x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Monaco Grand Prix qualifying notebook

Nico Rosberg is OK after crash, Hispania are in limbo after missing qualifying an a new date could be set for Bahrain GP.

Rosberg OK after crash

Nico Rosberg was unharmed after crashing heavily during the third practice session, clambering out of his battered Mercedes and walking away without assistance.

Mercedes mechanics managed to repair his car in time for the afternoon qualifying session, where Rosberg claimed the eighth spot in the grid.

The third practice session had just begun, with most drivers on their first few installation laps, when Rosberg raced out of the tunnel, swerved to the right into a barrier and over the chicane. The crash was spectacular but the 25-year-old German walked away from the wreckage.

The session was suspended briefly while debris was cleared. The Mercedes mechanics then worked through lunch to ensure Rosberg made it out on track for qualifying.

December 11 for Bahrain?

Discussions over a prospective new date for the Bahrain Grand Prix could see the season extended to December 11, Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali said.

F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has said he still hopes Bahrain goes ahead this year, and F1's governing body meets next Friday at a World Motor Sport Council meeting in Barcelona to decide if a new date can be set.

"This is quite a tricky calendar," Domenicali said. "We need to see if the logistics of all of this can be sorted out." Bahrain was meant to be the season opener on March 13, but was cancelled because of unrest in the country.

Hamilton likes 'buzz'

Lewis Hamilton said he wished fans could experience the same "buzz" he feels powering his McLaren around Monaco's snaking circuit.

"The car feels amazing when you are jumping from kerb to kerb and you know you've no room for error, travelling through these streets at such serious rocket pace," said Hamilton, who qualified seventh.

"I stood on the pitwall to watch a car coming past, and even I got a buzz at seeing the car go past so quick. I wish people watching could understand, but I'm telling you it's the best thing I've ever done."

Hispania in limbo

Neither of Hispania Racing's cars were involved in Q1, with the team unable to repair Vitantonio Liuzzi's car after his accident towards the end of the final practice session.

As for Narain Karthikeyan, a rear suspension failure prevented the Indian driver from taking part.

In not setting any time, the two drivers are now at the mercy of the stewards who must now decide whether they can take part in the race.

Sutil's boss undecided

Force India owner Vijay Mallya said he was in no rush to make a decision on the future of driver Adrian Sutil, who could face criminal charges from Renault owner Eric Lux.

A lawyer for Lux said last week that Lux plans to file a criminal complaint against Sutil for physical assault and grievous bodily harm over a reported nightclub incident last month following the Chinese Grand Prix.

"Unless I am convinced there is misconduct then the contract shall remain," Mallya said. "I don't know what happened there. My people don't know what happened at that particular incident, and there is a due process of law." Sutil qualified 15th.