Two weeks after the Spanish Grand Prix - in which Max Verstappen dominated lap after lap followed by the two Mercedes of Hamilton and Russell - the teams return to the Americas where the eighth round of the season, the Canadian Grand Prix, will be held at the Gilles Villeneuve circuit in Montreal. The circuit returned to the calendar in 2022 after an absence in the previous two seasons due to the pandemic. After the world championship was staged again in Europe with the second consecutive round of the season in the old continent, it will make the second overseas trip scheduled in the championship, after the Miami Grand Prix held in early May. The Canadian Grand Prix is the second and final round scheduled for the month of June, as well as the second of five total rounds scheduled in North America. The drivers return again on a street circuit, for the first time since the Monaco Grand Prix. In fact, the 2023 Formula 1 world championship will undoubtedly be remembered as one of those in which there are the largest number of street circuits in history: seven, starting from the second round of the world championship, with Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), followed by Melbourne (Australia), Baku (Azerbaijan), Miami (USA) and the wonderful and historic Monte Carlo Grand Prix (Monaco). The next one will be the Marina Bay circuit (Singapore) and Las Vegas (USA), the penultimate round of the longest world championship ever built up to now, will be the last street circuit. The contract for the inclusion of the race in the world calendar, still on the Montréal circuit, was renewed in April 2021 until the 2031 season (exactly like Miami). The Grand Prix is sponsored by Pirelli, as already happened in the 2019 edition. This edition will be attended by 345.000 spectators throughout the race weekend, which represents the absolute record for the Grand Prix; the previous record belonged to the previous edition of 2022, characterized by 338.000 spectators over the weekend. The numbers, therefore, speak of a real hunger of the fans ready to enjoy this new Formula 1. The Grand Prix has been on the Formula 1 world championship calendar since the 1967 season, and has been valid as a category event since the same year. The Canadian Grand Prix sees the dispute of its fifty-eighth edition, the fifty-second valid for the World Championship.
The Montréal circuit, which is the current venue for the race and has been in use since 1978 - the year in which local hero Villeneuve won the victory in a Ferrari, to whom the circuit was later dedicated - is the track with the highest number of editions held, 41, on five different configurations, the most recent of which in use since the 2002 championship. S interspersed with straight sections. This is why it is considered a stop and go track, very hard on the brakes and in terms of fuel consumption. The original shape of the track saw the pits arranged in the section following the hairpin. The next part saw a series of quick changes of direction, an extension towards the current pit area, and yet another series of variations that led to the other slow corner, at the opposite end of the track. In 1980, the first corner after the start saw a multiple accident, triggered by a contact between Alan Jones and Nelson Piquet, in which many cars were involved, consequently stopping the race. In 1982 Didier Pironi, in pole position with Ferrari, remained stationary on the grid at the start: he was rear-ended by Riccardo Paletti's Osella, who lost his life in the accident. In 1987 the Canadian race was not run for economic reasons, and the organizers took the opportunity to renew the track. The pits and the starting straight were moved near the slow curve opposite the hairpin: this section was essentially straightened and made simpler, while providing a better structure for the teams who have to work in the pits. In 1994, following the accidents at Imola, the fast section after the hairpin was slowed down by a temporary chicane, and in 1996 this too was rectified: from the hairpin to the variant that leads onto the pit straight, there are now essentially no bends, and the section can be traveled under full acceleration. In 1997, in the most driven section of the circuit, Olivier Panis had an accident with his Prost, breaking both legs. The search for an increase in safety led, for the 2002 edition, to anticipate the hairpin, to increase the escape space outside, a escape space that was subsequently paved, as is the norm in today's circuits. And the laps go up by just 1, from 69 in 1996-2001 to the current 70. Despite continuous work to seek greater safety, the semi-permanent nature of the circuit severely limits its development: low walls are almost an obligatory solution, as it is almost impossible at any point to enlarge the escape spaces.
Consequently, even if there are no serious accidents, it is very easy for the race to be temporarily suspended by the intervention of the Safety Car, as even the simplest removal of an accidented car can present serious logistical problems. In the 2009 championship the Montréal circuit was not on the calendar list, but has been included again since the 2010 season. The absolute circuit record is 1'10"240 set by Sebastian Vettel in a Ferrari during qualifying for the 2019 Canadian Grand Prix. The Canadian Grand Prix was also held in two other locations: Mosport Park hosted the Canadian race for eight editions between 1967 and 1977, while the Mont-Tremblant circuit was the protagonist of only two editions, in 1968 and 1970. The Grand Prix was not held during the 1975 season, in which the manufacturers could not find an agreement with the organizers for reimbursement of expenses; in that of 1987, due to a dispute between two local sponsors; and in that of 2009, when the race was excluded from the calendar by the Federation after having been foreseen in a first draft. More recently, the race was not held in the 2020 and 2021 seasons due to the issues dictated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In the first case it was not replaced, while in the second it was replaced by the Turkish Grand Prix. The Canadian Grand Prix witnesses several records. The 2005 edition was the most watched competition in the world, as well as the third most watched sporting event, behind the Super Bowl final and the UEFA Champions League final. The 1978 edition was held in a temperature of 5 °C, while the 2011 edition represents the longest duration for a Grand Prix in the history of the category, with 4h 04'39"537 - the race, in fact, was interrupted for two hours due to heavy rain - as well as the one with the lowest average speed at the time of 74.864 km/h. The entry of the safety car no less than six times and the then number of overtakings also represents a record in the space of one race, with 89. The winner, Briton Jenson Button in a McLaren-Mercedes, set the record in the same edition for having won a race with the most pit stops, six, including the drive-through penalty to be served by passing through the pit lane.The event also earned the 2001 Race Promoters' Trophy from Formula One Management as the best organized Grand Prix of the season. The dispute of the 2023 edition race was at risk due to the alarm of the air quality in Montreal, due to the fires that were scourging Québec.
The Canadian region is plagued by forest fires, which increased significantly in the weeks preceding the grand prix, reaching 150 active ones. The northerly winds pushed the thick smoke towards the south of the region, making the air unbreathable for the citizens and creating a pall in the vicinity of the circuit. The government, however, reassures the smooth running of the Grand Prix. The Swiss Alfa Romeo team appoints James Key as new technical director, taking over from Jan Monchaux. Key will take up service on September 1. For the English engineer it is a return to the Hinwil stable, on the impetus of the German car manufacturer Audi, which will become owner of the team in 2026. Having arrived in the category with Jordan in 1998 as a data engineer, he climbed the technical organization chart up to the role of technical director. And in this role he accompanied the team through the various changes of ownership between Midland, Spyker and Force India. In 2010, the transfer, with the same role, to Sauber, before moving to Toro Rosso in 2012 and to McLaren in 2019. Key had been free since March after the conclusion of his relationship with the Woking team. Alfa Romeo is also showing off a special version of its lucky charm logo on its single-seaters for this grand prix to celebrate the 100 years they spent together, including a new livery chosen for the occasion. Under this designation, the manufacturer is contesting the two hundredth Grand Prix in the category. In fact, the car manufacturer raced in 1950 and 1951, before returning from 1979 to 1985. A third appearance took place from the 2019 championship after the collaboration with the Sauber Group. On the Montreal circuit, the Austrian team Red Bull Racing, if successful, can achieve 100 victories in the category. It is the fifth most successful team ever in the history of Formula 1, behind Ferrari with 242 victories, McLaren with 183, Mercedes with 125 and Williams with 114. The first success for the Milton Keynes team, debuting in the 2005 season in the Australian Grand Prix with both drivers, the British David Coulthard and the Austrian Christian Klien, on points, came in the 2009 Chinese Grand Prix with the German Sebastian Vettel, while the most recent with the reigning world champion, the Dutch Max Verstappen, in the previous Spanish Grand Prix. The 99 victories have come across nineteen seasons, at thirty different circuits, with the highest number of victories, seven, at Monaco. 40 victories of the 99 total are the prerogative of Verstappen.
Since its debut, five drivers have won for the Austrian team: Verstappen (40), Sebastian Vettel (38), Mark Webber (9), Daniel Ricciardo (7) and Sergio Pérez (5). More than half of the total wins, 52, came from first place. The team won a race from their lowest position, 14th, with Verstappen at the 2022 Belgian Grand Prix. More than a quarter of the victories came from one-two finishes. The first occurred in the 2009 Chinese Grand Prix with Vettel and Webber, while the most recent in the Miami Grand Prix with Verstappen and Pérez. The season with the most victories was 2022 with 17, 15 triumphs for Verstappen and two for Pérez. By winning the following Austrian Grand Prix, the constructor would score ten consecutive victories for the first time. Previously, nine races in a row were won with Vettel in the second half of the 2013 season. The Australian driver of McLaren, Oscar Piastri, the US driver of Williams, Logan Sargeant, and the Dutch driver of AlphaTauri, Nyck De Vries, debutants in the category in this championship, at full capacity including De Vries, compete for the first time on the Montréal circuit. The Japanese AlphaTauri driver, Yuki Tsunoda, disputes the fiftieth start in a Grand Prix of the highest category. Tsunoda always made his debut with the Faenza team in the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix, and his best career result is fourth place in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix of the same season. Former Formula 1 driver Enrique Bernoldi is appointed assistant commissioner. The Brazilian has performed this function on several occasions in the past, most recently in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. It is the German car manufacturer Mercedes, as in the previous race, that supplies the safety car and the medical car. The safety car debuted in the category during the 1973 edition of the Grand Prix, and is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its debut. For this grand prix, Pirelli is offering the choice of C3, C4 and C5 compound tyres, the type of softer compound that characterizes the entire range made available by the company that supplies the tires for the championship. Mario Isola, Pirelli Motorsport Director, says:
"The Canadian Grand Prix is traditionally one of the most spectacular on the calendar, packed with incidents and surprises thanks to a track that offers plenty of overtaking opportunities but doesn't take any prisoners. As is often the case for this type of circuit, we've brought the three softest tyres in the range - C3, C4, and C5 - just like last year. We expect the C5 to be used mainly for qualifying, while the C4 and C3 are set to be favoured for the race. The asphalt is fairly smooth with this semi-permanent street circuit not extensively used, meaning that we're likely to see a high degree of track evolution over the weekend. On a track with no high-speed corners, the key factors are traction coming out of slow turns, stability under braking, and agility when changing direction. Another important element to consider is the weather. Conditions can change quickly, not just from wet to dry, but also with marked fluctuations in temperature. The asphalt temperature during last year's qualifying was 17 degrees, while in the race it reached 40 degrees".
Since 2019, Pirelli has always opted for the same type of tires for this appointment. But that's not all: this choice is the fourth time it has come up again this season, and the first after the Monaco Grand Prix. Also for this year, the Federation confirms the three zones of the Drag Reduction System (DRS) in use since the 2018 edition of the race, when the FIA decided to increase the sections in which to use the mobile device to three, after the two previous zones used starting from 2011 - the season in which the device was introduced in the category - until 2017, with the aim of favoring overtaking and consequently the show and in the race. Here, then, are the areas in which the drivers can activate the mobile wing during the race: on the main pit straight and on the straight between Turns 12 and Turn 13, with a single point for determining the gap between the drivers, located after Turn 9, and between Turns 7 and 8, the new additional section introduced later, with a point for determining the gap between drivers located after Turn 5. Although during 2022, the Federation has analyzed the DRS zones on championship circuits - in some cases introducing changes for 2023 in order to make overtaking easier or more difficult at some circuits where it was felt that the zone in which to use the mobile device was too easy or difficult to overtake; changes applied in Bahrain, Jeddah, Australia, Baku and Miami - the Montréal circuit has not been changed at any of its points. However, compared to the 2022 edition, the circuit is characterized by some changes: the concrete wall at the end of the pit lane wall has been lengthened by 106 metres; the concrete wall in the escape route at turn 1 was realigned and extended, as were the walls at turn 7; the turn 3 escape route has been widened; the width of the pit lane entrance has been reduced to 4.5 metres.
And the orange curb has been removed at the entry to turn 9 on the left-hand side, and at the entry and exit of turn 14, still on the left-hand side. In the note issued by the Federation before the start of free practice on the Montreal circuit, there is an article in which it is established that at Turn 9 and at Turn 14 any driver who passes to the left of the orange curb placed at the apex of the two curves must keep completely to the left of the orange indication positioned at the exit of both curves, and rejoin the track at the end of the asphalt escape route.
"Any driver who fails to negotiate with Turn 9 or Turn 14 and passes completely to the left of the orange apex kerb must keep completely to the left of the orange block/bollard on the exit of the corner and re-join the track at the far end of the asphalt run-off".
Article 17, comma 2, Race Director's Event Notes (PDF), fia.com, 15th june 2023. Instead, shortly before the race, another note issued by the FIA highlights that the race direction has established that any driver who does not go through Turn 1 correctly must rejoin the track at the end of the asphalt in the run-off area at the entrance to Turn 2. In the run-off area of Turn 1, the wall is shortened by one element.
