The 2013 Canadian GP Qualifying - Driver Reaction
The 22 drivers have their say on the action in Montreal
By William Esler
Last Updated: 08/06/13 10:16pm
Sebastian Vettel: "It was very tricky today, especially as you never knew what the conditions were going to be like the next time you went out. It was intermediate tyres throughout, but it was extremely difficult to adapt as the conditions were constantly changing. In the last qualifying session we decided to have two runs; we thought the second would be quicker, as we had a new set of tyres for that, but it started to drizzle in the last sector, in particular in the chicane.
"I went straight there on one lap and on the second I had a mistake somewhere else, so it turned out that the first run was the important one. I'm happy the lap was good enough, as it was tight with Lewis. Congratulations to Valtteri, I think he did an excellent job putting the Williams on P3. For us, I am extremely happy with the result and looking forward to the race tomorrow. I think we had strong pace yesterday, so no matter what the conditions we should be in decent shape."
Mark Webber: "That was quite tricky for everyone. It's a bit of a mixed grid and I would have liked to have been a bit more comfortable than fifth, but in the end it's what we got. There's a long way to go tomorrow, so let's see how it unfolds. It was a good job by Bottas and it should be an interesting grand prix. Dry conditions tomorrow are nicer for everyone as it makes it a bit more predictable and straightforward, and visibility here isn't great here if it rains."
Fernando Alonso: "We were well aware how difficult this weekend could be, because with such changeable weather, the track can change from one lap to the next and right to the end, you can never be sure what are the right tyres to use. I am reasonably happy to have salvaged what I could from a qualifying that featured so many unknowns.
"Starting from sixth here isn't bad, because you can overtake at this circuit. I'm definitely hoping for a race with no rain, because in the dry, looking at yesterday's long runs, we can be more competitive and quicker than some of the cars that start in front of us tomorrow.
"The aim is still to make up ground on our closest competitors: with Raikkonen we have a slightly better chance of doing so, as he is starting behind me, while with Vettel, it's a tougher task. In any case, I won't take anything for granted, because here, especially if it rains, anything can happen and it can be the case that strategy counts for less than luck does".
Felipe Massa: "I am very unhappy with the way qualifying went for me. Track conditions were not easy, there was very little grip and I was struggling to put together a good lap. I went out in Q2 because I braked on a white line at Turn 3 and when the rear end broke away, there was nothing I could do anymore.
"Physically, I'm fine, but within myself I'm very disappointed. Never before have I had three accidents in such close succession, even if it's always the case that when you try and give your all on tracks like this one and Monte Carlo, the risks are always higher. I still don't know exactly how badly damaged the car is, but even if I'm very disappointed with what happened, we must stay focused, because tomorrow's race will be long and on this track, anything can happen. I had a good pace today and tomorrow I plan to drive an attacking race".
Sergio Perez: "That was a very tricky session - it was difficult to make the most of things, and, in the end, luck just wasn't with us.
"The red flag at the end of Q2 affected me just as I was about to set a good time. Then, with only two minutes of the session remaining, I didn't get a run without traffic - as a result, I couldn't get my tyres up to temperature.
"The fact that some of the others managed to improve was frustrating, but that's racing; sometimes you get it right, and sometimes you get it wrong. It's a shame, because I think we had the pace to get into Q3 today.
"Our focus is on the race, and I think we can still score good points tomorrow. It's not over."
Jenson Button: "Today's qualifying was one of those sessions where it either all falls into place for you - or it doesn't. And we were just out of luck this afternoon.
"We encountered yellow flags, a red flag; and, when the session restarted, I crossed the line about half a second too late to start my final flying lap.
"We weren't as competitive as we thought we'd be, and 14th obviously isn't the place where I want to start, but the good news is that you can overtake around here.
"A race in mixed conditions tomorrow would be good for us."
Kimi Raikkonen: "We didn't have grip in these conditions so we did pretty much all we could do, but if there's no grip you can't go faster. In this weather it's difficult as sometimes the rain gets harder, sometimes the track is drying so you have to try to be out there when the circuit's at its best. P9 on the grid is not what we want so we'll have to see what we can do in the race tomorrow."
