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F1 | Canadian GP | Drivers' Press Conferences

The drivers' press conferences have taken place here at the Gilles-Villeneuve Circuit and this are the most important statements from every driver.

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F1 | Canadian GP | Drivers' Press Conferences
Fuente imagen: MotorLat

Today is free practice day for the 2022 Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montreal, Quebec. The drivers and teams are preparing to head out for the first time in two years to the Canadian track. Today, being Friday June 17, the drivers' press conferences were held ahead of the ninth scoring date of the Formula 1 world championship. Esteban Ocon, the local driver, Lance Stroll, Charles Leclerc, Daniel Ricciardo and George Russell are in the first group. The Canadian driver was happy to be in the Grand Prix of his country, in addition to the fact that in the last edition of this event (which was held in 2019) he managed to finish in the points zone. “I’ve been here since Monday, I had time to catch with some friends that I don’t see very often. It’s been very nice to be back. There’s no margin of error or you will be in the wall so it will be very important to have confidence on the car so you can ride the kerbs.” Esteban echoed his comments as he seems really excited to be back in Montreal. “I’m very exciting, this will be very challenging and we should be very competitive, so there’s no reason for us to not perform.” Charles Leclerc commented on his issues with his power unit as last week in Baku, both Ferraris had to retire from the race due to mechanical problems with said component of the car. “The pace is the positive. We’ve had three races in a row with problems or mistakes but I think, as a team, we are working extremely hard, the pace is there which is the best thing to take and we’ll keep working so we can get on top of those things as quickly as possible.” Charles has been on pole for the last four races but hadn’t managed to have a good result on Sunday, this is what he commented. “Unfortunately, we don’t score points on Saturdays. Sundays have been a little bit more painful this season but I can see some positives. Race pace has been good since Barcelona, unfortunately we couldn’t show it at the end but it’s a matter of days before we can show you.” For Daniel Ricciardo’s side, he showed his excitement as Melbourne was announced that F1 will race there until 2035. “You beauty! That’s awesome, it’s obviously such a long-term contract so it’s really encouraging. There’s always action on track, things going around during that particular weekend so very happy!”

While in the second group is the two-time world champion Fernando Alonso, Pierre Gasly, the four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, Sergio Perez and Nicholas Latifi. The local hero, Latifi, commented that his is very excited to race for the first time in Canada with Formula 1, as the last edition of the Canadian Grand Prix was held in 2019 and he entered the category back in 2020. “It’s been a very enjoyable weekend for myself obviously, so it is pretty cool to be back. This [the circuit] is one of the very technical circuits that we have. Is very old-school, which is cool because we don’t have a lot of them in the calendar anymore.” As for Sebastian Vettel, he commented that his team has taken a step forward since they brought a brand new version of their car in Barcelona. “I think we still have some ideas for this weekend. Even though we can have a great weekend, it’s still going to be a mix. I like the track. I think we need to be realistic as well, finishing on the points is a major success, obviously we had [in Baku] two positions because of the Ferraris not finishing. If we can get in that range, like qualifying in P10 and then improve […]. I think McLaren will be competitive again, maybe Baku wasn’t theirs as they struggled with the big rear wing they have, so we will see.” Fernando Alonso seems really confident on his team and on his car. “We were very fast on the straights in Baku so, it seems that the car likes slow-medium speed circuits and Canada is one of those.” Finally, Sergio Perez was asked by MotorLat if he had found something on his RB18 that is making him feel more confident in his car, this is what he told us: “I’m definitely more comfortable with the car than I was last year, for example, it took me longer to find a way with last year’s car. So in this year, I know that from FP1 I can start looking how to explode everything out of the car. Now, I’m much prepared and when I’m going to the race, I think that we have a good platform and I know what to do with the team to extract the most out of it.”



The third group is made up of Guanyu Zhou, Mick Schumacher, seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, one-time world champion Max Verstappen and Alex Albon. The reigning champion, Max Verstappen commented that this track is very unique and has affirmed that Red Bull is now focusing on one-lap performance. “I’m excited to be back and hopefully have a good weekend. It’s not about confidence. We’ve won some races but it still is a very long season and a lot of things can happen. We started to focus on one-lap performance, we haven’t really had a lot of pole positions and I do think there is a lot of margin there, as our race pace always looks good.” On Alex’s side, he reflected on his last race in Baku and hopes he has a great weekend here in Montreal. “It wasn’t a bad weekend. We struggled at the start but seemed to be better in the race. [Qualifying] is one of the things we are trying to focus on Saturdays. We’ve showed that there is pace in the car. We haven’t had any major upgrades in the car since the first race, so we are a little bit behind in that sense.” Zhou was having his best weekend to date in Formula 1, but a technical issue with his power unit forced him to retire, this is what he told us about those worries of having another technical problem. “I’m not too worried just because the team has been pushing so hard on Sunday night to get reliability issues solved in a short-term. In terms of Baku issues, we are a little bit better understanding what happened.” Mick commented that this track is historical so he did run a few laps in the simulator.

Finally, the fourth group is made up of Valtteri Bottas, Yuki Tsunoda, Carlos Sainz, Kevin Magnussen and Lando Norris. Valtteri did not have the best of the weekends as his teammate managed to outqualify him for the first time this season. The Finn driver commented that Alfa Romeo found that the balance of the two cars was different even with the same set-ups. “Mechanically, we saw that something was not quite right, so we’ve changed parts of the suspension, symmetry, and hopefully we can again fight for some big points.” Carlos also commented on the mechanical problems that Ferrari had during the last Azerbaijan Grand Prix. “We’ll find a solution. As a team, we are still motivated, we are united, we are in a bump on the road. I’d rather take a step forward and then a bump in the road than not going forward at all.” He also stated that qualifying is his main positive as he is usually fighting for pole. As for Lando, MotorLat asked him if he was surprised of his consistency (he has scored points in 6 out of the 7 last races) after seeing the poor results McLaren had in Bahrain, he told us: “If you told me that just after Bahrain, I’d be very surprised. I think, since then and a couple of races after that, I’ve gained plenty of confidence. In Bahrain we had lack of preparation but nonetheless, we’ve scored great amount of points, we’ve had great weekends, but in general, we’re still on that climbing turn.”

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