Canadian GP - Saturday - Team Quotes
Lewis Hamilton (1st, 1:15.707): "I'm absolutely 100 per cent over the moon to claim my first ever Formula 1 pole position and at a circuit where I have never been before. I knew it was a good lap and was absolutely flat out. I almost touched the wall at the last corner but when I came over the line and was told I had pole position I was so happy. I'm really looking forward to the race tomorrow and whilst Fernando and I are not going to do anything stupid, obviously I want to stay at the front. I now need a little time for everything to sink in and have a nice and relaxing evening. The car, engine and tyres are working beautifully and the team has done such an amazing job. We are working so well together all of us and to have both cars on the front row and leading both championships is a super reward for everybody."
Fernando Alonso (2nd, 1:16.163): "I'm happy to be on the front row for tomorrow's race and for Lewis to be on pole next to me. It's a great result for the team. On my last qualifying lap I was really going for it and was fastest for the first two sectors but went a little bit off the line at Turn 10 and touched the gravel. I knew immediately that I lost about three tenths of a second and then decided to back off as there was no way I could then improve my earlier time. Also this helped me to save a little bit of fuel. I think here the difference in grip levels between lining up first and second is minimal and I'm looking forward to the race tomorrow. I obviously want to win but also I'm not going to win the Championship this weekend so will be sensible."
Ron Dennis, Team Principal: "A fantastic qualifying result for the team for the second time in a row and for Lewis to achieve his first ever Formula 1 pole position. Fernando was unlucky on his second qualifying lap not to have improved following two great first sectors. We are confident that we will have a strong showing in tomorrow's race but certainly will not be complacent."
Norbert Haug, Mercedes Motorsport Director: "A qualifying like a dream. Lewis will start from his first Formula 1 pole position in only his sixth Grand Prix. Fernando was fastest in both the first and second sectors and until the final sector it looked like he would make it. Lewis and Fernando achieved the best possible qualifying result for the team for the second time within a fortnight. This does of course not mean that we have already won the race, as tomorrow's 70 laps will be extremely demanding but we should be in a strong position."
Giancarlo Fisichella (9th, 1:17.229): "I have had a great weekend so far, which makes it even more unfortunate that I didn't have a very good final lap in the third part of qualifying. The car felt really strong in Q2, and I still had some lap-time left in hand, so I was feeling very confident of a strong starting position. But on my final timed lap, I made a mistake in turn 6 - and then was pushing really hard to try and make the time back up, and lost the car again in turns 10 and 13. We were expecting to start from higher up the grid than P9, but I think we can stay positive for tomorrow. The car is very competitive on the harder tyre, which is likely to be the main race tyre for most of the teams, and I think we have a very strong pace. I am confident that I can turn the situation around in the race."
Heikki Kovalainen (19th, 1:17.806): "The first thing I want to say is thank you to my mechanics: they have worked so hard all weekend, changing chassis overnight, the engine this morning, and then making repairs during the first part of qualifying after I hit the wall. They have done a really incredible job, and I am just sorry that I couldn't pay them back with a better qualifying performance. I went into the session knowing that I would have an engine penalty, but I was determined to push right to the limit to get as far up the grid as I could. I hit the kerbs hard in turn 4 on my timed lap and lost the rear end, which damaged the wing and the floor. The team repaired as much as they could, but it was hard to have full confidence in the car after that. I hoped I had done enough to get through to the second round, but it wasn't to be. There is no point pretending that it won't be a tough afternoon tomorrow, but we knew I would be starting a long way back, and adjusted the set-up accordingly. I will have to be aggressive all through the race, and try to make up as many positions as I can."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: "Giancarlo has had an extremely good weekend and looked competitive through every session, so ultimately his final qualifying position of P9 is a bit disappointing. Several small mistakes on his final timed lap meant he failed to improve his time, and put paid to his chances of a better starting position. However, bearing in mind his pace in the other sessions, he should still have a good race. Heikki's accident yesterday and engine failure today have limited his running on a circuit that is new to him. In trying hard to find the limit during qualifying today, he slightly overstepped the mark. The mechanics did a great job to get him out again, but his final lap was also only his first lap of the weekend on the soft tyre. The last word, though, goes to our mechanics. They have experienced another very hard weekend, with an unscheduled chassis change yesterday followed by gearbox and engine changes today, plus the urgent repairs during qualifying. They have taken all of this in their stride, and performed magnificently."
