Sebastian Vettel says he is not getting carried away with the pace of his AMR22 despite a positive Friday at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team driver.
The German began the day with ninth place in first practice, but it was the second practice where his pace seemed to come alive, with Vettel ending fourth fastest, just three-tenths of a second down on the best time of the day set by Oracle Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen.
Vettel remains realistic that they might not be a contender for the big places on the grid in Saturday’s Qualifying session in Canada, but he is looking forward to the rest of the weekend.
“This is a tricky circuit to get right, especially after a couple of years away – I lost the car a couple of times on the approach to Turn One – but, overall, the car was pretty well behaved,” said Vettel. “Still, I think we need to be realistic about qualifying tomorrow; we’re improving all the time but we still have some work to do.
“I think Saturday could be tricky – the conditions have been unpredictable all weekend and it looks likely to be another wet-dry day. But I’m looking forward to whatever the weather throws at us.”
“We have done some of our homework for the rest of the weekend” – Lance Stroll
Team-mate Lance Stroll was an encouraging seventh in the morning session in Canada, but the Canadian was only twelfth fastest in the second, almost a second back on Vettel’s best time.
Stroll admitted traffic played a part in his final placing in the standings on Friday, and he has confidence that he can fight for a place inside the top ten in Saturday’s Qualifying session in front of his home fans.
“It is great to return to Montreal – my home race – because we have not been here for a few years,” said Stroll. “The energy from the Canadian fans is always very special and the grandstands were full today, which is great to see.
“I am pleased with the work we did, even though my final run in FP2 was impacted by traffic, which held us back a bit. Overall, though, we took some useful steps forward with the set-up and I think we have done some of our homework for the rest of the weekend.
“We just need to wait and see what happens with the weather now.”