"Any driver who fails to negotiate with Turn 1 should re-join the track at the far end of the asphalt run-off at the entry of Turn 2".
Article 17, comma 3, Race Director's Event Notes (PDF), fia.com, 18th june 2023. The Federation announces that at the end of the race of the previous Spanish Grand Prix, the Aston Martin of Fernando Alonso - which had obtained seventh place in the home grand prix - was drawn among the top ten classified cars for technical checks. The inspections covered the steering system, including the steering wheel, all connected sensors, their routing to the chassis and connections to other units. Luckily for the British and Spanish teams, all the inspected components were found to comply with the technical regulations. Before the start of the first free practice session on Friday, the third unit relating to the internal combustion engine, the turbocharger, the MGU-H and the MGU-K is installed on the car of Yuki Tsunoda and Alexander Albon. On Tsunoda's car also the third unit relating to the exhaust system. The third unit relating to the internal combustion engine was installed on the car of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr., and the third unit relating to the exhaust system was installed on the car of Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez. No driver was penalized on the starting grid as the new components installed are among those usable in the maximum number established by the technical regulations. Oscar Piastri talks about how important the week off after Spain was for the team and for him personally. Both the team and the rider worked hard to arrive at their best in Canada, after finishing the previous race in thirteenth and seventeenth position (Norris):
"We're back racing after a week of hard work at the factory. I've been preparing for the weekend with my engineers, so I feel ready to make my debut at Circuit Gilles-Villenueve. Spain was bittersweet for the team. Sunday proved difficult but we had some positives to take away from Saturday's qualifying session. There's a lot more to achieve this season and we're working really hard to improve our race pace. We'll give it our all in Canada and look to have a positive race weekend".
Lando Norris is on the same wavelength as his teammate, who is also back from a really difficult Spanish weekend:
"I'm looking forward to getting back racing in Canada. Spain was a tough race but there was a lot to take away for both me and the team including the positive of Saturday's P3 in Quali. With a week off from racing following a double-header, I've been back at the MTC with my engineers in preparation for this weekend. Circuit Gilles-Villenueve can be challenging with its heavy-braking chicanes, but it can also be a lot of fun to race. I'm excited for it, and hopefully we can score some points".
Andrea Stella, Team Principal of the British car manufacturer, with the lucidity that has always distinguished him, analyzes the previous race weekend and the work done in recent weeks, the result of an analysis of what went wrong in Spain but confident in the long-term goal. McLaren brings here, in fact, a new rear package consisting of beam wing and rear wing. In particular, the endplates and the flap of the DRS on the wing have changed, while the profiles of the beam wing have been adapted to the new geometry of the wing. All this translates into a gain in aerodynamic load and an improvement in efficiency:
"We come away from Spain with a less than satisfactory result. We were of course very happy to start the race with both cars in the top 10 after a positive qualifying session. The race proved to be more difficult in terms of pace and due to Lando's incident at Turn 1. We take the learning onboard and we go again. Canada is a track that many drivers enjoy. It's another challenging circuit, fast-flowing but with low-speed corners and loads of braking and traction. We're on the right trajectory as a team for the long-term foundation and we know results will start to come to us once we improve the car. In the meantime, we'll try and extract the most from the next GP in Canada".
Mercedes, after the excellent performance of Spain (second Lewis Hamilton and third George Russell), can feel more calm and reassured about their work. But Toto Wolff warns that the Spanish circuit is different from the Canadian one and one cannot be sure that the good performance will be confirmed here too:
"The result in Spain was a well-deserved reward for everyone's efforts at Brackley and Brixworth to bring our update package to the track. We were pleased with how it performed, and it will provide a new baseline for us to build from. But we must also manage our expectations. It was a circuit that suited our car, and we should expect our direct competitors to be stronger in the next races. The gap to Red Bull is large and it will take lots of hard work to close that down. Nevertheless, we're up for the challenge. Following the Grand Prix in Spain, Mick got his first opportunity to drive the W14. He settled in well during the Pirelli tyre test and enjoyed the experience. Mick has become a valuable member of the Team already and his work in the simulator has proved useful in finding lap time, as we saw in Barcelona. We now move on to Montreal. With its long straights and low-speed corners, it's not a track that we expect to suit our car as well as Barcelona did. No matter where the true pace of the car is this weekend, we will aim to maximise our result. The characteristics of the circuit will also provide further opportunity to learn about the W14 and feed into our development path".
Alpine has chosen to slightly modify the rear suspension profiles to increase the load on these elements and on the rear area in general. Furthermore, we find a rear wing with an increased pylon and a revised front brake air intake to improve disc cooling. For the Alpine driver Esteban Ocon, back from ninth position in Spain, the Canadian circuit is a source of fun as well as an opportunity to test the limits of the car:
"It's a great track and I really enjoy driving there. Most corners in Montréal come as a double change of direction, which requires good responsiveness from the car, so set-up is very important. There are also the walls which make it exciting to drive and keeps us on our toes. The track surface in Montreal is usually quite smooth but tyre degradation in the race is normally relatively high as we use the softest compound of tyres. Combined with the stop-and-go nature of the track, this improves the chances of overtaking which can make it an entertaining Grand Prix. We were sixth here last year so we will look to match or improve that this time around".
For Pierre Gasly, eleventh with his Alpine in Barcelona, the street circuit of Montreal is an opportunity to compete with a fast and dynamic track, hoping for rain to liven up the situation a bit:
"After racing on a more conventional circuit in Barcelona last time out we're back to a street track in Montréal. It's a really cool place to race, very fast with big braking zones and quick corners. I've been preparing in the simulator in Enstone, everything feels good and I'm looking forward to being on track on Friday. The weather does look interesting - rain is likely - so we'll remain ready for all conditions and see what we can achieve. In addition, Montréal in general is a very fun place to be, especially as it's a French-speaking city. As a result the support there is always exceptional and I'm looking forward to experiencing the atmosphere".
In Spain, Williams was unable to go beyond sixteenth position with Albon, while Sergeant finished the grand prix in last place. Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance, says that new components will be installed on the Albon car this weekend - an update to the bellies and bodywork, in search of greater downforce. The bottom is completely new both in the input section and in the diffuser. This new solution should guarantee a higher load and improve the quality of the flow towards the rear extractor. In the belly area there is a more inclined ramp towards the rear and an engine cover with revised geometry. Williams therefore tries to better bring the flow to the rear to generate more downforce without losing efficiency. This also required a change in the geometry of the rear suspension so that it could work better with the air arriving from the bellies. The adaptation to the new aerodynamics also involves the rear wing endplates and the brake ducts, both with revised geometry. Finally, even the HALO and the mirrors have undergone slight modifications to better adapt to the aerodynamic field in that area:
"Canada is always an enjoyable event; the circuit lends itself to good racing and there is always a chance of some tricky weather conditions, which can be blistering heat or sudden showers. The track in Montreal should play slightly more to the strengths of the FW45 than Monaco and Barcelona did. Furthermore, we have several upgraded components available this week, which will run on Alex's car only. We expect to be more competitive, but we will take our time on Friday to understand if the new package is delivering as expected. Alongside the work to understand the upgrades, we will look at the usual tyre work on Friday as well as understanding how the track surface has weathered in the last 12 months. Overtaking is easier in Montreal than it was at the last two races, which may open up some additional strategy options during the Grand Prix, if the tyre degradation can be managed. This is Logan's first visit to Montreal, and it is a circuit that is more technical than is initially apparent. His preparation in the simulator will be key to getting him up to speed and from there he will quickly understand the nuances of the track. Tyre and brake management whilst negotiating the walls and the kerbs is tricky, but there is some time on the straights to take a breath before the next sequence starts".
Alex Albon feels ready to test himself with the new modifications brought only to the car:
"Heading into Canada, it's always a bit of a tricky circuit, however with it having more medium downforce, it should suit us a bit more than the last couple of tracks. I'm looking forward to heading to Montreal as it's a really nice atmosphere around the city. We have an upgrade coming for this weekend, so it should be interesting to see how it performs. Everyone at the factory has done a huge job to get this upgrade ready for the weekend, so hopefully we can have a good result".
Logan Sargeant, unlike his teammate, has no new components added, and for the first time competes on a circuit where he always wanted to race:
"I'm excited to head to Canada for the first time. It's a track I've wanted to drive since I was very young. It's a difficult circuit with the walls very close on the exits of high-speed chicanes. I'm hoping it suits our car a little better than Barcelona and we can have a good weekend".
Alfa Romeo bring to the Canadian circuit a modification to the rear corners and in addition the decision to open the rear air intakes more to ensure greater cooling of the brakes given the critical issues of the Montreal circuit. Alessandro Alunni Bravi, Team Representative, is really happy with the good results in Spain (the ninth place of Guanyu), a reason to rejoice and to be more motivated for the future:
"The positive result in Barcelona was important proof of the effort made by the team over the past weeks, both trackside and in Hinwil, and how eager we all are to fight for the points regularly. The result we brought home made us even more motivated, and the team resumed work right away to find the extra performance that can make a difference in our sport. We head to Montreal with confidence: we had one of our best results of last season here, and the aim, of course, is to replicate that. The pace we showed throughout the weekend in Spain was promising, and a confirmation that the upgrades we brought are pushing us in the right direction. We must keep up with the good performances: we know now, more than ever, that we have it in us, and if we execute a flawless weekend, we are perfectly capable to achieve even more".
Although Valtteri Bottas finished his Spanish grand prix in penultimate position (his car had a serious problem with the floor due to debris collected in the first lap), he is well aware of the excellent results that the team is achieving race after race:
"It was good to see the team in strong form in Barcelona after a few tough races. On my side, the floor damage caused by some debris during the opening lap prevented me from fully extracting the potential of the C43, which was unfortunate given the encouraging pace that my teammate showed. Nevertheless, it is a new race weekend, and a chance to get back on track. I spent the time since Barcelona working in the sim and back home in Finland, and I feel ready for the challenges ahead. I enjoyed racing here in Montreal in the past, and I am looking forward to this weekend. We know our car has the potential to do well, and that will be our aim from Friday onwards, putting Barcelona behind us and adding new points to our tally".
Zhou Guanyu undoubtedly arrives in Canada with greater confidence in himself (the points from the last grand prix are the lifeblood of a driver) and in the team, which continues to work to improve:
"Coming home from Barcelona with points has surely been rewarding, and a good motivation for the entire team to keep up with the extensive work done so far, both on and off the track. I am delighted to be returning to Canada this week, I have very good memories from my first time around here a year ago - and I am keen to make some more. We made good progress throughout the weekend in Spain, and overall had a very well-executed race with good tyre management and strategic choices. Even though the track is very different from Barcelona, hopefully we will be able to keep up with the performances shown there. If we are at our best from the very first practice session, we’ll be able to qualify in a favourable position and extend our point scoring streak on Sunday".
The Haas, driven by team principal Guenther Steiner, arrives in Canada after a really difficult weekend in Spain (fifteenth position for Hulkenberg and eighteenth for Magnussen). But the Canadian circuit is always a source of great joy for all the riders due to the welcoming atmosphere that reigns among the fans:
"The Canadian Grand Prix is a great event, the fans always enjoy it and they’re very good fans there, I’m really looking forward to it. Like always this season, we don’t really know where we stack up, going from race to race, it’s difficult to predict. We’re not only predicting ourselves but we also have to predict our opponents as everything is so close, there’s a lot of competition within a few tenths. We need to go Montreal, do our best and work on our race pace, which was not where we wanted it to be in Spain".
Haas chose here to carry a low-downforce rear wing with revised mainplane and flap design. We then find increased cooling to adapt to the conditions of the circuit. Finally, Haas has chosen to modify the floor edge area to try to improve the functioning of the fund. The aim is to improve the aerodynamic efficiency of the car and to try to improve the operating conditions of the diffuser. This weekend will be the 150th grand prix contested by Kevin Magnussen, for whom the Canadian circuit is a favourite, like most historic circuits:
"I personally like most of the older circuits, those that have a bit more character and aren’t as flat and wide as many of the newer tracks. The Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve is definitely one of those and it’s a track that is very good for racing with the long straight. There are always good opportunities for overtaking and it’s never a dull race. There’s also often a good chance of changing weather and generally, it’s a great atmosphere at the Canadian Grand Prix".
Nico Hulkenberg, who feels totally in harmony with this Haas, and can't wait to compete with one of his favorite grands prix:
"I often feel really comfortable in the car over one lap. We’re getting the tires up to the right temperature quickly and I can squeeze everything out. On the long runs, however, we’re struggling on some tracks with our tire management. That’s definitely an area where we want to improve. Montreal is one of my favorites - it’s a track with a really nice flow and a great mix of street circuit and a race track. Around the track, you can see how much Canada loves Formula 1. The whole city embraces the race and the locals give us a very warm welcome".