Denis Chevrier, Engine Operations Manager: "We have become accustomed to talking about normal, trouble-free days - and unfortunately, this was anything but. Although we experienced a problem with Heikki's engine at the end of the race in Monaco, our post-race analysis found no problems, and we took the decision to race it here in Canada. The sudden mechanical failure we experienced this morning was unrelated to the incident in Monaco, and we are still working to understand exactly what happened. However, we are confident that this does not present a risk for the other three Renault engines in the field. Giancarlo had a more straightforward day, and showed encouraging pace for much of the qualifying session. We know the car has the potential to perform well tomorrow in race conditions, and we will be hoping to see both drivers make good progress through the field."
Kimi Raikkonen (4th, 1:16.411): "Of course I would have preferred to have been further forward on the starting grid, but we know we have a competitive car when running at race pace and as far as today's result is concerned, there is always the unknown factor concerning the fuel levels of those fighting it out in Q3. I didn't have any particular problems today, but I lacked a bit of speed when compared to our closest rivals. However, before getting upset about it, we must wait and see how the race goes. We will do our utmost to get the best result possible."
Felipe Massa (5th, 1:16.570): "We certainly cannot be happy with this result, but let's wait for tomorrow's race to produce a true picture of the situation, especially in terms of what strategies the teams have opted to go with. Our car is very good in terms of its race pace and with a bit of luck it might be possible to make up a few places at the start."
Jean Todt, Team Principal: "This was a very disappointing qualifying session for us, the worst of the season as we were no match for our main rivals. Of course, the points only get given out in the race and tomorrow the key factors will be the usual ones - strategy, reliability, performance and team work, but the overall picture after today is not a favourable one and I hope that changes for the race."
Luca Baldisserri, Head of Trackside Operations: "At this circuit the result of qualifying is less important than at others but we cannot deny that today our closest rivals were quicker than us. We know we have a competitive package when running in race trim and here, the strategy and the work of the team can be decisive. This race is very tough on the cars and reliability will play a key role. We will try to bring home as many points as possible, while being aware that we face a tough race."
Rubens Barrichello (13th, 1:17.116): "It was a good qualifying session today and I like the balance of the car. Unfortunately I lost some time into the hairpin when I ran a little wide on the marbles and with that I lost the chance to go into the top ten. I'm still feeling positive for the race tomorrow however as the car has a good balance and seems to be working better on the old tyres than the new."
Jenson Button (15th, 1:17.541): "We really struggled with the grip levels in Qualifying this afternoon. The car just didn't feel like it did during practice this morning and had very low grip all round the circuit. I've qualified well here over the past few years but unfortunately not today. It's very disappointing for myself and the whole team, but we have to look at the data now and try to make the best of our package for the race tomorrow."
Jacky Eeckelaert, Engineering Director: "We expected to qualify higher up the grid but neither of the drivers got a clean lap at the end of Q2. We have also suffered with tyre warm-up problems and therefore a general lack of grip. With race fuel loads tomorrow this problem will disappear. We have a good race pace and with the right strategy we should be able to make up a number of places."
Nick Heidfeld (3rd, 1:16.266): "I am very satisfied with third, especially as I lost a lot of time this morning and in the third practice I only did one timed lap. We wanted to save some mileage, and then in the end I had a hydraulic problem. It was also very difficult to get used to the track conditions as the wind has changed a lot for today. This afternoon went quite smoothly, but I did cut the chicane on the last corner. My hit with the wall was not a hard one compared to yesterday. I was quite confident it would not be a big problem, but the steering was off line slightly and it actually got a little bit worse in the last qualifying session in Q3. We came here hoping we would be stronger than in Monaco, and would be as good as we have been in the last couple of years, as BMW has always been strong on high speed circuits and so has Sauber."
Robert Kubica (8th, 1:16.993): "I had quite a difficult time. Right from the beginning of the weekend I had problems with the balance of the car, which we could not solve before qualifying. It stayed the same for today, and there was no grip in the rear. But we have to see how the race goes."
Dr. Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director: "This is an excellent qualifying result for Nick. After a troubled free practice session this morning he put in a very strong effort into qualifying. Certainly third place is a promising position to start the race from. For Robert qualifying wasn't as good. Due to technical difficulties in the first free practice he lost track time, and was still not happy with the car's set-up when it was time for qualifying. On top of that, he was unlucky when three drivers set lap-times within just one tenth of a second and he was on the lower end of this group."
