Valtteri and Lewis stormed to P2 and P4 on the grid for the Canadian Grand Prix after a tight qualifying session at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
- The gap between the frontrunners was close in FP3. Lewis finished P4 with a 1:11.706 on HyperSofts, one tenth off the top spot. He managed 23 laps.
- Valtteri was classified P6 in the 60-minute FP3 session, also putting in his best time (a 1:12.255) on HyperSofts. He completed 27 laps in total.
- Qualifying took place under bright sunshine and blue skies, with both drivers making it through to Q3 - setting their best Q2 times on the UltraSoft, which is the compound they will start the race on.
- During the hard-fought and intense Q3 session, Valtteri emerged from the battle in P2 with a 1:10.857.
- The Finn secured his second front row start of the 2018 F1 season, finishing just 0.093 seconds behind Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel.
- Lewis will line up fourth on the grid for the Canadian GP, after putting in a 1:10.996 in the top 10 shootout.
What Did We Learn?
"We'd expected qualifying to be a close fought battle today but thought we had a chance at pole given the pace of the car this weekend," explains Trackside Engineering Director, Andrew Shovlin.
"We didn't really have any issues, it just looks very close with Ferrari in particular and this afternoon we just weren't quite quick enough.
"Valtteri had a solid qualifying session, his first run in Q3 was strong and that left him less than a tenth off pole.
"His second run wasn't quite as tidy, losing a little in turn two that he couldn't make back around the remainder of the track but he did a good job with what we have and he should be happy with his lap.
"Lewis had a more difficult session, not quite finding the car as predictable as it had been in free practice and that meant it was tricky to get the lap together. Only six hundredths would have put Lewis into third on the grid and it's always frustrating when you miss a place by such a small margin.
"So, overall a somewhat underwhelming day but we are expecting to race well tomorrow and we will be working hard tonight to look at the various opportunities in strategy that will give us the chance to win.
"It's going to be interesting at the front with the RedBulls on the HyperSoft compound, which looks to be quite fragile, and Mercedes and Ferrari on the UltraSofts. It's also a race that rarely runs start to finish without a few incidents or safety cars, so there is plenty of opportunity likely to come our way if we can stay at the front and put some pressure on the cars around us."
What We’re Saying
Valtteri: "That was a pretty good qualifying session. I was able to find a lot of performance from FP3 to qualifying and it felt like I got everything out of the car.
"It's a good result, although it's not perfect to start behind the Ferrari, but we knew that they would bring some improvements for this weekend.
"Red Bull will also be a threat, but it's cool to see three teams fighting for the win. We're happy that we qualified on the UltraSoft tyre in Q2, I think it's the right choice for our car.
"It will be interesting to see how it does in the start of the race, especially because Red Bull will start on the HyperSoft.
"Overall it seems like the margins are very small between the top 3 teams, so the strategy could really be the key. It should be an interesting race tomorrow."
Lewis: "It was a difficult qualifying. My laps weren't good and it just didn't quite come together for me.
"In practice things looked good and I think I could have been quickest in FP3, but in qualifying I couldn't quite hit the potential we had shown.
"I don't think today's performance has got anything to do with the older engine. Sebastian simply did a better job when it counted in Q3.
"You can see just how tight things are at the front of the grid, so I think it could be tricky to overtake tomorrow.
"Sure, it'll be tough to win from fourth here, but nothing is impossible. I'll dig deep tonight. My focus now is on tomorrow."
Toto: "We were not quick enough today in qualifying, which is pretty disappointing at a circuit where we have traditionally been very strong, and P2 and P4 on the grid reflect that.
"It once again showed us that this is a championship where tiny details will make the difference in the end: the gaps are measured in fractions of a tenth of a second and every single small detail counts towards our final performance.
"It's not one factor or the other, but every piece of the puzzle that we need to get right if we want to win.
"Valtteri drove well to take P2 with a very strong first run - but then unfortunately couldn't improve on his final set of tyres.
"Lewis made a useful improvement on that last run but was never totally comfortable on the HyperSoft tyre today and his qualifying position shows that.
"The positive is that we have both cars starting on the UltraSoft, so we hope to be in a strong position for the race with a number of strategic options."