The overwhelming power of Red Bull this year is undisputed. The only question that arises is who will play for the second row, considering that the first seems to be firmly in the hands of the Verstappen-Perez duo so far. Max Verstappen, the calm leader of this championship, is confident in his car, having also won the previous year:
"It’s always nice to go back to Montreal, it’s a great city and the fans are great there. The track is very unique because you actually get to ride some old school kerbs and the scenery is pretty cool too. The car set up has to be a carful balance between straight line speed and being able to run on the kerbs well, we have to find a good trade off. Of course, last year's win is still in my mind so hopefully we can do something similar this weekend".
Despite driving the same car as Verstappen, Sergio Perez seems to struggle slightly in the race compared to his Dutch teammate. In fact, Barcelona was not a good match for him, on the contrary. He was overtaken by both Mercedes, thus ending up off the podium:
"I am looking forward to getting back in the car this weekend. I have been in Milton Keynes since the Spanish GP, working hard with my Team and we have put in a lot of good work and had some very constructive conversations. I know what I must do to get back to the form I am capable of and as a Team we know how to get the car into a window where I will perform best. Getting through moments like this, it’s more important than ever to work as a Team and we will all support each other to push for the win in Canada. I have a fantastic car and it’s always exciting to get behind the wheel, I must be massively consistent in Montreal and have a complete weekend".
The young Dutchman of AlphaTauri, Nyck de Vries, is preparing to race for the first time on the Montreal circuit. A new front wing was fitted to the two single-seaters from Faenza, working on the various flaps. Now you can see a reduced chord and a more evident camber. All this translates into a lower downforce at the front which goes hand in hand with the low downforce at the rear to ensure an optimal balance on the car. For de Vries, the last two races have been positive, representing a solid and constant car on which the possibility of working and improving is still open:
"I think the last two races were very positive: Monaco was a solid, clean weekend and over the whole Barcelona event, we showed a strong performance. It was a shame I ran out of new tyres for Q2 because I’d have had a good shot at qualifying better, but these things can happen in tricky circumstances. In the race, I had a good start, but my inside line was compromised by two other cars losing time together. There is still room for improvement, but I can definitely see we have good potential, so I’m continuing to focus on progressing and working the way I have recently been doing. The team has done a great job over the last few races, and I can see a clear upward trend as we are getting closer to the top ten. They have put in a lot of time, work and effort into better development of the car and bringing that to the track. It has definitely paid off in terms of competitiveness. Having said that, the midfield is so tight, I don’t think you can always purely judge the development success on the final result, as you need more than performance to get a result in that midfield group. I was in Canada for the race last year so I’ve seen this unusual track before, a mixture of permanent and street circuit, but this weekend will be the first time I actually race there. It’s a very particular track: when you just look at the map, it seems like a simple layout but it’s quite tricky. While most of the circuits we race on are all merging towards the same safety standards, run-off areas, kerbs and even the infrastructure, Canada is a track that is still unique and has its own special character. I worked on it in the simulator last week, but it’s difficult to predict how we will get on because, as I said before, the midfield is so tight. The track presents interesting questions in terms of car setup but I’m learning that in Formula 1, although everything seems to happen quickly, the weekend is actually long. In saying that, you really have to turn up and be competitive immediately, continuing to progress throughout the weekend while conditions and circumstances are continuously changing. In qualifying there is often an even higher evolution and ramp-up so it’s a constantly moving target. I’m looking forward to returning to Montreal as it’s a great city, in my mind a mixture between North America and Europe, specifically France of course with the language. It has a great buzz and the fans are very welcoming".
For his part, Yuki Tsunoda is still frustrated and angry about the penalty that was inflicted on him during the Spanish Grand Prix and which, despite his commitment and the desire to fight to get into the top ten, blocked him only in twelfth position (Tsunoda crosses the finish line in an excellent ninth position, but fighting for this placement, Tsunoda and Zhou entered the first corner side by side; Tsunoda was on the inside and Zhou decided to retire from the fight and to go off the track. However, the marshals decided to inflict a five-second penalty on the AlphaTauri driver for the incident, bringing him to twelfth):
"It was frustrating not to score points because of the penalty in Spain, but putting that to one side, I can say we were consistent and I was really happy with the way we worked. The team did a good job, especially with the strategy for Sunday, and also for qualifying I got a lot of help from my engineers and the team. We are working well together, but more than that, the team itself has improved and everyone is pulling in the same direction. Even though we know we are struggling a bit this season, we have achieved good results in the races, and that is down to how hard everyone is working. I feel I am personally improving race by race and able to give 100% in terms of concentration and effort, which was my target for this year. I know I can deliver and because I am pushing, I’m on the limit every lap. Occasionally that leads to a mistake, but I can learn from that. The last couple of races have been positive, I enjoyed some overtaking in Barcelona, which I had not expected to be honest, and our pace was strong. The Canadian track is difficult and enjoyable to drive, and the atmosphere is amazing. It’s a street circuit, but feels more like an old-style permanent racetrack, a bit like Suzuka, where as soon as you step outside the white line, you end up on the grass. It’s tricky in terms of setup as you need low drag and high downforce. In fact, I remember the Canada race last year was a bit of a turning point in my understanding of the car. I struggled a lot in free practice, but I was able to come back much stronger in the race. Together with the engineers, we were able to understand which direction to take, to make both the car and me faster. That balance setup we found in Montreal is still what we use now. The Sim last week confirmed that and I’m happy with the work we did in fine-tuning the setup. I hope it works out".
After a dazzling start to the championship, and almost a shock for the entire circus, Aston Martin collected 32 points in two grands prix - Monaco and Barcelona -. In Barcelona, however, the duo from the English house stop in sixth (Stroll) and seventh (Alonso) position. Here in Canada, the British squad has pushed hard to bring a major package of updates to the Canadian GP. In particular, some of the most important areas for the car's performance have been modified. The bellies here have a new geometry. Now the slide area has a narrower inlet but is deeper to try to extract the maximum possible load from the rear area. The bottom is also new and has an additional bulkhead in the entrance area. Furthermore, the lateral part has also been modified with micro-aerodynamic solutions which seek to locally increase the pressure to avoid flow separations due to more marked excavation. Finally, the cooling has been revised with the openings on the bonnet moved so as to separate the hot and dirty flow from the clean one on the sides. Everything goes in search of greater aerodynamic efficiency, perhaps the most obvious weak point of the AMR23. Lance Stroll is thrilled to be returning to Montreal, his home circuit. He can't wait to field the new changes to the car and verify that they are compatible with the characteristics of the circuit:
"I am really excited to return to Montréal for my home race; it's always special for me to see all the Canadian support at the city I grew up in. It is a circuit that also holds some good memories for me; climbing seven places to finish in the points last year was especially memorable. With how close the pecking order has been in recent races, it will be interesting to see what the characteristics of the circuit do to the competitiveness up and down the pit lane this weekend. The margins will be very tight so we'll be pushing hard to put on a good show for my home crowd".
Fernando Alonso is one of the veterans of the Canadian circuit. Fresh from a difficult home grand prix, even if the fans have hailed him as king, he is ready to get in the car for a challenging grand prix:
“We had a busy double header with Monaco and Spain and came away with 32 points as a team. The atmosphere in Spain was phenomenal, but we had a difficult Saturday and didn't quite have the pace on Sunday to put a show on for the fans. Next up is Montréal, which is a historic circuit in Formula One and I have fond memories racing here. Last year, for example, I started second on the grid after a chaotic and wet qualifying session. It might rain again this weekend, so we will be keeping one eye on the radar. The circuit is fun and while overtaking can be difficult it can also throw up surprising races, so we will be prepared for anything”.
Ferrari, on the other hand, continue to experience a gray period, with quick and fleeting flashes of rebirth, only to then fall into the same mistakes, often thanks to failed strategies. Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal, however does not give up and indeed, is confident of the updates brought to Spain, which show consistency and bode well. The previous year in Canada, Ferrari played an excellent race: it is hoped that 2023 will also give the same vibes:
"We come to Canada knowing that there is still room for improvement in terms of race pace with the SF-23. However, the upgrades introduced at the last round in Spain meant that the car behaved more consistently in the race in Barcelona. Last year in Montreal, both our drivers raced really well, with Carlos finishing second after putting the winner under pressure all the way to the flag, while Charles fought his way through the field from the back row of the grid to claim a fifth place finish. Ferrari has always enjoyed plenty of support in Canada and we hope to deliver a strong performance for our fans this weekend".
Carlos Sainz follows the words of his TP, and feels calmer with the updates brought to Spain, which worked even if it didn't seem like much from abroad, not being a circuit on which the SF-23 fits well:
"Montreal is one of my favourite circuits, but it's not just because of the track, it’s the Who atmosphere of the place what has that special something. As son as I got here on tuesday, i went to eat a nice hamburger and then went running at Mont-royale, The hill overlooking the city, which is a Lovely Place and Perfect for a bit of training last year's race here at the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit was a turn in My Season, Because i Finally Began to feel at one with the car and Things Changed. I Hope It Will Be The Same This Weekend. Worked, Even If it Might Not Have Been That Obvious From The Outside, As the Track Did Not Suit Our Sf-23 Particularly Well. We Picked Up A Lot of Data in Montmelò and I Expect to see That Pay Off Over the Coming Days On Track, As Well As Back in Maranello in Termins of Fine Tuning and Getting The Most. Out of the car. However, it will still be the usual very close fight Behind the red bulls and it will be important to make the mons I followed the race from where I was and it's a simply amazing result, after so many years away from the top sports car category. I congratulated Antonio Giovinazzi in our hospitality, as he is here as our Reserve Driver and he does so much work on the simulator to help us and I gave him a big hug. A win like this is something that can change your career and it is so richly deserved. I saw the interest that this win generated around the world and for myself and everyone who is part of Ferrari, it was a matter of great pride".
Charles Leclerc arrives in Canada without having collected any points in Spain (during qualifying in Barcelona, Leclerc's single-seater had serious problems that the driver himself was unable to explain and that not even the wall was able to decipher). Charles' always optimistic spirit, however, trusts in the great work done in Maranello, hoping for a better result in Canadian territory:
"I was very happy to have been in France to see this historic win, 58 years on from the last one and half a century since the previous appearance of an official entry in this race. I’d like to race there sooner or later, but for now, I’m looking forward to jumping into my SF-23 here in Canada. The people in Maranello did a great job to provide us in Spain with the aerodynamic upgrade package we were expecting. Over the Barcelona weekend, we began the process of understanding it and during the Pirelli tyre test following the Grand Prix, we gathered further data for analysis in Maranello. This weekend, the aim is to get all the potential out of the car in this new configuration and so we will just focus on ourselves. We know Red Bull is very quick, but I expect Aston Martin will also be very strong and Mercedes could also be a threat. As usual, it will be decided by thousandths of a second and it’s vital that we can push to the maximum".
On Friday, 16 June, the twenty protagonists of the 2023 Formula 1 season hit the track in this brief American parenthesis in the middle of the European tour of the circus, in the circuit of Montréal. Many teams have brought upgrades and adjustments to their cars, so the main point of this day of free practice is to verify that these actually improve their performance and/or efficiency: Aston Martin has a wider bodywork with the upper deck remaining high for longer than the previous version and the local load on the floor is improved by redistributing the flow between the floor fences; Red Bull has a new front wing for extracting more load; Mercedes made a slight change to the new sidepods, improving flow to the rear of the car, whilst also reducing drag; Alpine changed its rear, hoping for more efficiency, as well as new rear suspension and revised drum inlet ducts on front brake drums, in order to improve brake cooling; McLaren has a new rear wing assembly, with a new flap and endplate, as well as a new beam wing assembly for a better load gain; Alfa Romeo has a new cooling outlet for rear brake ducts; Haas changes its rear wing, with a new geometry for mainplane and flap, as well as cooling louvres and floor edge; AlphaTauri brings a new front wing, with a new flap with reduced chord and camber wing sections, which generates less front wing load to give the desired car balance range for this choice of rear wing. Williams, finally, is the one bringing the highest number of upgrades, starting from the floor geometry, increasing the local load and improving the downstream flow, then a revised sidepod geometry with a more pronounced ramp and reprofiled engine cover exit, with an increase in load, minor changes to the mirror, revised HALO fairing, new external geometry for rear suspension, for the rear brake duct winglets and for the rear wing endplate. As of engine parts, Sainz and Leclerc will run with a new ICE, while Tsunoda and Albon will bring their third turbo, MGU-H and MGH-K. Anyway, they will not get a penalty since they are still in the window of allowed parts.
