Vandoorne, who missed the cut for Q3 by just over a tenth of a second, said he “had a minor issue with the car which we couldn’t actually change before qualifying.”
“It was just something internally, located in the gearbox,” he added, “I’m not going to tell exactly what the problem was.
“There was basically no time after FP3 to take off the gearbox and put it back on. We didn’t have the optimal settings and it’s unfortunate but I think considering, it was a good session.”
The problem upset the balance of his car, said Vandoorne.
“It’s hard to tell what it costs exactly in terms of lap time because it completely changed the balance of the car.
“It’s Monaco, it’s so tight, everything needs to be in the right position to extract the maximum. The field was very close today. If you lose one tenth or one-and-a-half, two tenths, it changes the situation dramatically. It cost us quite a bit of lap time.
“I’m pretty sure if we could have progressed and worked in the right direction from FP3 then a good qualifying position was possible today.”
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2018 F1 season
- Honda’s jet division helped F1 engineers solve power unit problem
- McLaren Racing losses rise after Honda split
- Ricciardo: Baku “s***show” was Red Bull’s fault
- “Drive to Survive Episode 1: All to Play For” reviewed
- F1’s television and social media audiences rose last year