Sebastian Vettel put his Monaco disappointment behind him to lead the chase of Mercedes in Montreal qualifying – albeit by a tiny margin from the Williams drivers and his own teammate Daniel Ricciardo.
Vettel said he took some risks to find time on his final run.
“The start of the last lap wasn’t great,” he said. “I still didn’t manage to get that first sector right, the first two corners I didn’t get along very well with today. After that I tried to take more risk and it worked, so sector two was very good through the two kind of chicanes, especially the second one; I found a significantly better line and more time compared to previous runs and kept it together until the end.
“So, all in all, a very good result. I think it was the maximum we could do, very close with the people behind, obviously half a second to the Mercedes in front, but yeah, I think four cars were within five or six hundredths of a second, so obviously I’m happy to be the quickest one of those.”
Vettel has an open mind on prospects for Sunday.
“It’s a long race here. Strategy I think could be a bit of a surprise, so we’ll have to wait and see what happens. Williams is very, very strong here. They have a very, very quick down the straights. Generally the Mercedes-powered cars are looking forward to the straight lines tomorrow. I’ll try to obviously stay as close as I can to those two, maybe get some tow and do the best I can. If we have a chance to attack them then we should go for it.”
Vettel says he feels more comfortable with the car than previously.
“Obviously if you look at the record so far I didn’t have the smoothest races, so it’s good to have a more or less clean Friday and a clean Saturday today. So, hopefully, fingers crossed, we’ll have a clean race tomorrow. But I’m confident, always confident that when I step in the car that it is good enough to make it – so we’ll have to wait and see.
“In terms of fighting with the car, I’m still not where I want to be, still not yet behaving the way that I probably prefer but, then again, you still try to get the maximum out of the car and that’s normal. It’s not like last year always I was stepping into a dream car and everything was smooth and perfect – I had to work very hard as well. So, this year, obviously, yeah, we’re not yet tickling the right spots, probably.”