Pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton is wary of the potential threat from Ferrari’s latest upgrade ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix.
Hamilton beat his team-mate Nico Rosberg by just six hundredths of a second to claim a fifth career pole position for Canadian Grand Prix, putting him just one adrift of Michael Schumacher’s record at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
Sebastian Vettel might have got closer but he had lost traction out of the hairpin on his way to final flying lap of 1:12.990, making him the only non-Merc speedy to get below 1m 13s.
“It doesn’t matter how far you are ahead, so long as you are ahead,” Hamilton said during the post-qualifying press conference. “It’s great to see how close we all were. It’s going to be interesting tomorrow.
“Ferrari have obviously picked up the pace with the upgrades they have brought. It’s a great track to test ultimate speed, so it’ll be exciting to have the race with them.
“Their long runs [on Friday] looked very strong – I don’t know if they were stronger than ours, but we’ll see tomorrow. I think it’s great for the fans.”
The Brit is also not fully satisfied with pole-lap pace: “Today wasn’t a great day in terms of pure speed.
“In practice [on Friday] I had a much bigger gap, but today I just didn’t have the same pace.
“Obviously I got pole which I am really happy about, but I had more speed in me and I wasn’t able to extract it from the car. There was definitely more time in it – so I’m really happy considering.”
Vettel said he was happy with qualifying third in Canada despite just missing out on beating the Mercedes duo.
“I think going into qualifying I thought it was possible,” Vettel said.
“As a driver you always feel that there’s a little bit more. I think on my last lap I was very happy with the lap in general, I was maybe a bit greedy out of 10 and maybe not greedy enough into turn six, but there wasn’t an awful lot to grab otherwise, as I said, very happy.
“I wanted to get below the 1m13s mark because then I knew it would be very close with the Mercedes. I did that but just by one hundredth so a little bit was missing, but overall I think we have a great car, we did a step, so I’m happy with how the weekend has turned out.”
“We did a step or so overnight so I felt in general very comfortable and enjoyed qualifying a lot. I brushed the Wall of Champions so done that, don’t have to do that tomorrow, so we should be all set.”