2012 Grand Prix du Canada
Team Quotes - Sunday 10 June
Christian Horner, Team Principal: "A tricky race. Having been in the lead at the start, it was obvious early on that we were a little bit harder on the tyres, which necessitated Sebastian to pit earlier than we wanted. That permitted Hamilton and Alonso to get the jump on us. Then there was a dilemma as to whether we do a one or two stop race. We were going well on the tyres and at that stage it seemed our best option was to do a one stop. But then the tyres really started to go away from us, so we made a late call to go on to the super soft tyres, which enabled us to get back up to fourth position, behind the one-stopping Grosjean and Perez. With Mark, again we were running okay early on. He had an engine hesitation in the first few laps, but then he settled into a good rhythm. Again we were heavy on the tyres towards the end of the stints and it was clearer with Mark to go to a two stop earlier, but unfortunately the one stoppers managed to get ahead. So, a tactical race, a tricky race, but nonetheless we have still managed to salvage respectable points today."
Cyril Dumont, Renault: "It was a shame today, to start on pole and finish fourth and seventh is not the best, but will work to understand it. It's always easy to see what we could have done with strategy after the event. Engine-wise we did what we could to get the most power and best usage out of the engines for this race, but it was not enough today."
Martin Whitmarsh, Team Principal: "A hat-trick of Canadian Grand Prix wins for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes [2010, 2011, 2012]! Five wins out of the past seven Canadian Grands Prix for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes [2005, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012]! The 13th Canadian Grand Prix win in our history - more than any other team! A third Canadian Grand Prix win for Lewis [2007, 2010, 2012]! And Lewis is now leading the Drivers' World Championship! And all of that in the historic 300th Grand Prix of the McLaren-Mobil1-Mercedes-Enkei partnership!
"So, yes, today was a very good day. Lewis drove brilliantly. He shadowed Seb for the first dozen-or-so laps, then closed right up on him as the first pitstop window approached. When Seb took on fresh rubber on lap 16, Lewis really got the hammer down, made his stop on lap 17, and rejoined the race just ahead of Seb. Then, when Fernando [Alonso] made his pitstop, and re-emerged just ahead of Lewis, he [Lewis] showed his innate racer's instinct by passing him [Fernando] in short order and then steadily pulling away. It was a majestic performance by a master of his craft at the peak of his form.
"For Jenson, by contrast, today was another day on which we, his team, failed to provide him with the tools with which to do the brilliant job we all know he's capable of, and which he did so superbly here last year. He lost track time on Friday through no fault of his own, was unable to qualify as well as he would have done had he not lost that track time, and may have been further troubled today by a suspension set-up, different from Lewis's, that left him with excessive rear tyre wear. We'll have to check that out.
"Lastly, I want to pay tribute to Akebono, whose brake callipers coped brilliantly on the circuit that by some margin poses the biggest braking challenge of the Formula 1 year."
Eleven points for Scuderia Ferrari in the Canadian Grand Prix, thanks to a fifth place for Fernando Alonso and a tenth for Felipe Massa. Fernando was almost always in the hunt for the win and tried to make just one pit stop, on lap 19. But he dropped several places in the closing stages because of high tyre degradation, salvaging fifth place by a whisker. Felipe, who showed he had the pace to match the front runners, paid a very high price for a mistake on lap 6, when he spun at Turn 1, losing a lot of time. In the end, the Brazilian nevertheless managed to finish the race in the points. After this race, Fernando is second in the Drivers' classification, two points down on the leader, while Felipe is fourteenth; the Scuderia finds itself fourth in the Constructors' championship.
Stefano Domenicali: There's a certain feeling of disappointment this afternoon and there's no point denying it. It's the first weekend in which we have not got the most out of what we had, but it's also down to the fact that the level of expectation was higher thanks to the progress we have made. Let's not forget that yesterday we were fighting for pole and today, we were in the battle for the win right to the end: in Bahrain, a month and a half ago, not a year ago, we only got one driver into Q3 and we finished the race one minute off the winner. Today, we made two mistakes: we did not cover Vettel when the German stopped the second time and Felipe's spin in the early stage of the race. All things considered, the first error cost us relatively little, while the second came at a higher price, because Felipe, who nevertheless had another good weekend after the one in Monaco, had the pace to stay with the lead group. Having made this preliminary analysis we need to look at the weekend in terms of the championship. Fernando is only two points off the leader and the F2012 is back to being competitive enough to fight with the best. However it was important to score points on a track that, going into the event, was definitely not one that suited us: knowing we can count on a driver like Fernando, capable of completing a year's races all in the points is a factor that has its part to play when it comes to thinking about the title race. We must continue to push on the development to close the gap which still separates us from pole position: only when we have done this can we claim to have reached our first objective. Another theme we need to look into further is the tyre degradation, which is proving to be ever more the key to this season.
