Car 1 SEBASTIAN VETTEL,
Position: POLE POSITION (3rd Practice – P1, 1:13.381)
“I’m happy with that. We’ve made up some ground from last year when we committed to a different strategy and sacrificed qualifying, but this year I feel comfortable. I had a rough start yesterday morning, but thankfully the guys could fix the car and I had more practice in the afternoon, which is important here.
It’s a tricky track to understand, with the kerbs and the chicanes, coming from high speeds with hard braking, but we had a smooth qualifying session today and two very good runs. All in all, I’m very happy. It’s obviously a big step we’ve made today, but the big task comes tomorrow. The conditions are likely to change and I’m sure we’ll see some rain – the question is when and how much. We’ll see, but P1 is the best position to start from.”
Car 2 MARK WEBBER,
Position: 4th (3rd Practice – no time set)
“It was a good afternoon and I was happy with how we recovered. I couldn’t have got much more out of the car for qualifying today; I didn’t have KERS, which affected my performance. The guys did everything they could to get it ready after the problem we had this morning and we were confident that it was fixed, but on the formation lap it lapsed again.
We tried to recover it for Q3, but it wasn’t possible. A front row would have been nice to have here, but fourth is towards the front and the second row is good considering our day. It’s a long Grand Prix tomorrow and there’s likely to be a bit of weather coming in, so it should be an interesting race.”
“It’s fantastic to get our first pole position in Montreal. It was a great performance by Sebastian again today, completing two laps in Q3 that were good enough for pole. The Ferrari’s have been very quick here and we expect them and McLaren to be a big challenge tomorrow. Mark made a good recovery without the benefit of KERS, which we know is worth a couple of tenths here. It was a great performance from him and he will start from the second row at a track where you can overtake.”
CYRIL DUMONT (Renault):
“So, Sebastian is on pole again; congratulations to him. It’s a bit of a shame for Mark, he wasn’t able to run this morning and then going into qualifying he had an issue with KERS. It’s a shame as I think he would have been on the front row. Regarding the package, this circuit is not supposed to suit our car and engine, but we showed that’s not the case. Hopefully we will have a dry race tomorrow without any weather changes, but we will see how it goes.”
It’s fantastic to get our first pole position in Montreal
One-stop or two? The man who makes that high-pressure decision is Head of Race Strategy, Will Courtenay. But how much pressure was there when he had to make his first strategy call...
THE FIRST TIME I… RAN AN F1 RACE STRATEGY (WILL COURTENAY)
The first time I ran an F1 race strategy was in Bahrain, 2006 with Red Bull Racing. I felt under a lot of pressure, although it was a different kind of pressure to what I have now. Now there’s so much riding on it, but at that time there were still a lot of people working very hard and if I made a bad decision all that effort would be wasted. I don’t actually remember that much about the race itself. During a race you’re on a massive adrenaline high and then afterwards you have this huge comedown and feel incredibly tired, so that race is fairly hazy! My clearest memory is just before. Normally on Sunday mornings we look through different safety car scenarios and ‘what if’ situations. It was the first time I’d done it for real and was a bit nervy.
Some meetings overran and I ended up with about five minutes to go until the race start and I was still trying to work out what we were going to do. I remember running over to the pit wall and sitting down with literally about two minutes to go, having just made the strategy decision and we were straight into it! We got through it okay; we put Christian Klien on a two-stop strategy and he scored a point, so it worked out well! The first race I recall the strategy being crucial to, was the result was Indianapolis 2006. A lot of cars went out on the first lap and only about 10 cars were left.
David Coulthard was still running on a one stop and we were racing Rosberg in the Williams. We were stuck behind him all the way through the first stint and then he pitted. My pre-event analysis had said ‘stay out, because if you can you’ll be quicker on low fuel and worn tyres rather than the other way round’. We stayed out, but Rosberg started doing purple sectors. Christian (Horner) was looking at me going ‘are you sure about this?’ And I was like: ‘it will be fine, stay with it’. Sure enough David began to go quicker and, after his stop, came out alongside Rosberg and took the position. That was a fantastic feeling. I stuck to my conviction and it worked out.
Source: Red Bull