Hamilton, Russell, Wolff and Shovlin comment on Monaco GP Quali

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Lewis Hamilton, George Russell, Toto Wolff and Andrew Shovlin give their comments on the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix Qualifying.

Action-packed qualifying in Monaco, with George and Lewis finishing P5 and P7.
  • George Russell qualified P5 for tomorrow’s Grand Prix in a tight field, just 0.025s from P3.
  • For the second week in a row, he was pipped to the next grid position by one millisecond.
  • George was running the sole example of a development front wing that was available to the team this weekend, two races ahead of its planned introduction thanks to a huge effort from the factory.
  • It was agreed with and between the drivers for George to run the front wing this weekend.
  • Lewis qualified P7, just eight hundredths of a second behind George, with the two Mercedes split by Max Verstappen in the standings.
  • Both drivers were able to run two new sets of Soft tyres in Q3, having progressed strongly through the preceding stages of the session.

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George Russell

That was a strong result today. It’s just two hundredths of a second to P3, so of course it’s frustrating when the gaps are so close, but the main thing is that we are making progress. The team has worked flat out to bring new parts here sooner than expected, and that’s massively appreciated because the car was feeling great. The car was dancing a lot in the first sector and my lap felt very strong – afterwards, you can always convince yourself there was bit more in there, but it’s just such an amazing adrenaline rush to drive a lap on this circuit. Overall, I am happy because we could have been P3 today, but most importantly we are making progress and hopefully this can be a bit of a turning point given that our car has never been super strong here. The race has been pretty chaotic in the last couple of years and I’m not sure what the weather will be like tomorrow, I guess a bit of rain would be welcome to spice things up!

Lewis Hamilton

The car has felt great this weekend from the get-go and we were competitive through Friday and this morning in practice. I’ve been pushing the limits everywhere and the qualifying laps felt good. But each time I go into qualifying, I struggle to keep making progress with the car and it feels like I lose performance relative to the cars around me. There was a bit of a difference with our cars in the high-speed corners, as George is running the new wing this weekend, but it is great to see the team pushing so hard to bring upgrades to the last race and this one, too. We have been much closer to the front here, and the car is feeling much better than it has in Monaco in previous years; we just have to keep on pushing and getting closer to the front through the year.

Toto Wolff

When you look the final positions on the time sheets, P5 and P7 probably looks like a bit more of the same, but in fact the pace was good, and we were just a few milliseconds away from P2 or P3 with George. Lewis has put together a very strong weekend, but it wasn’t to be on that final run. The sport is so close right now, probably more than it has ever been, and it’s a fight for tiny margins in every area. As always, it was a challenge to find the sweet spot of the tyres, but we hit all our targets for those final laps and probably that’s the pace of the car right now. Ultimately, this has always been a tough track for us, and we’ve enjoyed a pretty competitive weekend so far. I also want to pay tribute to the work of the team back at the factory to produce our updates for this race. They did a mega job to get them all ready and working properly, and it’s great to see everybody pushing flat out like we are. Hopefully now we can build from here.

Andrew Shovlin

The team has put together a solid weekend so far and both drivers had good pace today. It’s difficult to not be frustrated with 5th and 7th, especially when you look at how small some of the gaps are and how easily we might have found enough pace for both to be further up the grid today. It’s always a tricky circuit and it wasn’t straightforward getting the new tyres to the right temperature for the first lap. We can at least reassure ourselves that the work we are doing to improve our speed seems to be effective. George was running a new front wing here and that looks like a step in the right direction. We’ll have that on both cars for the next race in Montreal. The race will be interesting tomorrow: the tyres were quite fragile on Friday but hopefully we’ve improved the car to look after them. It’s difficult with our starting positions but the race here is rarely dull, and incidents often throw up a few surprises. We’ll do our best to finish higher than we start!

Source: Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team

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