Driver reaction - Canada Practice
The drivers have their say after Friday's running in Canada, where Lewis Hamilton topped the times in both sessions.
By William Esler
Last Updated: 08/06/12 10:37pm
The drivers have their say after Friday's running in Canada, where Lewis Hamilton topped the times in both sessions.
Sebastian Vettel: "We ran the super soft tyres this morning thinking there would be rain this afternoon; in the end it didn't come but you never know in advance. I think we had a good day; we got decent laps and even with the different approach in terms of when we ran the tyres, I think we can be happy. Let's see what we can do tomorrow. It's a great track here, there are a lot of stop and starts, braking, chicanes and quick changes in direction but it's good fun - it's part of this track, there are bumps, so it's wild and rough, but it's fun."
Mark Webber: "It's been a pretty good day. We thought there would be more mixed weather, but it didn't come. We ran the super soft tyre in the first session, which we thought was the right thing to do, but in the end it didn't really rain in the second session. The programme was a bit compromised, but we still got everything done that we needed to. We're pretty happy with where we're at and I'm confident in the work we did with the car, so I'm looking forward to tomorrow. There are some quick cars out there, but we've seen that Fridays before this year - I'm looking forward to the weekend."
Lewis Hamilton: "I'm very happy with my start to the weekend: happy that the rain held off for both sessions today and happy that we got through a lot of good set-up changes. This is a great track to drive - it's a place that requires 100 per cent commitment and where the driver can really make a difference. It magnifies the differences between drivers. Today, even though the Option tyre was a little quicker, I preferred running on the Prime tyre.
"It was an unfortunate day for Jenson, who had some problems with the back-end of his car. Still, I was very pleased for him that he was at least able to get out at the end of the session and get some laps under his belt. This is a place where it's important to do some running, because there are some pretty close walls and you need to build your speed up gradually.
"So today has been positive, but it's definitely going to be tight this weekend - not just for qualifying, but for the race, too."
Jenson Button: "Well, we certainly had a few issues today. We had an oil leak on my car in this morning's session, so the mechanics had to take the gearbox off then put it back on. And then we found another problem, so they had to take it off again then put it back on again!
"They did a great job, but the delays stopped us from doing any high-fuel running or any set-up work simply because we had to get out on the circuit and get some laps in. It meant we didn't put a set-up on the car that felt quite right. Still, as I say, I want to say a massive thanks to the guys for working flat-out to get everything fixed - they were fantastic.
"But I'm not too worried - the car has been working well and Lewis has been quick all day, so there's a lot of good information for us to look at for tomorrow. I enjoy driving around this place, so we'll be hoping for a bit more luck tomorrow."
Fernando Alonso: "I am rather pleased with the way things went this Montreal Friday. This morning, we concentrated mainly on evaluating some new updates, while in the afternoon, we worked principally on a comparison of the two types of tyre, looking for performance over a single lap and also to check the behaviour of the car with a lot of fuel on board. The first indications seem to be positive, but it is much too soon to draw any conclusions as Friday times should never be taken at face value.
"Now we must concentrate on analysing the data and prepare as well as possible for the rest of the weekend. The circuit named after Gilles Villeneuve is very similar to a street circuit, with the walls very close to what are normal roads. It therefore becomes very important to find the right reference points, especially in terms of braking points and how far one is from the walls, in order to put together both a quick lap and to drive smoothly over a long distance."
Felipe Massa: "It was a very positive Friday for us. We managed to do a lot of laps and, above all, test everything we had on our programme. Fortunately, the rain, and boy did it rain, arrived just after the second session had ended, so we managed to do everything properly. I think we can be happy with the fact that the updates we have brought here worked, even if it's hard to give an instant assessment of how much of an improvement they have produced. In any case, the intention is to keep the car in this new configuration.
"The car seems to be well balanced and it seemed to me to be pretty consistent in terms of performance, even if, obviously, the track is not yet providing much grip, this being the first day of the race weekend. To sum up, this has been the best Friday of 2012: let's hope that can continue through Saturday and Sunday as well!"
Michael Schumacher: "Our work was pretty typical of a normal Friday, however we used the softer tyre this morning to make sure that we could complete our full programme in case of rain later on. This afternoon, we then concentrated more on the set-up and balance. I had a good feeling in the car but it's too early to make any predictions for the weekend so we will have a good look at all the data this evening and go from there. I really enjoy this track so it's nice to drive here again."
Nico Rosberg: "We had a good day today, although the track temperatures were quite cold which should not be the same over the weekend. This made it a little more difficult to warm up the tyres, but we were able to collect some good data on our long runs and have a lot of information to look at. It's a great track here and I'm really enjoying being in Montreal."
Kimi Raikkonen: "It was an okay day for us. We expected rain in the afternoon so we used the super soft tyres in the morning to make sure we could do some long runs, and we completed everything we needed to do today as the rain didn't come until later. I'm not 100% happy with my setup and I think we're missing a trick somewhere. It's not a major issue, but I know we can go faster. Let's see how it goes tomorrow, anything can happen and hopefully it's a little warmer as that usually seems to help."
Romain Grosjean: "Today was my first time at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and I really enjoyed it. It's not an easy track, and the weather wasn't what we're expecting for the rest of the weekend so it's a shame not to get some running in warmer conditions. We've spent a lot of time learning how the car behaves here and trying a few different things with the setup. We have a good amount of data, but obviously we'll need to work just as hard tomorrow if the temperatures are higher. The car felt good and we did a few laps on the super soft tyres as well, so overall it was quite a useful day."
