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In quotes - Friday in Montreal

05 Jun 2015

For the second Grand Prix running, a dry opening session was followed by a rain-hit second - but there was at least time to trial the supersoft tyre before the heavens opened and stopped play. The teams and drivers report back on the first day of running on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve...


Marcus Ericsson
FP1 - 18th, FP2 - 12th

"In the first session we tried a set-up on the car which was not working as we expected it would – with both tyre compounds, the soft and supersofts. Nevertheless, we were able to collect more data. In the afternoon, we returned to another set-up which worked better. I am satisfied with this first day of practice in Montreal. Now we are looking forward to qualifying."

Felipe Nasr
FP1 - 16th, FP2 - 17th

"It was a positive day. I was not able to run many laps on a track I did not know before. It was important to cover a good amount of mileage before it started to rain. In the morning everything went according to plan. For the second free practice we made some set-up adjustments, which I felt were positive. We have some minor issues with the brakes, which I am confident we will be able to fix for tomorrow."

Toro Rosso

Max Verstappen
FP1 - 10th, FP2 - 16th

"It was a hard day for us today. FP1 wasn’t too bad and I think it was a good result to end up in tenth position. In between sessions we made some changes to the car for this afternoon’s FP2 but that didn’t really work out. We therefore have some work to do tonight but at least we know in what direction to go. It will be a difficult weekend but I’m up for the challenge."

Carlos Sainz
FP1 - 17th, FP2 - 13th

"It’s been a difficult day for us. This morning in FP1 we had some electronic issues, so we were slow and didn’t complete as many laps as we wanted to. It’s a bit annoying, because it’s very important for us to get as much mileage as possible here as this is a completely new track for me. In FP2 we didn’t have any issues, but it was a bit of a rushed session because we were expecting the rain to come. I felt that the car was improving lap after lap, but just as we managed to get to a decent level the rain arrived. The lack of running meant it wasn’t an ideal first day for a rookie especially on a difficult track like this one but hopefully we can use tomorrow’s FP3 to prepare ourselves better for qualifying."

Phil Charles, Chief Race Engineer

"Another first day at a new track for our two drivers, and this has been a very tricky one: it’s different to any other circuit we’ve raced on up until now as it’s a big curb-riding track and it’s also the first time we take downforce off the car. Both Carlos and Max have settled in well and even though we’ve got quite a lot of work to do tonight, they’ve made a reasonable start to the weekend. The car isn’t quite where we would like it to be. We’ll make sure we go through all the data so that it’s easier for them to get up and over the curbs and hopefully have a better day tomorrow."


Felipe Massa
FP1 - 6th, FP2 - 8th

"We missed a bit of FP2 because of the rain, but before that the car behaved well and I had a good feeling for the balance straight away. The grip level from the track was very low, but that’s the same for everybody. This is definitely a better track for us than Monaco. Tomorrow morning will be even more important after the rain today, so we need to understand a lot in FP3 to prepare the car for qualifying."

Valtteri Bottas
FP1 - 11th, FP2 - 6th

"The rain compromised FP2 for everyone but we knew it was coming so we were able to do a little bit of work at the end of FP1 that we would normally do in FP2. I did a longer run with higher fuel so we got some information on brake, engine and tyre temperatures, and car balance. Today we were as competitive as we have been on any Friday this year, so we should be looking at least at the same kind of performance as in Barcelona. Qualifying can be very close here, even if you get everything right, so we need to make sure we find everything there is to find."

Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering

"We came here with a certain car philosophy and we’re happy with the way things have gone. We’ve run on both fuel levels and we’re quite competitive - certainly back to a much more normal position for us. We’ve gone through our work diligently in terms of tyre and brake management, which are the two things an order of magnitude more important than anything else on this track. Off the back of a difficult Monaco, we’re in shape to have a good weekend here."


