- Canadian GP - Qualifying
Hamilton happy with soft tyre choice
Lewis Hamilton does not see his team's decision to use soft tyres in the final session of qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix as a gamble.
Under this year's regulations he will have to start the race on the same soft tyres, while Red Bull will start on the harder compound having secured second and third positions. In Friday's practice the soft tyres were wearing out quickly and there were some in the paddock suggesting they would last no longer than seven laps.
However, when asked if he thought he had taken a gamble, Hamilton said: "I don't think so. Every race you are taking gambles I don't think we have gone into it feeling we should gamble this. Both tyres were very, very close. I chose to go with the option (soft) tyres, we know the option tyre doesn't last as long as the prime (hard), but the variation should not be as bad as tomorrow when there was a dirty circuit.
However, Hamilton did admit that an early safety car would play into his hands and allow him to preserve his tyres.
"Of course if a safety car comes around it could help, but we will see how long they last and do the best job we can," he said. "You never know what strategies are tomorrow and it will be interesting to see everyone's strategies. I am not worried right now, I am enjoying the fact that we got pole position. We will look at it and analyse the different situations we can find ourselves in tomorrow. The best way is not to panic and do the best job we can."
But Red Bull's Mark Webber was equally confident his team had made the right choice
"We thought we could still do a pretty good job in qualifying on the harder tyre," he said. "We knew still had a crack at the front row. McLaren is on the option tyre, it is a long race tomorrow and we are planning to do the best job we can. We think it is something that will be beneficial to us. With the odd safety car here and there, there are many ways this race can unfold. We stuck to our guns, Seb and I are in the top three again."
Sebastian Vettel said he felt as though he never quite achieved his best on the hard tyres after spending much of Q3 in ninth and only setting his fast time on his last attempt.
"It was a pretty entertaining last session," he said. "We went out on the hard tyres, they take a while to come in, I didn't get a lap in until the last lap. It was not perfect timing, the lap wasn't very clean, so I'm happy I still made it to third. Let's see what we can do, I'm happy both of us made it with the prime tyres, especially with the soft tyre being so difficult to make last for a few laps."