Mark Webber is confident of a strong performance over the remainder of the Canadian Grand Prix weekend in Montreal, but has underlined the importance of reliability in a race that is notorious as a car-breaker.

The Australian lapped comfortably inside the top ten throughout the opening day's practice sessions, and spent much of the early part of the afternoon at the top of the timesheets, with even the hitherto dominant McLarens and Ferraris unable to get near. He would ultimately wind up ninth-fastest in a tight midfield and, even more encouragingly still, his best effort was set on the harder compound Bridgestone rubber.

"The balance is pretty good," the 30-year-old remarked. "Understanding the tyres Bridgestone has brought here has been the biggest challenge for everyone I think. That's what we'll be doing our homework on tonight, and making sure we've got everything set-up to get the best from them. We just need to make a bit of a compromise to look after the rears a little more.

"We saw a lot of people scraping walls and a lot of people off the road. It's a very tricky grand prix, but everyone is facing the same problem. Turn five is nasty, as is turn seven where Heikki (Kovalainen) crashed - I was nearly in the wall there a few times too. If you get just a little bit off-line you can't get it back again. The brakes get an absolute caning here too, but they seem to be ok."

Webber has qualified inside the top ten at every grand prix bar one so far this year, but primarily due to a chronic lack of reliability he has yet to get on the scoreboard. That, he insists, is something that must change this weekend, especially as such a race of attrition could leave big rewards on offer for those still running at the chequered flag.

"We've got to get to the end," he stressed. "That's the first thing. I think we've proven we are pretty capable of running in the points; now we need to finish there. This place is going to be tough on the car, tyres, drivers, everything.

"The top ten on the grid will not finish that way, I can assure you. There could be safety cars, cross-chicane excursions and all sorts. It will certainly be interesting."

 

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