After having the last two weeks to contend with the media following his accident with teammate Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel proved in Friday practice that the moment is behind him. On the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montreal, the young German...
After having the last two weeks to contend with the media following his accident with teammate Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel proved in Friday practice that the moment is behind him. On the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montreal, the young German set the fastest time of the day, clocking his Red Bull in a 1:16:877.
Formula One's return to Canada was marked with the approval of the fans over the days leading up to Friday's two practice sessions in this weekend's Canadian Grand Prix.
Vettel's best time was just one tenth of a second faster then Ferrari's Fernando Alonso. Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg was third quickest, his best of the season.
At the day's end, Vettel did not think that the tires he was driving in Friday practice were Formula One tires at all. "It's looking okay for us, we're quite competitive. The secret here is the tyres; everyone was sliding around a bit at the end - it was a bit more like rally cross than Formula One!" he commented. "The track started very green this morning, but that's normal and it will improve as the weekend goes on. The secret with these circuits is not to panic, as they tend to come towards you. We only made some small adjustments between the two sessions."
The weather played all day with the drivers minds, nearly raining with a heavy overcast sky by the end of the first practice session. But the threat stayed away in both of the sessions. Considering that Vettel's fastest time of the day was set in the middle of final practice, only two drivers, Lucas Di Grassi of Virgin Racing and Jarno Trulli of Lotus, encountered problems. The latter, who had just come out of the pits, only managed to take one lap just minutes from the conclusion of first practice, before his car stopped completely on turn six. Trulli's problem was with his braking system, and the Italian had to wait for nearly the whole session before the car was finally released onto the track.
"It was a tough day for me today because it's my first time racing in Canada and we didn't get the best start to the weekend," said Di Grassi. "I didn't run in the first Free Practice because we had an assembly issue with the brakes on the front left. In the second session I was trying to improve the car but we have a long way to go before we arrive at the best set-up."
Trulli expressed disappointment, but realized that his team is only a few months old. "It's been a difficult day but I'll move on from this and I still feel positive" claimed the veteran Italian. "After all, this is still our first season, and we're only eight races in. I had a few laps, but not enough to get a setup I felt comfortable with. I could feel that both the hard and the soft tyres suffered bad degradation, but after today I want to thank the team for working very hard to fix the problems on my car, and we'll see if the luck will change tomorrow."
Michael Schumacher ran as high as third in the first session, his best so far this year, but could not do any better than ninth in final practice.
"My sessions today were a bit mixed," said the seven time World Champion. "In the morning, we were making progress but towards the end we carried over some issues into the second session which we could not solve. The main focus this afternoon was to get the tyres together. The track is pretty green with not much rubber which means the tyres are getting a hard time and everybody was struggling with graining. If it rains, the track will remain green and it will probably be difficult to hold the tyres together again, even the harder compound. For tomorrow, it is difficult to predict what we will be able to achieve. My feeling is that we will perform according to our expectations which is around the third quickest of the teams."
Webber took the fourth best time of the day. Adrian Sutil, who was very quiet in the opening session, came out strong in last practice, finishing in sixth with his best lap of 1:17:415. McLaren drivers Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton, could not duplicate their best times of the opening session, as the pair could do no better than 11th and 7th respectively.
The weather might play into the drivers hands for the last two days as it did on Friday, as rain is predicted which could cause set ups to be altered altogether.