Romain Grosjean
FP1 - 3rd, FP2 - 7th

"The car felt good straight away and we had a set-up which worked well. It’s frustrating to lose some track time because of the rain, but it’s the same for everyone. We’ve got good potential tomorrow, hopefully we can get some decent time in FP3 then show what we’ve got in qualifying. This place holds good memories for me so it would be fantastic to have a good result here this weekend."

Pastor Maldonado
FP1 - 8th, FP2 - 5th

"I’m happy with today. We didn’t get the lap I wanted in the morning, but the car felt good for the dry part of the second session. We’ve got good pace on the straights and the car is working well through the slow sections too. I think we can make some extra progress tomorrow and we could be set for a strong weekend."

Nick Chester, Technical Director

"It was a good day for us with the E23 looking well balanced straight out of the box. Romain was able to post the third fastest lap time in FP1 during the course of our normal programme which is very positive looking forward to the rest of the weekend, reinforced by both cars being comfortably in the top ten during the rain-affected second session."

Force India

Nico Hulkenberg
FP1 - 4th, FP2 - 11th

"I’m feeling pretty positive about today. The car has performed well so far and I’m fairly happy with the balance and confident with the performance. In fact, right from the first lap of practice, I’ve been feeling comfortable in the car. The afternoon session was obviously interrupted because of the rain. We knew it was coming so we tried to do as much as we could before it arrived. I’m feeling happy about what we learned today and we have a good chance to have a strong weekend."

Sergio Perez
FP1 - 13th, FP2 - 14th

"We did a lot of work this morning trying different downforce levels because it’s very important to make sure you have enough straight-line speed for Sunday. The second session was very rushed because we knew the rain was coming. We went out straightaway on the supersoft tyres and the track had very low grip. I also did a long run on the supersoft which gave us the data we needed. Overall I’m feeling optimistic for the weekend: I’ve got a good feeling with the car so we just need to keep up this rhythm and get a good starting position tomorrow."

Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal

"Both Nico and Sergio were pretty happy with the car balance right from the off and so we simply focussed on making small improvements here and there. We also experimented with various wing levels to find the optimum balance for qualifying and the race. We knew that the forecast was suggesting rain this afternoon so we carried out some longer runs at the end of the morning session to get the data in the bank. In the afternoon it became clear the rain was going to arrive quite early so the priority was to get an understanding of the supersoft tyre. We managed that with Sergio, but unfortunately Nico’s run was cut short, which meant we only had the long run data from one car. On the whole I think we’re reasonably well prepared for tomorrow. The grid is always very tight here with small margins so hopefully we can build on the promise shown today."


Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director

“The weather that we saw today was reminiscent of the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix, where torrential rain made for a very entertaining race, won by Jenson Button from the back. It’s obviously still early in the weekend but the teams have to be prepared for any potential conditions. The third free practice session tomorrow will become particularly important, as this now represents the only potential opportunity to gather solid long-run data on the new 2015 supersoft tyre, which should be well suited to the tyre demands of the Montreal circuit. Depending on the race conditions, a number of strategies seem possible. However, we will only get a clearer picture after FP3 tomorrow. It’s a shame that the fans didn’t see much running today, but Canada always produces a thrilling race weekend - we’re sure that even the heavy rain here today won’t dampen anybody’s enthusiasm.”


Lewis Hamilton

"The ending might have been so-so but it's generally been a pretty good day. I made a couple of mistakes - pushing too hard and going over the kerbs at the final chicane and then what happened at the end there. Looking at the replays, I wasn't going that fast. But it was like sheet ice into Turn 10 so the car aquaplaned and I went off. It maybe wasn't the right call to go out but, with the weather as it eventually turned out, it didn't affect our running. I'm fine and it looks like it's just the front wing that was damaged to it's not the end of the world. In the dry, the car is feeling really good here and our long run pace was encouraging. Ferrari look like they've upped their pace so it will be interesting to see what happens tomorrow - but I'm sure we'll still be strong. It's great to be back in Montreal and I'm feeling good for the weekend."