Paul di Resta: "The weather was a bit of a worry today with the constant threat of rain so we had a very busy morning and probably did more laps in FP1 than we normally would. The initial baseline of the car was good and we worked on improving things further with each run. By the end of the day I was very happy with the feel of the car in terms of balance. Of course the ambient conditions are expected to change overnight and we need to see how that impacts us tomorrow, but based on today's performance I think we can target Q3 if everything comes together."
Nico Hulkenberg: "I enjoyed both sessions and ended the day with a very positive feeling. The balance of the car is where we want it to be and the changes we made to during the lunch break seemed to take us in the right direction. There is still a lot of homework to do this evening and room to improve things further, but it's been a good start to the weekend."
Kamui Kobayashi: "I am happy as we had a very smooth day today. It was nice that the weather conditions remained stable and the rain only came after the second free practice was over. I think we are doing alright in terms of set-up, but it is difficult to say how this will look tomorrow as we are expecting higher track temperatures. For me both tyre compounds, the soft and the super soft, look okay. The difference between them is quite small."
Sergio Perez: "My car is very well balanced on a high fuel load, but we need to improve it for qualifying conditions, as we haven't got that right yet. However, I have the feeling we can be quite competitive here, and I am really looking forward to my first qualifying and race on this track. Getting used to the circuit wasn't an issue at all because I knew it from last year's first practice session as well as the simulator."
Jean-Eric Vergne: "The day went smoothly, because even if there were a couple of red flags and a few drops of rain, we managed to get through all our programme, completing a good number of laps. However, at the moment, we are a bit too slow and must work hard overnight to find some speed from the data. On the long runs with more fuel, we were looking better than the short ones. As for the track, I enjoyed my first time driving on it and it's certainly challenging and exciting."
Daniel Ricciardo: "We ran the usual Friday programme, with the exception that we had some new parts to try, including wings aimed specifically at this track which needs the lowest levels of downforce so far this season. Apart from that, we also evaluated some updates concerning the exhausts. It was a productive day and we were lucky to escape the rain, which arrived just at the end of FP2.
"That's a good thing, because the forecast is for dry weather from now on. The car ran trouble-free so I was able to complete a lot of laps. We can improve the balance, but we have started on the right foot, because even on a dirty track this morning the car felt quite good and the balance in terms of braking was fine. I expect tomorrow's performance will be more representative of our real pace. Hopefully, we can qualify well and have a good weekend."
Pastor Maldonado: "We completed all of the things that we had planned for the session so we have had a productive day and are in a good place heading into the weekend. We still need to work on the set-up to get the right balance, but overall the car felt good and was consistent, particularly on the long runs. We have also brought some upgrades to this race and they were performing well which is encouraging."
Bruno Senna: "It was a difficult day today. I had DRS issues during the morning session and have limited experience of this circuit so today was about getting my eye in and seeing how far I can push the car. Obviously I pushed too hard towards the end of P2 and hit the wall, which is disappointing. Nevertheless we have made some improvements on the overall package and tomorrow morning I can go out and try to fine tune the set-up to get a good result on Sunday."
Heikki Kovalainen: "First I want to say thank you to the team for doing a great job and getting the car fixed and ready for most of FP2. I made a mistake on the exit of turn 9 and hit the wall, obviously doing some pretty substantial damage to the car but, thankfully, not to the chassis. As soon as we got it back to the garage the guys started work on rebuilding it so to get that job done and giving me FP2 track time was a very good achievement.
"Before the FP1 off the car had felt good pretty much from the first lap. In FP2 I had the same sort of positive feel from the balance and I think we look ok here - not quite as close as we were in Monaco but certainly close enough to have a good race on Sunday."
Vitaly Petrov: "I am pleased with how both sessions went today. 64 laps over FP1 and FP2 gives us a very good amount of data to work on tonight and we pretty quickly found a decent balance on both sets of tyres so I think we can keep progressing throughout the weekend. We obviously can't tell where we really are against the cars ahead as everyone was running different fuel levels and tyre compounds at different times, but I think we look pretty good here. The aim now is to keep up the positive momentum and see what happens in quali and in the race."
Timo Glock: "It has been a difficult start in Montreal for us today. The performance of the car was not perfect. We tried to evaluate some downforce levels in P1, but in general it was a bit difficult as the track was very green this morning to start. In P2 we tried some set-up changes again. I made a little mistake in turn 1, when I had a bit of a spin. In general I think it is not our strongest track here, but we have to try to get on the top of the problems. Brake instability is still a problem here. The other teams are looking quite strong so I think we have a difficult weekend in front of us. Now we have to work hard overnight to get the car in better shape and see what we can do tomorrow."
Charles Pic: "A difficult start to the weekend at a track that is new for me. In those circumstances you hope for more consistent conditions than we experienced, but we kept our focus and completed our full evaluation programme, which was positive. This afternoon, in drier conditions, we had a problem with the brakes, so we had to change them. The team worked very hard to ensure I could get back out on track for the last ten minutes of the session, so thanks to them for that. We hope for a dry track for the rest of the weekend so we can start to make up some of what we lost today."
More to follow...