Montoya: Qualifying is key in Monaco

Williams ace Juan Pablo Montoya has said that qualifying performance will be crucial for this year's Monte Carlo Grand Prix, especially in light of the new regulations introduced for this season

Montoya: Qualifying is key in Monaco

With refuelling banned between qualifying and the race this year, several teams have compromised their performance in qualifying to ensure they have the best strategy for Sunday. But Montoya reckons that starting up front will be vital around the tight street track.

"Monaco is a track where if you don't start at the front, you can be more than ten seconds behind the leader after just a few laps so we need to get a good grid position in qualifying," said Montoya. "With the new rules this season, it's going to be more challenging than ever to do that so it's going to be an interesting session for both the teams and spectators.

"We need to get out there, see how quick we are and what kind of pace we can develop before making any decisions regarding our strategy. The car is continually improving so I'm confident we can demonstrate that and come home with some points."

Montoya lost a potential win at the A1-Ring when his engine failed due to low water pressure, but BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen is confident of the reliability of the powerplant.

"In Austria, we demonstrated that we can be right up there among the front runners," said Theissen. "On the A1-Ring we sustained our first technical failure of 2003, but that doesn't give us any cause to doubt the route we are following. The loss of cooling water wasn't due to a fault in the engine. The BMW P83 is stronger than ever and in good health."

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