Canadian GP 2008

JUNE 7, 2008

Saturday Team Quotes

Nico Rosberg, Canadian GP 2008
© The Cahier Archive


Kimi Raikkonen (3rd, 1:18.735): "It's unbelievable how much time I lost at turn ten, lap after lap. The track was already beginning to break up in Q1 and I had no drive: it was like driving on ice and I never managed to find the right line at this point. It's a real shame because the car was going very well and I could have fought for pole position. I can't understand how things like this can happen: maybe it's down to the higher temperatures, or a repair job at this point not done properly but one thing's certain, in the race tomorrow, it will be very difficult to get through here. But the situation is not that bad. We are quick, as could be seen all weekend long up to qualifying and starting on the clean side of the track is definitely a good thing. Let's wait and see what happens tomorrow."

Felipe Massa (6th, 1:19.048): "This is definitely not the result we were expecting and it's a real shame, as we had everything in place to do well. The car was very quick, both yesterday and this morning and, but for the problem which occurred at turn ten, I could definitely have fought for a place at the front. As for the rest, you just have to look at the times: the first and second sectors were very good, while I was losing all the time in the final one. Clearly, if these track conditions at that corner continue in the race, there will be a further element of uncertainty in a race which already traditionally, can be influenced by chance events. While in normal circumstances I'd have said that starting from sixth meant I had abandoned any chance of fighting for a top place finish, today, I don't think I can say that, especially as we have been so strong all weekend."

Stefano Domenicali, Team Principal: "We definitely can't claim to be happy with the result of qualifying, especially as it is not a true reflection of the potential we had. However, there is no point in making a meal of it as the race is tomorrow and that's when the points are assigned. We are well aware that, especially at this circuit, seventy laps can be very long and anything can happen. We have a car we believe is at least at the same level as our main competitors and if we do everything perfectly, then we can show what we can do."

Luca Baldisserri, Head of Trackside Operations: "We had to tackle the three parts of qualifying differently to usual, because we realized right from yesterday that it would be very difficult for us to get the tyres up to the right temperature for the first timed lap. Then we had the problem at turn ten, where the asphalt began to degrade in Q1. Neither of our drivers ever managed to get through this point cleanly, losing precious tenths on the final lap times: both Kimi and Felipe were on a par with the best up to the end of the second sector and then found themselves left behind at the finish line. We are very unhappy as we thought that we had a package that could deal with the situation. Now we have to concentrate on the race which will be very tough. In Montreal, chance, in the shape of the safety car, often puts in an appearance, which makes the outcome of the seventy laps even more unpredictable."

BMW Sauber

Robert Kubica (2nd, 1:18.498):"It was a very difficult qualifying with the track breaking up in some corners, which is a disaster. It was easy to make mistakes with these conditions. When you missed the racing line by just ten or 20 centimetres you were on the marbles with very low grip. However, I'm very happy with second. Certainly it will be a tough race tomorrow on this track. Unfortunately I shall not be starting on the clean side. McLaren particularly looks very strong and I shall also have pressure from the Ferrari, but we have to see who is on which strategy."

Nick Heidfeld (8th, 1:19.633): "It was obviously better than two weeks ago. In Q2 I was just one tenth of a second behind Robert, but I'm not happy with my lap times in Q3. It is a start, but I still have a lot of work to do. Today it was extremely difficult to choose between the tyre compounds. First I thought the harder Prime would be quicker, but in the end I went for the softer Options. Normally the track conditions get better and better during qualifying, but here they became worse. We had an awful lot of marbles on the track. This has always been an issue here, but normally this has been in the race and not in Qualifying."

Dr. Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director: "Starting from the front row is an excellent result for Robert and our team. The result was achieved under very difficult track conditions. Gusty winds, a constantly changing tyre performance and a track that was getting slower meant it was only for Robert that everything was perfect for the last run. Nick also had to fight the track conditions. It was a good run that got him into Q3. It will only be at his first pit stop tomorrow when we shall see what he can do from eighth."