Romain Grosjean: "Clearly not the best day, and of course with the grid penalty I now start in what should be P29 for the race, which is a long way back! After we changed to new intermediates mid-way through the session I had one lap to set a time when the track was at its driest, but there were yellow flags after someone went straight on so I had to slow down and respect the warning. Then the track was too wet to go faster.
"We got caught out a little bit by the weather but it's nobody's fault; just yet more bad luck. In these conditions it's impossible to predict when the rain will be at its heaviest and we didn't see anything from the radar to suggest it would get worse. It's going to be a long race from the back, but we know the car is quick so our weekend is far from over yet."
Lewis Hamilton: "It's good to be up on the front row again but I am a little disappointed with my last lap. I was seven-tenths up going into the last corner which was really slippery and unfortunately I went straight on. I would have lost time there anyway as it was so wet but there was a chance of pole if the lap had come together.
"Tomorrow should be a good opportunity for us though. The car felt great yesterday in the dry so we'll keep our fingers crossed that the rain stays away for the race and hopefully we can give Seb a run for his money. We've got a good car and I feel like I'm on it here so let's see what we can do tomorrow."
Nico Rosberg: "We were very quick in the difficult conditions out there this afternoon and I'm a little disappointed that I didn't qualify further up the grid. Unfortunately my radio stopped working and communicating with my engineers is crucial in conditions like we had this afternoon.
"The biggest issue was not knowing that I had one more lap that was the chance to improve my time. But generally I can be pleased to be starting from the second row and I will hope for a strong race tomorrow. We need to manage the tyres well and then I believe we can get a good result."
Nico Hulkenberg: "It was really bad luck today. I was on a good lap and could have made Q3, but then the red flag came out 200 meters before the finish line. But I think, after a difficult day yesterday, today we improved quite a bit and P11 is not too bad to start from - it's close to the points. According to the weather forecast it's going to be dry and warmer than it has been all weekend. We have to wait and see how competitive we can be."
Esteban Gutierrez: "The conditions today were very tricky. I was trying to find the limit of the car, and getting grip was difficult. A red flag interrupted Q2, and then it was quite a challenge to put a lap together. Although FP3 was shortened, we were able to get an idea of what would be possible in qualifying.
"We are pushing the window to the top ten and we need to keep fighting for Q3. For the race tomorrow we are not sure about the weather, but I suppose it's going to be dry. This can be good for us, because we decided on a low downforce set-up. Hopefully this will help us to overtake."
Adrian Sutil: "I'm quite happy with eighth place. It was a tough qualifying session and very hard to judge the conditions. Some parts of the track were wet and other areas were dry, so it was difficult to know how much to push. I also struggled to get the heat in the tyres, so it was not easy to get it altogether for one lap. The most important lap for me was just after the red flag: we all queued up at the end of the pit lane - a bit like a race start - and I knew I had one chance to make Q2. Fortunately it worked out well for me."
Paul Di Resta: "It's very frustrating to be starting in P17 so we need to sit down and analyse exactly what happened. Something went wrong with the seamless shift software during my first run in Q1 and when I came in the team tried to fix it. It was only a small issue, but we lost valuable time trying to find a solution. Meanwhile the track was getting faster and faster.
"By the time I had got back out it was raining again and therefore we missed the track at its best. There's not much you can do in that situation, but it's a massive disappointment given how competitive the car was yesterday. I'll try and take the positives because you can overtake on this track and the car is strong. We need to come up with a masterplan tonight and I will be pushing hard tomorrow."
Valtteri Bottas: It's a great feeling to qualify in third place and the team did a really good job today. The showers made the track very slippery but this suited us as the car handled the conditions well. We were on the right tyres at the right time which was so important today. If the conditions are dry tomorrow then it will be difficult to stay where we are, so I will be hoping that we see some rain. The whole team has been working hard to improve our performance and we have been making steady improvements with each race."
