Friday practice - selected driver quotes 06 Jun 2008
Lewis Hamilton and Robert Kubica on out-pacing Ferrari; Fernando Alonso and Nelson Piquet on a difficult day for Renault; and Timo Glock on putting his Toyota into the unforgiving Montreal walls. All 20 drivers give their day one verdicts
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren (1st, 1m 15.752s):
"Its great to be back in Montreal, the scene of my first grand prix victory one year ago. We chose not to use our allocation of wet tyres for the majority of the opening session but managed a run on dry tyres towards the end of the morning. In the afternoon, we were able to improve the car on every run - I felt very comfortable with the set-up and balance, particularly when we switched to the option tyre, which allowed me to lean on the car as the track conditions improved. Weve still got some work to do ahead of qualifying and the race, but weve already got some positive running under our belts."
Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber (2nd, +0.271s):
"We had a very busy afternoon, after losing quite a bit of time in the morning due to the damp track. We ran a very comprehensive programme in the second session, trying a lot of different things on the car's set-up. The grip level is still very low, which makes the car quite nervous. However, we were also able to do the tyre comparison, so we have a good base to start with for tomorrow."
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari (3rd, +0.341s):
"I am quite satisfied with this first day of testing. We were always quick. The car turned out to be well balanced right from the morning and I think we can aim for the top spots over the rest of the weekend. From what we have seen today, there is not much difference in the performance of the two types of Bridgestone tyre we have available to us, but the track conditions are bound to change over the next couple of days. At this track, it is very important to have the brakes sorted in the race and we also worked on this."
Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren (4th, +0.579s):
"Today was a pretty useful day, although I dont really feel as though Ive yet found a truly perfect balance. We chose not to carry out too much running this morning, but we were able to start developing the car in the afternoon. We worked hard on set-up, focusing particularly on calming the rear-end, but I have yet to really start attacking the track. However, by the end of the session, I felt wed come a long way towards resolving our main issues. After weve had a good look at the tyres and made some changes ahead of tomorrow mornings practice session, I think well be in much better shape."
Felipe Massa, Ferrari (5th, +0.661s):
"My car seemed to suffer some sort of blackout: gradually all the systems shut down and I had to stop at the side of the track. Of course, that's not good but it's better to have a problem in free practice than in qualifying or, worse still, in the race! Even if we did not get through everything we wanted to do, this problem won't cost us anything. From what we could understand today, it is very close between us and our main rivals. As usual on a Friday in Montreal, the track was very dirty and will therefore improve bit by bit as the surface gets rubbered in. I hope I can have a great qualifying and claim a good position on the grid."
Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber (6th, +0.837s):
"In the morning session I did one installation lap on wet tyres. Luckily towards the end of the session the track dried out and I was able to do some laps on dry tyres. It was enough to gather information for the afternoon and make some set-up changes. In the second session there was always a yellow flag somewhere when I was on fresh tyres, but we did a lot more running and had no technical problems."
Mark Webber, Red Bull (7th, +0.852s):
A reasonable day. As always this track is quite challenging for set up and also for the comfort that you have on the brakes, so weve got a bit of work to do. I had a small off on the last run in Turn 6, but managed to get back onto the track, so no problems. Apart from that, it was an uneventful day, now well use the data weve gained to get ready for tomorrow.
Nico Rosberg, Williams (8th, +1.015s):
We did a lot of set-up work today as the lower downforce level here takes some getting used to, but we have found a good direction with a definite improvement over the day. We also managed some good tyre tests too where we definitely learned something, so its been a good start to the weekend. Were looking relatively competitive but we still need to do our homework tonight and we also have some interesting things to test tomorrow morning for qualifying. Overall I am confident.
Sebastian Vettel, Toro Rosso (9th, +1.267s):
Overall, this was a good day for us. Its my first time driving on this track and even though it was wet in the morning, I have to say I like it and it reminded me a bit of the Melbourne circuit. We will have to analyse the other guys times, but I think we are in better shape than we were at the end of the first day in Monaco, which means we are making progress and finding our way with the new car. We understand the STR3 better now and I feel more comfortable with it. So a positive day.
Jarno Trulli, Toyota (10th, +1.316s):
"Our day of testing at Paul Ricard in preparation for this race was washed out so we had a lot to learn from today's practice sessions. This was another difficult day because the track was green and there was very low grip. That meant I was fighting a lot to control the car and to get the most out of the tyres. In general we have quite a lot of work to do to improve the balance before qualifying. It's hard to say how we can get on this weekend. The role of the tyres will be important because we had graining last year which had a big impact on the performance. We've had some difficult races lately so we could do with a return to form here."