Pat Fry: To finish a race struggling with the tyres always hurts a bit, but for we engineers it's best to evaluate the situation with a cool head and not with the emotive images from the television in mind. Today, Hamilton was quicker and the fact we were able to pass him was down to the strategy, by trying to do something different. Furthermore, given the behaviour of the tyres at that moment, from a certain point onwards, we decided on going for a single stop to try and at least make it to the podium. We did not manage it, but we tried right to the very end. Maybe we could have shadowed Vettel and come into the pits when he did: that was a mistake which cost us a position, but anyway Fernando would have finished outside the top three. A shame for Felipe, because he showed a good pace: a mistake early on meant he ended up in traffic and the last of the points places is definitely not the result that was within his grasp this afternoon. We leave Montreal convinced we have made a step forward in terms of outright performance, but aware that we did not pick up what was in our reach The F2012 has improved, but it is still not enough and we will have to work a lot on understanding the tyre degradation. We will head for Valencia with the aim of further improving performance and getting the most out of the potential available to us.
Nico Rosberg finished the Canadian Grand Prix in sixth place today with Michael Schumacher forced to retire after 43 laps.
Nico ran a two-stop strategy, pitting on laps 19 and 38, and using super soft/soft/soft tyres. Michael retired after 43 laps when an hydraulic problem left his rear-wing flap stuck open. Nico has now scored 67 points in the last five races - the equal highest of any driver in the field.
Ross Brawn: "We had a very quick car today, as Nico's performance in particular showed, but a combination of failing to achieve our potential in qualifying and a messy race cost us positions at the flag. We asked both drivers to be cautious with the super soft tyres in the first five laps to ensure we didn't push them too hard, but when we gave them the go-ahead, it was clear that Nico - who was running in clean air - was extremely quick and one of the fastest cars. Michael was caught in a train of cars in the lower half of the top ten, and although we tried something different by stopping early in order to get him into clean air, it didn't quite work for us. He then suffered a hydraulic issue which left his DRS jammed open and it was not possible to fix it in race conditions. I can only apologise to Michael for a further technical failure. As for Nico, his race was running to plan and he was gaining on the leaders when he ran across Massa, who was running out of tyres and defending vigorously before his final stop. This cost Nico both track position and time that proved crucial in the closing laps. Ultimately, that's part of racing, but the real lesson from today is that achieving our potential in qualifying, and running clean races, is vital for strong results."
Norbert Haug: "It was a great, exciting race this afternoon, during which Nico was able to lap at the same speed as the leaders after a tricky opening few laps. Nico was 14 seconds behind first place at the end of the race - the same gap as we saw after 10 laps. Our team has taken an important step forward and got the most from the tyres in track temperatures that exceeded 40 degrees, which was demonstrated by Nico several times setting the fastest laps of the race during his stints. We got the tyre management right here, as in Monaco, and we are working hard to push this process further forward. After seven races, Nico is 21 points behind the championship leader - he has scored on average just three points fewer than leader Lewis Hamilton, which is not too big a gap. Michael was running well after his early stop until he was forced to retire with his rear wing flap stuck open. It's clear to everybody in the team that we must achieve the same levels of reliability on his car as we have with Nico, who has completed every racing lap so far this season. Congratulations to Lewis Hamilton and Vodafone McLaren Mercedes on their victory today - it was the 300th race for McLaren and Mercedes, a milestone which adds extra significance to Lewis' appearance on the top step of the podium."