Nico Rosberg

"For me, it was a decent day. We got some practice in for qualifying and the race and that all went well. At the end of session two, we went out again to practice some starts in the heavy rain. But the conditions were really tough out there. I don't know exactly where we are with our speed but for sure Ferrari seems to be a threat. They were very quick today."

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport

"That was a mixed bag today, like the weather. We had a strong first practice and looked competitive on the prime tyre. Then in FP2, we pulled the programme forward to get as much running done as possible before the rain came. We managed to compare the two tyres and do some high fuel running, which gave us some interesting results - and our competitors looked pretty strong in similar conditions, too, which we will have to analyse this evening to understand the competitive balance. We sent the boys out on intermediate tyres to do practice starts but the conditions worsened significantly as they went out, then Lewis aquaplaned off the circuit at Turn 10. The car didn't look too badly damaged so we'll repair it this evening and hope for a smoother day tomorrow."

Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical)

"We had a good morning - running through our normal programme, looking at the car on low and high fuel and seeing where we are with fuel consumption and brakes in particular. We were anticipating rain around 30 minutes into P2, so we ran a very condensed programme on both tyre compounds to maximise dry running time. Race starts aside, we managed to gather all the data we needed. So, when the rain started we decided to head out just to get some practice starts done on the intermediate tyre, as this can be exchanged if you use it. Unfortunately Lewis aquaplaned off the circuit as the rain intensified, so we'll have some extra work to do tonight to check the car over and replace some parts but all should be well for tomorrow."


Kimi Raikkonen

“Today everything worked as we expected, we went on with our program trying as always to improve and we are quite happy with the way things worked. The weather was a bit tricky: the rain was expected in the afternoon, then we had to change a bit our program and decided certain things to be done in the morning. It’s hard to say where we are, because we did not get enough running, but it was all fine. It’s only Friday and we have to wait and see. There’s still a lot of work to be done to do well in qualifying, for sure here is easier compared to Monaco, but it will depend on many things, the weather conditions first of all. Tomorrow we’ll see where we are and then we’ll do the best over the weekend.”

Sebastian Vettel

“The rain reminded of me the race on Sunday four years ago, back then we had also massive rain for a long time, it was a bit like that today. It’s a shame that we couldn’t get out anymore, but we did the maximum to prepare for Saturday and Sunday in a very short amount of time, I think we had only just half an hour. We didn’t have so much running this morning, but everything went according to plan. This morning we had a look on a bit more fuel, trying to get an idea for the race: we didn’t know when the rain would come this afternoon, this is maybe the reason why we didn’t run so much like the others. About my race pace, I haven’t seen much of the others yet but the car felt right, now we have to see where we are. I think we can still improve. I am not entirely happy with the runs I had, but I think anybody was with the short amount of time we had today.”

Red Bull

Daniil Kvyat

“We have been playing around with different settings to find a good balance for tomorrow, but we have more work to do in the morning. There doesn’t seem to be any issues with the brakes, I came in for the guys to check them, then my session was cut short because of the rain. We will keep pushing with this engine and when we need to change it, we’ll change it and deal with penalties then.”

Daniel Ricciardo

“It would have been nice to get more laps in today. We tried a set-up this morning that didn’t feel quite right, so we reverted back to a more conventional set-up in FP2. This worked better but we just didn’t get enough laps in with the session cut short because of the rain. We were a little off the pace today, but we tried four set-ups between the two cars; we’ll look at these and find the best compromise to hopefully propel us towards the front tomorrow. We are going to try and push on with this fourth engine for this race, ideally we want to get through Austria with it as well, but we’ll see how we go.”


Will Stevens

“It’s been difficult to get into a good rhythm today, with the wet weather this afternoon and also losing a bit of time during the dry window while we addressed a small problem. I worked through a lot of test items this morning, which was interesting and we have some good data to pore over. I really like the circuit and I’m looking forward to resuming the plan in FP3 tomorrow. We’ll undoubtedly have a lot of catch-up work to do in that session as we continue to try to optimise the car in the dry.”