To sum up, the main goal of all the teams is to improve brake cooling, since the Montréal track is particularly demanding with four crucial braking zones, but also to increase load for the track is mainly made of fast corners and chicanes, with two main straights, not too long, in sector 3. The weather forecast for this weekend is not particularly reassuring, with rain threatening both free practice and qualifying, so the test programs of the tests may undergo unexpected changes. Despite this, the first free practice starts on dry conditions, with Max Verstappen the first one to come out of the pits. Anyway, the session lasts only few minutes, for Pierre Gasly accuses an issue to his driveshaft and is forced to stop on the track. In addition to this, a malfunctioning CCTV system forces the session to stop, for safety reasons. Also, before the start of FP1, the circuit had an electricity outage for 50 minutes, thus the work inside the boxes has been deeply affected. So, all plans for test sessions are postponed to FP2, which will last 30 minutes longer due to the almost non-existent previous session. For the record, the fastest time has been set by Valtteri Bottas on Alfa Romeo, with 1'18"728, on medium tyres, but the majority of the drivers did not set laps or only completed an out lap. The second free practice, therefore, will be fundamental for gathering data on the aerodynamic efficiency of the new upgrades and trying the race pace on different tyres. The extraordinarily 90-minute-long session starts on dry conditions, and at the start of the session, the race control states that the risk of rain is 40%. The majority of drivers starts on medium tyres, while some others immediately put on soft tyres, such Perez, Verstappen, Stroll, Alonso and Sargeant. Sainz is the first one to break the wall of 1'16"0, with a time of 1'15"859, but shortly after, his teammate Leclerc does 1'15"523. Verstappen, a minute later, with soft tyres, sets the best time at 1'15"333, but he complains on the team radio about downshifts. 15 minutes after the start, he sets 1'14"726, followed closely by Sainz and Gasly, who is third despite being on medium tyres. The Ferrari drivers continue to push by setting multiple fastest laps on a qualifying-like stint, while the Mercedes are running on higher fuel load and focus on race pace.
At about one hour before the end, Hülkenberg’s car stops on track and causes a red flag, so all drivers must go back to the pits. A lot of smoke is coming out of the car; it might be an ICE failure, so the single-seater has to be brought to the pits by hand. When the session restarts, almost all drivers, except Hülkenberg, of course, and Hamilton, mount soft tyres. Right after Sainz sets the fastest lap with 1'13"8, Ocon encounters an issue and his teams asks him to stop the car, so the session is red-flagged again when about 45 minutes are left before the end of the practice. Five minutes later, when the session restarts, Mercedes are finally seen to fight for the fastest lap, since now Hamilton too has soft tyres. In addition to this, everyone needs to push as quickly as possible since the rain threatens the session again. The track has improved since the start of the session, so it might be the ideal moment for setting the fastest lap. Eventually, the two Mercedes beat Sainz’s record, first with Russell with 1'13"745, then with Hamilton with 1'13"718. The Red Bull drivers, meanwhile, are the ones to run on medium tyres, trying different programs; probably, they are postponing the qualifying stint to FP3. No one else improves his own best time in the last few minutes, in which the track is hit by gusts of wind and pollen, and in the last ten minutes, the track is declared wet, even if it is not raining. Most drivers go out with intermediate tyres, just as a precaution. The rain effectively hits the circuit five minutes before the end, so the session is virtually over for everyone, except for some drivers trying the intermediate tyres at least for one lap and gathering data for an eventual wet qualifying or race. The Mercedes duo comes back on top after the double podium in the last race in Spain, and before the results of FP3 and qualifying, they really hope that they can repeat this result, or even fight for the win. It has been a positive session for Ferrari as well, with Sainz third and Leclerc fifth, while Aston Martin and Red Bull preferred to work on different programs, saving the best for last. Max Verstappen seems not completely satisfied and acknowledges that there is still some work to do:
"It wasn’t a straightforward day with basically no running in FP1, it was the same for everyone though. At least we could get in a decent amount of running in FP2. I think we still have quite a bit of work to do as the car isn’t fantastic at the moment over the bumps and kerbs. I mean it’s still not too bad, but we definitely need to fine tune a few things. I think it might be raining tomorrow which will throw a few surprises out there in qualifying, then perhaps dry on Sunday so that will also affect things. It was a tricky session but sometimes we have those days".
Even Sergio Perez states that there is room for improvement, but the pace is good:
"It was a real shame that we ended up losing FP1, we really needed it because the conditions weren’t ideal in FP2 towards the end. I think we’ve got good pace and just need to make sure we play a bit with the car now to get it in the right window because today has all been a bit of a hurry. There is plenty for us to understand tonight, we need to improve our ride and the other teams look strong too, so we will see tomorrow where everybody is. I think it should be an interesting weekend, it gets really dark here in this weather, the visibility becomes poor and the conditions become undriveable pretty quickly - if the rain comes for qualifying hopefully it’s not much".
In Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton, scorer of the fastest time in FP2, shows his love for the Canadian circuit and specifies where his car can still improve:
"It was a strange day with the issues in FP1. I felt really bad for all the fans out there; we've had a great crowd out here since yesterday and the city's been pumping. I'm glad that we got out there eventually though and it was good to have a 90-minute session. We haven't had one of them in a long time. I love driving this track, it's mega! From the moment you leave the pitlane you just think yeah, this is wicked. It is probably the bumpiest circuit that we've been on for a long time, however. I think everyone is struggling with the bumps though. Overall, the car didn't feel bad, but we've definitely got some work to do. We've just got to improve our ride control and balance through corner, and I think we will be alright. The car overall is a step forward from earlier in the season and I do think I'm feeling the improvements that we saw in Monaco and Barcelona. I love the rain so let's try and have some fun tomorrow".
George Russell complains like others about the bumpy track and compares his Mercedes car with its direct competitors:
"It's been quite a strange day given what happened in FP1 and then the extension of FP2. It was a reasonably productive session, but I don't think we can read too much into the timings. We did our low fuel qualifying preparation towards the end of the session when the track was quicker. Barcelona and here are two totally different circuits, so it's hard to compare how the car is performing from one to another. Barcelona is a super smooth, high-speed track whilst here it is incredibly bumpy. I do think the upgrades we've brought have helped the limitations of the car though. Pace-wise, I think we're going to be on the tail end of Ferrari and Aston Martin in qualifying. We know it comes to us on a Sunday though and that's when it matters. It also looks like it's going to be wet tomorrow so let's see what that brings".
Andrew Shovlin, Mercedes’ Trackside Engineering Director, explains the testing programs conducted during FP2:
"After the non-running in FP1, we decided to start our FP2 programme with high fuel work before moving on to low fuel running. That was to ensure we completed our long runs before the expected rain fell. We were an outlier in that respect and our low fuel work therefore benefited from more track evolution than the rest of the field. That was the predominant reason as to why we finished at the top of the time sheets. Overall, the car and tyres seemed to be in a decent window during the session. There are areas of improvement we will focus on overnight, including trying to find more rear end for both the single lap and long runs. We are also looking to see if we can improve the ride around this notoriously bumpy track, as that will help us carry more speed through the chicanes. There's also a good chance of rain tomorrow; that could change the picture significantly but hopefully we'll get the chance to do some wet running in FP3".
In Aston Martin, Fernando Alonso is disappointed by not having enough time to analyse the new upgrades and he hopes for a better opportunity on Saturday:
"It’s good to see all of the support here and be back racing in front of the Canadian fans. But it was a shame that we weren't able to run in FP1 due to the technical issues. We didn’t have a lot of time to fully understand the new upgrades on the car, so we will have to analyse everything overnight and learn more tomorrow. We will keep an eye on the weather radar again for tomorrow, as it could be another mixed day".
Local hero Lance Stroll has worked a lot on upgrades and aerodynamic, and in the final part of FP2 he tried to do some laps with flow-vis on the car body for analysing air flows:
"Today’s running was fairly disrupted, but it’s the same situation for all teams and we made the most of the extended FP2 session this afternoon. When you’re running new upgrades, the practice sessions become about learning how they impact the feel of the car and about ensuring that they’re operating in the expected way. I was happy with the car and thought it was feeling good, but we’ll take the time to look through the data tonight and ensure we’re ready to put in a strong performance in qualifying tomorrow. It was great to see plenty of Canadian flags in the grandstands – you can really feel the home support".
In Ferrari, Carlos Sainz is happy for trying all the tyre compounds and different setups and for the overall result:
"With hardly any track time in FP1, it meant that FP2 was particularly busy but we managed to try all three dry weather compounds, as well as various set-ups on the car to improve performance. We made good progress over the course of the day. The result is quite positive, even if we still need to find a bit of pace and performance going into tomorrow".
Charles Leclerc is positive too, especially in terms of pace:
"It’s only Friday and there is still a long way to go, but overall, it has been a positive day. The feeling I had in the car was very good. We are bit further down the order as we couldn’t do a second run on the Softs because of the red flag. Our race pace felt good as well and we will keep working in the current direction".
In Alpine, Esteban Ocon, who had some issues in FP2, hopes for a better day in FP3:
"It's been a difficult day today. We started with a disrupted Free Practice 1 with a power outage issue and malfunctioning CCTV systems around the track, which meant all teams had little to no running. Free Practice 2 was also interrupted on our side due to a suspected loss of water pressure in the car. Obviously, it's been a far from straightforward day for us, so we'll have to get on top of the issues so we can ensure tomorrow, when it counts, is better. We'll debrief and analyse the data we managed to get today and keep our heads down to make sure we make the most of Free Practice 3 tomorrow to be ready for Qualifying".
Pierre Gasly is happier than his teammate, despite some problems:
"That was a very different Friday Practice but, in the end, on my side, we managed to have a productive day. It did not start so well with an issue with the spare steering wheel on my first run in Free Practice 1. Fortunately, we did not miss out on any running due to the red flag for the circuit systems. Free Practice 2 was much better and we were able to progress our programme for almost the full one-and-a-half-hour session before the rain at the end. I had an interesting moment at Turn 4 with the rear sliding but managed to keep it away from the wall. I think we're in a good place ahead of the rest of the weekend and hopefully tomorrow's Practice can be better to set ourselves up for Qualifying".
Otmar Szafnauer, Alpine’s Team Principal, summarizes the situation of the team and explains the cause of the issues that the drivers had:
"It's not been a normal day of Practice today in Montréal with some interruptions causing disruption to all teams' programmes. In Free Practice 1, we had a problem on Pierre's car due to an electrical fault on the spare steering wheel, which caused him to stop on track. This was replaced to his normal wheel for the second session with no issues and he was able to have a productive afternoon. Unfortunately, Esteban's session stopped early in Free Practice 2 as a result of losing water pressure on his car; we will take the time to investigate the cause of this issue. It means our running today was limited and we must target a much smoother Free Practice 3 tomorrow to put ourselves in the best possible position ahead of Qualifying. The weather looks mixed with a high chance of rain throughout the day, so we'll remain ready for all possibilities".
In McLaren, Oscar Piastri seems satisfied, despite the bumpy track and the rain:
"We had a decent session this afternoon and seemed to be pretty solid out of the box, the pace seemed to be reasonable. It's a fun track, very bumpy, but I enjoyed getting some time out on-track. The weather came in pretty suddenly at the end, which gave us a taste of wet weather running. We'll see what the rest of the weekend throws at us but I'd say a reasonably encouraging start".
Lando Norris says that the team is working on fine-tuning the car and finding the right balance:
"It's nice to be back here in Canada, at a track I enjoy. We had an OK day, it was actually good to get out in mixed conditions. We've been working hard trying to find a good set-up. A good balance with the car to feel comfortable is the most important thing, and we were making steps forward. We'll continue to do that into tomorrow and work hard for a good result in quali".
Andrea Stella, McLaren’s Team Principal says that, despite the brief FP1, the team has gathered a lot of data about their performance potential:
"An unconventional Friday at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. After FP1 was effectively cancelled due to technical issues, we had the compensation of an extended FP2 and extra sets of tyres, which allowed us to run through a large part of our programme. We couldn't do everything that we wanted but despite that, I think we've gained a good understanding of performance potential, set-up direction and the behaviour of the tyres. The rain at the end also allowed us to check the Intermediate tyres, so taken all together we've gathered quite a lot of information from practice today. We'll study it overnight and try to be ready for whatever we face in qualifying and the race".
In AlphaTauri, Yuki Tsunoda is worried about finding the right pace and balance:
"Although FP1 was interrupted, we still had two hours of running on track, which was enough. Our balance isn’t too bad, but it seems we are struggling to find pace during our performance runs. It looks like it will be raining tomorrow so we will be focusing on wet conditions for one-lap runs, with multiple tyre sets left to use. We did some long runs in the dry, and the pace doesn’t seem bad, but first, let’s see how tomorrow goes. I hope we can achieve Q2 or Q3 tomorrow".
