Sebastian Vettel claimed pole position last night for Ferrari after a brilliant last lap to set a new track record and make the task even tougher for second-placed Valtteri Bottas which he eventually could not overcome.
It was Ferrari’s first pole in Montreal since 2001 and Vettel feels it is made even more special because of the legacy of Gilles Villeneuve. It is the 40th anniversary of the Canadian driver’s first win which took place at his home circuit and in its very first race.
“Being on pole here with Ferrari means something extra. The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve; I think the meaning of Gilles for the Scuderia Ferrari is huge and I think motorsport in Canada is linked to that name”, said Vettel.
He also spoke about how it felt to get back the momentum Ferrari had lost in the past few races. “Obviously it’s a great result. A lot of Ferrari fans out there, probably a lot of them from back then as well and their kids.”
“So it is great to carry the momentum we’ve had this year in qualifying, even though the last races maybe were a little bit less strong”, stated Vettel.
Vettel was aware of the history of the Scuderia and Enzo Ferrari’s fascination with Gilles, “Gilles Villeneuve was the favourite driver of Enzo Ferrari and I think his charisma, character that he brought to F1, to racing in general is still alive today.”
“You can see there’s a lot of flags. He left the heritage, so the people who fell in love with motorsport back then, it’s still them hanging around and their kids and maybe grandchildren by now”, he concluded.
Villeneuve’s son, Jacques, himself a former F1 world champion with Williams back in 1997 will honour his father’s legacy by taking a lap around the circuit in his father’s Ferrari car before the race starts.