Nico, your first pole in Montreal! Given your team-mate’s record here over the years you must be delighted?
For me it’s a circuit like any other and one that I really enjoy, so I didn’t think about it that way and I always believed that I had a chance to be right at the front. Of course, I know it’s a track where Lewis is very strong, so I’m all the more pleased with the result. It’s been a fantastic day. All through the weekend we’ve been progressing all the time: getting stronger and stronger. It’s really cool and the best position for tomorrow, of course.
It’s been very close all weekend but Lewis seemed to have the upper hand going into qualifying. Where did you find the difference?
It’s just working at it all the time: looking at data, working with my engineers, trying to improve the set-up, trying to understand what are the areas where I can do better. It’s an on-going process and it’s great that it worked out.
You had the advantage after the first run in Q3. Can you talk about the confidence that gives you going into your final run?
Of course that helps a lot because I had a banker and that’s a big advantage to have. That was definitely a benefit.
The word you used in Monaco was momentum. Now you’ve got the momentum, can you take that forward into tomorrow’s race?
It gives you that little bit extra when you have a good result behind your back. I’ve come here knowing that I’ve won the last race and it helps a bit. Lewis obviously had that winning streak and to bring that to an end was important for me.
It was announced earlier today that there is a new deal to keep the race in Montreal for the next ten years: what are your thoughts?
It’s great because Montreal is one of the best races in the year: for all of us, I think. It’s a great track and the fans are fantastic. I’m very happy, as I’m sure everybody is, that we’re going to keep coming back here in the future.
Looking at the results today, do you predict that the race will be contested between the two MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS cars or can you see somebody else maybe giving you trouble?
I expect that it’s going to be between the two of us but of course there can always be surprises. We need to still make sure we keep pushing but I think we have enough of a gap at the moment in race pace.