Qualifying - selected driver quotes 24 Jun 2006
There was nothing anyone could do to stop Fernando Alonso scoring a fifth successive pole position for Renault. The world champion was the only man to dip below the 1m 15s barrier. He and his 21 rivals report back on their progress in Montreal
Fernando Alonso, Renault (1st, 1m 14.942s):
Five pole positions in a row is something I have never experienced and it is a fantastic feeling. The competition between myself, Fisico and Raikkonen has been very close all weekend, and that was how it turned out in qualifying this afternoon. The car has felt very good from the first lap we did on Friday, and we have only had to tune it to adapt to the changing grip conditions. We needed to run at the end in qualifying because the track was improving all the time, and this result was perfect. To have an all-Renault front row at the ninth race shows how hard the whole team is pushing to develop the car at the moment, and they can be proud of the work they are doing. Now, we need to finish the job tomorrow.
Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault (2nd, 1m 15.178s):
I was really pleased with the performance today - it's fantastic to have a Renault one-two in qualifying. I made a change to the car right before my last flying lap to add a bit more front wing and after that, the balance felt really good. Now we have to see what tomorrow brings, but I know that we have a good strategy and the perfect starting position. We have a great chance to win the race, and maybe we will want a one-two finish there as well.
Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren (3rd, 1m 15.386s):
"As the last couple of races have shown we are obviously going in the right direction with the car and I'm pleased to have qualified in third. The car felt fantastic this morning during practice, but we had to make some minor changes bearing the race in mind and I wasn't as comfortable during qualifying and was sliding a lot more. As a result third is very good and I'm confident that we should be able to leave Montreal with a strong result."
Jarno Trulli, Toyota (4th, 1m 15.968s):
"I'm delighted because that was an extremely strong qualifying session for both myself and the team. The car went really well and I put together a very good lap. I didn't expect to be so far up the grid but I could have gone even quicker if I hadn't been blocked by Fisichella. It's good to be fighting for the top positions and this result comes because the whole team is pushing so hard both on track and at the factory. We worked pretty well in the morning, preparing both for qualifying and the race without showing our true potential. We're in good shape for the race and I'm confident about our strategy. The start will be very difficult because the first corner is so tight. We have struggled off the line in recent races so we hope that improves tomorrow. But in the last few races we've definitely shown better potential and better speed so I will push for another good day."
Michael Schumacher, Ferrari (5th, 1m 15.986s):
"Obviously, we can't be happy with this result, especially in the light of the championship situation. We have made some progress compared with yesterday, but we are still suffering from a lack of grip. This could be down to the car, the tyres or the set-up: at the moment we cannot be sure which. What is sure is that starting from fifth on the grid we can expect a very tough race. Seventy laps are a lot and yes, anything can happen. For our part, all we can do is give it our best shot and try and exploit any opportunity that presents itself."
Nico Rosberg, Williams (6th, 1m 16.012s):
My qualifying went pretty well today even if it was full of incident. On my fastest lap in the first session I even touched the wall! My father encouraged me to use every millimetre possible and that is what I did, but maybe I exaggerated a bit - I was lucky to get away with it but it worked out fine in the end. I am pretty pleased to finish up sixth as I think it gives me a good chance to do well for the team tomorrow.
Juan Pablo Montoya, McLaren (7th, 1m 16.228s):
"The first two parts of qualifying were very good for me. However I pushed a little bit too hard in the last run and made a mistake at the chicane which cost me a lot of time - I think without this I probably would have been on the second row with Kimi. This is quite frustrating as overall my car was pretty good today. Anyway I'm relaxed and I will look at my options and see what happens to put myself in the best position during the race."
Jenson Button, Honda (8th, 1m 16.608s):
"I'm pretty happy with our qualifying position today. Eighth is obviously not where we want to be but it's a solid performance and we have both cars in the top ten. We'll just have to see what happens tomorrow. It'll be an interesting race as I think the Michelin tyres will work well and we're positive about our race pace. We've only used one set of new tyres in Qualifying so we've saved an extra set for the race. I'm not going to talk our prospects up too much though. Our aim is to get both cars in the points and that would be a good result for us right now.
Rubens Barrichello, Honda (9th, 1m 16.912s):
"We were on the borderline for the first qualifying session as I almost got put out of it by Rosberg holding me up. Apart from that, our qualifying hour ran smoothly enough. In the last sector of my final lap, I went a little wide and ran on the marbles, which cost me a bit of time. But we could only have improved to eighth at the most with the car we have so I'm satisfied with my position. We got as much as we could out of the car today. I hope we can achieve our target of points tomorrow."
Felipe Massa, Ferrari (10th, 1m 17.209s):
"It was a difficult day. We did not manage to find the ideal balance for the car and we continue to suffer from quite a lack of grip, especially on the first flying lap. The result of all this is that I will find myself starting from the fifth row and therefore with a rather complicated race ahead of me. Thanks to the strategy and to the fact that overtaking is possible here, we will try and move up the order. It's a long race and anything could happen."
