When the Canadian Grand Prix gets underway today at 14 local time (20 CEST) at Montreal’s Gilles Villeneuve Circuit, Carlos Sainz will start from third place on the grid. As is often the case when the track is wet, qualifying was particularly complicated, with drivers having to lap continuously to make the most of the evolution of the track, as it gradually dried out. For Carlos and all the others in the final Q3 shoot-out, it all came down to the last few minutes. As the Spaniard crossed the line for the last time, he went second quickest, but moments later the experienced Fernando Alonso took the flag and went quicker, making the most of a track that had improved still further, to relegate Carlos to third, which means he starts from the second row, right behind Max Verstappen.
Charles. Charles Leclerc had a decidedly less exciting Saturday, as his qualifying ended after he made the cut out of Q1. Tomorrow, the Monegasque has to start from the back, because of grid penalties imposed from yesterday fitting one more electronic control unit than the rules allow and this morning, taking a fourth power unit, again one more than the number permitted per season. Barring any further penalties for other drivers, Leclerc therefore starts from 19th on the last row of the grid, having achieved the aim of getting ahead of Yuki Tsunoda, also penalised for PU changes.
On the attack. Carlos, but more especially Charles, will be looking to move up the order tomorrow, which is quite possible thanks to the long straights in Montreal. The race is run over 70 laps, equivalent to 305.27 kilometres and no rain is forecast.
Carlos Sainz #55
Today we had good pace and overall it was a good qualifying given the tricky conditions. On the very last sector I felt it was a bit of an “all or nothing” situation and I pushed a bit too much at the last chicane. Unfortunately, it cost me the front row, but I’m not too disappointed, as it was a great battle to the very last moment, I had to go for it, and P3 for tomorrow is not a bad starting position on this track.
The pace has been there all weekend and tomorrow we’ll give it everything we’ve got. It should be an interesting race and I’m really looking forward to it.
Charles Leclerc #16
That’s the best starting position we could secure this weekend. What’s important is that the feeling in the car was good and I could do a few more laps ahead of the race. We gained a place by qualifying ahead of Yuki (Tsunoda). It’s only one position, but every little detail can help on a weekend like this.
Our focus is on giving it our all tomorrow.
Laurent Mekies Racing Director
It was a complex qualifying, because the track conditions were evolving all the time and, as from Q2, we were down to one car which meant we had less information to work from. Carlos drove well and, as a team, I think we made the right choices in terms of strategy and tyres. It was a shame he missed out on second place by a tenth, but track conditions were really tricky and it was difficult to put together a perfect lap. Well done to Max (Verstappen) who was simply quickest today.
As for Charles, his day was less complicated but possibly rather more frustrating, as we called it a day after Q1 given that he starts from the back of the grid tomorrow. We decided to introduce new elements on his car – control electronics and power unit – thus incurring penalties, because we felt it was the best way to react to what happened in Baku. Here in Montreal, overtaking is less difficult than at other tracks, even if we saw on Friday that it’s not that straightforward. Also, there are often incidents in this race such as Safety Cars or stoppages which could provide opportunities to move up the order. Charles is fired up to make up a record number of places. Finally, we would like to congratulate Mick Schumacher, from our Ferrari Driver Academy, for his excellent qualifying, the best of his Formula 1 career to date.
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