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Canada GP: Post Qualifying press conference

NEWS STORY
08/06/2019

Today's post-qualifying press conference with Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc.

Track Interviews - Conducted by Jenson Button

Q: Seb, well that was sublime. It's lovely to watch.
Sebastian Vettel: It's better to drive, I tell you...

Q: That's your first pole position in 17 grands prix. Can you believe it? I can't believe it!
SV: Well, he's bloody good in qualifying, hard to crack. Yeah, I'm full of adrenaline, to be honest. You know, with the feeling in the car, when it just keeps coming and you feel the grip and you go for it. That was one of those laps. So, really, really, really nice, and I really enjoyed it. So yeah, very happy, very happy for the team. The last weeks, the last 17 races! No, the last weeks have been quite tough.

Q: Obviously the big day is tomorrow. How did the long run pace go yesterday? It looked tricky for everyone - but do you think you've got the race pace to really back-up what you've just done today?
SV: It was awful! Today the car was a lot better. We take that into tomorrow. Obviously we also avoid the red tyre, the soft tyre, in the race tomorrow because we managed to go through with the yellow tyre, with the medium. So yeah, good day, the car felt good and I think we can carry that into the race. These guys will be very quick over the distance, but we'll try to win it.

Q: Lewis, congratulations, I'm sure you're a little bit disappointed. Having pole taken away from you by a small margin around a circuit that you are just exceptional on - but as Seb just said, racing could be a little bit different for them tomorrow. They struggled quite a lot on tyres, whereas you guys looked fantastic on your long runs.
Lewis Hamilton: Honestly, I don't know for whatever reason but I don't particularly feel disappointment. I think we gave it everything we could. They were just quicker. Particularly that last sector: they were killing us. I think there's something like four-tenths or five-tenths on the straight - but I did everything I could and we did everything we could. I think the timing was right, our procedures were perfect, so thoroughly happy with the job. Obviously we had P1 for a second - but we knew they were quick. But this is good. This is how racing should be. I'm glad that I was able to split the Ferraris and yeah, tomorrow, it's going to be interesting. The weather's fantastic. We've got a great group of fans sat here so hopefully we can put on a good show tomorrow.

Q: Charles, first of all, lovely to meet you properly. All weekend, you've been on it, you've been pushing Seb all the way in every session. It wasn't quite there in Q3. What would you put that down to?
Charles Leclerc: I don't really know to be honest. I struggled with the car, I think with the set-up maybe. I felt quite good with Q1 but then I didn't felly follow the track, when the track was getting better, so I need to work on that, on the set-up and try to have the right set up for the final Q3 time. I struggled today in Q3 - but congratulations to Seb. He completely deserves it and hopefully we'll have a better race on my side tomorrow.

Q: Tomorrow is going to be an exciting race. I watched your long-run pace on the medium tyre, which looked very strong - so does that give you some confidence going into the race tomorrow?
CL: Yeah, definitely. We were quite strong on the long-run pace and hopefully tomorrow is the same and we can have a good battle from there.

Press Conference

Q: Sebastian, many congratulations, it's been a while. How much of a shot in the arm is this result for you and the team?
SV: A shot in the arm? Is that how.... I don't know the saying. I translates really weirdly to German, like a mistake! Yeah, it feels much better than a short in the arm! Obviously a great day. As you said, it's been a while and mostly for the team I think the last couple of races have been quite tough. So coming here and showing a stronger form than we had in the last races is positive. Obviously we knew that the track in a way would suit us, but still, you know, we have to do the job and the car felt better and better throughout qualifying. Not easy with the interruption with the red flag. Yeah, I'm still full of adrenaline. I'm really happy; I really enjoyed it. I wish I could do it again just for the fun of it. I had to pace myself in the first two corners because getting the tyres to grip up wasn't straightforward but after that it was just a joy. The car was shouting 'keep going, keep going!' and yeah, really enjoyed it. I wasn't quite sure if Lewis is improving. Normally he's pretty handsome or pretty good around here...

LH: Thanks!

SV: Pretty handy is what I wanted to say, but there you go, handsome as well. Look at him! Yeah, so I wasn't sure it was enough but then they screamed on the radio 'pole position' and yeah, just amazing. I really enjoyed it. Obviously it's only part of the job and the main thing will be tomorrow. It will be a very long race and difficult to fight and keep them off but from where we start I think it looks like a god race.