Pastor Maldonado: "Today the conditions were very challenging for all the drivers as the track was changing with every lap and you needed to be out at the right time on the right tyre. We were more competitive today and I think the conditions really suited us. I was unlucky in Q2 because I was on my best lap when the red flag came out, and when the session resumed there was a lot of traffic around me. Valtteri qualifying in third place gives the whole team a boost and hopefully we can score points tomorrow."
Jean-Eric Vergne: "It was not an easy session and at one point I thought I wouldn't even make it out of Q1! But we managed to improve a couple of things on the car and that helped. Generally, I feel comfortable in the wet, but that wasn't the case today.
"The car wasn't exceptional, but we got the most out of it I think. It was tough driving out there, but in the end it worked as is clear from the fact I got seventh place on the grid. It's my best ever F1 qualifying, but I'm not going to be jumping for joy over a seventh place, as there are no points given out on Saturday. We still have the main part of the job to do tomorrow, when I will be trying to at the very least maintain this position and even do better.
"I'm a racing driver so I always want to go forward. It will be a difficult afternoon in very different conditions, but our long run pace was good yesterday so that's a reason to be optimistic."
Daniel Ricciardo: "The conditions were very difficult this afternoon, everything you can think of - wet, damp, greasy, oily...so we never really got going and we were quite lucky to make it into Q3 as I was never really comfortable or happy with the car on the intermediate tyre. I think there was an element of luck with me getting into the top ten today.
"If it's dry tomorrow, I feel we can move forward up the order as I think that there are a few guys in front of us, who won't have that pace in the dry so I'm definitely hoping the rain holds off tomorrow. However, I am happy that both Toro Rossos are in the top ten, which is a great achievement for the team."
Charles Pic: "It's been a pretty good day for me. We changed the plan for FP3 when the session was delayed and continued the progress we made yesterday with a decent balance for quali. That worked out well in Q1 as it meant I had a car I could really push with and ending up ahead of a Lotus and both Marussias means we've achieved today's target.
"I think the race is going to be really interesting. We haven't had any running yet in the sort of temperatures we're expecting for tomorrow so we really don't know too much about how the tyres will degrade, but we found a good balance yesterday on the long runs on both dry compounds and we have a lot of sets left so we can maybe try something different with the strategy. Even though this track is tough on wear rates on the tyres we've been able to look after them pretty well and that gives us options for the race that we can work on tonight."
Giedo van der Garde: "FP3 was good for me, even though it was obviously cut short, but we found a balance for quali on the inters and managed to get a couple of laps in on the supersofts at the end.
"After a good FP3 quali really didn't go to plan. We went out early on inters, one of the first on track, and the times kept coming down as the dry line started to appear, but it was never right for slicks as it had been at the last race in Monaco. We went onto a new set of inters with a few minutes left but then, on my quickest lap I made a pretty big mistake that cost me about 1.5 seconds, and then on my final lap I had to back off for a yellow flag and that meant I couldn't put in a really representative time.
"It's a shame as the car felt good and I'm enjoying the circuit, particularly in these sorts of conditions, but we know we have decent race pace so we'll put today behind us and move onto Sunday."
Jules Bianchi: "It has been a frustrating day as I think we were looking strong yesterday in the dry and in anticipation of a dry race tomorrow. Today was a bit of a wash-out however because, although the rain was not heavy, it was intermittent and the track was quite variable at several different stages of the day.
"Like most of the field we took a gamble on the track having dried enough by the start of Q1 for us to use the Supersoft tyre, but it was so slippery that we were lucky to make it back to the pits to change to the Intermediate. I never got a clean lap as there was the occasional damp patch on the line, so I couldn't get the consistency to improve enough. I hope we can expect the forecast dry race and we can focus on the positives from yesterday."
Max Chilton: "That was a very tricky qualifying. It wasn't easy to read the track before our first run but it was soon very clear that the Supersoft we had started on was not the way to go. It was like an ice rink!
"Once we'd switched to the Intermediate tyre I had the confidence to start attacking and we were making good progress, but the track was evolving the whole time so everyone was going quicker. On my quickest lap I got blocked but it's good that we start ahead of at least one of the Caterhams tomorrow. I hope we've seen the last of the wet here and we can look forward to a dry race, as things were quite promising yesterday."