2022 Monaco Grand Prix – Saturday
THE ROAD TO POLE
- It was a fifth pole position from seven races for Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc, who used the P Zero Red soft tyre from start to finish of qualifying, just like the rest of the field.
- Conditions were dry and warm throughout the hour-long session, which historically has a vital influence on the race outcome in Monaco, with qualifying getting underway in temperatures of 30 degrees ambient and 45 degrees on track.
- Qualifying ended 30 seconds early following a pile-up at Portier – meaning that the final Q3 runs couldn't be completed – with a brief red flag in Q1 providing the only other interruption. The drivers involved in the Q3 collision were Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, who nonetheless start from second and third on the grid respectively tomorrow.
- The Pirelli Pole Position Award was presented by Greg Maffei, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Liberty Media Corporation: Formula 1’s owners.
The 78-lap Monaco Grand Prix has often been compared to a spin of the roulette wheel at the Principality’s famous casino – and tomorrow’s race could be more mixed up than most, as there is a risk of rain predicted.
The only certainty is that this should be a one-stopper, under normal circumstances. However, wear is slightly higher than expected, although degradation is manageable. As a result, the hard becomes a viable race tyre: giving teams plenty of options both when it comes to the timing of the stops and which compounds to use.
There’s a high safety car probability in Monaco with the walls being so close (although the marshals are experts at removing stranded cars quickly) so teams aim to capitalise on those moments for a ‘cheap’ pit stop. The problem is that these moments are by nature unpredictable...
The fastest way in theory would be to start on the P Zero Red soft and then finish on the P Zero White hard but starting on P Zero Yellow medium and then finishing on the hard is very close to that too – with the bonus of offering maximum flexibility, given the wear rate anticipated.
If it rains though, that’s another story entirely – with the potential to do the entire race on just one set of wet or intermediate tyres…
“From our point of view, it was a straightforward qualifying, with the soft tyre used from start to finish and no significant interruptions despite the red flags at the beginning and end of the sessions. The track continued to evolve, so finding a gap in the traffic at the right time was as always the key today. Although there was a bit more cloud cover than we saw earlier, temperatures were still quite high. Now the focus switches to the race, with a chance of rain forecast and maybe cooler temperatures. Whatever happens, a variety of strategies is possible, with all three of the compounds having already showed that they have an important role to play. The soft was an essential ingredient to qualifying, but with the wear that’s been noted, the medium and hard tyres are likely to be the focus of the race tomorrow.”