Jun 11, 2016
Cool weather and intermittent drizzle greeted teams on Saturday at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal as they continued preparation for Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix. It was a turnabout from Friday’s two practice sessions, where sunshine bathed the 4.361-kilometer (2.710-mile), 14-turn track amid warm temperatures.
Final practice allowed Haas F1 Team drivers to record a total of 30 laps – 16 by Esteban Gutiérrez and 14 by Romain Grosjean. Both made their installation laps on the Pirelli P Zero Yellow soft tire before switching to the P Zero Purple ultrasoft tire for the remainder of the session.
Gutiérrez made two stints – a 12-lap run followed by a four-lap run. A third stint was attempted, but just as Gutiérrez exited the garage, the red flag waved for Kevin Magnussen’s encounter with the wall. And when the red flag lifted, rain started falling, rendering the remaining minutes of the session moot. Gutiérrez’s fastest time (1:15.444) was secured on his 15th lap, placing him 15th overall. Grosjean followed a similar program, with a 10-lap stint preceding a four-lap run. His best time (1:15.704) came on his 10th lap, putting him 17th overall. Quickest in final practice was Scuderia Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel (1:13.919).
The weather conditions remained consistent for qualifying, where Gutiérrez and Grosjean each advanced to Q2 to secure 14th and 15th, respectively, on the 22-driver grid for the Canadian Grand Prix. Both used the Purple ultrasoft tire exclusively.
Gutiérrez’s Q1 time was 1:15.148 to place him 15th overall, and Grosjean’s Q1 time was 1:15.444 to place him 16th overall. Only the top-16 drivers advanced to Q2. In Q2, Gutiérrez’s best time was 1:14.571 to place him 14th, and Grosjean’s fast time was 1:14.803 to place him 15th. Only the top-10 drivers moved on to Q3.
The pole went to Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, whose fast lap of 1:12.812 was .062 of a second better than his nearest competitor and teammate, Nico Rosberg. It was Hamilton’s 53rd career pole, his fourth of the season and his fifth at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
Romain Grosjean, Driver No. 8, Haas F1 Team
“The car balance is not miles off, but we just don’t have any grip from the tires. We’re not getting them to work properly. For some reason, we had it at the beginning of the year, but we haven’t managed to bring them back in the window since. That means you can’t really drive the car as you would like. Yesterday, our long-run pace was quite good, so hopefully the race tomorrow is better.”
Esteban Gutiérrez, Driver No. 21, Haas F1 Team
“It was a tricky session for us due to the changing track conditions. We had a bit of rain during the session and we had to adapt to it. I found it interesting trying to extract the maximum of the car. It hasn’t been easy this weekend to keep the focus as I haven’t been feeling very well, but I’m happy with what we achieved today. I’m going to get some rest and recover so I can have a good race tomorrow.”
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal, Haas F1 Team
“I think after the free practice sessions we knew that this is around where we would be positioned. We are very close to the teams in front of us, which is very encouraging. We’re making progress and feeling very stable. We’ve achieved what we wanted to achieve this weekend and we’re in a good position for tomorrow to get some points for both of the drivers. The weather is a little temperamental, but it will be the same for everyone. We’re going to take every opportunity we can and we’ll see what happens.”