The mixed weather conditions that prevailed over Monte Carlo today produced some surprising results in the final free practice and Qualifying sessions for tomorrow's Monaco Grand Prix. After the heavy rain that fell midway through the one hour practice session dried Adrian Sutil recorded a stunning lap in the dying seconds and for the first time in its short motorsport history, a Spyker headed a Formula 1 timesheet. Running on extreme wet tyres, Adrian, the F3 lap record holder in Monaco, demonstrated remarkable confidence to set the fastest lap, 0.127secs quicker than the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen.
However as the track dried out for Qualifying, the result was unfortunately not to be repeated. Adrian set the 19th fastest time, but in a mark of the team's ongoing progress, was just 0.2 secs away from 17th and 0.6 secs from entering the second Qualifying session.
Christijan Albers was unfortunately unable to take advantage of the changeable conditions after a spin in the first session and a hydraulic problem in Qualifying limited his running. The Dutchman will start tomorrow's 78 lap Grand Prix from 22nd after he did not record a timed lap in the first Qualifying segment.
Adrian Sutil: It was very surprising to see my name at the top of the times after practice, but I was obviously very pleased! I had the perfect run. In Qualifying later my first set of tyres were OK, but the track was not quite in so I took it a little bit easy as I hadn't used the soft tyres and didn't know what to expect. The second lap was very good and on the third I was really on the edge. The tyres performed very well and I was very close to P17. I did a good first sector, but then the tyres dropped down and I couldn't do the same again. It was a good day though and I hope in the race I can push back to the front.
Christijan Albers: It was a bad day for me and it's a shame for the team that we couldn't do more. This morning I had some issues and now in the Qualifying with the hydraulic problem. It's sad I couldn't take advantage of the conditions but I am sure we'll get on top of them for tomorrow and have a good race.
Mike Gascoyne, chief technical officer: An interesting day for us. Obviously in the wet session this morning we were very pleased to see Adrian at the top of the timesheets and we were hoping for rain this afternoon but it didn't materialise. It's now a case of mixed emotions for Qualifying; we had a hydraulic problem on Christijan's car which meant he wasn't able to do a timed lap. Adrian had a reasonable session though and was able to qualify ahead of a couple of cars, which shows the progress we have been making. We have to wait to see what conditions are like for the race tomorrow, but given Adrian's performance in the wet, we would be quite happy for a wet race. A solid day overall and we hope for the same tomorrow.
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