TRACKSIDE INTERVIEWS (conducted by Will Buxton)
Q: Seb, it was close man, it was so close, particularly on that first run. We’ve got the Montreal Ferrari Fan Club there. Yeah it’s front row, but can you win it tomorrow? Have you got the pace?
Sebastian VETTEL: I think we have. I’m not so happy with the last run I had in qualy; I’d like to repeat the second run, just find a little bit. I probably pushed a bit too hard, lost a little bit in sector two, and then I tried a little bit of catch-up. Not ketchup to eat, catching up the lap times! It was a good qualifying session, though, getting better at the end. At the beginning I was struggling to find a rhythm. Great atmosphere, people cheering, free practice they’re on it, so it’s really great to be here.
Q: And no seagulls this year, just this man to get in your way.
SV: Yeah, I mean, the seagulls were in Turn One last year, so I’m pretty sure we should be fine.
Q: And only three behind the all-time record, might be achievable in the near future. Very well done. Well, in any great duel there is always the other side of the story, Sebastian. Two great champions pushing each other to the limit at the moment. It was four one thousandths between you after that first run, but were you dismayed by the lap time he pulled out?
SV: Well I didn’t know at that point, I was still on my lap but I knew I had to improve, even just by five thousandths. First of all, congrats to him, it’s a massive achievement, so he was the better man today. I’m not entirely happy. We had a bit of a different run in in qualifying, which was fine and it just got better and better and for the last run I thought OK, we can step it up and I should be able to find a little bit of time but I lost the car a bit in Turn 2, I was on the back foot already, losing two tenths out of the second corner and then I knew I had to catch up which I did until the end of the lap but just enough to do the same time as before so not entirely clean. I would have loved to get a better lap at the end. But that’s how it is but nevertheless I think the car is very good. I was happy this morning, I was happy this afternoon and it should be very good in the race so looking forward to tomorrow.
QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Q: (Bill Beacon – Canadian Press) A question for Lewis and Sebastian. Given that the two of you are so close in every way this year, what sort of race are you expecting tomorrow? Is it one of those races that’s going to go down to the last lap?
LH: I believe it will, being that we are so close. Ferrari have great single lap pace but very, very strong always, as they have shown in the races. I anticipate tomorrow… it was a close battle last year between us and I can only imagine that tomorrow it’s going to be pushing all the way to the end. It’s definitely going to be a good one. I’m excited about it.
SV: I expect a close race! I think it has been very close in every race so far. Maybe Monaco they were struggling a bit more in terms of pace but everywhere else we went it’s unfair to say that one was quicker than the other. I think we were in the same tenth in race pace. That’s great. Not so easy to overtake if you are that close, no matter where you go, but we’ll see. It will be a long race tomorrow. Canada is always nice, so looking forward to tomorrow.
Q: (Ralph Woodall – L’Equipe) Seb, the two Ferraris were very quick during practice. How do you explain the bit of struggle you had during qualification?
SV: I don’t know what happened to Kimi. I was quite busy in Q3, doing three runs, so I didn’t see much and I didn’t know what times Lewis was doing until qualifying was over. I don’t know, I think we always expect Mercedes to be quick, especially in the last segment. It’s true that maybe I didn’t get the best lap, but I think Lewis did just a better job today and got a really, really good lap. I don’t know, maybe Kimi struggled with the car but otherwise we were fairly close all weekend.
Q: (Michael Schmidt – Auto Motor und Sport) Seb, about the three runs in Q3: was that meant from the beginning and is it here more important to have an extra run in Q3 than other circuits?
SV: No, not really but we spoke about it before obviously and then made the call. I was quite confident at the time to go with the first lap. Before, the session were a bit mixed, you saw that the lap times were getting better and better and when we made the call then I didn’t run again in Q2 and the others put in the fastest lap on their first lap, so I was pretty confident we made the right call.
Q: (Chris Medland – Racer.com) Lewis, you referenced the fight with Ferrari, how much is this tight battle pushing you to improve yourself and perform at your very best? And to Seb and Valtteri how much more being in the fight for pole positions and wins at every race, does it produce your best?
LH: It’s a good question. I would say my opinion is that it is a little bit more so for us because we are having a car that is not working everywhere. It’s a great car but it’s a trickier car to set up than the cars I’ve had in the past. It appears from the outside that the Ferrari is easier – while they are working hard – it works everywhere it seems. If we are staying level and we are up and down all the time, for sure it puts a lot of emphasis on us pulling together more than ever and as a team we are closer and more united than we have ever been. Utilising every engineer to the absolute max and utilising everyone’s abilities as a team. In the five years I have been with this team I’ve never seen such great teamwork and communication. We are all just talking more than we have ever done. It’s great today to be able to say the fruits of that hard work. It’s not just chatting for nothing. It’s going to continue to be a tough, tough, tough race with the Ferraris, because they are so strong but today we have shown we can have an answer if we put the work in.
SV: I’m not sure I remember the question! I think it’s always great if you step into the car knowing you can have a great weekend. I’ve always been very fortunate so far in my career that I have had very, very good years but I’m sure if you speak to the other half of the grid they are longing to be there, longing to have the chance, but for sure it’s more enjoyable when you race for trophies – and maybe helmets as well!
VB: I think you are always trying to [find new limits] especially now being Lewis’ team-mate and fighting with Seb and Kimi, for sure you are always trying to find new limits, and you are. You can improve as long as you want to. That is exciting but today was a tricky day for me. I didn’t get everything… I wasn’t so comfortable with the car and that’s why I was behind but tomorrow is a new day.