Sebastian Vettel: this is our golden opportunity

Sebastian Vettel: this is our golden opportunity

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel, of Germany, gets ready for the second practice session at the Formula One Canadian Grand Prix auto race, Friday, June 7, 2019, in Montreal. But when he finally broke the duck, he did it with style. That's the advantage Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes reckon Ferrari have on the straights, so powerful is their engine.

Mercedes estimates it was losing 0.6s of lap time to Ferrari on the straights alone during qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix. Mercedes has won all six races this season.

Ferrari have chalked up 14 Canadian Grand Prix victories - more than any other team.

And - more good news, if not for F1, then for the critter - it survived.

Not in Canada, though.

"This is one of the tracks where you need to dare going very close to the walls in numerous places", said Vettel, who also won in Montreal in 2013 with Red Bull. "But after that it was really coming alive and it is what you need around here - full confidence to hammer the kerbs and floor the pedal". But now we must confirm it tomorrow.

This is Vettel all over.

"That is as much realism as you can get". This was one of those days.

"I want to change that, with the FIA, and in the teams and the mechanics and in the media, too", he said.

This is Vettel's 56th career pole position and is finally the return to form he would have wanted from Ferrari after they have struggled this season. "We're going to have a serious battle throughout the season - that would be fantastic". "But our vehicle is a lot better this year in the slower and medium-speed corners".

"We have good pace here but we know Mercedes are very strong, especially over the (race) distance".

"We are definitely in the fight", said Stroll of the competitive midfield. But we are still looking at the same thing. "Hard to crack", Vettel said of Hamilton. "They are so quick on the straights".

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The second practice run was very different from the first, when Mercedes easily set the fastest lap times and dominated the field. We will see how it goes.

He has a bit of added jeopardy, though, over his engine. This is good for Formula One and this is how racing should be.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff praised Vettel for his sublime final lap.

What happened to Leclerc and Bottas?

.

Though the results are sure to boost the hopes of Ferrari and its fans, practice times don't necessarily point to how the team will fare during Saturday's qualifying and Sunday's race.

"There is always little tricks you can do, the question is whether they make a difference", Vettel said. "Tomorrow will be a different experience and I hope I have the (car) set-up right for it".

A third practice session is on Saturday followed by qualifying. We gave it everything I had got.

"Lewis [made] a mistake in the hairpin and that's why it wasn't enough". "But for me to be this happy with a fourth, it really means something". In Q1 the vehicle felt great, Q2 a bit less.

"I do think it should be the most physically challenging". So I need to work on that, the set-up, and try and have the right set-up for the final Q3 time.

"Of course it is disappointing". The auto was shouting, 'Keep going, keep going!

"The F1 leadership has decided to make a show out of the sport".

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