Jacques Villeneuve, BMW Sauber (11th, 1m 15.832s):
The track heated up, we lost the balance of the car and couldn't get it to work anymore. It is very disappointing as now we are in the middle of the pack for the first corner. We should be all right once the race gets going so we just need to keep our nose clean in the first corner. We missed getting into the last part of qualifying by thousandths of a second, which was very annoying as we were really looking forward to being in the top ten here.
Christian Klien, Red Bull (12th, 1m 15.833s):
"P12 is okay. I didn't get too much lap time yesterday and I was just two hundredths behind the top ten time today, which I think is pretty good. We drove to get the maximum out of the car and I think this is an okay position to be starting from tomorrow. It's important we get to the finish of this race, and starting four places behind a potential points position is not too bad."
Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber (13th, 1m 15.885s):
After the good practice sessions we were naturally hoping for a better qualifying result. The car suffered a big balance change, and just felt different every time we went out today. On my last lap I had some understeer, especially in the first sector. I am very disappointed but am already looking forward to tomorrow. We can still get in the points as we have had a good pace all weekend.
Ralf Schumacher, Toyota (14th, 1m 15.888s):
"This has been a difficult day for me. This morning I really struggled for grip and I could not find a balance. Those problems continued into qualifying, meaning that we ended up far away from where we should have been. My team mate had a better afternoon so we will have to look at the data to try to improve for tomorrow. It will be a hard race but we have a free choice of strategy and I expect the whole package to work better in the race. This is a good track for racing and there are chances to overtake. The circuit is improving all the time and with more hot weather expected on Sunday we should be able to make progress."
Vitantonio Liuzzi, Toro Rosso (15th, 1m 16.116s):
"This was another good qualifying for me. Everything has been moving in the right direction since we started practice on Friday. We should have a good pace for the race as the car feels consistent and quite quick. I think that in the second part of qualifying
I might have had a chance of going through to the final session, but there was a Red Bull car coming out of the pits as I came round, so we got a bit stuck in traffic and I didn't get the maximum out of the car. As for the race, I think I have a chance of fighting with the three or four cars ahead of me on the grid. We usually have a good race pace so it could be a good afternoon."
David Coulthard, Red Bull (16th, 1m 16.301s):
"I had a lot of oversteer during qualifying, which I've had all weekend and it basically means I can't carry speed into the corners. That's where you lose the time here, so it doesn't surprise me that I was at the back end of the second qualifying group. We can't really change anything on the car now before the race, apart from front wing adjustments and, as I think we've got bigger issues than that, we'll just have to do the best we can. I think it's going to be a tough race."
Mark Webber, Williams (17th, 1m 16.985s):
The car was quick enough to get through to the next group of course and I was doing everything I could to achieve this, but it was very frustrating to get caught behind my team-mate on the back straight which hurt me into the last corner. It was a shame to lose so much time, but thats the way it goes and I am not here to give a shopping list of excuses.
Scott Speed, Toro Rosso (18th, 1m 17.016s):
"For some reason, we picked up a lot more oversteer in this session than in the others. The car felt completely different and it was sliding a lot. The track temperature was a lot higher, so we adjusted the tyre pressures accordingly and maybe that's where we didn't get it quite right. My tyres were better on the second flying lap, but on my second run I had to abort that lap as I got held up by Button. The track was definitely better at the end. We gambled on going out a little bit earlier. Tomorrow? Hopefully we can go back to getting the good balance we had before for the race. Anything can happen here, so let's wait and see."
Tiago Monteiro, Midland (19th, 1m 17.121s):
"As I said heading into this weekend, this isn't the best kind of circuit for our car, so I can't say I'm surprised by the result. The morning practice and qualifying sessions went pretty smoothly for us, actually, and we we're weren't too far from getting into Q2. We did two timed laps in qualifying, and my second run was looking pretty good through the first two sectors - I was six-tenths up. But then I lost most of it through the final sector, and I think that's what cost us our chance to break through. Still, I think we're looking OK heading into tomorrow because the car actually feels better on worn tyres, which gives me confidence that I'll be able to run strongly over a race distance."
Christijan Albers, Midland (20th, 1m 17.140s):
"Today was not a great day for us, I have to admit. We're really struggling to find the right set-up. Yesterday, I wasn't able to get it together, and I did not get it together today, either. It's been a tough weekend for us so far and I think it's going to be a tough race tomorrow, as well. On the positive side, once again, I have a lot of tyres for the race, so I'll be pushing as hard as I can to make the best of the situation."
Takuma Sato, Super Aguri (21st, 1m 19.088s):
This mornings practice session went well, however I am a little bit disappointed with my lap times from the Qualifying session compared to our rivals as I was expecting to be closer to their times this weekend. Having said that, I think that we did everything we could in our preparation for tomorrow and I believe that I have a good set-up for the race, so I am looking forward to it.
Franck Montagny, Super Aguri (22nd, 1m 19.152s):
I am quite happy with our results today. We have come a long way with the car since yesterday and I am quite happy with the set-up we have found. It is not going to be easy for us again tomorrow, but I like this circuit and the car is quite nice to drive here, a bit slow, but at least it is not so hard to keep the car on the track, so I think it will be a fun race.