Toyota drivers Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher both blamed traffic for their somewhat below-par grid positions for tomorrow's Monaco Grand Prix, as the squad's qualifying result fell somewhat short of expectations.

The Italian - widely considered something of a Monaco specialist - will begin the race down in 13th spot, despite showing as high as fourth for much of the session. He was eventually bumped out after Q2, however, leaving him with a mountain to climb on Sunday.

"It was a difficult day for us," the former Monaco winner confirmed. "First of all we knew that in these conditions, after the rain earlier today, the track was not rubbered in and in that situation we struggle a bit compared to the others.

"I then had several problems during Q2. First, when I was on a quick lap at the end of the session, I had traffic and that cost me more than a second in the last sector. On my last run I had a problem with the brakes and could not push any more because it was too dangerous. It will be difficult in the race because overtaking is so hard here, but I will give it my all."

Schumacher was in even lower spirits at the end of the hour, having been knocked out at the end of the first session. The German will consequently line up 20th on the grid

"That was a very disappointing and difficult session for me," the six-time grand prix winner admitted. "Qualifying around Monaco with 22 cars on such a twisty track at once is always difficult, and Q1 was made a bit trickier with the rain just before the session started which affected the track conditions.

"Unfortunately I was not really content with my set-up and I didn't make it to Q2 so of course I am not happy, but that's the way it goes at Monaco sometimes. It's unfortunate we will start so far down on the grid on a track like this where overtaking is so hard, but we'll just try to do the best job possible in the race tomorrow."

Toyota senior general chassis manager Pascal Vasselon was naturally disappointed by the outcome of the session, but maintained all was not yet lost, particularly given Monaco's famously unpredictable nature.

"Obviously we lost the pace that Jarno showed in practice on Thursday afternoon," the Frenchman explained, "and he was not able to show the potential of the car due to a combination of two factors - a brake problem and also traffic. He suffered from some very bad traffic in the second part of this qualifying session and lost a lot of time on his last flying lap as a result.

"Ralf has been uncomfortable with the set-up of the car since the beginning of the weekend. We could not make the car kind enough for the kerbs, meaning he could not push as hard as he wanted. When you are not in the first four on the grid in Monaco you are always in for a difficult afternoon on Sunday. From where we are it will be particularly hard, but in Monaco you never know what will happen and now our strategy decision is clearer."

 

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