REPORT: A superb Saturday in Monte Carlo

Published on
25 May 2024
Est. reading time
4 Min

Our best Qualifying of 2024 at the track where it matters most

Alex took the Williams Racing FW46 to its first Q3 session after a scintillating Qualifying session at Monte Carlo.
He will line up P9 for Sunday's race, with Logan set to start in P17 and sharing the ninth row with Red Bull's Sergio Perez.
The incredibly close 2024 field continued tightening, and it was another case of hundredths rather than tenths being the gap between drivers.
Alex's best effort in Q3 of 1:10.948 came in a gap between when the other nine drivers ran, allowing a clean lap without any traffic problems that were prevalent throughout the day.
For Logan, 1:12.020 was 0.001s away from P16 and a little over a tenth away from a Q2 appearance.
Our American's Q1 running was somewhat compromised when part of an advertising banner became lodged in his front-right suspension, requiring a pit lane visit to clear.
P9 will represent Williams Racing's highest starting position for a Monaco GP since 2011, and this was our first Q3 outing in the principality since 2012.
With Monte Carlo so notoriously challenging to pass on, the result gives us a perfect platform to take our first points of 2024 in Sunday's Grand Prix.
Monaco's Qualifying positions
Monaco's Qualifying positions
"It was great out there today," begins a happy Alex after his best Saturday of the year. He continued to say, "I really enjoyed those laps.
"We’ve had the car in a good place all weekend, however we’re still struggling a little with understeer in Sector 2, so we’ve made some changes throughout the day to try get on top of it.
"It was all about getting the tyres in the right window, so we chose clean air, focusing on the tyres and not worrying about the track evolution as much.
"Looking to tomorrow, graining might be a problem, so we’ll have to manage this throughout the race.
"Hopefully, I can get some clean air and look after the tyres. On paper, this track is the least weight penalising of the year, so it’s allowed us to play on a slightly more level playing field.
"For the team, I think with Logan not having the upgrades and with a slightly alternate setup, it was potentially the difference in him making it into Q2."
With the field so close, Logan wasn't far from Q2, and he was upbeat about his Saturday efforts, saying, "It was a good session for us.
"I’ve been driving well since FP1 and I was really happy with my laps in Qualifying – I felt like I got everything out of the package I had today.
"Obviously, we’ve been open that we have some cross-car differences this weekend and I can only expect quite a bit of the difference is coming from that.
"It is tough to overtake here but we need to focus on ourselves, try to have clean stints and see what we can do tomorrow.
"Monaco is one of the most special tracks to drive. To sit in an F1 car and pull out of the garage for Qualifying is like no other and to be able to put the car on the edge like that is everything we dream of so it’s a pleasure to drive here."
Williams Garage
Experience the Williams Racing garage in 3D
Sven Smeets, the Williams Racing Sporting Director, explained how our Saturday unfolded: "Free Practice this morning was all about learning how to bring the Soft tyre into the right window for Qualifying runs.
"As always in Monaco, Q1 is very busy and you need to be a bit lucky with traffic and start your push laps with the tyres in the right window.
"We managed with Alex to proceed to Q2 but unfortunately just missed out with Logan, which was a real shame.
"Missing some of the updates probably cost him a place in Q2. Alex delivered a great lap in Q2 that brought us for the first time into Q3 this season and we are happy to start from P9 tomorrow.
"Now it will be key for Alex to have a good start, stay out of trouble in those first laps and try to consolidate his good starting position into points.
"For Logan, the race will be tough as overtaking will be difficult, but we will be ready to take every opportunity to make progress."
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