Nyck de Vries is happy with the number of laps completed during FP2:
"I think it was a challenging day for everyone. Obviously, FP1 was interrupted so we had to change our run plan for the afternoon but nonetheless, I think we completed enough laps to be able to get up to speed with the track. Tomorrow will see different conditions again with rain forecasted, so there is lots of work ahead of us. As the track is quite different compared to Barcelona, more bumpy, narrow, and with less grip, I will have to get used to it and make the necessary changes. We didn’t do any laps in the rain today, but the grip seems low in dry conditions already, so we will have to see how it goes in the wet".
Jonathan Eddolls, AlphaTauri’s Chief Race Engineer, explains the program followed during practice and the difficulties encountered:
"It’s been a very different Friday to usual here in Canada. In FP1 we managed to get our planned aero rake running completed before the red flag, and then it was a case of waiting in the garage while the circuit resolved the CCTV issues. These were not fixed in time, but the plan to extend FP2 and start the session 30 minutes earlier was a very good decision, because we knew the chances of rain later in the afternoon were high. We were able to carry FP1 tyres into FP2, which was now 90 minutes long, so we had three brand new sets and one nearly new set of tyres to use. The plan focused on giving the drivers as many laps as possible, with short runs and pitstops on the four sets of tyres, before turning our attention to the long runs. We were tracking the rain and could see it coming towards the end of the session, so the run plans were geared around this and we managed to cover all the planned work. The track was declared wet, so to get our free intermediate tyres for tomorrow, we had to complete one lap on it. This was done in the dry because we didn’t want to risk a red flag and miss the opportunity. Overall, we were expecting a bit more pace than we showed, but given the dense programme, we didn’t focus on setup changes. I think we can make a step forward tomorrow with changes to the car overnight".
In Alfa Romeo, Valtteri Bottas feels like he had a positive practice, despite the weather:
"It’s been a bit of an unusual Friday for everyone; we only managed to set one timed lap in FP1, before the session got red flagged and subsequently stopped. On the other hand, we got to do an extended FP2, getting a decent number of laps in, with only the final minutes of the session being slightly compromised by the rain. Overall, it’s been a positive day: the car felt good in dry conditions, and our performance was within the top ten the whole time, which is encouraging for the rest of the weekend ahead. The weather forecast remains mixed, so our focus will be on finding a good compromise to be at our best both in dry and wet conditions. Based on today, our car has the potential to make it into Q3, so that will be what we’ll be working towards".
Zhou Guanyu seems satisfied too and sets the goals for qualifying:
"Overall, it’s been a solid day: we managed to go through our whole programme for the day during FP2, which offset having spent most of FP1 under a red flag. It looks like tomorrow’s weather will be very similar to what we had today towards the end of the second practice session, with heavy rain, which can be tricky; we’ll work on it tonight, to make sure we can make a proper step forward tomorrow. It will be important to find a good compromise between set-ups, as Sunday may as well be mostly cloudy instead. Our main aim is to get into Q3; the minimum would be achieving a decent position in Q2, similar to what we had in Barcelona, to allow us to drive into the points in the race. I am confident we can achieve this; the wet conditions always add a variable to the equation, but we will make sure to come prepared".
In Haas, Kevin Magnussen says that he is satisfied with the programmes run during the practice and looks forward to tomorrow’s qualifying:
"Today was interrupted by different things, obviously in FP1 and then also in FP2 with both the weather and Nico’s car, but we still got most of the stuff done. We got some low-fuel and high-fuel running on both compounds so although disrupted, we got everything we wanted, and it looked okay. We have more running tomorrow, although it looks to be wet, so it’s going to be an exciting qualifying".
Nico Hülkenberg is obviously disappointed after the issues encountered in FP2 and will rely on the data gathered on his teammate’s car:
"It was a very disruptive day, obviously for everyone in FP1 with just one lap and then the technical problems we faced, we got compromised there. Then FP2 also didn’t last very long, I got one run in and then starting the second one the ICU failed. It’s not ideal obviously heading into the rest of the weekend but it is what it is now, we’ll see what the other car did, try to learn from that and come up with the best possible package we can tomorrow".
Guenther Steiner, Haas’ Team Principal, says that he would have preferred to have both cars completing the tests:
"It was a very disruptive day today, starting off with some of FP1’s lost run time being merged with FP2 which was very disruptive for us. FP2 wasn’t ideal because Nico’s ICU expired, shortening his session, and we only had one car to gather data and we had a lot of stuff we wanted to test. We didn’t get any definitive answers. Kevin did a good job, but we would’ve liked to have done more work with two cars across two sessions".
In Williams, Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance, states that the upgrades on Albon’s car worked:
"It was a slightly odd day with FP1 effectively cancelled and FP2 affected by rain. We got most of the work done as we had intended, but stopped the low fuel running early in FP2 to concentrate on the high fuel work. The upgrades ran well on Alex's car and will remain fitted for the rest of the weekend. We'll go through the data tonight and confirm that the performance is matching the wind tunnel data and we will look to refine the setup to maximise the overall pace. The weather looks mixed for the rest of the weekend with more heavy rain expected tonight and into tomorrow morning. There could be further heavy showers during qualifying, which will keep things interesting".
Alex Albon seems unbothered by the weather and feels that he is okay with his car:
"The disrupted day hasn't hurt us too much. We did a lot of simulator practice and it's kind of what I expected so there haven't been any nasty surprises with the car, which is a good thing. We didn't really complete a proper FP2, so we didn't put on a proper set of tyres, but otherwise we're not in a bad place".
Logan Sargeant hopes for better weather conditions but feels confident:
"It was an interrupted first day in Montreal, but we made the most of it in FP2 and got a lot of laps in. The car felt pretty good for the most part. There's more to come from my side taking a bit of margin in my first session. We're in a good place heading into tomorrow however it should be pretty wet so we're going to have to wait and see what the conditions are actually like".
Simone Berra, Pirelli Chief Engineer, explains the tyre compound choice for this practice and makes a prediction on Sunday’s race based on the weather forecast:
"Added to this was the threat of rain, which luckily only arrived in the final minutes, so that the teams, drivers and even our own staff all had a demanding time of it on this first day of the Canadian Grand Prix. After an initial analysis of the data acquired, we can confirm our predictions prior to the event, regarding the behaviour of the two softer compounds, with the C5 proving ideal in terms of performance over a single lap and the C4 looking a better option for the race. Although today, on a track that was still very dirty, we did see signs of a bit of graining, especially on the rear tyres. In terms of degradation there were no particular surprises. As for the rest of the weekend, uncertainty over the weather is an important element to consider, with rain expected tomorrow, while Sunday should see a dry race. If this were the case, even the track conditions could produce some surprises".
On Saturday the temperatures are low and it seems that the session will be rainy. Not for nothing, when there is the green flag for the start of the third free practices, a little rain starts to wash the circuit, forcing everyone to stay in the box for some additional minutes. The first to go on track are the two Haas drivers, both on wet tyres, followed by Sargeant and Albon, Alonso and Stroll, Russell, Ocon and Tsunoda. The leadership is immediately taken by Alonso, when the two Haas sets the first times, in 1'32"217, giving 2 tenths to Magnussen and 1.2 tenths to Hulkenberg. Immediately after this first lap, Alonso finds an impeding on track with Yuki Tsunoda, so asks on the radio:
"Who is this blind guy who drives an AlphaTauri?"
At the same time, is always Alonso the first to go out again after a stop at the box to mount the intermediate tyres, together with Stroll, Sainz and Leclerc. This is not the right choice as Alonso goes straight at Turn 8 and also Oscar Piastri confirms that the track is still too wet for these tyres. Yuki Tsunoda goes headtail in the exit of Turn 5, but manages to do well the next lap and sets the first time in 1'30"685. A little after, anything changes, as Max Verstappen goes on tarck on wet tyres and laps in 1'29"190, while the track gets drier lap after lap. At 15v minutes to the end is Alonso the first in the ranking.the track conditions continue to change, so everyon emounts the intermediates and Carlos Sainz sets the best time in 1'27"245. Then, Nico Hulkenberg is ahead of everyone, with 1'26"431, while Max Verstappen complains about the gearbox. However, a little after, it is just Verstappen to set the fastest time, in 1'24"977. From now on, the pole is contended by Verstappen and Leclerc: first the Monegasque sets a time of 1'24"850, immediately passed by Verstappen with 1'24"480, before a red flag stops everyting. It is Carlos Sainz, who makes a mistakes at Turn 1 and hits the wall, ruining the front left suspension. Before the green flag the situation is: Verstappen, Sainz, Leclerc, Perez, Norris, Hulkenberg, Tsunoda, Russell, Ocon and Bottas. The session restarts and the first on track are the two Mercedes and Gasly, all on used intermediates: Lewis Hamilton goes bada t Turn 1 but manages to go back on track without problems. Albon does the same thing. Meanwhile, Verstappen sets first 1'24"192, then 1'23"779, being also the first to go down 1'24"0 and at the end sets 1'23"154. Leclerc manages to get the second position just before the heavy rain starts, forcing everyone to go back to the boxes. The rain gets heavier, so the third free practice session ends with all the drivers in the boxes, with Max Verstappen first, followed by Leclerc, Alonso, Magnussen, Sainz, Gasly, Stroll, Tsunoda, Bottas, Hamilton, Hulkenberg, Piastri, Norris, Albon, Russell, De Vries, Perez, Zhou, Ocon and Sargeant. The Canadian Saturday continues with qualifying, also with unstble weather and rain forecast. In addition, the start of Q1 is preceeded by an intense action in the boxes, especially in that of Carlos Sainz, whose car has been repared after the damages made during FP3, and in the race control booth, where it is discussed wheter to give or not a penalty to Sainz himself; in two occasions, in fact, during FP3, he made impeding to Alexander Albon. At the end nothing is done to Sainz, so he can start Q1 on intermediates tyres like everyone. When the cars goes on track, Zhou Guanyu experiments an engine issue so goes a lot slower than expected and is then forced to stop his car at Turn 7, triggering a red flag but managig to return to the box by himself. When the session is restarted, there are higher chances of rain: at the green light, the RedBull pair is on track. Max Verstappen immediately takes the leadership of the ranking just when the rain starts to fall, sest a 1'24"106, which is immediately passed by the 1'23"581 of Fernando Alonso.
A few minutes to the end of Q1 Verstappen s still in the lead, with 1'21"988, followed by Alonso, Leclerc and Sainz while the drivers excluded are De Vries, Piastri, Tsunoda, Sargeant and Zhou (who managed to continue) . the team ask to Verstappen if it is the moment to mount other tyres but he denies. At the end of Q1, after Verstappen laps in 1'21"739, Fernando Alonso takes the lead in 1'21"583, while Yuki Tsunoda, Pierre Gasly, Nyck De Vries, Logan Sargeant and Guanyu Zhou are out. Q2 starts and everyone is on the same tyres, except for Albon, who is the only one on softs. The first fastest time is that of Max Verstappen (1'20"135), while other drivers have difficulties: Leclerc asks the team to mount the slicks but they answer that he has to end a lap with the current tyres before changing; Lance Stroll loses the car’s control and hits the wall at Turn 5, losing the front wing but still managing to restart. Russell sets a time of 1'20"098, but he is immediately passed by Albon on slicks (1'19"471). After Albon’s attempt, quite everyone is convinced about mounting the slicks, even if it started again to rain. Only Albon (1'18"725) manages to improve, as nobody has put the tyres on the right temperature and the track has mixed conditions: at Turn 10 it rains while in other parts conditions are better and there is a trajectory which the drivers can do on their current tyres. Few minutes to the end and the Ferrari team calls Leclerc to mount again the intermediates but he doesn’t manage to improve. Q2 ends with an headtail by Leclerc at Turn 6, caused by the tyres, and the drivers excluded are: Charles Leclerc, Sergio Perez, Lance Stroll, Kevin Magnussen and Valtteri Bottas. There is no time to wait and everyone is ready for Q3, the last chance to determine the startig grid of the race. everyone is on intermediates: the first to set a good time is Max Verstappen (1'27"059), followed by Alonso, Hamilton and Russell. Suddenly there is a red flag: Oscar Piastri has made a mistake at Turn 7, he lost the control of Mclaren and hit the wall. Am little before this accident, however, Verstappen and Hulkenberg managed to set a good time, so the Dutchman is in first position with 1'25"858, followe dby the Haas. At the restart, the conditions are worse, so Hamilton and Sainz go straight at Turn 1, and the other drivers change their tyres to full wets. The session ends with Verstappen on pole, followed by Hulkenberg, Alonso, Hamilton, Russell, Ocon, Norris, Sainz, Piastri and Albon, but some thing may change as Carlos Sainz is still under investigation for impeding. After this day, the drivers talk to the media, with Lando Norris admitting the difficulties he had during the sessions:
"A tough day with tricky conditions, it was a shame we didn't finish slightly higher up. We didn't get the chance to complete my second lap, which would have pushed us up the grid. Q1, Q2, everything was very good, I was very happy. We did a good job to react to the conditions and fit the Soft tyre. Q3 ended up being just one lap and that was it. I think after two or three laps, I could have been P2 or P3 but with one lap, we weren't quite able to do the same as the others".
