In a dramatic day marked by changeable weather and track conditions, the Force India Formula One Team's Adrian Sutil and Giancarlo Fisichella recorded the 19th and 20th fastest times respectively in qualifying for the 2008 Monaco Grand Prix.
As is often the case on the narrow, twisty Monegasque streets, Adrian struggled with traffic on his fastest laps and, despite posting the 8th quickest time of the one-hour practice session in the morning, his best potential qualifying laps were interrupted.
Giancarlo's runs were however hampered as a knock-on result of a mechanical issue that originated in the morning practice. Midway through the session, his car developed a gearbox problem and he sat out the rest of the session after completing just 10 laps. Unfortunately the team was then obliged to change the gearbox and received a five grid place penalty as a result. Giancarlo could only complete two rather than his three planned runs, but unfortunately on both his quickest laps he too hit traffic and will start this 200th race in a frustrating 20th position.
Adrian Sutil: 'I felt my first laps were quite good, but then I had to pass a couple of cars in the first sector. It is really only two tenths or so, but from that point on it's difficult to get in the rhythm. We had planned to do two laps but you never know whether there will be traffic so we left some margin with the fuel and I could stay out for a few more laps to get some better ones in. There were some positives though: at least we have got the tyre problem fixed and they are working well now.'
Giancarlo Fisichella: 'It was a disappointing qualifying session and, in fact, whole day. This morning I had a problem with the gearbox and we had to change it, so I would have been penalised five places anyway, but then it was only ready about 14:05 so we didn't have enough time to do three runs. My first run was not great, but the second was better but then I lost the chance to do a quick lap as I got caught behind Barrichello just after the swimming pool as he was slowing down. Very very frustrating.'
Mike Gascoyne, chief technical officer: 'A very disappointing qualifying session, especially for Giancarlo on his 200th GP. A gearbox problem this morning limited his running and then he hit traffic on his fastest lap, which would have been very close to putting him through to Q2. Adrian has done a steady job today, improving in each session, but overall I think we had a car that shouldn't be on the back row. It will make the race very difficult, but anything can happen here.'