Lewis Hamilton paid tribute to his mechanics, after sealing a last-gasp pole position in Canada.
The McLaren driver pipped Mark Webber to the top of the times on his final lap and end Red Bull’s stranglehold over qualifying in 2010.
In the aftermath of the session, the 25-year-old thanked his mechanics for their work, after he damaged his car in the earlier practice session. Hamilton is also in a confident mood ahead of the race and fully expects to challenge for the victory.
Meanwhile, Jenson Button was happy with his qualifying performance, but conceded that he did not have the pace to match his team-mate. He will start tomorrow’s race in fifth.
Lewis Hamilton – 1st: “I grazed the barriers at the end of P3, which meant my mechanics had to change the right-hand-side suspension ahead of qualifying. Watching them working so quickly yet so efficiently to fix the car was amazing – like watching an orchestra playing! Really, really impressive. Before I went out this afternoon, I told them that I reckon I owed them pole position for all their efforts so I was on a bit of a mission right from the beginning of Q1.
“At the end of my fastest lap, it was such a fantastic feeling crossing the line the team came on the radio through Turn Two and told me I’d got pole. I knew it was a good lap but, when they told me it was the best lap, it just brought back so many memories of my previous times here. It was exactly the same ecstatic feeling as when I took my very first pole position here in 2007.
“I think it’s going to be an interesting race tomorrow I hope it stays sunny and that the track gets better. The Red Bulls are in an interesting position, because they’ll start tomorrow on the Prime tyre. They’ll have to use the Option at some stage, obviously, so it will be an interesting one. If there’s a Safety Car, it could have a very big influence on the result of the race.
“This track, this city, this country, these people it all works out the best for me. I love it. It’s almost on a par with the feeling I get racing in the UK. I always have a good time in Montreal, the people are so friendly, and I have so many great supporters here. In fact, coasting to a halt on the slow-down lap was really enjoyable. I got to wave to all the fans and I’d say it was a unique experience, in fact.”
Jenson Button – 5th: “I was happy with my Q3 lap, but I couldn’t touch Lewis it was a phenomenal lap from him. He’s qualified on pole every time he’s been here, so he’s obviously a specialist around this place. Fifth place isn’t where I’d ideally like to be, but I gave it everything and I couldn’t have gone any quicker.
“It’s good to see that some teams were running different tyres in Q3 that’s the first time that’s happened this year. Red Bull set their fastest laps on Primes, so it’s going to be an interesting start to the race, seeing if they can overtake. The Prime is the quicker tyre, but they’re going to have to change to the Option at some point during the race. And if they get stuck behind Lewis in the early laps, then I’m sure they’re going to get frustrated.
“So, overall, I think it’s going to be a good race both fascinating and fun and strategy will be very important: it will be all about tyre management, so going flat-out every lap might not be the quickest way to get to the end of the race in the shortest possible time.”
Martin Whitmarsh – Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes: “Today we saw a stunning and dramatic lap from Lewis to snatch pole position in the last seconds of qualifying. He loves this circuit he scored his first ever grand prix pole position and his first ever grand prix victory here in 2007, of course and, having won in Turkey two weeks ago, he’s very motivated to continue his winning run here in Canada.
“He did his time on the Option tyre, and will therefore start on it tomorrow. Clearly, it’s less durable than the Prime, but you have to use it some time and we think we’ve got a strong strategy for the race.
“Jenson did a very solid job, too, securing fifth place on tomorrow’s grid, and is also well placed to score plenty of points tomorrow. He’s consistently shown himself to be an extremely fast and combative driver in race conditions and, all things considered, we’re very happy with how things are shaping up for tomorrow.
“Finally, I want to add two more things. First, I want to say ‘Bravo!’ to our mechanics, who did such a brilliant job to get Lewis’s car ready for qualifying in so short a time. And, second, it’s fantastic that we’re racing in North America once again. So let’s hope Formula 1 puts on a brilliant show tomorrow for the Formula 1 fans of not only Canada but of all of North America, too.”