It was my highest, by far, career finish in F1.
"So to be fair massive relief. Next step, you know where it is. I’m feeling actually quite happy at the moment."
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The Monaco Grand Prix ended positively for the Sauber F1 Team after a rather difficult weekend. Marcus Ericsson was 13th, while Felipe Nasr managed to finish the race in P9, bringing the team two world championship points. In total the Sauber F1 Team has 21 points, and is fifth in the constructors’ championship.

Marcus Ericsson: “Finishing 13th is disappointing, but starting from 17th we knew that it was going to be a difficult race. We need to analyse the data to get a better understanding. Then we can learn from it and do better next time. In general the balance of the car felt good, and I think at some points during the race the pace was quite strong.”

Felipe Nasr: “It was a great race, and I am happy to have scored points again. It is an amazing feeling being rewarded after such a difficult weekend. It was an exhausting race, as I did my best to extract the most out of the car. The team did a very good job by choosing the correct strategy and calling me in for the pit stops at the right times. The points are for everyone in the team.”

Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal: “An encouraging result, especially when you take into account how the weekend had gone up to the race. Felipe drove a good race. In Monaco you need to drive intelligently and be patient while waiting for chances. This is what he has done. Marcus did the same, unfortunately was not rewarded with points, but he also put in a solid performance. The whole team did a very good job – here at the track and also at the factory in Hinwil.”

Giampaolo Dall’Ara, Head of Track Engineering: “Earning two points here in Monaco is undoubtedly a good achievement, especially when considering our practice results. Felipe achieved the best out of his 14th starting position, which was also thanks to a few retirements. He was able to keep up well from the start on, so we adapted our strategy to our direct competitors. During the safety car period we called him in for his second pit stop, because we expected not to loose a position. Marcus was stuck in traffic more, so we went for a different strategy with his first pit stop planned early in the race. Felipe and Marcus both did a good job. Driving a troublefree race on this street circuit over 78 laps is not at all easy.”

MIKA: Great to see Sauber gaining points and Felipe Nasr really impresses me.

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Williams report from the Monaco Grand Prix, Round 6 of the 2015 Formula 1 world championship

Race Notes:

  • Valtteri Bottas finished 14th and Felipe Massa 15th in the Monaco Grand Prix.
  • Felipe had contact with another car at Turn 1 causing a front-right tyre puncture.
  • His first lap pitstop for new tyres and a new front wing resulted in him re-joining at the back of the pack and unable to fight for any points.
  • Starting P16, Valtteri struggled for pace and was further compromised by a late safety car.
  • The team heads into the next race in Canada confident that the FW37 will show a marked improvement in performance and will be back challenging for points.

Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering: “It was quite a difficult weekend and we were nowhere near where we should be. At Monaco, if qualifying doesn’t go well you have partly made your bed so we knew getting points was going to be tough. It wasn’t a great race for us but we can’t dwell too much as we are out of position. We have to look at all areas to see what went wrong here with the inherent car performance and set-up. We cannot return here in 2016 and repeat this performance. We now have to focus firmly on the next three races. We have a really good package and some healthy upgrades coming soon so we look forward to coming back stronger in Canada.”

Valtteri Bottas: “This has been a tough weekend that ended in an even tougher race. We tried everything to try and get some points but with the pace we had it wasn’t possible today. We tried the two-stop strategy which never really came to us, with the safety car coming at just the wrong time. There are not too many positives from the weekend but plenty we can learn from as to why we struggled. We know we still have a good car and go to races in the next few weeks where we should be able to demonstrate our true performance.”

Felipe Massa: “Today was a very frustrating day and a race to forget for us. My race was effectively over in Turn 1, with another car pushing me over and I was left with a lot of damage to my tyre and front wing. The pitstop I had to make on Lap 1 put me right at the back of the pack and I spent the rest of the race looking out for blue flags. The car has not had its usual performance all weekend but we know that we are heading to tracks in Canada and Austria that suit our car and we should be back fighting towards the front.”

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Toro Rosso drivers report from the Monaco Grand Prix, Round 6 of the 2015 Formula 1 world championship.

Carlos Sainz: “What an amazing race, I’m very happy with the result! To start from the pit lane in Monaco, on my debut, and to cross the line in P10 feels like a victory! It was a very good race from the team in terms of strategy and tyre management. We worked for it very hard and completed a super long stint on the Soft tyre. This finally paid off and we managed to score a point. I was really enjoying it out there, I was quick and enjoying this unique track, I didn’t want the race to end!”

Max Verstappen: “I got off to a good start and even though I was blocked between Perez and Maldonado, in general I was happy with how the car performed straight away. I took it easy during the first laps and stayed out of trouble. After that we had great pace, I managed to pass Maldonado early on in the race and we then closed the gap to Perez. I was feeling very good in the car! Unfortunately, we had a slow first pit-stop, so we lost some positions and had to fight my way forward. I pitted again when I got stuck behind Bottas and on the Super Soft tyres we had great pace again. I was really happy with the car in the race. I was even catching up with Vettel and Rosberg, even though I decided to stay behind because it made it easier to get past other people. Then I got very close to Grosjean while fighting for the final points position and I ended up in the barriers. It was quite a big crash, but I’m feeling fine.”

