Karun Chandhok suffered a mystifying loss of pace in qualifying, while in contrast, Bruno Senna’s pace seemed to have picked up.
Despite seemingly having the measure over his Brazilian team-mate this weekend – the nephew of Ayrton having seemingly battled with instability at the rear of his Hispania Racing car since the Spanish Grand Prix – Chandhok qualified the slower of the pair and will line up on the back row for today’s race.
Chandhok experienced a particularly wild moment under braking at the Nouvelle Chicane during qualifying (pictured) and described himself as “mystified by the lack of pace” when speaking with the press after being knocked out at the first hurdle.
"It is a bit confusing, considering our relative pace in practice both today and on Thursday. I will sit with my engineers tonight and try to understand why we are losing so much time – they are now looking at the differential to try and understand the time deficit to the other cars," he added.
By contrast, Bruno Senna was delighted at having found some of the pace that was clearly lacking in the opening practice sessions, and he will line up one place ahead of Chandhok.
“Today was a good day,” he said. “For a while I have been struggling with a lack of performance in high-speed corners and I would like to thank the team for working tirelessly to analyse and trace that issue.
"With some new parts for today, my car came back to life and I could drive more naturally, with confidence again in qualifying. We are working hard with what we have and I am hopeful of a brighter future."