CANADIAN GP – QUALIFYING
MAX VERSTAPPEN, Position: 5th, 1:12.403 (Practice 3 – P4 1:12.965)
“We know that this circuit is not our favourite and doesn’t particularly suit us so P5 was the best we could aim for, we achieved that so I’m pleased with the result. Ferrari and Mercedes are able to turn their engines up and find that extra pace; we can’t do that at the moment. During the race the engine power difference is slightly less as they cannot run at that level for an entire race, this means we can try to get involved and make ground. I think our race pace looks ok for tomorrow, if we can keep fifth that is the first goal, then we can see what happens in front of us. We are constantly working hard to improve the car, working towards having the best car in the field, so this means constant development. The upgrades we have got this weekend have worked really well which proves we are going in the right direction. It is hard to show that progress in Qualifying, and at a tough track with long straights, but we are definitely improving.”
DANIEL RICCIARDO, Position: 6th, 1:12.557 (Practice 3 – P8 1:13.545)
“Things didn’t really go to plan yesterday, but we had a lot of laps on track this morning in FP3 and understood a lot more. For Qualifying even though we ended up at the tail end of the top six I still felt we were actually in the hunt. We have put ourselves in a good position to at least race with Max so I can’t ask for too much more. The last run I would have loved to improve so there was maybe a tenth in that, but other than that I think we got the most out of it. I’m no Einstein but three years ago I finished first and started on sixth. I will be starting on sixth again tomorrow so that’s easy maths, am I right?”
CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal: “After what looked like a pretty tight qualifying in Q1 and Q2 where we were within a couple of tenths of pole time, both drivers did an excellent job in extracting the maximum from the car in Q3 but unfortunately we just didn’t have the pace to go with Mercedes and Ferrari around this circuit. Nevertheless, third row of the grid is a good starting position and hopefully we can make best use of those in the grand prix tomorrow. Now to the most important race of the day which is obviously the raft race later on this evening, where there is absolutely no threat from Mercedes and Ferrari as they aren’t competing!”
Montreal: More than a Race
Click here for the video: http://www.redbullracing.com/video/canadian-gp-more-race
Formula One is a harsh mistress, a sport of relentless pace, intense pressure to perform, and one in which the demands on body and mind are extreme.
Ok, yes, the racing bit is quite hard, but on this occasion the intensity comes from heading into the back end of the traditional double header formed of Monaco and this weekend’s race, the Canadian Grand Prix.
It’s one of the thoroughly admirable, if a little painful, peculiarities of the F1 calendar that for as long as anyone can remember, the world’s most famous street race and its Canuck cousin (the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is effectively run on public roads) have been paired together in a helter-skelter fortnight in which the glamour of the Principality is swiftly followed by the full-on festival feel of Montreal.
The Quebec city has been almost ever-present on the F1 schedule since 1978 (this will be the 38th race at the Ile Notre Dame) and over the decades it has successfully expanded the grand prix atmosphere beyond the race’s island home to encompass a huge week-long party wholly focused on racing.
From Crescent Street and its F1-themes parties, which now see the surrounding streets closed off to traffic for events linked to the race, to the Old Town and beyond, the city centre buzzes with grand prix fervour, with concerts, displays of supercars and any number of pop-up bars and food stands celebrating Formula One’s first seasonal trip to North America.
It’s not just the race parties that make Montreal special, though. There’s an easy charm about the city that makes it a great race destination, a French-Canadian attitude of laissez-faire ‘whateverness’ that chimes perfectly with more routine North American service culture. It’s a place where the multi-culturally cheery “bonjour, hi” that comes with your morning coffee is more often than not delivered with real intent, rather than in a manner other than something learned from a customer service chart. It’s a town of superb restaurants, great nightlife and buzzing districts such as the Old Town, the hipster hangouts of Mile End and Mile-Ex, leafy Plateau and Little Italy.
Of course there are downsides and hazards to Montreal being a city full of places where one can while away the hours engaging in keen-edged social discourse over a refreshing beverage or 11. It’s also a place where that sort of activity will inevitably lead to the dark underbelly of the city’s culture – yes, we’re talking about the Montreal madness that is poutine.
This is the Quebecoise equivalent of a deep-fried Mars bar, the sort of thing that seems like great fun at three in the morning as you fall out of a bar but which … well, it just isn’t. Essentially it’s chips, smothered in something called cheese curd (the sound of those words alone is enough to make you run screaming) and then slathered with gravy of unknown provenance. “Hello, waiter, I’d like a lot of fried potatoes, some thick, white cheesy stuff and lashings of brown glue, please. Oh, yes, and could you also please point me in the direction of the nearest defibrillator?” You have been warned.