Canada GP: Qualifying notes - McLaren


Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton will start Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal from pole position. In the closing seconds of Saturday's qualifying, Lewis set a time of 1m17.886 and was more than six tenths of a second faster than Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber) in second place. It is Lewis's eighth Formula 1 pole position in his 24th Grand Prix and his second of the year; he achieved his first F1 pole exactly one year ago also here in Canada. Lewis's team mate Heikki Kovalainen set a time of 1m19.089 and will start from seventh place on the grid. For the McLaren Mercedes partnership it is the 56th pole position since 1997.

Lewis Hamilton: To achieve pole position here in Canada at the same place where I took my first Formula 1 pole just one year ago is really awesome. Our car feels good and we're really on top of our game – even though the track started breaking up in places. On my penultimate lap in the third part of qualifying I lost a bit of time when I ran wide and I knew that Robert and Kimi were chasing me so I was aware I had to give it my all. On my final lap, I found more than six tenths which was enough for pole position. Thank you to everybody in the team, I hope I will be able to reward them tomorrow with a similar result.

Heikki Kovalainen: We worked hard to improve the car all weekend so my grid position is mainly due to the fact that I couldn't find a clear lap in the final session. The traffic meant I couldn't get into a proper rhythm so I'm a bit annoyed with myself. But what can I do? I just have to drive a better race tomorrow. Congratulations to Lewis, he has done a great job for the whole weekend but this place has a habit of throwing up surprises. It's always been a bit of a chaotic race so hopefully that will help me tomorrow.

Ron Dennis: Both days of practice have been trouble-free for us. But along with everybody else, the biggest challenge has been to cope with the ever-evolving circuit conditions. During qualifying, the track surface started to break up at Turn 10 – which presented an additional problem for the drivers. Despite these issues, Lewis took his second pole position of the season and Heikki qualified well even though he had difficulty finding a traffic-free lap in the final session. We're confident that we've chosen a good strategy and we're looking forward to a strong and straightforward race tomorrow.

Norbert Haug: It was a thrilling qualifying session and Lewis's final lap was just fantastic. He was fastest in all three parts of qualifying and achieved his eighth pole position in his 24th Grand Prix. Unfortunately, Heikki was not able to put together a clean lap due to traffic and ended up seventh, but with a good strategy he still should have a chance for a podium position. The track conditions changed throughout all sessions and the team did a great job reacting to that with the set-up. We look forward to a hard-fought race with hopefully as good a result tomorrow as we achieved today.

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    Published: 07/06/2008
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