Mercedes Drivers Closely Matched in Good Canada Qualifying

by David Bean

Nico Rosberg‘s final qualifying lap in Canada was just 0.05 seconds faster than team-mate Michael Schumacher‘s today and the two will start the grand prix sixth and eighth on the Montreal grid.

Both drivers made just one run in each of the three parts of qualifying, and so each has a spare set of brand new super soft Pirelli tyres saved for tomorrow’s race.

“Generally we have made good progress this weekend and qualifying in sixth position was good for us today,” said Rosberg. “I’m pretty confident that we can do better in the race, certainly compared to our pace in Monaco. We’ve put in a lot of work on race performance and I hope we can translate that tomorrow. It’s good to have saved a set of new options as well.”

Schumacher said that the car now looked good over long runs – which it certainly was not in Monaco two weeks ago – and so he is optimistic of a good race tomorrow.

“We can be quite happy with today’s qualifying,” he said. “I had lost drive momentarily after turn four during my last lap but otherwise I had a clean lap. We will have to analyse why that happened, but all went pretty well other than that. We have developed our set-up in the right direction over the weekend, and the long runs looked quite good this morning, so we should be ok in the race.”

Technical director Ross Brawn congratulated both drivers on their efforts but knows that, for the future, lap times need to improve.

“We had very solid qualifying session today with both the drivers and team doing a good job,” he said. “We have given ourselves a decent chance with the tyres and have a set of new options left for both drivers for the race, so overall it was a pretty decent afternoon. We know for the future that we have to find some lap time but so far, we have made the best of what we have this weekend.”

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