2010 Canadian GP, qualifying: Driver quotes 

Written by David on June 12th, 2010 at 11:08 pmLast Update: June 12th, 2010 at 11:09 pm

Mark Webber: “We thought we could do a good job in qualifying on the hard tyre and it turned out to be the case. We knew we would still try and have a crack at the front row, but we also knew the McLarens were very strong on the option tyre, which they elected to take. It’s a long race tomorrow, we’re planning to do the best we can and we’re hoping the tyres will be beneficial to us. We’re also mindful that there might be the odd safety car here and there – there are many different ways tomorrow’s race may unfold. But, we’ve stuck to our guns, done a great job and Seb and I are in the top three again.”

Sebastian Vettel: “It was a pretty entertaining session, especially Q3. We went out on the hard tyres, which take a while to come in. We knew that and to be honest I didn’t get a good lap in until the very last lap, so it wasn’t perfect timing, but it worked. My final lap wasn’t that clean, so I’m happy I made it to third today; it’s good. Looking to tomorrow, I think I should have a good start as I’m on the inside. I’m happy that both Mark and I made it to these positions with what is, from my point of view, the right tyre. Yesterday’s practice showed that the soft tyre is quite difficult to last for more than a couple of laps.”

Fernando Alonso: “So far this weekend, we have always been in the fight for the top places. We have a good grid position and now we must prepare ourselves as well as possible for a race, which for the first time this season will feature a confrontation between different strategy options, with two of the top five cars choosing to start on the hard tyres. It will be a very long and tough race and it will be vital to maintain concentration throughout, because on this track a moment’s distraction can carry a heavy penalty. Usually, our car is rather kind on the tyres which could be a decisive factor tomorrow, as will be the management of the brakes. Realistically, a podium finish is a possible goal, while it would take something special to get the win. In Q3, if I had been able to use another set of tyres, then maybe I could have cut my time down by a few hundredths, but the same applies to other drivers, therefore it’s hard to say how it would have gone if everyone had driven a perfect qualifying. All in all, we can be pleased with today’s performance.”

Felipe Massa: “It was a very tough and closely contested qualifying. In Q3, I was getting quicker with every lap to such an extent that my best time came on lap four. I definitely cannot be happy with seventh place, but at least our car is more competitive than it was in Turkey. It was a shame I didn’t manage to produce a perfect lap, otherwise I could have been higher up the order: at the end, as the track continued to improve, a few drivers went just a tiny bit quicker than me. Tomorrow, we must try and get a good start and on the back of that, build a good race. It will be important to get to the finish on a track which usually puts a high premium on reliability and one’s driving, given that there is little margin for error.”

Heikki Kovalainen: “I’ve felt like I’ve done a few good qualifying laps this year, but this one was really good. I’ve had a decent balance all weekend, and yesterday I didn’t have any problems, so I could find a good setup and had the confidence to push. We just need to find a little bit more to really take the fight to the guys in front, but tomorrow I think we can race them, I think we can have a go. I thought I had Kamui for a while, but he just got in front at the end, but you always find a little bit more when you think you can get the guy ahead and that shows how far we’ve come. Today shows we’re making progress all the time – we were only two tenths away from Sauber today which is just great for the whole team.”

Jarno Trulli: “It’s been tricky this weekend as I haven’t managed to complete that many laps and haven’t been able to find a setup I’m really comfortable with. We went with the primes to begin with today, and I could see that I was close to the guys in front, so I took the gamble and went for the options at the end, but unfortunately it didn’t work out. The aim tomorrow is to finish the race, and I’m optimistic we can do that, so let’s see what I can do.”

Lewis Hamilton: “I grazed the barriers at the end of P3, which meant my mechanics had to change the right-hand-side suspension ahead of qualifying. Watching them working so quickly yet so efficiently to fix the car was amazing – like watching an orchestra playing! Really, really impressive. Before I went out this afternoon, I told them that I reckon I owed them pole position for all their efforts – so I was on a bit of a mission right from the beginning of Q1. At the end of my fastest lap, it was such a fantastic feeling crossing the line – the team came on the radio through Turn Two and told me I’d got pole. I knew it was a good lap – but, when they told me it was the best lap, it just brought back so many memories of my previous times here. It was exactly the same ecstatic feeling as when I took my very first pole position here in 2007. I think it’s going to be an interesting race tomorrow – I hope it stays sunny and that the track gets better. The Red Bulls are in an interesting position, because they’ll start tomorrow on the Prime tyre. They’ll have to use the Option at some stage, obviously, so it will be an interesting one. If there’s a Safety Car, it could have a very big influence on the result of the race. This track, this city, this country, these people – it all works out the best for me. I love it. It’s almost on a par with the feeling I get racing in the UK. I always have a good time in Montreal, the people are so friendly, and I have so many great supporters here. In fact, coasting to a halt on the slow-down lap was really enjoyable. I got to wave to all the fans – and I’d say it was a unique experience, in fact.”