His teammate, Oscar Piastri, seems to be positive about the race on Sunday:
"P9 and not the way I wanted to end qualifying. I don't know how much more there would have been there, in terms of performance, but you never want to end qualifying that way and give the team more work, I certainly appreciate the work they'll put in overnight to get us ready for tomorrow. Otherwise, I think we had a strong qualifying overall, making good decisions at the right time. It's just a shame it ended like that. I'm feeling confident for tomorrow and hopefully we can stay in the points".
Their Team Principal, Andrea Stella, admits the the two drivers have been good on track even if the conditions were diffuclt and always changing:
"A solid qualifying session in conditions that were changing rapidly and therefore very tricky. We progressed safely through Q1 and Q2 with good calls by the team and our drivers. In Q3 unfortunately, Oscar was caught out by an oversteer at the point where the tarmac changes and lost the car. That led to a red flag and, as the rain intensified, effectively froze the classification after one lap in Q3. While we think we could have placed our cars high up on the grid in these conditions, all in all we welcome a result with two cars in Q3, it's a strong position to start tomorrow and gives us a good chance of scoring some points".
The Mclaren team is not the only one to admit their difficulties: also in Aston Martin, Fernando Alonso, despite being happy about the final result, says to be a little unlucky because of the red flags’ times:
"We will take third place on the grid after a very complex Qualifying session. We were a little bit unlucky with the red flags during Q1 and Q3 just before we could complete a faster lap that might have put us on the front row. There is an opportunity tomorrow and hopefully we can recover second place early in the race and put pressure on Max [Verstappen] in front. It's always a challenging circuit with very low grip in the dry and wet conditions and the weather is always unpredictable. The new AMR23 upgrades seem to be working well and delivering what we were expecting, but we will keep evaluating them and try to optimise our setup around this new package".
Even Lance Stroll had difficulties:
"It was a tough Qualifying session for us today. The challenging weather conditions meant that being on the right tyre at the right time was really important, and we didn't quite get that right. The pace of the Aston Martin has looked good across the weekend though - I've been happy with how it's felt and how the upgrades are performing. There should be some opportunities to progress tomorrow with several cars starting out of position, so I'm looking forward to my home race and putting on a good show for the fans".
The Team Principal Mike Krack concludes:
"It wasn't the easiest Qualifying session to navigate with the wet weather giving constantly changing track conditions. Both the red flags impacted some of Fernando's best laps in Q1 and then in Q3, just as he was about to set a time that could have placed him second on the grid. All things considered, third place is a good outcome from such an unpredictable session. Lance progressed to Q2 but, as he recovered from a spin, he was out of sync with the rest of the field. It meant he missed the best of the track conditions and was never on the right tyres and the right time. There is quite a mixed-up grid for the race, but we have a competitive car so there is everything to play for as we target scoring solid points with both cars tomorrow".
On the contrary, in Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton is very satisfied, nodespite the bad conditions:
"That was a good result for us today. The conditions were very difficult out there as we tried to get temperature into the tyres. It was very tricky keeping it on track and delivering when it counted. I think P4 was probably the best we could have done though so overall, I'm really happy with it. We will take it and hopefully we can move forward tomorrow. I hope we can compete with Fernando (Alonso) and if so, I think a podium is on the cards. It would be good to have a battle with him. Our race pace is often better than our single lap pace and hopefully that's the case tomorrow".
George Russell is of the same advice:
"We did a great job to get both cars into Q3 today. I enjoyed the session as the track was changing every lap and you were driving on instincts. We didn't quite get it together in Q3 but P5 has exceeded our expectations coming into qualifying. As a team, we were performing better as the track was drying and when the rain came in Q3, we struggled again. That's the challenge of these conditions though, it makes it exciting, and I'm pleased we kept it on the circuit. I believe we can fight for a podium from P5 tomorrow. We saw what we did from P12 in Barcelona, so we are satisfied with today; it's our best qualifying result since Australia. Fernando is going to be our main target and we're looking forward to the race".
Dave Robson, Williams’ Head of Vehicle Performance, knows the challenges of today:
"Today was a challenge due to the variable weather conditions. However, in FP3 we were able to have a first look at the new full wet tyre, which is run without blankets. This worked quite well, and we collected some useful data. Qualifying was dominated by the varying rain level, but we mostly dealt with it well. The car was performing quite well in all conditions, but it is still difficult to put a lap together and to successfully manage the traffic and the tyre temperatures. Logan had good pace and in only his second day in an F1 car in the wet, he looked strong but ultimately struggled to get a full lap in with the tyres in a good window. Alex - helped by the upgraded car - was comfortable throughout and did exceptionally well to set a lap in Q2 on the slicks before the rain returned. Unfortunately, he lost time at the final chicane on his only lap before the heavy rain fell. Without this, he may have been close to both McLaren's, but to make real progress in Q3 we needed to be able to complete a 2nd push lap, which we were unable to do. It is frustrating to have completed Q2 so successfully and then fallen a bit short in Q3. However, with a new car, and in tricky conditions, we have put ourselves in a good position to race tomorrow".
Alexander Albon is very happy, as he managed to reach Q3:
"I'm happy. Firstly, we had good pace. In Q1 we were P6 and feeling good. In Q2, we didn't need to take the risk with the slick tyres, but we made the call. I was actually quite surprised when I saw everyone roll out on Inters! But it was great to get through and to top the times. Q3 was a tricky one because it suddenly got much wetter and it became much harder to get the tyres in the window. I struggled a bit with that as it felt like the tyres were cooling down quite a lot on the straights when the rain picked up. I made a mistake when I lost tyre temperature going into the last corner, which I'm disappointed about and that was it really. Mixed emotions but looking at the weekend so far it's a great qualifying result and shows as a team that we are getting there".
It is different for Logan Sargeant, who had a complicated qualifying:
"FP3 felt really good with the car in a decent place in full wet conditions. As the track was drying in Qualifying, I felt like the rears never came to me in that second set in particular. The last lap I did felt semi-decent but was nowhere near quick enough. It felt like I never got the tyre in the right window with lots of overheating and the grip never came. We'll see what happens tomorrow. We don't know what the weather's going to be like, but we'll do our best to go forward".
At Alpine, Esteban Ocon talks in a satisfied tone, because of the sixth position obtained:
"Starting sixth on the grid tomorrow is a very good result for us considering the conditions and the challenging weekend we've had so far. Credit to the team, superbly managing all the sessions in Qualifying as it was not easy today. Our focus now turns to tomorrow, fully knowing that we haven't done many laps this weekend to prepare, in the wet or the dry. That said, I am confident in the car and in the team and we hope to come away with some good points at the end of the race. Last but not least, a shoutout to the crowd who stuck around in big numbers despite the heavy rain today. We saw you and felt your support around the track and hope to put on a good show for you tomorrow".
His teammate Pierre Gasly doesn’t agree, as he exited at Q1:
"I'm very disappointed with the outcome of today's Qualifying and we can count ourselves unfortunate to be starting so far down on the grid. I was on for a good lap time in Q1, safe to easily progress to Q2, and then I was blocked in a dangerous manner in the braking zone for the final corner. The incident compromised both that lap and the next lap and it left us out in Q1. It's very frustrating as there was a big opportunity today with the mixed conditions and we were not able to show our potential. We have an uphill task in the race from near the back of the grid but, as ever, I'll be giving it my all to progress towards the points with the aim of coming away with something".
Same situation for Yuki Tsunoda, out in Q1 and not satisfied with the result obtained:
"Looking at the pace we showed in FP3, it’s a shame we didn’t make it out of Q1 today. At the same time, we have been struggling with pace from the beginning of the weekend, so we will need to look into this. I thought my final lap in Q1 was good, and I’m happy with it, but we lack overall pace. Tomorrow is a new day in dry conditions so I’m optimistic. I’ll try to overtake as many cars as possible and target points".
Also Nyck de Vries explains the difficult conditions:
"The biggest challenge today was the changing conditions. The track was drying towards the end of Q1, so we weren’t sure whether we wanted to box for a second set of intermediate tyres. In the end we did, and it came down to two laps. I had to back out on my penultimate lap because of traffic management in the last sector. This was the same battle for everyone so it’s not an excuse. You want to push to the limit, but I think today I undershot it. We didn’t have that much dry running to prepare for tomorrow, so it’s hard to know where we are, but we’ll do our best and I hope we can move forward from where we’re starting".
Valtteri Bottas was out from the fight for the best positions:
"I still believe the top ten could have been achievable today, especially looking at our lap times in FP3. Unfortunately, we have been a bit unlucky with these changeable conditions. Of course, I would’ve preferred to be out there fighting in Q3, but tomorrow is a new day, and we have a chance to recover from today. All through the weekend so far, our car felt like it could get in the top ten, our pace is there, especially in the dry. We’ll look into our performance overnight and get ready to climb up the grid tomorrow".
Zhou Guanyu agrees with his teammate:
"Qualifying has been quite frustrating for me; somehow, I lost the drive and found myself with no power. I had a lot of anti-stall, and at first I couldn’t even communicate with the team. I still somehow managed to bring the car back to the garage, and after a while, I went out again. Overall, it hasn’t been a clean session from my side: I was lacking grip, sliding quite a lot. We are yet to figure out what has actually happened, but we will make sure to investigate it to get it resolved properly. Still, nothing is lost: hopefully, we’ll figure it out ahead of tomorrow, and try to get back in the higher part of the grid".
The poleman Max Verstappen is pretty satisfied, taking into consideratiion the excellent result:
"We made the right calls at the right time today. It was very important to get the communication right with the Team, to really keep on top of things as the weather was changing by the minute, we were clear with what we wanted to do. It was good that I could really push the car, despite the conditions on track. I like this track and in the wet it’s even more challenging. It’s difficult to say what’s going to happen tomorrow, I felt quite good on the long runs this morning so hopefully we will have good pace. It’s a long race, a lot of things can happen so we just need to be on top of things".
Things are different for Sergio Perez, out in Q2 and in a worse position than his teammate:
"Getting the tyres in the right window was the main issue today. It was looking well until we got caught out with the conditions, it was raining and then when it started drying up we went onto the slick tyre, probably about half a lap too late. We couldn’t get track position and then once the temperature was in the tyres it started raining harder and it was just too late. Once we were on the inter it was just too wet to get the lap time. Yesterday was a positive day and today in the wet we had figured out a lot going into qualifying, which was really encouraging. We could have been a lot higher but in these conditions, it was a bit of a lottery with tyres and it was tricky out there. The aim tomorrow, of course, will be to come through the field and get a strong result. Anything can happen in the race, we will keep our heads down, work hard overnight and try to minimise the damage".
Regarding Haas, Kevin Magnussen admits that he thought to do better in Q3:
"We were in the pits still when the track was dry - something you want to maximize, but then we were out of Q2. We’d been looking good in the conditions, but we need to see where we could have done better. We really looked like we had a good chance in this qualifying - we were really pumped after FP3".
Nico Hulkenberg is surely less happy than he was at the end of the session, because of the 3-positions penalty, buti s ready to fight in the front row:
"Obviously the ending of the day is not quite as good as it was earlier, that’s obviously a pity and it’s a shame not to be staring on the front row. We have to face the consequences with that. I think in terms of our race tomorrow it doesn’t really change anything - the approach is the same and it won’t impact or harm the outcome. We’ll prepare as usual and race hard tomorrow".
Guenther Steiner, Haas’ Team Principal, is happy of the result, despite Nico Hulkenberg’s penalty:
"The penalty tonight shouldn’t take anything away from the team and what we did - we’re second in our minds. Yes, there was a mistake, there was too much speed, but we’ve also to consider there was never, ever, anybody put in any danger because Nico was always on his own. Obviously it’s against the rules, but it was a mistake, it didn’t create any danger, we got the penalty - we have to take it. We’ll go back and try to do the best we can tomorrow. One day maybe lady luck will come to us. Elsewhere, Kevin got a little bit unlucky not to get out of Q2, he had traffic on his fast laps. Nico, prior to receiving the penalty, he had been in the right place at the right time in Q3 and brought home second on the screens. We obviously need to see what our race pace looks like tomorrow but hopefully we can bring some points home".
Carlos Sainz will try his best tomorrow, as his session didn’t go as expected and his starting position is not ideal:
"It was a very tough qualifying. After the incident in FP3 the guys did an amazing job to rebuild the car and I managed to get my confidence back bit by bit in Q1 and Q2, putting some decent laps together. I was looking forward to pushing hard in Q3, but unfortunately the red flag and later the heavy rain meant we couldn’t improve our time and missed out on a better result. My starting position is not ideal but tomorrow we’ll try our best to make up some places".
