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Circuit Paul Ricard. 02 June 2020
June 05, 2004
Kieran Ryan on Pole for Simsoa, Scott Whiteman 2nd for EIRE and Mikko Jakonen 3rd for Mapes-VO. Interesting grid indeed - what did they have to say about their laps?

Pole - Kieran Ryan (Simsoa - Cosworth)

Q: Fantastic result, and a first pole for Simsoa! How did it go?

It went well. Everything fell into place really, we just spent the weekend adapting our car to this track and I really felt that this sort of track suits me and the car very well. I know we have our best shot of getting multiple points here and I think from pole that's quite possible. Like with all poles, the lap was perfect no real problems at all.

Q: Its always a tough race at Monaco, how do you think you can do?

For race day it will be hard though, Monaco by it's nature it's a difficult track and being consistant here is king if you want to win. I don't think our car is at winning pace just yet but a podium will be the aim. 78 laps will take it out of the driver, but this team has done a lot of hard work through testing and clocking up milage through race distances so I feel we're reliable and fast, but which tear of the podium that'll place us, is difficult to tell.

Q: How long can we expect to see Kieran Ryan on the F1VWC grid?

Ha! For a long time yet! I enjoy each race I do, so I'll be staying here for quite some time. This is my 20th official GPVWC/F1VWC start, and it feels liked my first. I won't be attending the next 2 grand prix that is the European and Canadian because of exams but I have signed some deals with other teams for the remaining 11 races, so I'll back at the US grand prix straight through to the final race in Brazil. The team I'll drive for at the US GP will be announced after this weekends European Grand Prix, but it is my last race for the Simsoa team.

2nd - Scott Whiteman (EIRE - Jaguar)

Q: Well done Scott, 2nd on the grid here in Monaco. How was the lap?

Very Safe, just tried to keep it off the walls to avoid any possibility of a DQ.

Q: Notoriously difficult to over take here, is it all about the race to the first corner?

Definately not, pit strategy will play an important role here, but all the same it would be nice to come out of turn one in the lead.

Q: After DNF's in the last few races, can the EIRE make it to the end?

I hope so but i'm not going to put my house on it, we'll just have to wait and see.

3rd - Mikko Jakonen (Mapes-VO - Honda)

Q: Another solid performance Mikko! How did it go?

Thanks! It went ok I guess if you look at the result; 3rd place is good, I'd rather be on the clean side than 2nd. And the gap to the pole isn't very much at all. We had some problems before the qualifying started, so we weren't able to do as much work as we would've liked, and therefore the lap wasn't perfect. With a bit more trimming I could've taken the pole, which would've been nice. But this is a good result and I'm happy.

Q: Are you confident in your setup and strategy to leapfrog the guys in front?

Well we learned a lot from last year where I was lapped by the winner, and we'll make sure nothing like that happens tomorrow. The car feels good and we have no major oversteer or understeer which is crucial for being competitive here. I'm on the clean side and I've had good starts, so I hope I can gain positions at the start. But even if I don't, I believe the strategy will work well. So yes I believe I'll continue to finish higher than where I started the race.

Q: Whiteman has been unlucky with reliability in the last few races, but can you defend your championship lead?

Yeah he really has had some bad luck. And bad engines. Monaco is such a special race that there will certainly be surprises, but I believe Scott will be strong here too. My gap to him in qualifying is smallest this year, so I think I'll be able to challenge him in the race. But here the first priority is always to finish the race in one piece; if I do that I should be ok with the championship as well. We'll see how it goes.

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