Canadian GP - Second row for Kimi
The Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro duo of Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa will be studying their car data as attentively as ever this evening, knowing that strategy and tactics will possibly play an even more important role than at other races so far this season. With a place for the Finn on the second row and the Brazilian on the inside of row three, they will face a stiff challenge in tomorrow's 70 lap race around the picturesque Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, after posting what Jean Todt accurately and honestly described as the team's worst qualifying of the season so far.
The final stages of qualifying were as exciting as ever, ending with domination from the McLaren-Mercedes team, who got both their cars onto the front row. Pole position for the first time in what is proving to be a remarkable debut season went to a delighted Lewis Hamilton, the English man beating Fernando Alonso into second spot. On the inside of Kimi Raikkonen is Nick Heidfeld in the BMW-Sauber, while Felipe shares his row with the Red Bull Renault of Mark Webber, who thus equals his best qualifying of the year.
Looking for positive aspects for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, one can identify the fact that overtaking is possible at this track, that the Safety Car has frequently made appearances during this race and that the F2007 is showing good race pace and has a strong reliability record.
"Of course I would have preferred to have been further forward on the starting grid, but we know we have a competitive car when running at race pace and as far as today's result is concerned, there is always the unknown factor concerning the fuel levels of those fighting it out in Q3," Kimi said after qualifying. "I didn't have any particular problems today, but I lacked a bit of speed when compared to our closest rivals. However, before getting upset about it, we must wait and see how the race goes. We will do our utmost to get the best result possible."
Jean Todt said, "This was a very disappointing qualifying session for us, the worst of the season as we were no match for our main rivals. Of course, the points only get given out in the race and tomorrow the key factors will be the usual ones - strategy, reliability, performance and team work, but the overall picture after today is not a favourable one and I hope that changes for the race."
Luca Baldisserri commented, "At this circuit the result of qualifying is less important than at others but we cannot deny that today our closest rivals were quicker than us. We know we have a competitive package when running in race trim and here, the strategy and the work of the team can be decisive. This race is very tough on the cars and reliability will play a key role. We will try to bring home as many points as possible, while being aware that we face a tough race."