McLaren confident for Canadian GP

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Canada, Circuit Gilles Villeneuveca

Despite being just 5th and 7th on the grid for the Canadian GP, McLaren is confident they are in good shape to win this race. Especially Lewis Hamilton says to be still in the fight. Jenson Button is a bit disappointed to not be higher up as he overdrove the car on his hot lap.

Lewis Hamilton, MP4-26A-01
FP3: 6th / 1m14.469s (+1.088s) 16 laps
Q1: 4th / 1m14.114s (on Primes)
Q2: 5th / 1m13.926s (on Options)
Q3: 5th overall / 1m13.565s (on Options)

“Personally, I was very happy with my lap: I don’t think I’ve ever driven a car as hard in my life as I did this afternoon. I was right on the ragged edge and I think I even touched the wall at one stage.

“But, even so, I managed only P5; that was all I could do. Nonetheless, I’m still hopeful that we’ll bring further improvements to the car soon – it’s just a matter of time.

“I hope our race pace will prove to be stronger tomorrow than our qualifying pace was today: we’re losing a couple of tenths along the back straight, which hurt us in qualifying. We’ve got a long seventh gear – a bit too long for qualifying perhaps – but that should be good for overtaking and will be a help when I’m slipstreaming as it means I won’t be on the limiter. That should enable me to challenge the guys in front of me, in fact.

“It’s going to be a tough afternoon tomorrow, but it’s always a long and unpredictable race here and we’re definitely not out of the fight.”

Jenson Button, MP4-26A-02:
FP3: 5th / 1m14.335s (+0.954s) 18 laps
Q1: 5th / 1m14.374s (on Primes)
Q2: 7th / 1m13.955s (on Options)
Q3: 7th overall / 1m13.838s (on Options)

“We didn’t quite have the pace that we’d hoped for – and that’s a little frustrating. My last lap in Q3 was looking really good – but then I overdrove, started locking up and lost a bit of time. I was very close to pipping Nico [Rosberg] at the end, but I suppose starting sixth wouldn’t have been a whole lot better than starting seventh. Also, in P7 I’m on the clean side of the grid for the start.

“Our race pace is always better than our qualifying pace, and this is a circuit where you can overtake, so we’ve got to hope we’ll be able to make some progress through the field. Fortunately, our consistency on both the Soft and Supersoft tyres has looked pretty good.

“We’ll do the best we can – I’m sure it’ll be a fun race.”

Martin Whitmarsh, Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes:

“Perhaps our cars had a little bit too much downforce for today’s qualifying session, which was dry; but, if it rains tomorrow, which is what the weather forecast tells us it will probably do, then we should be in good shape.

“However, wet or dry, we know that Lewis and Jenson are both fantastic racers – and brilliant overtakers – and we therefore expect them to challenge competitively tomorrow from their respective starting positions of fifth and seventh.

“There have been 47 Canadian Grands Prix in all, and McLaren has won 11 of them. The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is a great racetrack, and it often produces an eventful race. So let’s see what happens tomorrow.”