• Monaco Grand Prix - Qualifying

Webber surprised by qualifying gaps

ESPN Staff
May 25, 2013 « Top four too far away - Raikkonen | Mercedes will leave drivers alone as much as possible »
Mark Webber was almost 0.7s clear of Kimi Raikkonen © Getty Images
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Mark Webber said he was surprised to see such a big gap from Mercedes and Red Bull to the rest of the field in qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix.

The top four are covered by just 0.3s, with Mercedes locking out the front row and the two Red Bulls on row two. However, Kimi Raikkonen in fifth was almost 0.7s behind Webber who said he was expecting a closer battle for the first two rows but doesn't expect it to be relevant in Sunday's race.

"I was surprised that us four were pretty tight on time, obviously a couple of tenths between all four of us and then a big step back," Webber said. "But that will mean nothing in the race."

With Mercedes having to deal with tyre wear issues in recent races, Webber said Red Bull was in the best position to take advantage if the same were to happen in Monaco.

"We'll see what happens with strategy. They've got the front row obviously, which is nice around here, but we've got to be there to capitalise on any mistakes or problems that might occur. There's been a bit of a form card evolving which is that they're strong on Saturdays and maybe a bit less so on Sundays. They might be able to hold it off round here because no-one knows the answer, but we're in a good position to capitalise."

Webber also said it was unlikely that Red Bull could hope to get ahead of either of the Mercedes at the start of the race.

"The first second is crucial so hopefully we have a nice clutching for once and that goes well. At Monza or places like that you can gain some positions at the first two chicanes but here you get to the apex of Ste Devote and that's it really. It's a short run, mentally it's completely different on the brakes here - it's just a short little blast - you need to get off the line and after that it's just pretty straightforward to Ste Devote; you can't gain much."