Charles Leclerc will try to recover a lot of position at the race, as he didn’t manage to get into Q3:
"I was frustrated after qualifying because I love my team and felt we could all have done a better job today. We have been working so hard and made a good step with the car for this weekend, so it was disappointing not to go through to Q3. We will pull together and work as a team to improve. I will give everything in the race to make up as many positions as possible and bring home a solid result for us".
Frédéric Vasseur, Ferrari’s Team Principal, admits that qualifying didn’t go as expected due to the lot of variables at play:
"Even if the conditions were the same for everyone, for various reasons, qualifying really didn’t go our way today. In Q2, there wasn’t much time to decide on tyre choice and we opted to establish a time on Intermediates before switching to Softs. On the slicks, there was time for just one run before the rain returned and only Carlos managed to improve. In Q3, once again, Carlos could only do one flying lap before the red flag and after that the heavy rain meant it was impossible to improve. From what we saw Friday in free practice and given how evenly matched everyone is, I am confident that, in the race, we can move up the order and bring home a good result".
On Sunday 18th June, 2023, everyone is ready at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for the main event of the week, the Canadian Grand Prix. The track is dry so nobody is going to use intermediates or wet tyres for the race, as, on the other hand, happened during the qualifying session on Saturday. The majority of the drivers has selected medium starting rubber, while Perez, Magnussen and Bottas are on hards and only Gasly goes for softs. Nico Hulkenberg, who made an excellent P2, will not start from the front row as due to a penalty for a red flag violation, he is now P5. Among the other changes there is Sainz who will start 11th, Stroll 16th and Tsunoda 19th for separate instances of impeding across Q1 and Q2. Light go out and the 9th Grand Prix of the season starts. Great stint from Max Verstappen, who manage to maintain his position, while Hamilton overtakes Alonso to get the second place. Ocon passes Hulkenberg for the fifth place, followed by the McLaren duo Piastri and Norris, while Leclerc and Albon are in the final top 10 positions and Sainz and Perez almost clash at the Turn 8/9 chicane. A few corners later, Sainz fights back against Perez down the back straight and into the final chicane. Alonso thumps the wall at the exit of Turn 4, but manages to hold P3 between the Mercedes cars.
"I think the tyres are more vulnerable than FP2".
Verstappen reports over the radio, due to the track conditions after the rainfall. At the same time, Tsunoda pits to swap his medium tyres for hards. On lap 7, the Williams pit wall tells Sargeant to stop his car due to a problem and a Virtual Safety Car is triggered. When the VSC ends, Verstappen’s advantage over Hamilton is of three seconds; they are followed by Alonso, Russell, Ocon and Hulkenberg. On lap 13, a Safety Car is provided after Russell touched the barriers. Verstappen, Hamilton and Alonso pit for hards. A lot of drivers pit too, while Leclerc, Sainz, Perez, Magnussen and Bottas stay out.
"It’s a bit bent, but it’s OK".
Says Russell over the radio, after the mechanics have repared his damage in the pit lane; on lap 17, the race continues, with Verstappen still in the lead. Behind him, Hamilton, Alonso, Leclerc and Sainz, who has gained a lot of positions after a not so good qualifying session. Norris makes a move on team mate Piastri into the hairpin, but the stewards issue another note to confirm that the former is being investigated for an unsafe release of his own. Verstappen has a lead of three seconds, while Alonso passes Hamilton down the back straight and completes the move at the final chicane.
"I have no grip on this tyre".
Tells Verstappen, before reporting that the grip is getting better a few laps later, while Sainz wants to continue on his original set of mediums. The Ferraris make their only pitstop on lap 39 for Sainz and 40 for Leclerc. On lap 35, Nyck the Vries and Kevin Magnussen bang wheels again at Turn 2 and go out into the gravel. On lap 41 and 42 Hamilton and Verstappen do their second and last pitstop of the race, maintaining their positions, while Alonso takes on another set of hards. Leclerc is given the message:
"Sainz will not attack you".
Albon keeps his Williams in front of Russell’s Mercedes, and Ocon, Bottas and Norris close in to it. Russell has to retire on lap 55 for the problems caused by his first incident on lap 13. At this point, there is a scare for Verstappen.
"I almost knocked myself out on that kerb".
He laughs over the radio with five laps to go, but he still manage to get his victory, 10 seconds aheas of the second place. He has now reached Ayrton Senna's GP wins, while the Red Bull reaches the 100th Grand Prix win. Leclerc and Sainz are in fourth and fifth place, Perez is sixth, followed by Albon, Ocon, Stroll and Bottas, the last driver that get a point this weekend. Sergio Perez has an additional point for the fastest lap. The only drivers who have retired are Logan Sargeant and George Russell. It's the first win in Canada for Max Verstappen and he is proud of having reached Ayrton Senna''s race wins:
"I’m of course very happy to win here in Canada. It wasn’t an easy or straightforward race though, it was quite difficult to switch on the tyres and get them to the right temperature. This is our 100th win and it’s an incredible moment for the Team, the hard work doesn’t stop here though, the new target is 200 now! Right from when I was a young kid karting, I was always dreaming about being a Formula One driver and I would have never imagined to actually win so many races, so to tie with Ayrton Senna is incredible and I feel really proud of that. Hopefully we will have plenty more wins in the future, I don’t want to stop now".
On his sixth place and his race, Sergio Perez says:
"Today was a bit of a surprise, we just didn’t have the pace. It was looking good on the hard tyre initially but once the safety car came in I couldn’t recover the grip on that tyre and we didn’t have the pace on the medium. It is important we take time to understand the weekend because this race, in particular, has been poor in pace and we need to get on top of it. I have the confidence in myself and know what I can do but today we were not good. Right now, I am more concerned about my drop in performance than my place in the Championship because the pace is just not there. You never have no pressure on you, it has been a difficult period but I am here to perform and I need to do that in the next few races. On a positive note, we achieved 100 wins today and it is really great for the Team, I am very happy for everyone, Max has done a tremendous job, not just today but throughout the whole season. I took out the sentence about our side of the garage".
Christian Horner, Red Bull's CEO and Team Principal, talks about Red Bull's 100th win and his team performance:
"It’s a landmark day today and one for our history books, 100 victories for the team, 200 for Adrian and Max’s 41st putting him up there with Senna. An amazing result for the whole team, not just the people here, but everyone back at the factory who works so hard, ensuring we continue to perform at such a high level. I remember our first victory in China in 2009 and being happy that we’d won just one race, and here we are with 99 more. To get a century of victories is an incredible achievement, competing in 100 races is a feat in itself, but winning 27% of all races we have entered is something truly to be proud of. It’s been an amazing journey in a relatively short space of time and it’s down to our incredible people, our spirit and our culture. Max has obviously been a big part of the journey with 41 of those wins, he’s driving so incredibly well and it’s a privilege to witness the level that he’s delivering at. It was a tricky race for him because the tyre temperatures were not in a happy window but he made the most of it and secured the win. Checo equally had a fairly tough race. I know he is hungry for more and will already be looking at ways to improve on his performance. Tomorrow, we’ll celebrate as a team back in the factory, but of course we’re still in the middle of a championship and have a lot of races to go, so after tomorrow the attention is on our home race in Austria in two weeks".
Incredible second place for Fernando Alonso, who says:
"It was a great result for Aston Martin today and another podium for the team. I think it was our most competitive race yet and the upgrades on the car are working well. I lost the position to Lewis [Hamilton] at the start, but we had some good pace and after a close battle we retook second. It was then like a qualifying session as Lewis was pushing at the end and we had to keep him there and not make any mistakes. We hope to put more pressure on Max [Verstappen] in Austria".
Lance Stroll finished P9 and thanks his Canadian fans to support him at his home race:
"It was a good recovery drive to score a couple of points this afternoon. We got unlucky with the Safety Car; pitting a lap before it was deployed meant we missed out on a cheaper stop while the cars around us were able to take that opportunity. At that point our focus had to shift to damage limitation and trying to pick up a couple of points for the team. There are still positives to take from the race; the AMR23 felt strong and was performing well. I had a fun final lap too, overtaking Valtteri [Bottas] just before the finish line. To hear the cheers from the grandstands when I took the position was great, and I want to say thank you to all the fans who have shown their support this weekend".
Mike Krack, Aston Martin’s Team Principal, is happy to leave Montreal with points:
"Congratulations to Fernando, Lance and the entire team on another great result. It was a very well-executed race with strong pace, clean pitstops, and important overtakes. There was not a moment to relax as Fernando stayed close to Max and kept a gap to Lewis to finish second. We also had to play it safe with some lift and coast to manage a fuel system issue. It was good to see Lance make a great comeback and score valuable points too. He was heavily disadvantaged by the Safety Car. It came out a lap after his first pitstop, which cost him several positions and undid much of his hard work in the opening laps. He kept his head down and recovered well to take ninth place on the final lap. We leave Montréal, our second home race, with 20 important points for the Constructors' Championship".
Great weekend also for Lewis Hamilton, who has finished in third place. However, he says there's more to do:
"It's been a great weekend. To have this consistency and to be up on the podium once again here is fantastic. It's quite an honour to be up on the podium with two other world champions. We didn't quite have the pace today to challenge for more. We knew this wouldn't be our strongest circuit though as we struggle in the low-speed corners in particular. We've still got a lot of work to do to add more performance and efficiency. We are slowly chipping away at those ahead though. I do believe we will get there at some stage and we are going in the right direction".
On the other hand, George Russell's race was very different:
"Apologies to the Team. We've put so much hard work and effort into this weekend and a small mistake has had massive consequences. I was doing everything I could to put Fernando (Alonso) under pressure. I then ran a little bit wide and hit the kerb; next thing I knew I was in the wall. That's at least 12 points that we've left on the table today. We did a good job after that to get back into the mix. Sadly we had an issue with the brakes which forced us to retire the car. They felt OK from my side, but the Team can see the data and could see that we couldn't continue. I'm disappointed with the race today but there are positives we can take away. The car was quick on a circuit that we weren't expecting to be that competitive and we took the fight to those around us. The Team is doing a great job and the future is exciting. Let's see what the upcoming races bring".
Toto Wolff agrees with Hamilton and talks about Russell being unlucky:
"Today's race was an encouraging one for the Team. We knew that Canada was going to be one of the more difficult circuits for us, so to come away with a podium is a solid result. We were also not too far away from Max (Verstappen), much closer than we would have expected at the beginning of the season. The margin is still large, so we have lots more work to do. We are on a positive trajectory though and the update package clearly works well. George was unlucky today. He hit a large kerb and tried to keep it cornering and ended up in the wall. He was pushing hard, and this car is still a little bit difficult at times. He ultimately retired with brake wear issues".
Mercedes Trackside Engineering Director, Andrew Shovlin, says:
"We knew this track would be more difficult for us than Barcelona, so it's encouraging to see that we were very close on pace to Aston Martin and Ferrari. Lewis did a great job to get on the podium today. We didn't quite have the pace we needed to get second but when we look at the tracks that lie ahead of us, we should have a car that can regularly fight for the top-three. We've clearly got a bit of pace to find before we'll be worrying Max, but the Team is working well to bring performance and very motivated to close that gap. George meanwhile is clearly disappointed with his mistake but we're second in the championship because both drivers have delivered so consistently over the season. His race came ended due to a front brake wear issue; that was not as a direct result of the incident but because of the traffic he faced as he battled back through the field. We know he will come back strongly in Austria, as the Team continues to push forward".
Good race for the two Ferraris, who started in the middle of the grid. Charles Leclerc has finished P4, but he says they need to continue improving:
"It was a solid race that confirmed the good feeling I had in the car on Friday. We stayed out during the Safety Car phase to be able to run in free air, because we knew that it would be key for us and our strategy proved to be the right one. We couldn’t have done better than P4 today considering where we started. We must not forget that this is quite an unusual track, so we will keep pushing to reconfirm these positive steps in Austria".
Carlos Sainz Jr. has finished P5 and is happy with his performance and the car:
"Today was a positive race. We were able to push continuously and recover after a challenging qualifying. We made the right strategy calls and we had a strong pace, especially with the Medium tyre. The car felt good and we could push a bit more, also extending the first stint quite a lot, so I’m happy with that. We’re making progress in the right direction and we need to keep up the good work".
Frédéric Vasseur thinks that the team is working well and they will keep improving:
"It was a good race for us, confirming that we are working in the right direction. After a poor qualifying yesterday, we rediscovered the race pace we had seen on Friday, helped in this by a good strategy that took us out of traffic, so that Charles and Carlos had the confidence to push throughout the race. It was notable that in the second half our drivers were matching the lap times of the top three. We are progressing race by race. We will continue to focus on working solidly on the course we have set ourselves, while going into every small detail to ensure we can have a perfect weekend from Friday through to Sunday".
