Reigning Formula 1 Constructors’ Champions Infiniti Red Bull Racing saw both of its drivers qualify in the top six in Montreal, with German Sebastian Vettel third and Australian Daniel Ricciardo sixth.
For Vettel, a great final lap saw him jump into third place on the grid, but the German was not satisfied due to the untidy way he took the first two corners of the lap that he felt cost him some time. He admits third on the grid was the best he could have hoped for however with the strength of the Mercedes, and he is hoping to be able to stay close to Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton and have a good race on Sunday.
“The start of the last lap wasn’t great,” said Vettel. “I still didn’t manage to get that first sector right, I didn’t get along with the first two corners very well today. But, after that I tried to take more risk and it worked, so sector two was very good through the two chicanes, especially through the second one; I found a significantly better line and more time compared to previous runs. I then kept it together until the end, so a very good result.
“It was the maximum we could do – we were very close with those behind, half a second behind the Mercedes, but then four cars were within four to five hundredths of a second of each other, so I’m happy to be the quickest of those. Strategy could be a bit of a surprise tomorrow, we’ll have to wait and see what happens but Williams is strong here and the Mercedes powered cars will be looking forward to the straights. I will try to stay as close as I can to the front two and get some tow. If we have a chance to attack them, then we should go for it.”
Team-mate Ricciardo was only 0.041s behind his team-mate but this meant he will start sixth behind the two Williams cars of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa on Sunday. He admitted his lap wasn’t good enough, and he was hoping to be third on the grid.
“It was a bit scrappy on the final run, we made a couple of adjustments and it didn’t quite work out – but that’s hindsight,” said Ricciardo. “We were close to third, but not close enough and we paid a bit of a price by being sixth.
“We’ve made progress throughout the weekend and we were not too far off, but it’s disappointing to just miss out. The times were close, but it could have been better. Hopefully we can get a good start tomorrow and see how we go, the strategy will be interesting.“
Team Principal of Infiniti Red Bull Racing Christian Horner was pleased to have both drivers in the top six after admitting they expected to be further off the pace in Montreal.
“If you’d have offered us third and sixth in qualifying before the weekend, I think we’d have definitely taken it,” insisted Horner. “An excellent final lap from Sebastian, he extracted the most out of the car to line up in P3 and Daniel is right up there too in P6. All things considered, it was a good qualifying.”