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Season-best qualifying as Sebastian takes eighth for Monaco GP

Sebastian Vettel secured eighth on the grid for tomorrow’s Monaco Grand Prix in a close-fought battle in which Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team was one of seven teams battling in Q3.

Sebastian Vettel 2021 Monaco Grand Prix

Ahead of qualifying, Sebastian and Lance spent the final practice session driving on the Soft tyres in preparation for the afternoon.

In a disrupted session featuring two red flags, caused by crashes for Nicholas Latifi and Mick Schumacher, Sebastian was able to lap in 1.12.537 for a top 10 time.

Lance matched Sebastian closely throughout the hour, lapping in 1.12.700 as the duo completed 46 laps between them.

Sebastian

Sebastian was able to complete the entirety of Q1 on one set of Soft tyres in a bid to have an extra set available for a potential Q3 shootout.

Using all of his Monaco expertise, Sebastian was able to stay in front of drivers who used two sets of Soft tyres to secure passage into Q2.

After spending his first laps finding space on the busy Monaco track, he was able to string together a 1.12.554 lap in the opening half of Q1 to go 11th.

Sebastian was able to significantly improve to 1.12.078 once his rivals finished their first runs to climb inside the top 10 as his tyres got up to temperature.

The time proved significant as he took 15th at the end of Q1 after a flurry of late improvements for drivers on a new set of Softs.

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Sebastian initially set the pace in Q2 with a 1.11.759 lap time before quickly improving to a 1.11.309 effort.

At the culmination of the first runs, Sebastian was lying in eighth and in a strong position to secure a Q3 berth.

Once again, significant traffic played a key part in deciding Q2, meaning Sebastian’s 1.11.309 lap time proved key to progressing into Q3, securing ninth at the end of the session.

Q3 would eventually be set based on the field’s opening runs, after a crash for Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in the final moments of the session ended the chance at a second attempt.

Sebastian was able to set a 1.11.419 lap time minutes earlier, which sealed eighth on the grid for tomorrow’s Grand Prix.

"On a track like this, you need confidence, and I think qualifying eighth is a good sign that we are making progress with this car.

"Already on Thursday, I had a good feeling with the car in practice, and today was just about building on that feeling and progressing in each session.

"In Q1, it was very tight because we only ran one set of Softs because I wanted to make sure we had a second set for Q3. It worked, but then we were not able to use them [due to Charles Leclerc’s crash], which was a shame.

"However, we can be happy about getting the car into Q3, which means we are starting inside the points already and, here in Monaco, that is crucial because it is so hard to overtake."

FP3
1.12.537
10th
Q1
1.12.078
15th
Q2
1.11.309
9th
Q3
1.11.419
8th

Lance

Lance continued to find improvements from final practice into qualifying, and the Canadian was one of the first drivers to take to the track in Q1.

Finding space on a busy track, Lance was able to post a 1.13.549 time, which initially put him second. He would then hold onto the place on his next flying lap after setting an improved 1.11.979 lap as his Soft tyres got up to temperature.

He would complete five laps on his first run and returned to the pitlane in a provisional fifth place to prepare for his second run.

By the time Lance bolted on his second set of new Soft tyres, he and Sebastian were split by just a tenth.

Lance was unable to improve on his time on the second run as the track became increasingly busier, leading to fewer improvements in the field, but his previous best still secured a Q2 place.

Both drivers took to the track immediately in Q2, trading places at the top of the timesheets early on as Lance lapped in 1.11.876.

He would complete his first stint after three laps and, as the track fell briefly silent, Lance was in 12th.

Lance found further time in the first sector during his second run to set an improved 1.11.600 effort, but the Canadian suffered from excess oversteer, meaning he could only secure 13th on the grid for tomorrow’s Grand Prix.

FP3
1.12.700
Q1
1.11.979
Q2
1.11.600

"It was a tricky session. I did not quite have the balance in the car and I was not able to string a lap together. On my best lap, I lost some time in traffic behind [Lando] Norris, too, so that did not help either.

"Qualifying is very important here, so it is not an ideal result, but we will see what we can do tomorrow. If we make a good start, perhaps we can make some progress.

"Sebastian was able to get the car into Q3, which I think shows that we are in the mix for points when we put everything together."

Otmar Szafnauer, CEO & Team Principal

"Sebastian finished an incident-packed qualifying session in a strong eighth position, having looked in good form here both today and on Thursday.

"His career record here at Monaco is sensational, in fact: two wins and five additional podiums so far. Lance progressed smoothly through Q1 into Q2, quicker than Sebastian in the initial stages of quali in fact.

"In Q2 he encountered some excess oversteer, which is not what you need on the ultra-tight confines of this notoriously tricky street circuit, and on his quick lap, he was also slowed by Lando [Norris].

"Consequently, he ended up 13th, which was a pretty decent result in the circumstances. Overtaking is very difficult here, but we are still hopeful of a double-points finish in tomorrow’s race."

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