Q: What were your expectations coming into this weekend?
SV: I didn't really have any to be honest. In the last qualifying sessions in particular we lost ground, so I was hoping that we could be quicker and closer, because the gap was quite big. I think we had so many sessions where it was looking good. At the last races as well, if you take Baku, if you take Monaco, where Charles was very fast on Saturday morning. But then in qualifying, Mercedes, and particularly Lewis, always seemed to be able to step up and we couldn't keep up. So I didn't really expect that much so I really just wanted to enjoy it and make sure my laps were alright and that was the case. If you then get pole then obviously all the better.

Q: Lewis, how surprised were you by the pace of the man on your left?
LH: Not surprised. I think obviously all weekend they've had really great pace and for a large part of it they were six tenths up on the straights. So we fought so hard throughout the weekend to make improvements. I'm actually really happy for Seb, he clearly did a really great lap. My first lap was really good and it felt great for a second to be on pole, particularly as I missed all of P2 yesterday, so quite far behind starting today but it's been a real solid day from us. Obviously the last sector - I think you can now start writing that they have the party mode. I don't know who said we had the party mode in the beginning. End-of-straight speed was particularly where we lost out in the last sector but nonetheless hopefully the race will be close. It's great to be able to split the Ferraris, so hopefully we'll have a close battle tomorrow.

Q: You apologised to the team over the radio on your slow down lap. Were you referring to anything in particular or was it just frustration?
LH: It wasn't frustration it's just, you know, the team rely on me. It was a good lap but it was not good enough obviously. I had two really solid laps, no mistakes and I'm generally really happy with the job I did, but of course you can go back to the drawing board and say there's always going to be a little bit more time in it but I don't think I had two-and-a-half tenths, what they had or whatever it was. We just have to keep pushing, keep fighting. We're still in a strong position. But I think this is great for racing anyway. I think this is what we and what the fans want, to see us so close. If you looks at the top 15 or something there was around a second between us all. That's really great to see. Everyone's so close at this track and hopefully that provides good racing tomorrow.

Q: Charles, coming on to you. It seemed that the performance dropped away a little bit as the session went on. How was it for you?
CL: Yeah, definitely - and this is a point I need to work on, to try to set up the car, especially for Q3. In Q1, the car felt quite good - then Q2 a bit worse and then Q3 it slipped away and I also did some mistakes. So, yeah, I need to understand from where it comes to just try to anticipate the track evolution and have the car at its best in Q3. But yeah, it's my fault and I need to work on that to make it better.

Q: How did the 25 minute red flag affect you and your flow and approach to Q3?
CL: This, I guess, is the same for everyone at the end. But no, it didn't affect me. We just had to wait, so we had a bit more time to look at data and then we went back on track.

Questions From The Floor

Q: (Scott Mitchell - Autosport) Seb, we heard your emotional reaction over the radio as you celebrated pole, and obviously can see that you're still buzzing now. How was that feeling when you found out you were on P1. Was it just excitement, or relief, or anything compared to how it's been at the start of the season. And Lewis, you're also in very good spirits despite obviously missing out on pole. You talked before about wanting to have more competition. Would you prefer it if - and obviously you'd want it the other way around - would you prefer if you could have Ferrari this competitive at other races as well?
SV: To be honest, just excited. I think, y'know, this is one of the tracks where you need to dare going very close to the walls in many places. It's very bumpy, it's very rough and, if you get it right, it feels great. So, I think I got it quite right and yeah, then you finish the lap and you're full of adrenaline. Obviously I saw that I was a big chunk down and improving when I crossed the line. Then I was looking up and I didn't know who was coming behind, and then I heard them screaming 'pole position', so, it was just pure joy. Mixed with the adrenaline. I don't know, I'm not a singer but I was screaming quite hard.

Lewis?
LH: I didn't say congratulations, so congratulations - though I did say it downstairs. As I said, I think this is fantastic for the sport. I love to fight with another team and today it was just so close. I had no idea where we were going to be; at some stages they were ahead of us and we were swapping all the way. I hope this is a turning point for them and this is going to be very close from now on and we get to have a really serious battle throughout the season. That's be fantastic.

Check out our Saturday gallery from Montreal, here.

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