Lotus F1 Team returned to the podium with a superb performance from Romain Grosjean, the Frenchman clinching his best Formula 1 result to date by climbing from seventh on the grid to second place in a searing Canadian Grand Prix. Kimi Raikkonen rose from twelfth on the grid to eighth at the chequered flag, helping the team move eleven points ahead of Ferrari in the Constructors' Championship. Lotus F1 Team have now scored more points from the seven races thus far in 2012 than during the entirety of the 2011 season.
Romain started on used super softs and changed to new softs on lap 21. Kimi started on new softs and changed to new super softs on lap 40.
The team is now the second highest scoring team over the last four races and have the second highest number of podiums this season.
Eric Boullier, Team Principal: "Today's result is due to very good team work and keeping focused on the task at hand. The E20 was very well setup for the race, our strategies worked for both cars to finish much higher than they started and both drivers drove superbly. Romain drove an excellent race and P2 is superb for the whole team, especially everyone at Enstone who keeps pushing to develop every area of the car. We know that if we can get more in qualifying we will be able to achieve even better things in the races, so that is our task ahead."
Alan Permane, Director of Trackside Operations: "Today all went very much to plan. Coming into the race we were fairly confident that we could do a one stop strategy; it would be a bit tight on the tyres, but it was clear from Friday that the tyres had the pace and the durability to do one stop. Today was a lot hotter, and we had a fall back of a two stop strategy, which we didn't need. Romain did everything he needed today and it's a well deserved result. For Kimi we used the opposite tyre strategy from Romain by starting him on the soft tyre and it worked for him to finish four places higher than he started in what was a very competitive race. It's two very solid drives we've had today so we're very happy to bounce back from Monaco in emphatic fashion."
Ricardo Penteado, Renault Sport F1 Team Support Leader: "A fantastic double points finish for the team with a career-best result for Romain. It was not an easy race as fuel consumption was difficult to gauge on Friday, but we took a risk to go very aggressive and it was the right choice: Romain's pace in the last few laps was impressive. Congratulations to all as the result moves us ahead of Ferrari in the championship now."
It was a tough afternoon for Sahara Force India as Paul Di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg just missed out on points in the Canadian Grand Prix, coming home P11 and P12 respectively.
Dr Vijay Mallya, Team Principal & Managing Director: "A hot afternoon's work and unfortunately we didn't come away with the results we wanted. The car has shown strong pace throughout the weekend, but for whatever reason we could not find the sweet spot today. It's a shame because for the first stint we looked very strong and Paul moved up to fifth place before his first stop. But we were not able to make the super-soft tyres last long enough and we didn't have enough pace on the soft tyres. So we leave here feeling that we didn't quite realise our potential, but determined to learn from the lessons of today before we arrive in Valencia."
The Sauber F1 Team celebrates its second podium finish this season. Given the fact that Sergio Perez started 15th, today's third place finish at the Canadian Grand Prix was completely unexpected. The young Mexican was on a one stop strategy. He started on the soft tyre compound and changed after 41 of the 70 race laps to the super soft tyres. He made the most out of them and overtook one car after another. His team mate, Kamui Kobayashi, had started from a slightly better position after qualifying 11th but got stuck in traffic during the race. The team changed his strategy from what was originally planned to be two stops to one stop, which meant Kamui stayed on a set of soft tyres for 46 laps. Kamui finished ninth and contributed two points to today's great result. The Sauber F1 Team now has 58 points to its tally and improved to sixth in the FIA Formula One World Constructors' Championship.
Peter Sauber, Team Principal: "What an outstanding race! It's quite unbelievable that a driver starting from P15 is able to finish on the podium in a race without any special incidents. Today, Sergio delivered his masterpiece! Kamui was less lucky with his strategy, but he was also able to score points. Recently we haven't been able to exploit our full potential, but today we proved we are a great team. A big thanks to everybody who worked hard to make this possible."
Giampaolo Dall'Ara, Head of Track Engineering: "It's difficult to find the right words after this emotional finish! The race started with a bit of a question mark: How would the tyres last in the hot conditions? Mostly for this reason we split the strategy for our two cars. Honestly, I thought two stops would be the way to go. Kamui was planned to have a shorter first stint than he did, but then we realised the tyres were holding on well. Unfortunately he came back on the track behind Paul di Resta and lost some time there. He couldn't drive at his own pace, otherwise his result could have been better. With Sergio, who started on the harder compound, we went for a longer first stint without knowing if one stop would be enough. But then things turned out nicely, and we pitted him on lap 41. At the pit stop we managed to overtake Kimi Räikkönen, and then he was able to attack some cars in front of him who's tyres were degrading. Sergio did some good overtaking, but the key really was that he was able to manage the tyres very well. That's one of his skills. He drove an absolutely fantastic race which delivered the well deserved reward for the whole team."
