Jack Doohan says that he is happy with his qualifying efforts but things could have been even better. The Virtuosi Racing driver qualified fifth before grid penalties for Liam Lawson and Ayumu Iwasa promoted him up the order.
Doohan will now line up third on the grid for the Feature Race on Sunday, but says that a front row start was well within range had the yellow flags for Felipe Drugovich's crash not intervened.
“We have the two groups split into 16 minutes so we only get to go on one set of tyres," he explained. "The fastest lap is on the last lap with a bit of track improvement and even more grip getting laid down and with our confidence building.
“I think we got a decent first sector, at the start of the second sector, going into Mirabeau, I felt the rear was overheating. So I wanted to keep it for the final sector. I think I was a tenth and a half down in sector two but then pushed everything to the point where I was committed to go into the wall if I had to. Sector three was amazing, I was flat through 14 and 15, the first part of the Swimming Pool, a really good second part through Rascasse was amazing but then obviously yellow flag in the last corner so I had to give up time on the entry and then not go full throttle to the line to prove that I slowed down."
He has still maintained his top three Qualifying streak, a massive positive according to the man himself. Purple sectors around much of the lap showed how strong the Virtuosi driver's pace was, but missing out on pole was still a tough one to take according to Doohan.
“In the end I lost seven-tenths in the last turn to the line on my 21.4. So it would have been a huge lot, 20.7 just with my sectors together."
“I'm just happy that I get to keep the lap because it was a difficult situation with the yellow flag. With the mini sectors, I was purple in all three leading up to the last two (corners), showing that I lost the seven tenths really at least proves that I did slow down. Mixed emotions because I would have loved to have set a time like that around here. But in the end the points are scored in the race and the top three in the qualifying this year is still going strong.”
Though Monte Carlo is notorious for its lack of overtaking opportunities, the Australian believes that there are plenty of chances for him to make up for the misfortune so far this weekend.
"It's a place that you'd love to get pole, it's Monaco, and it's almost like rolling the dice and seeing what we can get better.
“Everything (is still possible). Obviously it's a difficult circuit to overtake on but the strategy can come into play. So getting some free track, hopefully set some good lap times and potentially overcut or undercut, endless possibilities. I'm just looking again to get another top three, (that) would be ideal. Put some points on the board and keep our campaign going.
“If we collect data for Sunday, stay out of trouble. Keep it on the black stuff and grab a few points, that'd be ideal. I'm looking forward to it, it’s gonna be cool.”