Willy Rampf, Technical Director: "This was excellent from Robert. We expected to be major players on this track, however, Robert's second place surprised us. Nick was strong in the second part of qualifying, but even from eighth he could still have a good result. Today, the big challenge was to choose the right tyre compound for each session. In addition, there was more wind which affected the balance of the car. We are looking forward to the race and a good result."


Fernando Alonso (4th, 1:18.746): "We have done very little running this weekend and there were still a lot of unknowns before qualifying. The car is still a bit sensitive and the track changes quickly here, and so I am very happy with my 4th place this afternoon - it's a good start to the weekend. The race is now totally open and that gives us the chance to score some big points tomorrow."

Nelson Piquet (15th, 1:18.393): "It was quite a difficult session and the car had the pace to go through to Q1, but unfortunately I was not able to go any further than Q2. I'm still struggling a bit with this track, which is new to me, and I haven't managed to get as much running as I would have liked. For the race tomorrow I will try and stay out of trouble, move forward and hopefully fight for some points."

Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: "An exciting session was made even more exciting by trying to manage qualifying without all the tools on our pit wall, which failed at the beginning of qualifying. Nevertheless, what an excellent result for Fernando: he starts 4th on the grid with a very sensible fuel load, and I think that is our best performance of the year so far. Nelson made big strides this morning and in the first part of qualifying, but ultimately Q2 was as far as he could get."

Denis Chevrier, Engine Operations Manager: "After the disrupted free practice session this morning, we had not really had the chance to evaluate the ultimate performance of the car. Therefore Fernando's result this afternoon shows his ability to adapt to the car and the level of grip, and it was a superb performance. We know that the start here in Montreal is a critical moment and starting 4th certainly puts us in a good position for the race tomorrow. Nelson has suffered from a lack of running from the beginning of the weekend, much more than his teammate as he is racing in Montreal for the first time, and so he needs to prepare for a difficult race."


Nico Rosberg (5th, 1:18.844): "I am especially happy with my position in qualifying because it was very difficult, not just because the track has changed a lot from yesterday and even from this morning, but also because the surface was breaking up in various locations. The grip had dropped away, so the aim today was not to make a mistake as it would be heavily punished by simply going 5 or 10cm off line. Anyway, I managed to keep everything completely under control and avoid getting offline, and the reward was 5th, which is a great place to start tomorrow."

Kazuki Nakajima (12th, 1:18.062): "It was a bit of a shame today because I missed Q3 by a very small amount and I really had the feeling that I could do it here, but it got harder to set good times as qualifying progressed. But I think it will be an eventful race tomorrow, possibly with safety car periods, so I plan to keep a level head like in Monaco and if that happens, I will have a good chance to score some points."

Sam Michael, Technical Director: "It was a good qualifying from Nico today and that should be positive for the race tomorrow with a solid strategy behind him - just another tenth, however, and he would have been third. Kazuki equalled his best qualifying performance and just missed out on making it into the top ten by half a tenth. However, he has a free choice on strategy now. The cars have performed reliably and have looked reasonably good round here all weekend, so we are looking forward to a good race tomorrow."

Red Bull-Renault

Mark Webber (10th, No Time): "I was going okay, but the track was breaking up and there were marbles on the racing line. Unfortunately, on the way back to the pits at the end of the second session, I was slightly off line, got onto the marbles and couldn't bring it back. I'm not sure how they're going to manage with the track tomorrow, but everyone's in the same boat. I think we'll need to use motocross bikes, as it's not realistic in a Formula One car, you'll need to drive on the grass or on the inside of the hairpin."

David Coulthard (13th, 1:18.238): "The track is breaking up, as it did two years ago, and it was incredibly difficult to drive at Turn 7 and at the hairpin. The track was swept between the first and second session, but it was breaking up so quickly that it was like trying to drive on train tracks. When you've got that amount of horsepower on a car that's slipping and sliding, it's incredibly difficult. I think we had the pace to run inside the top ten today, but I had traffic on the last runs of both sessions. On the first I was behind Bourdais, and on the second behind Piquet. It's unfortunate to have a continued series of problems, but we're thirteenth tomorrow, and hopefully we can have a strong race from there."

