News

Kovalainen Claims Monaco Pole

Heikki Kovalainen was the fastest man in an action-packed qualifying session in Monaco, which ended with the top three drivers split by less than one tenth of a second

Kovalainen's time of 1:24.665 was just good enough for pole, edging out Gianmaria Bruni by half a tenth of a second, and Adam Carroll by less than a tenth of a second.

But the talking point of the session was Nelson Piquet Jr's collision with Can Artam, who moved over on the clearly faster Piquet coming down the hill towards Mirabeau.

Piquet, who was one of the fastest drivers on track in free practice, looked set for a very good laptime until the move put him out with broken suspension, and he will now start near the back of the grid tomorrow in his first ever race in Monaco, the town in which he grew up.

The weight of expectation was clearly evident on the Brazilian's face when he returned to the pits - after shaking his fist at Artam as he drove along the pitlane, Piquet subsequently looked close to tears before leaving the circuit.

Jose Maria Lopez and Hiroke Yoshimoto will share his pain - both men were unable to run a single lap, Lopez due to gearbox problems and Yoshimoto owing to the continuation of his engine maladies.

Ernesto Viso will also be disappointed - he hit the wall on approach to St. Devote, putting himself out of the session immediately with a severely damaged car.

Olivier Pla also found the wall - he ran slightly too far to the left at Portier and clipped the barriers. His DPR team will have a lot of work on their hands today - teammate Ryan Sharp retired with a smoking engine, which will need to be replaced.

Despite Pla's accident he managed to set the fourth fastest time, just three tenths off Kovalainen's pole time, which will set up an intriguing battle off the line in tomorrow's race.

Pos  Driver      Team                      Time               Laps
 1.  Kovalainen  Arden International       1:24.665            17
 2.  Bruni       Coloni Motorsport         1:24.724 +  0.059   14
 3.  Carroll     Super Nova International  1:24.751 +  0.086   17
 4.  Pla         DPR                       1:24.996 +  0.331   13
 5.  Speed       iSport International      1:25.405 +  0.740   18
 6.  Piccione    Durango                   1:25.483 +  0.818   17
 7.  Rosberg     ART Grand Prix            1:25.494 +  0.829   18
 8.  Pantano     Super Nova International  1:25.709 +  1.044   15
 9.  Jani        Racing Engineering        1:25.918 +  1.253   14
10.  Lapierre    Arden International       1:26.083 +  1.418   16
11.  Premat      ART Grand Prix            1:26.287 +  1.622   18
12.  Alvarez     Campos Racing             1:26.463 +  1.798   13
13.  Monfardini  Durango                   1:27.168 +  2.503   17
14.  Garcia      Racing Engineering        1:27.260 +  2.595   15
15.  Viso        BCN Competicion           1:27.307 +  2.642    3
16.  Lauda       Coloni Motorsport         1:28.401 +  3.736   19
17.  Fauzy       DAMS                      1:28.853 +  4.188   12
18.  Hernandez   Campos Racing             1:28.947 +  4.282   15
19.  Artam       iSport International      1:29.941 +  5.276   17

Did Not Qualify (over 107%):

     Sharp       DPR                       1:36.477 + 11.812    4
     Negrao      Hitech Piquet Sports      1:55.008 + 30.343    8
     Piquet Jr.  Hitech Piquet Sports      2:01.514 + 36.849    3
     Lopez       DAMS                      No Time              2
Previous article Pla Fastest in Monaco Practice
Next article Kovalainen: It All Went to Plan
Subscribe