McLaren's Lewis Hamilton has admitted that he could be at a disadvantage at the start of today's Canadian Grand Prix, given he will begin the race on the softer of the two Bridgestone tyres.
Hamilton put in a brilliant lap on Saturday in qualifying to end Red Bull's run of seven successive poles, but while he beat Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel to P1, 0.268 seconds up on the former, they opted to run on the harder tyre and that could prove to be the better strategy.
Indeed given how the option tyre grained on Friday, Hamilton could find himself going backwards fast and unable to hold off the Renault-powered Red Bull RB6s.
“I think the key is you need to take each day one at a time and clearly today we wanted to get as far up at the front as possible,” Hamilton replied when asked if he thinks they have got it right for race day.
“For sure yesterday [Friday] when we were testing the option tyre was not the best. It goes off quite quickly but we are going to do everything we can to maintain them. I think you might see a completely different race unfold. There are possibilities, as always with every race here, of safety cars, so that's to be expected, so I guess you have to be quite fortunate when they do and do not come out.
“I think these guys are in quite a fortunate position with the tyres they are on but who knows the track might improve and the option tyre might end up being the best one but I think we will have a good race tomorrow and, you know, we have just got to keep our heads down.”
So is it a gamble?
“I don't personally feel so because every race you're taking gambles really. I don't think we've gone into it thinking we should gamble this. It was just our feeling. I think both tyres are very, very close. I chose to go with the option tyre,” he continued.
“Of course we know that the option tyre doesn't last as long as the prime but generally through the race weekend the option tyre does actually get better, so that degradation should not be as bad as on day one on a dirty circuit. Of course if a safety car comes round it could help but we're going to see how long they last and do the best job we can with them. You never know what the strategies are tomorrow. I think it's going to be interesting to see everyone's strategy.
“I'm not worried. I'm just enjoying the fact that I just got pole position. Later on, for sure, we will sit back and analyse the different situations we could find ourselves in tomorrow but of course the obvious thing is just not to panic on the way and do the best job we can.