Roberto Merhi

“I’ve really enjoyed driving this circuit today, so it’s a shame that we have lost so much time to the wet weather. In the dry periods we were able to push on with the programme though and I’m really pleased with the way things were progressing. It’s clearly a challenging track to master, as we have seen already, but I seem to have found a good rhythm. I’m looking forward to dry conditions again tomorrow to pick up where I left off before the rain came.”

John Booth, Team Principal

“Today has been largely defined by the weather, with the latter part of Free Practice 2 a complete washout. We did have reasonably good dry conditions earlier in the day, so we were able to at least get our planned programme underway. We’re hoping that this is the last we’ve seen of the rain this weekend, which is good because wet weather always makes for a very difficult race here. Both drivers have done a good job of finding their feet at what is a new track for them, so we look forward to tomorrow to get a better feel for how the car is performing here.”


Fernando Alonso

“The rain didn’t affect too much our FP2 programme today, as we could go through most of it in the first part of the session.

“Overall, then, it’s been an interesting Friday. We tried several things in FP1, all of which seemed to work as we’d expected. So far I am happy with the balance of the car, and with the power delivered here, but the features of this track don’t suit our package too well. We’re still several tenths behind to where we want to be. Position-wise, we need to take a step forward, but that’s going to be difficult to accomplish here.

“In tomorrow’s qualifying session we therefore expect to end up somewhere in the midfield.”

Jenson Button

“From this morning’s session we immediately knew we’d got a lot of work to do on set-up. However, now, I think we know exactly what we have to do, and it’s already been put in motion. There’s a lot of work required, but hopefully we’ll see the results of that tomorrow; I think we will.

“There was a problem with the gearbox in FP1 - I couldn’t get out of second gear, maybe I didn’t double-clutch enough when I when I went into third gear - but it was solved pretty rapidly and I was back out in the second half of the session.

“I think we’re all pretty good at understanding what the weather is going to do here over the weekend. When the rain started in this afternoon’s session there was no need to go out - it was extremely wet out there. Everyone up and down the paddock has got new parts, and, if you crash, that’s it; that’s your upgrade gone. It’s not forecast to rain on Saturday or Sunday so we decided to end the session there and then.

“I think qualifying in the top 10 tomorrow may be tricky, but you never know; we’ll see.”

Eric Boullier, Racing director

“In FP1 we went through our programme without mishap, save only for a small gearbox issue for Jenson, which we resolved quickly enough.

“In FP2, aware of impending wet weather, we managed to complete the majority of our planned objectives before the forecast heavy rain arrived and rendered the last part of the session undriveable.

“That was a pity, and an inconvenience, but we all know how torrential the precipitation can sometimes be here in Montreal, and anyway it’s the same for everyone. Besides, we’ve gathered plenty of data to study this afternoon and this evening, and, since somewhat more clement climatic conditions are forecast for the morrow, we’re hopeful of being able to offer the spectators in the grandstands, and the viewers at home, rather more on-track entertainment than we were able to serve up after the heavens opened here today.”

Yasuhisa Arai, Honda R&D senior managing officer - chief officer of motorsport

“The characteristics of the circuit here in Canada are very different from Monaco two weeks ago. This is a difficult track, known for its long fast straights and hard braking, and the energy deployment is very difficult for us.

“Today’s practice sessions were crucial for us to learn as much as possible. In FP1 we were analysing each sector to see where we can gain the most performance, and then in FP2 our plan was to work on race management. Unfortunately we were unable to complete absolutely all our programme before the rain arrived, so we still need more time to find our best race set-up - tomorrow’s FP3 will be crucial for that.

“Despite the delays today, we’ll push hard to be well prepared for qualifying and the race.”