Qualifying - selected driver quotes 09 Jun 2007
McLarens Lewis Hamilton on his maiden pole; Heikki Kovalainen on his trying session for Renault; and Alexander Wurz on his struggle for pace in the Williams. All 22 drivers report back on Saturdays action
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren (1st, 1m 15.707s):
Im absolutely 100 percent over the moon to claim my first ever Formula One 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. Im 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, McLaren (2nd, 1m 16.163s):
Im happy to be on the front row for tomorrows race and for Lewis to be on pole next to me. Its 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 Im looking forward to the race tomorrow. I obviously want to win but also Im not going to win the championship this weekend so will be sensible.
Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber (3rd, 1m 16.266s):
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.
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari (4th, 1m 16.411s):
"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, Ferrari (5th, 1m 16.570s):
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."
Mark Webber, Red Bull (6th, 1m 16.913s):
Its nice to finish off a qualifying session with no real problems, the teams done a good job. The cars felt good all weekend and Im 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.
Nico Rosberg, Williams (7th, 1m 16.919s):
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 sixth position by only six thousands of a second. In this mornings practice, I didnt 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.
Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber (8th, 1m 16.993s):
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.
Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault (9th, 1m 17.229s):
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.
Jarno Trulli, Toyota (10th, 1m 17.747s):
That was about as fast as I could have gone today so Im very happy with that, even if we would have liked to be further forward. Weve 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.
Takuma Sato, Super Aguri (11th, 1m 16.743s):
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.
Vitantonio Liuzzi, Toro Rosso (12th, 1m 16.760s):
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!
Rubens Barrichello, Honda (13th, 1m 17.116s):
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.
David Coulthard, Red Bull (14th, 1m 17.304s):
Its been a pretty ugly weekend so far. I went over the kerb at the end of this mornings session and the boys had to change some things on the car before qualifying. The race brakes wed bedded on Friday were put back on, but we had a problem with glazing. When you have that, you basically dont have any temperature in one of the brakes and the car feels as though its 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, Id brake early and overshoot, while on other laps Id brake at what I thought was the normal position and the car would stop early. Its disappointing, as obviously grid position is very important, but thats what we have.
Jenson Button, Honda (15th, 1m 17.541s):
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.
Scott Speed, Toro Rosso (16th, 1m 17.571s):
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.
Anthony Davidson, Super Aguri (17th, 1m 17.542s):
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 five tenths 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 thats a real shame.
Ralf Schumacher, Toyota (18th, 1m 17.634s):
The whole weekend has been far from perfect for us. Yesterdays problems meant that we could not make the most of practice. Still we expected more this afternoon but the traffic meant that I just didnt get a clear lap and thats 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. Its a pity because there has been potential this weekend and in yesterdays 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 well do what we can to gain some positions tomorrow.
Heikki Kovalainen, Renault (19th, 1m 17.806s):
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.
Alexander Wurz, Williams (20th, 1m 18.089s):
Well, there is not much to say, it was just slow, thats it, and we will have to see where I lost the time - of course Im 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 wont give up.
Adrian Sutil, Spyker (21st, 1m 18.536s):
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, Spyker (22nd, 1m 19.196s):
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.