Fernando Alonso has said that Ferrari could compete strongly during qualifying for Canada today because the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve masks the deficiencies of the F150°.
The Spaniard, speaking after he narrowly missed out on pole position to Red Bull‘s Sebastian Vettel, said that he will make the most of his grid slot in tomorrow’s race. Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa will start just behind him.
“It's been a long time – since Singapore 2010 in fact – that I was last on the front row and I am pleased that Felipe is also right up close to me on the starting grid,” said Alonso. “It means the whole team has worked well, at the track and back home on trying to improve our car performance. It was important to show we can be competitive and we managed it.”
“Clearly, on a track like this, where aerodynamic downforce is not as important as elsewhere, our deficiencies are a bit masked but it's equally true that the updates we brought here worked as we had expected and that's important for the rest of the championship, because we want to be fighting for the top places.
“It could rain tomorrow, which would make the race even more chaotic than usual: we must be ready to make the most of any opportunity. We will try to put the Red Bulls under pressure, right from the start, but we know McLaren will also be very strong, especially as their rear wing is possibly better adapted to the conditions in the case of a wet track.”
Massa is also determined to make the most of his good grid slot tomorrow, but is also wary of the threat posed by Red Bull and McLaren. “It's been a great weekend so far: we have always been competitive and finally we will be able to start from a good grid position,” said the Brazilian. “Tomorrow, the weather could be different and therefore we must be ready to tackle any eventuality.
“I have been happy with the way the car is handling right from yesterday and I am very confident for the race. The team is working well and we really hope we can put an end to this run of negative results. The fact the gap to the Red Bull is smaller here is encouraging, also for the future.
“We know that at this track, the race is very difficult, but also, from what we have seen so far, our car is more competitive in the race than in qualifying. I expect McLaren will be very strong tomorrow as will be the Red Bulls obviously. A podium would be a great result, fighting for the win would be even better.
“What will happen if it rains? That's a good question, because this year we have never had a real opportunity to run in the wet. On top of that, at this track, the slightest slip up carries a very high price, therefore it's important to be very careful.”
Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali is all to aware that it is going to be a long race tomorrow, and anything can happen in Canada: “Historically, Canada produces an action packed Grand Prix, with the Safety Car usually required on track and lots of overtaking opportunities: if you add to this scenario the unknown factor concerning the weather, then it's clear why tomorrow's 70 laps will seem very, very long for everyone.”