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Montreal, Sunday: Ross “Achieving our potential in qualifying & running clean races is vital for strong results”

Montreal, Sunday: Ross “Achieving our potential in qualifying & running clean races is vital for strong results”

Nico finished the Canadian Grand Prix in sixth place today with Michael forced to retire after 43 laps.

Nico ran a two-stop strategy, pitting on laps 19 and 38, and using super soft/soft/soft tyres. Michael retired after 43 laps when an hydraulic problem left his rear-wing flap stuck open.

Nico has now scored 67 points in the last five races - the equal highest of any driver in the field.

For Ross, “we had a very quick car today, as Nico's performance in particular showed, but a combination of failing to achieve our potential in qualifying and a messy race cost us positions at the flag.

We asked both drivers to be cautious with the super soft tyres in the first five laps to ensure we didn't push them too hard, but when we gave them the go-ahead, it was clear that Nico - who was running in clean air - was extremely quick and one of the fastest cars.

Michael was caught in a train of cars in the lower half of the top ten, and although we tried something different by stopping early in order to get him into clean air, it didn't quite work for us. He then suffered a hydraulic issue which left his DRS jammed open and it was not possible to fix it in race conditions.

I can only apologise to Michael for a further technical failure. As for Nico, his race was running to plan and he was gaining on the leaders when he ran across Massa, who was running out of tyres and defending vigorously before his final stop.

This cost Nico both track position and time that proved crucial in the closing laps. Ultimately, that's part of racing, but the real lesson from today is that achieving our potential in qualifying, and running clean races, is vital for strong results.”

Norbert felt today’s race was a great and exciting one: “Nico was able to lap at the same speed as the leaders after a tricky opening few laps. Nico was 14 seconds behind first place at the end of the race - the same gap as we saw after 10 laps.

Our team has taken an important step forward and got the most from the tyres in track temperatures that exceeded 40 degrees, which was demonstrated by Nico several times setting the fastest laps of the race during his stints.

We got the tyre management right here, as in Monaco, and we are working hard to push this process further forward. After seven races, Nico is 21 points behind the championship leader - he has scored on average just three points fewer than leader Lewis Hamilton, which is not too big a gap.

Michael was running well after his early stop until he was forced to retire with his rear wing flap stuck open. It’s clear to everybody in the team that we must achieve the same levels of reliability on his car as we have with Nico, who has completed every racing lap so far this season.

Congratulations to Lewis Hamilton and Vodafone McLaren Mercedes on their victory today - it was the 300th race for McLaren and Mercedes, a milestone which adds extra significance to Lewis’ appearance on the top step of the podium.”

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