F1 » 10 June 2012
Warmer conditions making us struggle: Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton admitted that warmer weather on Saturday had led McLaren to struggle in qualifying, and then even higher temperatures for the race could be an issue.
The climbing temperatures in Montreal were very much on Lewis Hamilton's mind after qualifying, as he admitted that his car hadn't taken well to the warmer conditions on Saturday.
"It was definitely a bit harder for us today. We definitely struggled with working with the tyres in FP3 and in qualifying," the McLaren driver confessed. "Yesterday we had very good pace in the cooler conditions but as it got hotter today we really, really struggled.
"It was tough trying to get the tyres to switch on properly: today's warmer temperatures made that trickier for us, I think," he added.
In the circumstances he was surprised to finish as high up as second place on the grid, alongside pole sitter Sebastian Vettel.
"I for one didn't expect to be so far up," he admitted, relieved to have had enough sets of option tyres to have a shot at a flying lap in Q3. "I was fortunate enough just to make sure I got a good lap in Q2, which meant I still had one set left. Otherwise, I probably would be a little bit further back [like Jenson]."
Getting onto the front row certainly gives Hamilton a shot at a successful race in Canada, even if the forecast for even hotter conditions in Montreal seems to count against him.
"I'm very happy with our performance and very pleased to be on the front row – we can have a really good race from there," he said. "Our long-run pace on Friday looked good, so I'll definitely be looking to go forward in the race. Having said all that, I'll be doing absolutely everything I can to look after the tyres."
But did Hamilton or his team have any Plan B for tacking the hotter track conditions?
"I don't know," he admitted. "I've fortunately got myself into a reasonably decent position and I think yesterday when we did the long runs they seemed to be OK, but now that it has got hotter it's going to change things and it's going to be tough."
One possibility was running more stops than in the past - possible going for a two- or three-stop strategy. Although the tyres were lasting for extended runs, the likelihood of a safety car at some point in Montreal made extra tops well worth considering in Hamilton's mind.
"It is dependent on the temperatures and how long the tyres will last," he pointed out. "I hope we don't have any problems with it, but we will wait and see [on Sunday].
"We just have to do the best job we can and try to maximise on everything we do," he added. "We can still have a really good race and get some really good points from where we are and I'm looking forward to it."
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