Willy Rampf, Technical Director: "That's a brilliant result - especially after the thrilling Q2. After Nick's lap time was deleted because he had cut the chicane, for him it was all or nothing. He managed this in an impressive way. For Robert it didn't go as well and he finished, beaten by fractions, in eight position. To be honest, this second row was what we hoped to achieve here."
Jarno Trulli (10th, 1:17.747): "That was about as fast as I could have gone today so I'm very happy with that, even if we would have liked to be further forward. We've clearly been hampered by all the problems we had yesterday and the limited amount of running we had during practice. We lost a bit of time avoiding the kerb at Turn 8 but given everything that has happened we got away with a good result today. I was really pleased with my lap to get through Q2. The race is another story but this is an interesting circuit and a race where people can drop out so you have to hang on and make the finish. There will be a full house tomorrow so there will be a good atmosphere and we will aim for a better result."
Ralf Schumacher (18th, 1:17.634): "The whole weekend has been far from perfect for us. Yesterday's problems meant that we could not make the most of practice. Still we expected more this afternoon but the traffic meant that I just didn't get a clear lap and that's all there was to it. For my last run four cars came out of the box in front of me and they were in the way. Then on the second lap I had another car in front of me the whole way round. It's a pity because there has been potential this weekend and in yesterday's first practice session I was able to put in some reasonable lap times. It will be a hard race but anything can happen at this circuit so we'll do what we can to gain some positions tomorrow."
Pascal Vasselon, Senior General Manager Chassis: "We have recovered from our lack of running in P2 yesterday but still today was our worst performance of the season in terms of pace. We have lost ground to our immediate rivals like Renault, Red Bull and Williams. Jarno did well to break into the top 10 but Ralf was unlucky. He had traffic in the last outing which is obviously the most important one after the red flag we had in Q1. It's been a hard weekend and practice was also disrupted by a red flag this morning. Overnight we confirmed that yesterday's suspension problem was not caused by an issue with the production batch. But in Turn 8 you have full steering lock just as you hit a big rumble strip and with the set-up we were using these extreme circumstances led to interference between the upright and the wishbone. So today we reverted to a more classical set-up window for camber, ride height and suspension stiffness. We are totally confident these measures have resolved the issue and made it safe to compete. But as an extra precaution we asked our drivers to change their driving line to avoid riding the highest part of the kerbs at that corner. Now we must look to make the most out of these starting positions in the race."
Mark Webber (6th, 1:16.913): "It's nice to finish off a qualifying session with no real problems, the team's done a good job. The car's felt good all weekend and I'm looking forward to the race. I stayed here pretty late last night as I wanted today to come quicker, and now I feel the same about tomorrow."
David Coulthard (14th, 1:17.304): "It's been a pretty ugly weekend so far. I went over the kerb at the end of this morning's session and the boys had to change some things on the car before qualifying. The race brakes we'd bedded on Friday were put back on, but we had a problem with glazing. When you have that, you basically don't have any temperature in one of the brakes and the car feels as though it's crabbing sideways when you brake. The guys were able to de-glaze the disc to improve the situation, but braking remained inconsistent for the remainder of the session. Sometimes, I'd brake early and overshoot, while on other laps I'd brake at what I thought was the normal position and the car would stop early. It's disappointing, as obviously grid position is very important, but that's what we have."
Christian Horner, Sporting Director: "A positive session for Mark, who had no major dramas in any of the qualifying sectors. He strung a good lap together on his last run to put himself on the third row for the second race in succession, it's a positive result for the whole team. David unfortunately had an issue with the brakes on his car glazing in the first qualifying session. He managed to get through into Q2, but then appears to have had a repeat of the same issue. However, that's hopefully an easy fix ahead of tomorrow."
Fabrice Lom, Renault: "We are quite pleased with the results today. Mark made his way through the qualifying without any problem and set the sixth-fastest lap time, which is the position we deserve. It is a pity for David who endured a more difficult afternoon but we are quite confident. He has a strong engine, the car seems efficient and he is an aggressive driver, he can do a strong race tomorrow. From our point of view, the race looks promising and we hope to confirm the competitiveness of our package."
Nico Rosberg (7th, 1:16.919): "We can be pleased with seventh today and it is a good place to start the race from, even though it was a pity to miss 6th position by only 6 thousands of a second. In this morning's practice, I didn't find the balance easy but we had good pace in qualifying. In the race, it will be tough to compete with the front-runners, but we will fight with everyone and certainly expect to score some points."
