Monaco GP: Qualifying notes - Bridgestone


McLaren Mercedes' Fernando Alonso has achieved his sixteenth career Formula One pole by making the best use of the super soft compound Bridgestone Potenza tyres on the tight and twisty confines of the 3.34 km Monte Carlo street course, scene of the Monaco Grand Prix.

Alonso set a time of 1min 15.726secs and will be joined on the front row for Sunday's race by team- mate Lewis Hamilton. Ferrari's Felipe Massa and Renault's Giancarlo Fisichella make up the second row.

Spyker's Adrian Sutil was fastest in the morning's free practice session with a time of 1min 36.612secs. Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen and Hamilton were the second and third fastest drivers in this rain shower affected session. Use was made of Bridgestone's extreme wet tyre in this session with only one driver trying the wet specification Potenza.

Kees van de Grint, Bridgestone Motorsport Head of Track Engineering Operations: Track conditions have improved since Thursday and as expected the super soft compound Bridgestone Potenza had higher grip and similar graining to the soft compound. Not everybody qualified on the super soft, but the top three did. It was a very exciting battle for pole but double world champion Alonso showed his class here. It was also very good to see the excellent performance of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg who have used Bridgestone tyres through most of their careers including karting and the GP2 Series. The weather conditions warranted the extreme wet tyre in this morning's practice session and in contrast to the Monte Carlo specification wet tyre we have, the extreme is the same compound all season. This meant the extreme wet was clearly on the hard side for Monte Carlo and presented a challenge for drivers. It was a great piece of driving by Adrian Sutil to find a clear circuit and go fastest.

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Published: 26/05/2007
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