Incredible weekend for Alex Albon, who after a very good qualifying session has finished P7:
"It's been a very strong weekend and I have to thank the team first and foremost because we had the upgrade on the car, and I think it shows that we made a good step and the circuit suited us. The work that has gone on at the factory to get this upgrade ready has been monumental and everyone has been working so hard. We also fitted a new PU, so we threw everything at this weekend. We had a great qualifying yesterday and now the race today was great. To get these points on the board and move up to ninth in the Championship is a nice place to be and it's great to be able to say thank you to the team and have this reward for everything that everyone has done".
Logan Sargeant had to stop his car due to an issue:
"We had a really good start to the race with a car we could fight with. I had the AlphaTauri ahead under quite a bit of pressure and I felt quick. Unfortunately, I got the message to stop the car as soon as possible due to an issue which ended my race. I've learned a lot this weekend from using the full wet tyres, driving in the wet, and driving on the inters on a drying track. Honestly in the dry, I feel like we've been pretty quick. It didn't work out today, but we can be positive going to Austria".
Dave Robson talks about the two really different races of his drivers and the updates on the FW45:
"There were mixed fortunes for the two sides of our garage today. We were forced to retire Logan's car after we spotted an oil leak, which was starting to affect his power unit. We need to inspect the car tonight and find out exactly where the leak is coming from. It was a shame for Logan as he had a good opportunity for some close racing and a good result. With Alex, we benefited from a well-timed safety car but were also able to put together a very strong 1-stop race. We have seen in the past that Alex is exceptionally good at managing a race and defending against a group of cars. Today, he was able to overtake on track and then couple all of his past experience with the strengths of the updated FW45 to pull off a very good result. His drive was outstanding and the help he received from the team was equally impressive. We suspected that the circuit in Montreal would suit the car quite well and this has been enhanced by the upgrade package, which delivered well today. The whole team in Grove has worked tirelessly to deliver this upgrade and they can be suitably proud of their achievement. We still have a lot to learn about the revised FW45 and this work will continue in Austria in a couple of weeks".
The racer ended with some points for Esteban Ocon, who thinks they can be satisfied:
"I think we can be satisfied with finishing another race in the points but we know that perhaps we did not maximise our opportunities today in Montréal. Our car and our pace was strong but, in the end, it was not enough to pass Alex [Albon] in the Williams, who was quicker on the straights. We'll review everything as a team as to how we can improve and also how we can better seize opportunities on Sundays. Our pace in Qualifying has been good and we must continue that. I did enjoy the battles with Valtteri [Bottas] and Lando [Norris]; that was good fun! Overall, we have a lot to learn after a challenging weekend and I'm already looking forward to Austria in two weeks' time".
Pierre Gasly didn't finish on points, but looks ahead to the Austrian GP:
"Unfortunately, we were unable to come away with points from today's race. It again shows the importance of track position and I think our weekend was damaged by what happened in Qualifying yesterday by exiting in Q1. We had very good pace in the car today, which we were not able to demonstrate further up the grid and in the positions that matter. We were a little unfortunate with the timing of the first Safety Car but even so, we had a decent race in terms of pace. I gave it my all at the end, overtaking was difficult, and we couldn't quite put ourselves into the points. I'm already looking ahead to Austria where we must be on it from the start of the weekend and come away with points both in the Sprint and in the main Race".
Otmar Szafnauer, Alpine’s Team Principal, says they need to review their strategy and that they look at the next race to improve:
"It's not been a straightforward afternoon with Esteban in the points and Pierre unfortunately missing out. I think we have many things to learn from the race as we saw both Ferraris, Sergio [Perez] and Alex [Albon] make the one-stop strategy work, whereas we planned a one-stop but converted to a two-stop on both cars, which probably was not the optimal approach given the final outcome. That's something we'll review to see what we can do better going forward. Esteban did a good job, especially at the start of the race where he was running as high as fourth behind the leading pack. It was a much more difficult afternoon for Pierre who was unfortunate with the timing of the first Safety Car as he pitted early to try and jump the traffic ahead. Again, like in Spain, it highlights the importance of Qualifying and benefitting from track position. His weekend was compounded by yesterday's impeding incident and it meant he was always going to play catch-up in the race. Looking forward, we've made it four consecutive races in the points and we must capitalise on our stronger race pace by converting that performance level into bigger points. Next up is the Austrian Sprint weekend where we must come away with a better outcome from both races".
The last driver to get a point is Valtteri Bottas, who is happy with the race and the strategy:
"I am pleased with our race today: I made up four positions during the race, and it’s always a good day when that happens, especially when you get a top ten finish, which had been our main goal all weekend long. It could have been P9, but my tyres began to wear out towards the end of the race, and Lance [Stroll] got me on the finish line. Still, I think it is safe to say we executed a solid race today, and a good strategy as well; since Monaco, we have been making decent progress, and it’s proof of all the hard work put in by the team back home in Hinwil. Even though we are bringing home only one point today, it’s a reward and a motivation boost to keep hunting for more. Now, it will be important to keep working in this direction and focus on improving our Saturday performance. There are still some steps forward to make, and I am confident we can achieve this all together".
Zhou Guanyu finished P16. He thinks it will be important to focus on the next races, especially with the Sprint Race:
"We knew the race was always going to be difficult, considering where we were starting, but I still believed we had a chance to turn it around: unfortunately, we didn’t manage to take it. After the Safety Car went back in, I felt we could have got in the fight; we had started on the Mediums, and they were feeling pretty good. Unfortunately, the race didn’t unfold in the way we needed, and after the final pit stop there wasn’t much we could do. There’s no denying we still hoped to improve our results, but this weekend just hasn’t been easy for us. It can happen, but it is important now to switch our focus on getting back to the good performances we have shown recently, to come prepared in two weeks’ time in Spielberg. We have seen before how anything can happen during a Sprint Weekend: if we play our cards well, we’ll be able to get back in the top ten".
Alfa Romeo’s Team representative Alessandro Alunni Bravi says they are confident their qualifying performance will get better and that they need to be happy even about only one point:
"We must be happy with the one point we scored today with Valtteri, even though it’s always a bit bitter to lose one position [to Lance Stroll] with just metres to go. Still, one point can make a fundamental difference at the end of the season, and we have now scored in two races in a row. I want to thank all the team for their hard work towards this result, which was not a foregone conclusion after yesterday’s qualifying session. We know Saturdays are where we need to focus our attention: a better qualifying position can allow us to a fight for higher places and, ultimately, more points. In terms of race pace, our cars seem to be better, so we know the C43 as an overall package can be competitive. It was a more difficult weekend for Zhou; starting from P20, we had to try something different so we tried an alternative strategy with him to recover some ground. Nevertheless, we take this point and we get back to work to continue our streak in Spielberg in two weeks. We will race on permanent circuits until the summer break, and we are confident they can better suit our qualifying performances. We have seen, once again, how tight the battle is: one single metre could cost a position, just like one single tenth in qualifying can make the difference between Q2 and Q3: we will need to keep on working as hard as possible, both at the track and at the factory, to constantly improve".
Not a good weekend for McLaren drivers. P11 for Oscar Piastri and P13 for Lando Norris. The Australian driver comments:
"P11, a shame to be one spot off the points. Very good first stint and then after that we just didn't quite have the pace or the tyre life, but plenty to learn from the race. Big thanks to the team for getting the car ready to go again today. Bit of time to reset now before we go again in Austria".
The British driver says the race was good, except for the penalty of course:
"An intense race. We were a little bit unlucky that I lost the position at the beginning but happy apart from that. I think the pace was OK, it was good to compete on-track for some points. A difficult race though in terms of tyre degradation and overtaking, but I think we made the most of it today, so I'm happy. Of course, unfortunate we got the penalty but we'll review that as a team. Next up is Austria, one of my favourite tracks, so I'm looking forward to it. We'll give it our all and try to score some points".
Andrea Stella, McLaren’s Team Principal, says that the pace of the two cars was good but that they need to upgrade the MCL60:
"It's a shame to leave Canada with no points at the end of a race where we were keenly competitive in the midfield. Lando crossed the line P9 but was penalised five seconds and demoted to P13, which is unfortunate. The positive that we're taking away from Montréal is that the car had good race pace today in some parts of the race, but again we struggled, especially in the second stint, when tyres get too hot. We're looking forward to the future now and to upgrading the MCL60, with a view to strengthening our pace and getting into the points consistently in the future".
Yuki Tsunoda finished P14, but is happy with the overtakes he managed to do:
"Our aggressive strategy worked until the virtual safety car and our pace was really good. The timing didn’t work in our favour and we couldn’t gain as much as we wanted to, struggling with pace after that. Our car performance was ok, though not as good as Barcelona, which meant we weren’t able to gain as many positions as we wanted. It's not the position I wanted to finish, but I had some good overtakes, so it was good learning. Looking ahead, I need a clean race weekend with a higher qualifying position, to maximise our chances of scoring points in the future".
Nyck de Vries talks about his incident with Kevin Magnussen:
"Until the fight with Kevin (Magnussen), it was a decent race. We fought each other hard but I think we both missed our braking point, and with the low grip, I locked up and went straight. Compared to previous race weekends, we weren’t quite quick and competitive enough, so we need to see why we were lacking performance to understand how to improve. Equally, it was a DRS train and wherever you were, you maintained your position. Points were going to be a challenge today, but qualifying further up the grid certainly would’ve made a better result possible".
Jody Egginton says they need to do better in qualifying:
"Yesterday's qualifying positions made today's race more difficult than it needed to be. This, combined with Yuki’s three-place penalty, forced us into trying something different and unfortunately, it didn't work out. We made a very early stop with Yuki to use the free air to recover race time. The strategy was working quite well and Yuki got back into the pack, however, losing a bit of time behind Magnussen on older tyres, the decision was made to convert to a two-stop. This cost a bit more track position than expected due to a slow stop so ultimately, we couldn’t get back to the pack led by Albon. Nyck's race was mainly in traffic and unfortunately, his first stop was made the lap before the safety car, meaning he wasn't able to take advantage of the undercut. Subsequent contact with Magnussen later in the race cost him more time, along with a raft of blue flags. We need to review Yuki's race to determine if sticking with the one-stop strategy could have potentially provided a better result. In terms of pace, had we managed to qualify further up the grid and been able to utilise a more conventional strategy, I believe we could've scored points today. Qualifying was the key aspect of the weekend, and we need to be executing better going forwards, so we're better placed to start scoring and recovering from our current situation where we are dropping points, and letting our closest competitors move away from us in the Constructors' championship".
Nico Hulkenberg thinks this race confirms some problems even from previous races:
"It was a one-way street in the wrong direction today. It was to some extent expected, but we obviously always hope for the best so that it’s better than what you had in the previous event. It just once again confirms that we have a lot of work to do on the long run pace and entire consistency because that’s really hurting our Sunday".
Kevin Magnussen says they struggled especially with the tyres:
"We were just lacking pace to where we want to be and we struggled with tires again, at least more than the others, so it was a tough one. I think over one lap we have really good pace, we’ve shown that several times this season, but we need to work hard on trying to keep that strength for Sunday".
Guenther Steiner, Haas' Team Principal, comments:
"It’s pretty clear now, obviously the result is not what we should be doing and it’s very disappointing. I think we know where to look, the issue is as soon as we get into traffic and behind cars, our degradation is immense – we cannot get the tire performance back and we just slip back. We can clearly see it, as soon as we get away from free air and start to fight, we just degrade. We know really what we need to look for, and we’ll be looking for it. We need to put our heads together and try to find a solution to this and not hide behind good qualifying results".
Mario Isola, Pirelli Motorsport Director, talks about the different strategies the teams used to race this weekend and Red Bull's 100th win:
"It was a very interesting race, the most closely balanced so far this season, as can be seen from the results sheet, with four drivers from four different teams all finishing in the space of under 20 seconds. Yesterday's prediction that a two-stop strategy was the best option was confirmed as the top three all went down this route, even if they each managed it in different ways. However, the one stop proved to be a valid alternative, as demonstrated by the two Ferrari drivers: Leclerc and Sainz went to over half-distance on the Mediums without any significant degradation in terms of tyre performance, a sign that their car is making progress on the set-up front. Temperatures were lower today than on Friday and that contributed to reducing the risk of overheating the tyres. Another factor that played an important role in tyre management was the fact the track rubbered-in very quickly during the race, even though it was initially very dirty after it had rained for almost all of Saturday. Personally, it was an honour for me, on behalf of Pirelli, the race's Title Sponsor, to hand over the winning constructors' trophy to Adrian Newey, someone who has contributed so much to the history of this team and of our sport and indeed, who continues to do so, on the very day when Red Bull celebrated its 100th win".
The next race will be in two weeks in Austria, with the format of the Sprint race, which will take place From June 30 to July 2.