Friday showed there are many favourites for Canadian grand prix victory this weekend.
As F1 seeks an unprecedented seventh different winner for its seventh different round of 2012, the top teams will need to keep an eye on dark horses Sauber and Williams, Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport reports. Much less than a second separates much more than half of the entire field.
“Last year it (the gap) was two and a half seconds,” said Peter Sauber.
Red Bull’s Christian Horner predicted: “Q2 is going to be interesting. A mistake, or traffic at the wrong time, and you’re out.”
An analysis of Friday’s practice results shows that McLaren, Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes, Lotus, Williams and Sauber are all potential candidates for the win — and Force India may be an outside chance as well.
“We want to have both cars in the top ten, which should be possible,” said sporting director Otmar Szafnauer.
The ultimate favourite, however, is McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton.
“We are on average a tenth slower (than Hamilton) on the long runs,” said Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko.
And the Austrian added that Ferrari is “just behind us”.
But Sauber team manager Beat Zehnder insisted: “They (the top teams) fail to realise that Perez and (Williams’ Pastor) Maldonado are just as fast.”
British commentator Martin Brundle added: “The Mercedes is making a good impression.”
And Lotus team owner Gerard Lopez said: “This could be our weekend.”