Christian Horner, Sporting Director: "After a really promising Q1 and first run in Q2, it's frustrating for Mark to get caught out by the difficult track conditions today. Unfortunately, unlike others that got away with an off-track excursion, he damaged the front of the car sufficiently enough not to take part in Q3. After not being happy with balance of his car this morning, David made good progress in the first session, but unfortunately wasn't quite quick enough to make it into Q3 today. We feel with 10th and 13th that we've underperformed."

Fabrice Lom, Renault: "It's a bit disappointing. We were very quick with Mark, but were not able to continue due to Mark's accident at the end of the second session. We were eligible for Q3, but not able to participate, so we finished 10th and 13th. Apart from that, the car and engine behaved well and it will be an interesting race tomorrow. Last year there were a lot of accidents, a lot of things can happen."


Timo Glock (11th, 1:18.031): "That was just a really difficult session. It was very hard to find a good balance and I was far from happy. The main problem was as each session went on, the track just started to fall away. That made the second and third runs very difficult and everyone was making mistakes. In the end I just got the lap together for P11 and we were unlucky not to reach the top ten. It would have been good to make it back into Q3 but it just didn't work out. Now we will have to see what happens in the race. It is usually possible to overtake here but if there are similar track conditions it could cause major problems."

Jarno Trulli (14th, 1:18.327): "Qualifying was exceptionally difficult today because the track conditions were a disaster. The surface was breaking up and getting worse with every lap. I don't know what was going on but I did my best lap at the beginning and then I couldn't repeat it any more. I spun on my quickest lap at the start of Q2, otherwise maybe I could have been in the top ten. But after that the track just got worse. Today was all about getting a clear, lucky lap. I don't know how the race will go but the track surface is a huge concern."

Pascal Vasselon, Senior General Manager Chassis: "This is the first time that we don't have one of our cars in the top ten so it was obviously our worst qualifying of the season so far. The grip level was already low, which is typical for Montreal, but it seems that it went one step worse during qualifying because of the high track temperatures. The asphalt was breaking up, making our situation complex. Still, the conditions were the same for everyone so we got something wrong and we have to investigate. The tyres were closely matched yesterday but today's higher temperatures changed the relative ranking of the two compounds, meaning different teams chose very different combinations. We now have a lot to analyse in preparation for tomorrow."

Toro Rosso-Ferrari

Sebastien Bourdais (16th, 1:18.916): "The track is falling apart and the conditions are really difficult. Because of the wind, there was also a lot of debris and leaves, which made the track very slippery, plus the asphalt has got marbles on the racing line because it's breaking up. After the morning, I could not afford to make any mistakes and run the risk of not taking up a start place for the race and in these conditions it was just unreal. For me this is one of the worst days of my career so far"

Sebastian Vettel (20th, No Time): "This morning I made a mistake, losing the rear end of the car and unfortunately here the walls are very close, without much run-off area. The impact was not that bad but bad enough to damage the monocoque in a way that it could not be repaired in the two hours we had available before qualifying. This year of course the rules ban spare cars, so we had to rebuild the damaged one which meant no qualifying for me today."

Franz Tost, Team Principal: "This morning, we paid the price of the unforgiving Montreal walls and of having two young drivers, neither of whom had driven here in a Formula 1 car before Friday, pushing to the limit. In Vettel's case, he crashed at Turn 9, after losing control of the car, using too much of the kerb. The impact broke the right hand front and rear suspension. Unfortunately, this also damaged the monocoque around the rocker mounting point. We therefore have to change the monocoque, which could not be done in time for qualifying. Sebastian will therefore start the race from pit lane. Bourdais went off at Turn 4, damaging the right hand side suspension. The wishbones broke and the right hand driveshaft came out of the gearbox, which means the box had to be changed. Sebastien will therefore take a five place penalty on the grid. Our drivers always try hard. To paraphrase a well known saying: better to have tried and lost than never tried at all!"


Rubens Barrichello (9th, 1:20.848): "I'm really pleased for myself and the team today. After the points that we scored in Monaco at the last race, this is a great start for the weekend here in Canada. In the hot conditions, the asphalt on the track was breaking up this afternoon and you had to take a good line to avoid running wide where it was so slippery. So it gave me the chance to use my experience to put some good laps in and I had two strong runs in Q1 and Q2 to make it through to the final session. It is nice to qualify in ninth place and we did a solid job today. I can look forward to a good race tomorrow from here."