Kazuki Nakajima, Williams (11th, +1.490s):
I think today was a good day for us. I drove here last year, a clear advantage as I spent less time learning the track and more time getting straight into set-up work. The morning was more difficult with the damp weather conditions, but then in the afternoon we had a good session which allowed us to try a few more things on set-up and complete a more meaningful tyre comparison.
David Coulthard, Red Bull (12th, +1.582s):
It was a normal Canada practice day, adapting to more down force. The day was made a little tricky by the track conditions being wet this morning, but we ran through our programme. We didnt manage to use all our tyres today, as we ran out of time at the end of the second session but, nonetheless, weve got some good data to work through and well see what tomorrow brings.
Rubens Barrichello, Honda (13th, +1.710s):
"We have been trying to make the car work with very low levels of downforce today, in order to be able to run at a competitive pace. We have achieved a better set-up over the course of the day, although the rear is still lacking a little bit of stability at the moment. We don't know where we stand yet for the remainder of the weekend, however I am happy with the progress that we made today."
Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India (14th, +1.756s):
A fairly typical day here in Canada. As usual on the first day, the grip is not so good. I think it is a problem for every driver around here, particularly with the low level of downforce we run at the track. We need to improve in a few areas still and there was some graining with the tyres, but I think we can find some more tomorrow.
Timo Glock, Toyota (15th, +1.797s):
"The first practice session went okay and we were able to carry out useful work in the changing conditions. But in the second practice I just could not find a balance and the car was really difficult to drive. I put a wheel into the wall with half an hour to go and that was it for the day. Still, my races here in Montreal have gone well for me so far. I scored points here on my F1 debut in 2004 and I came second here in Champ Cars. So I have good memories from this track and I remain hopeful we can come away from this weekend with a strong performance."
Sebastien Bourdais, Toro Rosso (16th, +1.807s):
I had a difficult day, starting with a set-up that was very different to Sebs and I didnt like the car at all. That meant we lost pretty much all of the morning session as we only began to get to grips with the problem in the afternoon. That makes life difficult as you dont know how the track is evolving and how the tyres are working ending up with a car thats not doing what it should. We struggled to identify how to get me the balance I wanted. The situation improved in the afternoon, but there is still some work to do tomorrow morning. I had raced here before, but not in F1 and in some ways, that might have been a distraction as the reference points I had from Champ Car were completely wrong. I was used to being able to attack the kerbs and you cant do that with this low downforce configuration. Plus the braking points are different and the entry speed into the corners is much higher. I have to forget about the past - it did not help!
Fernando Alonso, Renault (17th, +1.892s):
I did not do much running this morning because we only have a limited amount of wet tyres and it made more sense to save them in case we need them later in the weekend. And so we waited until the circuit was dry, which was only the last ten minutes. In the afternoon we did some work with the two different types of dry tyres, and although we did not manage to complete the programme, we still have some interesting information that we will use to try and improve the car for tomorrow.
Adrian Sutil, Force India (18th, +2.061s):
Today was an average day, working through our programme of tyre evaluation and waiting for the track improvement. This morning was very wet and then in the last 10 minutes it seemed to dry up and was OK so we could use the dry tyres. There is a lot of work to do as I'm not 100% happy with the car balance at the moment. It could be the tyres and the graining, but there is still some room for improvement so we need to make sure to fix it for tomorrow.
Jenson Button, Honda (19th, +2.090s):
"It has been a tough day for us today and we need to fully understand why that was in order to make progress for the remainder of the weekend. The car felt unbalanced and was difficult to drive in both sessions. I really struggled with the rear end which was causing problems with snap oversteer and we just lacked any form of pace. So there is a lot of work to do before we can feel confident with the car for qualifying and the race."
Nelson Piquet Jr, Renault (20th, +2.324s):
My main aim today was to try and get used to the circuit, but that was difficult as I did not do as much running as I would have liked. Its a very difficult circuit, which is quite bumpy in places and we run very low aero here which makes it a challenging place. I did more in the morning when the track was wet, but the conditions were constantly changing and it was difficult to learn much. Then my afternoon ended early as I had a problem with the car and so I couldnt do much work.