Alexander Wurz (20th, 1:18.089): "Well, there is not much to say, it was just slow, that's it, and we will have to see where I lost the time - of course I'm annoyed with myself and pretty angry. Tomorrow I will be paying the price and the race will be hard, but I am a fighter and I won't give up."
Sam Michael, Technical Director: "Nico had a good qualifying and he only just missed out on P6, so he did a good job all the way through the sessions and we will work to finish higher up than that tomorrow. Unfortunately Alex didn't get past Q1 and his situation wasn't helped by the red flag, but it was a shame he didn't make it through the first session. Both the cars ran fine and we are looking forward to having a good race with Nico tomorrow and hoping that Alex can come through the field."
Vitantonio Liuzzi (12th, 1:16.760): "Another good qualifying after Monaco, which confirms the car is getting better and better. On my final run I drifted just a little wide at corner 7 and without that it's just possible I might have made it into Q3 and the top ten. I am in positive mood and maybe I am getting repetitive with my comments at every race, but we really are improving. Now we have to see how our reliability will be in the race as we have had some trouble with the gearbox during this weekend. So fingers crossed!"
Scott Speed (16th, 1:17.571): "My first time through into Q2 this year. I think I should have done that a few times this season but I always seemed to be unlucky with traffic. Today I didn't have any traffic which is why I got through. The car felt good in the first part of the session, but then as the track rubbered in I picked up quite a lot of understeer, which we were not able to fix by adjusting the wing. Tomorrow I hope for some points but that might require a few people to brake down."
Giorgio Ascanelli, Technical Director: "Our best qualifying of the season, with both cars getting through into Q2 for the first time this year. We need to see if we can repeat this in future races before we can really talk about a positive trend, but nevertheless everybody in the team is really trying his best and hardest to achieve something. As for today's result, we can only be happy about it."
Adrian Sutil (21st, 1:18.536): "Yesterday we went a little bit in the wrong direction on set-up but today is so much better. I do feel a bit disappointed though as it's never nice to be second last. We did know that this would be a difficult race though with the long straights and the kerbs, but all the field is so close together and there are only two seconds to pole. We are normally better over the longer distances and 70 laps is a long race and as one of my strengths is to do consistent lap times, I hope we will be good tomorrow."
Christijan Albers (22nd, 1:19.196): "Yesterday was a really good day, but today we were struggling quite a lot with the balance and we just had some brake problems in Qualifying. I found I was locking quite a lot, which meant I could not put in a good lap time. I hope for more tomorrow."
Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: "Although we qualified with both cars on the back row, it's probably true to say that today has been our most competitive of the season. In both free practice and Qualifying we were just two seconds off the pace, which shows just how competitive Formula 1 is at the moment. But both drivers were quite happy with the car, although did find less grip in Qualifying this afternoon. We are quite close to a big group in front and, as it's usually an incident-packed race, we have to see if through a decent strategy we can pick up a good result."
Takuma Sato (11th, 1:16.743): "I am pleased with the result and we are in a very good position for the race tomorrow. We were expecting to have a tough weekend in Canada as our circumstances make it difficult to fully update the car as much as we would like to. However, we made good progress during the practice sessions and a good step forward once again, so I am pleased that the car showed good performance and that it all came together today. Hopefully we can have a strong race tomorrow."
Anthony Davidson (17th, 1:17.542): "It was a difficult Q1 after the Red Flag and I think it made everyone change their plans very quickly. We got one run in, but I think that a lot of the other teams got two runs in and that was always going to make it extremely tight. I think we both drove a good lap for only doing one quick run. I got rear graining as well on my tyres for the last half of the lap and that's where all my time disappeared to. I think that without the graining I would have easily made it through to Q2. I was 5/10ths up on my time from this morning and I was really happy with my times, but when I got round to Turn 10 it all fell away and I ended the lap on a 17.5 and that's a real shame."
Graham Taylor, Sporting Director: "The Red Flag during Q1 set us on the back foot a little bit this afternoon, but we recovered well I think to get the cars out at the right time. Unfortunately for Anthony we weren't able to set a good enough lap time to get him through to Q2, missing out by a thousandth of a second. It is disappointing because his Sector 1 and Sector 2 times looked more than capable of getting us through to the next round. Taku did not have a great run, but it was good enough to get us through to Q2 where, with a structured plan, we could perform at our rightful place. He completed a good lap to put himself P11 on the grid and give us the best option for strategy for tomorrow."