Pastor Maldonado has set his sights on breaking his F1 points duck in the Monaco Grand Prix today after progressing to the top-ten shootout for the second race in succession and again out-qualifying his veteran team-mate, Rubens Barrichello.
The GP2 graduate and F1 rookie made it through to the final session by about three tenths of a second and he will now line up in eighth place on the grid in his Williams, gaining an additional spot after Lewis Hamilton was stripped of his only Q3 time for cutting the chicance [see separate story - click here
“I'm happy! We were consistent in Q1 and Q2 and I made it into Q3. It was very tight at the end of the session because of the red flag; we had just over two minutes to do our lap, so I'm pleased with P8,” Maldonado reflected.
“We've been competitive throughout the weekend and we squeezed 100 percent out of our package again today. Our pace is strong and I will do my best to get us into the points tomorrow.”
Rubens Barrichello meanwhile had to settle for P12 on the grid in the sister car, missing the final session by just three tenths of a second. He will start eleventh however, as Sergio Perez will not take in the race following his violent crash in Q3.
“The car felt ok but it seemed quicker on older tyres. When I went onto new tyres I didn't get the grip I was expecting,” said the Brazilian.
“That was the difference today and I'm a few tenths behind. It was strange and we need to understand why that was the case. I need the car to stick to the ground as much as possible. That is what I am looking for. Strategies are going to play a big part tomorrow.”
“Obviously our first thoughts are with Sergio Perez and the whole team wishes him a quick recovery,” summed-up Williams technical director, Sam Michael. “Pastor did well to qualify in the top ten again today. Two races in a row shows strong progress.
“Monaco requires a car with good mechanical balance, maximum downforce and plenty of concentration from the drivers. We have work to do but we're heading in that direction.”