Qualifying - selected driver quotes 07 Jun 2008
McLarens Lewis Hamilton on scoring his second consecutive Canadian pole in spectacular style; Red Bulls Mark Webber on crashing out of Q2; and Toro Rossos Sebastian Vettel on being forced to watch the action from the garage. All 20 drivers report back from Montreal
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren (1st, Q1 - 1m 17.886s):
"To achieve pole position here in Canada at the same place where I took my first Formula One pole just one year ago is really awesome. Our car feels good and were 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 tomorrow with a similar result."
Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber (2nd, Q1 - 1m 18.498s):
"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."
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari (3rd, Q1 - 1m 18.735s):
"It's unbelievable how much time I lost at turn 10, 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."
Fernando Alonso, Renault (4th, Q1 - 1m 18.476s):
"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 fourth 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."
Nico Rosberg, Williams (5th, Q1 - 1m 18.844s):
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 fifth, which is a great place to start tomorrow.
Felipe Massa, Ferrari (6th, Q1 - 1m 19.048s):
"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 10, 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."
Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren (7th, Q1 - 1m 19.089s):
We worked hard to improve the car all weekend so my grid position is mainly due to the fact that I couldnt find a clear lap in the final session. The traffic meant I couldnt get into a proper rhythm so Im 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. Its always been a bit of a chaotic race so hopefully that will help me tomorrow.
Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber (8th, Q1 - 1m 19.633s):
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."
Rubens Barrichello, Honda (9th, Q1 1m 20.848s):
"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."
Mark Webber, Red Bull (10th, Q1 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 couldnt bring it back. Im not sure how theyre going to manage with the track tomorrow, but everyones in the same boat. I think well need to use motocross bikes, as its not realistic in a Formula One car, youll need to drive on the grass or on the inside of the hairpin.
Timo Glock, Toyota (11th, Q2 - 1m 18.031s):
"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."
Kazuki Nakajima, Williams (12th, Q2 - 1m 18.062s):
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.
David Coulthard, Red Bull (13th, Q2 1m 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 youve got that amount of horsepower on a car thats slipping and sliding, its 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. Its unfortunate to have a continued series of problems, but were thirteenth tomorrow, and hopefully we can have a strong race from there.
Jarno Trulli, Toyota (14th, Q2 - 1m 18.327s):
"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."
Nelson Piquet Jr, Renault (15th, Q2 - 1m 18.393s):
"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."
Sebastien Bourdais, Toro Rosso (16th, Q3 - 1m 18.916s):
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 its 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.
Adrian Sutil, Force India (17th, Q3 - 1m 19.108s):
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, Force India (18th, Q3 - 1m 19.165s):
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.
Jenson Button, Honda (19th, Q3 - 1m 23.565s):
"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."
Sebastian Vettel, Toro Rosso (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.