11 June 2016
CANADIAN GP – QUALIFYING
DANIEL RICCIARDO, Position: 4th, 1:13.166 (Practice 3 – P6, 1:14.487)
“I’m pretty happy. This weekend was steady – I think we built up to it and found a better rhythm in qualifying, and as always it’s the most important session, so I made sure I got it all together and in the end I’m pretty happy with fourth. My pace is only a few tenths from pole which is pretty good around here. I was quite lucky on my last lap in the last chicane, I hit the wall pretty hard and luckily it got me to the line and I didn’t lose too much time. The start is important here, but you can pass. I think we’ve got pretty good straight line speed now so we’re in a position to overtake. Tomorrow’s going to be cool, if not wet, so with those conditions it could be anyone’s race. Hopefully it’s a five or six way fight – that could be a lot of fun. I think being on the right tyre at the right time is crucial. It’s about being smart, but being quick at the same time, so it’s worth taking some risks.”
MAX VERSTAPPEN, Position: 5th, 1:13.414 (Practice 3 – P2, 1:14.158)
“Definitely a much better qualifying for me today, top five which is around where we wanted to be. I had hoped we would have been a bit closer to Mercedes but it is what it is. They turn up the power in qualifying and seem to be very strong so hopefully tomorrow we can be a bit closer. My last run in Q3 wasn’t great, you should usually improve and I didn’t but it’s not so bad. Our race pace is looking good and that is where you score the points, also you never know with the weather. No hot moments for me in qualifying today, here in Canada you run close to the barriers but you still have time to correct it, unlike Monaco. Conditions are a bit different from yesterday so you have to change your driving style as it’s very easy to lock up or run wide. It will be difficult to beat the Mercedes, and the Ferrari’s also look quick but hopefully a bit of rain will help us tomorrow in the race. I think it will be very challenging.”
“An exciting qualifying session, and for our drivers to line up fourth and fifth at this circuit is certainly more than we expected. A great final lap from Daniel Ricciardo put him within 0.35 of Lewis’s pole time which is a huge achievement. Starting from fourth and fifth on the grid with a bit of weather around as well has got all of the ingredients for a really exciting race. It also demonstrates the progress that the engine has made within the last 12 months, we were well over a second away and now we are within 0.35 of the pole position.”
Quick Change Artists
In just a few days’ time we’ll have swapped Montreal for F1’s newest venue, Baku, Azerbaijan, home of a new European Grand Prix. But with an eight-hour time loss to contend with, a brand new circuit to plan for and only a couple of days in which to do it, the turnaround is one of the toughest organisational challenges of the season, as Race Team Logistics Manager Gerard O’Reilly explains.
“The biggest problem is getting the air freight from here to Baku as it’s a long flight and also Baku is eight hours’ ahead of Montreal, so we’re losing a chunk of time.
“In terms of packing up in Montreal, we’ll want to be out of here at about midnight on Sunday to make sure we get the air freight ready for a flight on Monday afternoon. That air freight will arrive in Baku on Tuesday.
“The sea freight element is already there – that came directly from Sochi. That’s largely garage build stuff. Two of our guys also flew out from the UK on Thursday, so they will have stared work in Baku yesterday. That’s now standard practice. On any back-to-back flyaway we’ll always send an early crew out to the second event.
“In terms of people, we’ve got some going back to England for a couple of days but the rest of us fly on Monday lunchtime on a charter flight to Baku. We land at about 8.30am on Tuesday and we’ll go to the hotel, grab a shower and head straight to the track. It won’t be too many of us – maybe six, just to see how things are going, and also because there are infrastructure things that will need doing, such as IT systems.
“At a standard European race we’d normally have the garage operational by Tuesday afternoon and the guys would then be in around nine o’clock on Wednesday morning. In Baku, I don’t think it will be much different. We’ll have a crew of about 20 at the track at six in the morning on Wednesday to finalise everything and then the rest of the guys will be in at about nine. After that it should be a normal Wednesday and Thursday car build.
“I do think it will be hard on people though and jet lag will affect everybody. It’s not easy going from minus five hours to plus three in such a short space of time but that’s the challenge. In the end it just has to get done and we’ll find a way to do it. Hopefully by Thursday morning we’ll be wondering what all the fuss was about!”