Franz Tost: "We lacked pace this weekend, as was already evident in qualifying and was seen again this afternoon. We started both cars on the Option, with a plan to run them on different strategies: Ricciardo on a two-stop and Vergne on a one stop. However, we changed this after 15 laps, as Jean-Eric came on the radio to say he was losing grip. Therefore we brought him in earlier than planned and from then on, he was on a more conventional strategy. However, his drive-through penalty for pit lane speeding further complicated his race. Daniel had a good start, but lost positions at Turn 2. Therefore, from then on, there was a gap to the Force Indias from which he could never recover. His pace was not bad, as can be seen by the fact he set the fourth fastest race lap. We head back home to prepare for a busy couple of months in Europe and we need to push on with car development, as we are not where we want to be at the moment."
It was a difficult day for the Williams F1 Team, with Pastor Maldonado finishing 13th and Bruno Senna 17th. After starting in 22nd place following a five place grid-penalty for a gear box change, Pastor made a good start to the race making up a number of places on the first lap.
Bruno Senna lost time during his first stint on supersoft tyres before showing good consistent pace towards the end of the race. Both cars opted for a one-stop strategy, with tyre management the key during the race. The Williams-Renault FW34 showed good long run performance at the beginning of the weekend which is encouraging heading into the next race.
Mark Gillan, Chief Operations Engineer: It was a tough race today for both cars and ultimately we didn't have the pace that we expected to have and which we showed during our long runs on Friday. Both drivers did a good job managing the tyres on their one-stop strategies. We must now learn from the transition in pace throughout the weekend in order to better understand how to optimise the car, and especially the tyres, in changeable track conditions.
Laurent Debout, Renault Sport F1 team support leader: It has been a tough and difficult weekend for us. We had the pace in the car, but unfortunately the lower starting positions compromised the race for both drivers. Pastor could make up some positions but just not enough to get any points today. We'll move onto Valencia and hope for better.
Mark Smith, Technical Director: "Today we saw good strong races from both drivers and solid work in the pitstops without any issues. The final positions were about where we expected on this type of track at this stage of the season so I am happy that we have had another decent Sunday and continue to have problem free Sundays and keep edging ever closer to the midfield."
Riad Asmat, Caterham Group Chief Executive: "This has been a good weekend for the team at a race that everyone looks forward to. On Friday we saw just how well the team in the garage perform under pressure and I was very proud of the work they did to repair Heikki's car and make sure he had track time in FP2. Our qualifying performance saw us close the gap to the midfield again and we keep making small steps forward relative to the opposition which is proof that the efforts being made by the team in the factory are paying off. On Sunday we showed yet again that we are almost within reach of the midfield battle and with the upgrades we have in the pipeline I think we could soon be in a position to maintain the sort of early pace we showed on Sunday for the whole race."
A tough day at the office today for HRT Formula 1 Team at the Canadian Grand Prix as both drivers retired in the first third of the race due to some issues with the brakes, just when the team was carrying out its best Grand Prix of the season. Narain Karthikeyan started from 24th on the supersoft compounds but from the off it was clear that the tyres were degrading more than expected and on lap 22 they said enough is enough and the Indian driver had to call it a day.
Pedro de la Rosa, who began the race from 20th on softs, got off to a good start and was in 19th at one stage with a superior pace to the Marussias and close to the Caterhams, meaning that a positive result seemed to be on the cards. However, with the huge amount of degradation to the brakes and his teammate going off track as a result of the same issue a few laps earlier, the team decided to retire the number 22 car due to safety issues. A crying shame given the good performance that the F112 and its drivers were having at this Grand Prix.
The Championship returns to Europe for the next event, the European Grand Prix, which will take place in Valencia from the 24th to the 26th of June. Once more, back home.