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Roberto Merhi ended his debut Monaco Grand Prix in 16th position today, achieving the best result of his rookie season so far. His team-mate Will Stevens made it another two-car finish for the Manor Marussia F1 Team, bringing his car home in 17th position having experienced a more frustrating Monaco debut after sustaining front wing damage early in the race.
Roberto Merhi: “I’m really happy with my result today. The pace was good and it was a great feeling to be racing in my first Monaco Grand Prix. I’m pleased for the team to get another two-car finish and we have plenty of data again to understand how we can keep improving the car for the next few races. The past few races have been tough but it feels like everything is coming together now. Canada will be a new and different experience again but it feels like we are making good progress now.”
Will Stevens: “It’s nice to take the chequered flag at my first Monaco Grand Prix and it’s another good result for the team, getting both cars to the finish once again. It wasn’t a straightforward race though; quite tough in fact. I picked up some front wing damage on my first lap and the combination of struggling for downforce whilst being on the prime tyre really hurt our race, and of course put me behind Roberto. So quite a bit of frustration along the way but we continue to be encouraged by our reliability and some improvement in pace here this weekend.”
John Booth, Team Principal: “Roberto drove a strong race today and was clearly relishing his debut at this historic circuit. He had good pace and has started to find a better groove after struggling rather more at the last race in Spain. For Will things were a little more frustrating as it seems that damage to his front wing was more severe than was apparent, so it was a long race for him. Nonetheless, we are pleased to get both cars home for the fourth race in succession and to see we have improved the car a little here versus the teams directly ahead. It hasn’t been an easy week for the team as this event carries so much significance for us, but we have achieved our target of a strong race and a two-car finish. Although it is a very different result to the one we left Monaco with 12 months ago, in the context of this year it is a good performance.”
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Sahara Force India scored six points today as Sergio Perez raced to seventh place – securing his first points finish on the streets of Monaco. Teammate Nico Hulkenberg recovered to P11 after being pushed into the wall by Fernando Alonso on lap one of the race.

Sergio: “I’m very happy right now. As a team we’ve done a fantastic job all weekend and seventh place is the result of all this hard work. For me it was a normal race – very straightforward and quiet, which is strange for Monaco. I was racing on my own for most of the race because the cars ahead were able to pull a gap on me and I had space to the cars behind. It was difficult to keep concentration for 78 laps, but after the safety car I was on fresh supersoft tyres and it was really good fun. I was able to attack Kimi [Raikkonen], but there wasn’t an opportunity to get the position. It’s a very important result for the whole team and gives us six points for the championship. It means I’ve scored points in half the races this season, which shows we’ve done a good job of maximising our opportunities.”

Nico: “My race was obviously very difficult right from the start: Fernando [Alonso] more or less pushed me into the wall on the first lap and from that moment I basically had to play catch up. I knew he was there so I left him a bit more space and turned in later, but he must have locked up as he crashed into me and sent me straight into the wall. The only damage was to the front wing, but getting back to the pits and changing the wing cost me a lot of time. My race was already compromised then – it is not easy to race from so far back because you have to let the leaders through and you’re on the back foot the whole time. In terms of pace I was doing quite well, especially when in clean air, but obviously getting lapped costs you a lot of time. It is a shame as I feel that without the incident I would have been well into the points today. I still take encouragement from our pace and hopefully we can maximise the next weekend in Canada and get some more points.”

Vijay Mallya, Team Principal & Managing Director: “Monaco always gives us an opportunity to shine and seventh place for Sergio is a fantastic result for the team. We did most of the hard work yesterday in qualifying and Sergio delivered a faultless performance this afternoon. He should be very proud of scoring his first points in Monaco. I feel very disappointed for Nico who was unlucky to be hit by Fernando. He had similar pace to Sergio and would surely have scored good points as well. With six points we have moved up to sixth in the championship. The team is doing a tremendous job and the result today helps keep the pressure on the teams around us.”

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Renault-powered Infiniti Red Bull Racing achieved its best result of the season in today’s Monaco Grand Prix. Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo raced to fourth and fifth positions round the Principality’s hallowed streets, even coming close a podium in the final laps.

Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz put a third Renault-powered car in the points with tenth, thereby securing Renault its most successful race result of the season so far. Team-mate Max Verstappen also starred in his Monaco debut, but retired following an incident with Romain Grosjean while fighting for tenth.

Key race points:

  • Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo started from fourth with Daniil Kvyat fifth. The Russian got the jump on Ricciardo at the start and stayed close to the top three until the late pit stops. After the safety car was deployed on lap 65, Ricciardo reclaimed two positions, but ceded fourth place to Kvyat on the final lap.
  • Ricciardo held fifth until the first pit stop, but was undercut by Kimi Raikkonen to fall to sixth. A second stop under the safety car gave him improved grip and he took back the place from Raikkonen, and swiftly passed Kvyat. Ricciardo moved to within one second of a podium position two laps before the end but dropped to fifth behind Kvyat on the final lap.
  • Carlos Sainz finished in the points after starting from the pitlane following a post-qualifying penalty. On a track where overtaking is almost impossible, the Spaniard made it back into the top ten with bold moves and a clever early pit stop.
  • Max Verstappen had a dramatic Monaco debut. Second in Thursday practice, the young Dutchman qualified in ninth for his first race in the Principality. He graduated to eighth in the first ten laps, but a long first stop dropped him down the order. While fighting to regain a place in the points,
  • Verstappen and Grosjean had a coming together through Sainte Devote, which put an end to the Scuderia Toro Rosso driver’s race.

Rémi Taffin, Director of Operations: “We arrived in Monaco focused on one thing; delivering consistent and reliable performance. We leave knowing we achieved this aim. It’s a step forward and follows our expected development curve. With another box ticked, we need to keep to this plan in the coming races. We know it will be hard, there’s no doubt about it, but this result confirms we are on track and going in the right direction. We will not give up until we are back to where we need to be.”

Cyril Abiteboul, Managing Director: “The result today – fourth and fifth, very close to the podium – demonstrates the resilience of everyone at Viry. We started the season on the back foot and it has been an enormous task to keep motivated under fire. Every person has contributed to regaining our reliability, and performance is getting better each race. Now we need to keep fighting, and looking forward. We know we can do this, so we will keep our heads down and chipping away until we are where we want.”

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