“We’ve gathered plenty of data to study this afternoon and this evening”
Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Friday June 5
The team made the most of the time available today, compressing the schedule and completing a cut-down programme shortly before heavy rain hit the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
Despite early-morning showers, FP1 was held in the dry. Jenson Button had a slow start, losing the first half-hour to a gearbox issue. He was, however, able to recover and complete 25 laps. Fernando Alonso had a trouble-free FP1. Running exclusively on the Prime tyre, the drivers evaluated several aerodynamic set-up options for this high-speed circuit.
FP2 was a race to beat the rain. Since the bad weather was forecast to reach Montreal 20-30 minutes into the session, the cars went out immediately the pit-lane light had turned green. Both Fernando and Jenson ran uninterrupted for the first half hour, switching from Prime to Option midway through the run. To maximise time on track they made the switch in the pit box. They returned to the garage shortly before the rain hit and, given its severity and the likelihood of a dry Canadian Grand Prix, decided to end the day there.
FP1 1m18.128s (+1.916s) 34 laps 9th
FP2 1m17.627s (+1.639s) 21 laps 15th
“The rain didn’t affect too much our FP2 programme today, as we could go through most of it in the first part of the session.
“Overall, then, it’s been an interesting Friday. We tried several things in FP1, all of which seemed to work as we’d expected. So far I am happy with the balance of the car, and with the power delivered here, but the features of this track don’t suit our package too well. We’re still several tenths behind to where we want to be. Position-wise, we need to take a step forward, but that’s going to be difficult to accomplish here.
“In tomorrow’s qualifying session we therefore expect to end up somewhere in the midfield.”
FP1 1m18.786s (+2.574s) 25 laps 15th
FP2 1m18.135s (+2.147s) 20 laps 18th
“From this morning’s session we immediately knew we’d got a lot of work to do on set-up. However, now, I think we know exactly what we have to do, and it’s already been put in motion. There’s a lot of work required, but hopefully we’ll see the results of that tomorrow; I think we will.
“There was a problem with the gearbox in FP1 – I couldn’t get out of second gear, maybe I didn’t double-clutch enough when I when I went into third gear – but it was solved pretty rapidly and I was back out in the second half of the session.
“I think we’re all pretty good at understanding what the weather is going to do here over the weekend. When the rain started in this afternoon’s session there was no need to go out – it was extremely wet out there. Everyone up and down the paddock has got new parts, and, if you crash, that’s it; that’s your upgrade gone. It’s not forecast to rain on Saturday or Sunday so we decided to end the session there and then.
“I think qualifying in the top 10 tomorrow may be tricky, but you never know; we’ll see.”
Racing director, McLaren-Honda
“In FP1 we went through our programme without mishap, save only for a small gearbox issue for Jenson, which we resolved quickly enough.
“In FP2, aware of impending wet weather, we managed to complete the majority of our planned objectives before the forecast heavy rain arrived and rendered the last part of the session undriveable.
“That was a pity, and an inconvenience, but we all know how torrential the precipitation can sometimes be here in Montreal, and anyway it’s the same for everyone. Besides, we’ve gathered plenty of data to study this afternoon and this evening, and, since somewhat more clement climatic conditions are forecast for the morrow, we’re hopeful of being able to offer the spectators in the grandstands, and the viewers at home, rather more on-track entertainment than we were able to serve up after the heavens opened here today.”
Honda R&D senior managing officer – chief officer of motorsport
“The characteristics of the circuit here in Canada are very different from Monaco two weeks ago. This is a difficult track, known for its long fast straights and hard braking, and the energy deployment is very difficult for us.
“Today’s practice sessions were crucial for us to learn as much as possible. In FP1 we were analysing each sector to see where we can gain the most performance, and then in FP2 our plan was to work on race management. Unfortunately we were unable to complete absolutely all our programme before the rain arrived, so we still need more time to find our best race set-up – tomorrow’s FP3 will be crucial for that.
“Despite the delays today, we’ll push hard to be well prepared for qualifying and the race.”