Canadian GP: Friday team quotes
Kimi Raikkonen (3rd, 1:16.093): "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 tire 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."
Felipe Massa (5th, 1:16.413): "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."
Stefano Domenicali, Team Principal: "This morning the track stayed damp for a good part of the session, while this afternoon we had a problem with Felipe, the cause of which we have yet to ascertain. However, we gathered a good amount of data to analyze for the rest of the weekend. As usual on a Friday, the results have to be viewed with caution as we don't know what fuel loads other drivers were running. As for ourselves, we worked to prepare for Sunday's race and are reasonably happy with our performance level."
Luca Baldisserri, Head of Trackside Operations: "A shame about the technical problem on Felipe's car, the cause of which we still need to understand. It prevented him from completing all the work we had scheduled for these three hours of free practice. But in any case, we have enough information to be as well prepared as possible for qualifying and the race. It's too early to say where we are in the pecking order, but we will definitely be competitive."
Robert Kubica (2nd, 1:16.023): "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 program 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 tire comparison, so we have a good base to start with for tomorrow."
Nick Heidfeld (6th, 1:16.589): "In the morning session I did one installation lap on wet tires. Luckily towards the end of the session the track dried out and I was able to do some laps on dry tires. 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 tires, but we did a lot more running and had no technical problems."
Willy Rampf, Technical Director: "Montreal is a special track where we have a very high load on the brakes, and run a medium level of downforce for the first time in the season. In addition, we use the softest tire compound, so the challenge today was to find the right set-up taking into consideration all these aspects. As usual on Friday, we mainly worked on race preparation. We had a very productive day without any technical problems, and I think we got to a good level."
Fernando Alonso (17th, 1:17.644): "I did not do much running this morning because we only have a limited amount of wet tires 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 tires, and although we did not manage to complete the program, we still have some interesting information that we will use to try and improve the car for tomorrow."
Nelson Piquet (20th, 1:18.076): "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. It's 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 couldn't do much work."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: "It's very difficult to tell anything from today. Obviously the weather affected the first session and our cars weren't running at the critical time in the second session. Nelson had a gearbox failure and Fernando a simple spin, but unfortunately the car got grounded on the curbs. Obviously we ran a lot of fuel here because of the critical brake wear, and while we don't know exactly how competitive we are, there is no reason to believe we are not in our normal position."
Nico Rosberg (8th, 1:16.767): "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 tire tests too where we definitely learned something, so it's been a good start to the weekend. We're 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."
Kazuki Nakajima (11th, 1:17.242): "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 tire comparison."
Sam Michael, Technical Director: "Morning practice started wet, but this didn't really affect our program, and we managed to achieve a good balance in intermediate conditions. After that we had a productive day without any reliability interruptions and worked through a program of tire compares and found some good set-up directions for the race. Now it is time to concentrate on qualifying to ensure we can find first lap pace."
Mark Webber (7th, 1:16.604): "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 we've got a bit of work to do. I had a small off on the last run in turn six, but managed to get back onto the track, so no problems. Apart from that, it was an uneventful day, now we'll use the data we've gained to get ready for tomorrow."
David Coulthard (12th, 1:17.334): "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 program. We didn't manage to use all our tires today, as we ran out of time at the end of the second session but, nonetheless, we've got some good data to work through and we'll see what tomorrow brings."
Jarno Trulli (10th, 1:17.068): "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 tires. 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 tires 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."
Timo Glock (15th, 1:17.549): "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."
Dieter Gass, Chief Race Engineer: "That was not an easy Friday practice for us. There was very little grip out there today and the rain obviously didn't help at the very beginning. It took quite some time to get grip on the track and we saw a lot of cars spinning, ours included. Still, we made some good progress with our program. It's a pity that Timo had to stop when he slightly touched the wall. But we've collected some very good information from both drivers - especially Jarno, who completed the session - on set-up and tires. There are still some balance issues to be sorted out overnight but overall it was not too bad."
Sebastian Vettel (9th, 1:17.019): "Overall, this was a good day for us. It's 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 analyze 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."
Sebastien Bourdais (16th, 1:17.559): "I had a difficult day, starting with a set-up that was very different to Seb's and I didn't 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 don't know how the track is evolving and how the tires are working ending up with a car that's 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 curbs and you can't 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!"
Rubens Barrichello (13th, 1:17.462): "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."
Jenson Button (19th, 1:17.842): "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."
Steve Clark, Head of Race & Test Engineering: "Today's first practice was wet but with the track continuing to dry out through the session. In these conditions the track and performance is changing every lap so it is difficult to draw any firm conclusions from any changes we make to the car. As the track dried the story of the day appears to be tire choice. These are the same tires as Monaco and historically this track has proved a tough endurance test for them. In today's low grip conditions the reverse seemed true and even the super soft compound was difficult to bring up to temperature. The weather forecast for the weekend is for much higher temperatures which will change the shape of the race. Canada is a race where we usually see a great deal of attrition and we hope that our excellent reliability will promote us into the points on Sunday."
Giancarlo Fisichella (14th, 1:17.508): "An 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 tires, but I think we can find some more tomorrow."
Adrian Sutil (18th, 1:17.813): "Today was an average day, working through our program of tire 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 tires. 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 tires and the graining, but there is still some room for improvement so we need to make sure to fix it for tomorrow."
Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: "An 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 tires, but I think we can find some more tomorrow."
Lewis Hamilton (1st, 1:15.752): "It's 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 tires for the majority of the opening session but managed a run on dry tires 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 tire, which allowed me to lean on the car as the track conditions improved. We've still got some work to do ahead of qualifying and the race, but we've already got some positive running under our belts."
Heikki Kovalainen (4th, 1:16.331): "Today was a pretty useful day, although I don't really feel as though I've 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 we'd come a long way towards resolving our main issues. After we've had a good look at the tires and made some changes ahead of tomorrow morning's practice session, I think we'll be in much better shape."
Ron Dennis, Team Principal: "We often experience mixed weather conditions at the Canadian Grand Prix, and today was no exception. We chose to conserve our supply of wet tires throughout this morning's damp session, but we were pleased with the developments we made to the cars this afternoon. We feel confident that the improvements will allow us to be competitive. Nonetheless, we're fully aware that this race is often unpredictable, so we're taking absolutely nothing for granted. It's still too early to judge where we are compared with our competitors, but we're heading in the right direction."
Norbert Haug, Mercedes Motorsport Director: "As usual on Fridays, we focused on preparing for both qualifying and the race. As a result, we completed a number of stints, evaluating different set-ups and tires. The results look pretty encouraging."