Jenson Button (19th, 1:23.565): "I had a problem with third gear right at the start of Q1 which meant that I had no drive and that was the end of my qualifying today. It's been a pretty tough weekend for us and it's very disappointing to be starting from the back of the grid. We will just have to see how the race develops and take advantage of any opportunities which might arise."

Steve Clark, Head of Race & Test Engineering: "We have worked very hard to improve the car over the course of the weekend and that, coupled with making the most of the tyres and track today, has been the key to a good qualifying result. Credit to Rubens and the whole team for a great effort all round in a high pressure qualifying session today. Rubens is starting from a very strong position and we have to have a sensible strategy to capitalise on that. It is likely to be a more difficult day for Jenson. However starting at the back gives us the opportunity to take some risks with his strategy in order to put ourselves in a situation where we will be able to take advantage of a safety car scenario and other such opportunities."

Force India-Ferrari

Adrian Sutil (17th, 1:19.108): "We were almost there, but just not enough today and we will start in 17th. I actually had a worse feeling with the car and the tyres here than in the morning. The grip level was very, very low compared to that session and I think everyone struggled to find something. I think the lap time was alright compared to the others, just sadly not enough to get us into Q2 this time."

Giancarlo Fisichella (18th, 1:19.165): "The grip this afternoon was definitely worse than the morning. It wasn't too bad in practice and we found a good set up and compromise with the aero and we were quite competitive. This afternoon I just lost a lot of grip and didn't have confidence in the circuit. It was practically undriveable and really disappointing that we could not have finished higher up. We will see what happens tomorrow, particularly if it rains."

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: "Ultimately a very disappointing and confusing qualifying session. This morning the car was well balanced although the grip level was still low, but this afternoon both cars had practically no grip. Given these sort of track conditions and the changeable weather it will be a very difficult race for anyone to finish tomorrow however I'm sure with our better race pace we can look to have a strong performance. Anything can happen here too, with safety cars and so on, so we now have to put today behind us and hope for a better result tomorrow."


Lewis Hamilton (1st, 1:17.886): "To achieve pole position here in Canada at the same place where I took my first Formula 1 pole just one year ago is really awesome. Our car feels good and we're really on top of our game - even though the track started breaking up in places. On my penultimate lap in the third part of qualifying I lost a bit of time when I ran wide and I knew that Robert and Kimi were chasing me so I was aware I had to give it my all. On my final lap, I found more than six tenths which was enough for pole position. Thank you to everybody in the team, I hope I will be able to reward them tomorow with a similar result."

Heikki Kovalainen (7th, 1:19.089): "We worked hard to improve the car all weekend so my grid position is mainly due to the fact that I couldn't find a clear lap in the final session. The traffic meant I couldn't get into a proper rhythm so I'm a bit annoyed with myself. But what can I do? I just have to drive a better race tomorrow. Congratulations to Lewis, he has done a great job for the whole weekend but this place has a habit of throwing up surprises. It's always been a bit of a chaotic race so hopefully that will help me tomorrow."

Ron Dennis, Team Principal: "Both days of practice have been trouble-free for us. But along with everybody else, the biggest challenge has been to cope with the ever-evolving circuit conditions. During qualifying, the track surface started to break up at Turn 10 - which presented an additional problem for the drivers. Despite these issues, Lewis took his second pole position of the season and Heikki qualified well even though he had difficulty finding a traffic-free lap in the final session. We're confident that we've chosen a good strategy and we're looking forward to a strong and straightforward race tomorrow."

Norbert Haug, Mercedes Motorsport Director: "It was a thrilling qualifying session and Lewis's final lap was just fantastic. He was fastest in all three parts of qualifying and achieved his eighth pole position in his 24th Grand Prix. Unfortunately, Heikki was not able to put together a clean lap due to traffic and ended up seventh, but with a good strategy he still has a chance for a podium position. The track conditions changed throughout all sessions and the team did a great job reacting to that with the set-up. We look forward to a hard-fought race with hopefully as good a result tomorrow as we achieved today."