Jenson Button: “I was happy with my Q3 lap, but I couldn’t touch Lewis – it was a phenomenal lap from him. He’s qualified on pole every time he’s been here, so he’s obviously a specialist around this place. Fifth place isn’t where I’d ideally like to be, but I gave it everything and I couldn’t have gone any quicker. It’s good to see that some teams were running different tyres in Q3 – that’s the first time that’s happened this year. Red Bull set their fastest laps on Primes, so it’s going to be an interesting start to the race, seeing if they can overtake. The Prime is the quicker tyre, but they’re going to have to change to the Option at some point during the race. And if they get stuck behind Lewis in the early laps, then I’m sure they’re going to get frustrated. So, overall, I think it’s going to be a good race – both fascinating and fun – and strategy will be very important: it will be all about tyre management, so going flat-out every lap might not be the quickest way to get to the end of the race in the shortest possible time.”

Rubens Barrichello: “It was good to battle with Nico today and I think the fact that we are so close shows that 11th and 12th was the best we could achieve today and we should be happy that we got the upmost from the car. For the race tomorrow, I know from experience that the race really demands that you look after your brakes, so I am confident that together with the tyre issues here that there will be a good opportunity to do well if we get everything right.”

Nico Hulkenberg: “I think 11th and 12th is a pretty good outcome today – not of course what we want, but we extracted the most from the situation and for me at least, the track this afternoon was in the best shape it has been all weekend. Although it was a little frustrating to just be pipped by Rubens, I am confident that the tyre management issues will provide lots of strategy options and should make for an interesting race and plenty of opportunity for us tomorrow.”

Timo Glock: “It was quite a difficult session for us today. Because of the problems we had yesterday the car wasn’t perfect but we did made quite a nice step overnight which got us close to Lotus today. The car is still quite difficult to drive over the kerbs and bumps but reverting to a higher downforce set-up was the right direction. We will look at the strategy and see how we can make the most of tomorrow’s race.”

Lucas di Grassi: “It was not a very good qualifying for me today. For my second run I got a lot of traffic – especially with Kobayashi – and I was not able to extract the maximum from the car. I lost the quickest two laps because of this. The car is still some way from the optimum set-up for here so we will now look at the best strategy for the race tomorrow and do the best job possible. I’d like to thank everyone in the team for their great work in getting the car back together in time for Qualifying after my ‘off’ in Third Practice this morning.”

Karun Chandhok: “It was very frustrating today as we missed the third practice and also qualifying. We have to look into the problems and understand what went wrong. After two good sessions yesterday, it’s even more frustrating as this weekend we really could have competed against the other new teams in qualifying. It will be a tricky race tomorrow with the tyre wear and high probability of safety cars. So, let’s see what we can do tomorrow.”

Bruno Senna: “It was a good lap and I am happy with the result as we are in front of another team’s driver. We could work on the setup which helped us a lot to improve the performance of the car today. Unfortunately, there was rain last night and the track got green again in the morning. The track got more grip and quicker even during the first twenty minutes of qualifying. That’s why it was important to be out on the track at the end of the session in order to set the fastest lap. Thankfully, I could do a clear one on that period. Now, we have to decide the tyre strategy for the race. It is going to be very tricky tomorrow for everyone because of the tyre wear and hopefully we can have a good race tomorrow.”

Adrian Sutil: “It was a good result to be in Q3 again, the fifth time this season and the fourth in a row. In general the car was good and behaved well, but we just couldn’t get the best out of the tyres on the last run. I had a little problem getting the temperature in the front tyres and the car felt a bit more understeery, but we can be happy with the lap in the end and P9 is a good starting position for tomorrow. The race will be tough and for sure it will be hard to make the tyres last over the distance, but we’ll give it our best and look to convert the performance into points tomorrow. As a team it’s looking pretty good right now, Q3 for both cars and hopefully another double points finish in the race.”