Luis Perez-Sala, Team Principal: "The truth is I can't deny I'm disappointed because it's the first race we haven't finished with either car. It's a shame because we were going well, but we had a temperature issue with the brakes on both cars which impeded us from finishing. We knew this would be one of our weak points at this circuit, given the strong braking corners and, unfortunately, we confirmed this. On the other hand, I'm happy for the race Pedro and Narain we're doing. Now we must resolve the problems we've detected and think about Valencia. What better place to turn things around than at home".
A tough weekend for the Marussia F1 Team came to a close in today's Canadian Grand Prix where Charles experienced better luck than in recent races, bringing his car home in 20th place. Timo, on the other hand, was forced to retire after 47 laps with brake issues.
With Timo starting from P22 and Charles from P23, the team executed a 1-stop strategy, with both cars switching from the Pirelli P-Zero Red Supersoft they started with to the Yellow Soft prime tyre on laps 24 and 28 respectively.
John Booth, Team Principal: "Our car and the Montreal circuit have been at odds for much of the weekend and it is frustrating that we were unable to improve that situation for the race today. Nonetheless, we've learned a great deal about the package and where we need to focus our efforts to get us back where we were versus our immediate competitors. We were pleased to bring Charles home after a difficult period for him, but obviously the luck ran out on Timo's side, whom we retired with brake issues for precautionary reasons. We now head back home and on to what we hope will be a better second phase of the European season, where we have a couple of 'home' races coming up for Timo and the team."
By using a two-stop sprint strategy, McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton became the seventh winner from seven grands prix this year, overtaking Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso in in the last eight laps to claim a spectacular victory by 2.5 seconds. Hamilton now leads the drivers' championship by two points: the sixth change of championship lead in seven races.
Lotus driver Romain Grosjean finished in a career-best second place, having made a one-stop strategy work well. With Vettel pitting with just seven laps to go, and Alonso dropping back - even though he was on the same strategy as Grosjean, having pitted two laps earlier - Sauber's Sergio Perez also used a one-stop strategy to claim his second podium of the year. The Mexican however adopted the opposite approach to Grosjean, who had started on the supersoft and then moved onto the soft. The top four were covered by just seven seconds at the finish, mirroring the closeness of the competition all year.
Hamilton, who started from second on the grid, crucially claimed the advantage over pole-sitter Vettel on lap 17 following his first pit stop - even though Red Bull had pitted Vettel from the lead a lap earlier.
However, Hamilton was passed in a similar way by Alonso, underlining the importance of pit stop strategy as the top three swapped positions. After he overtook the Ferrari driver, Hamilton made his final stop from the lead onto the soft tyre with 20 laps to go and emerged third: the prelude to a thrilling finale.
Conditions were much warmer for the race than they had been during free practice and qualifying, with track temperatures in excess of 40 degrees centigrade and 27 degrees ambient. This meant that teams started with limited information as to how the tyres might behave in the hotter temperatures, particularly as last year's race was characterised by heavy rain.
As the race progressed, ambient and track temperatures remained consistent while fuel loads came down, adding another variable to the strategy calculations. Rarely for Canada, there were no safety cars, which also had an effect on the strategy - as these are normally factored in.
All the drivers started on the supersoft tyre apart from Jenson Button (McLaren), Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus), Nico Hulkenberg (Force India), Sergio Perez (Sauber), Pastor Maldonado (Williams) and Pedro de la Rosa (HRT). Raikkonen ran the supersoft tyre for the longest stint, 30 laps, while Alonso made his set of soft tyres last for 51 laps.
Paul Hembery: "With three World Champions starting from the top three grid positions, it was always going to be an entertaining race. Towards the end we saw Lewis Hamilton use the extra speed he gained from a two-stop strategy to overhaul his rivals. Particular congratulations as well to our former test driver Romain Grosjean, who was only 2.5 seconds behind at the end on a one-stop strategy, and it was another great drive from Sergio Perez, who once again demonstrated his perfect understanding of the tyres. The result is one of the youngest podiums we have seen in Formula One, which goes to show that the future of the sport is in safe hands. With warmer conditions and no safety cars, the degradation was maybe a little more than some people expected, which led to Alonso and Vettel's tyres losing performance in the closing stages, after running very long stints. With several different strategies in play and the leaders catching each other at the end of the race, we couldn't have hoped for a more thrilling finish."