Tonio Liuzzi: “It’s good to be back in business after Turkey! We understood a lot of things from there and also Monaco and pushed really hard to make things better. We changed the chassis and brought some new updates that we tested on Friday and then this morning and, so far, everything is great. P6 is a good position to be in, but it won’t be easy tomorrow as the tyre wear will be high and I think it will make for a really crazy race. This circuit seems to suit us well, with our aero package and set-up, and we’ve seen a big step forward. It’s a great team effort and if Adrian and I can both finish in the points tomorrow it would make a brilliant reward for the hard work we’ve done over the past few weeks.”

Robert Kubica: “It was another good qualifying session for us, but there was a difficult decision to make between the tyre compounds in Q3. During Q2 we clearly saw that the option tyre was quicker for qualifying, but, like yesterday, there was a lot of graining. So we made the decision to run the prime tyre for Q3 and, although that cost us some time in qualifying, it will hopefully put us in a good position for the race tomorrow. I’m looking forward to the race and it will be interesting to see how the tyre strategies unfold.”

Vitaly Petrov: “In Q1 everything went okay and we did a good job, but in Q2 I had some difficulty warming up the rear tyres. I tried to push hard for three laps to build some heat, but it still didn’t work. The main problem was under braking because I was losing the rear and there was very little traction. The car was better in Q1, so we need to understand why we lost performance in Q2. For the race tomorrow, I think it will be tough to overtake here and make up positions, but I will try my best.”

Nico Rosberg: “That wasn’t a great qualifying session for us today. We have a good car here this weekend but unfortunately we couldn’t get the tyres to work properly this afternoon. That was the big issue for us today. The harder tyre wasn’t too bad in Q1 but we struggled with the option later on and there was just no more lap time to be had. It is very disappointing to be starting in tenth place but anything can happen in the race so we can only look forward and take advantage where possible tomorrow.”

Michael Schumacher: “I am obviously disappointed after today’s qualifying. We simply did not have the balance or grip and overall we had a lot of problems with braking and handling. The car was just not performing as we expected. We had similar issues yesterday afternoon and we made some changes after second practice. This morning, the changes seemed to have made sense as our position was reasonable but this afternoon, I was facing similar issues again. It’s difficult to understand the reasons at the moment but we will look deeply into it now and find a good strategy for the race tomorrow.”

Sebastien Buemi: “Fifteenth is about the most I could do, so I am reasonably satisfied, although it was so close that a couple of tenths might have made a difference to the position, but the same thing applies to everyone and I think my lap was pretty good. The track improved an incredible amount today giving a lot more grip than on Friday, so you could accelerate and brake much harder this afternoon. It would be nice to get into the lower end of the points positions in the race, which would involve passing a few cars, but our long runs in free practice were pretty good and here you often get incidents and Safety Cars which mix up the order, so let’s wait and see. The team did a good job improving the car from yesterday.”

Jaime Alguersuari: “With the lack of grip from the track and the low temperatures it was hard for me to get the tyres to work at their best, but I can be happy with this afternoon’s performance, just half a tenth behind my team-mate. I think that, because of last night’s rain the track condition did not improve as much as we would have liked. As for tomorrow, anything can happen as Canada often produces a crazy race. We just need to stay on the track and see what develops!”

Pedro de la Rosa: “Well, we knew before qualifying that it would be a difficult one. We ran the car for the first time on a significantly lower downforce level and it doesn’t really suit us. We are sliding all over the place, and that’s why the tyres don’t work. There is no grip at all and on top of that I had difficulties heating up the brakes. We have to see what we can do in tomorrow’s race in terms of tyre strategy, and be prepared to benefit from possible safety car situations.”

Kamui Kobayashi – 18th: “We are having a hard weekend here. Our overall performance is not where we were in Turkey. I had big problems with warming up the tyres. I just didn’t get them to work and this made it impossible to exploit any of the car’s potential. The fact I had traffic on my last lap didn’t help either. I knew today’s qualifying would be difficult, but still didn’t expect it to be that bad. However, tomorrow is race day and I hope to get a chance to improve.”

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