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Canadian Grand Prix: Lotus preview

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The Canadian GP in Montreal is one of the highlights of the Grand Prix season, a race each one in the pitlane looks advance to, both for the challenges the temporary circuit presents, and the incredible nightlife in one of the world’s great cities. Lotus Racing will be challenging in their first Canadian race, and are looking to keep closing the gap to the midfield, calling on the experience Jarno and Heikki bring on the demanding Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve to continue their progress in the 2010 FIA Formula One™ World Championship.

Heikki Kovalainen: “I’m really looking forward to Canada. Montreal is an amazing city and everyone there really loves the fact they have a race on their doorsteps. It’s pretty impressive how the whole place almost becomes like a festival – some streets are closed for parties, events and all sorts of things, and everyone really gets behind the whole race. With the circuit being practically in the city it’s hard to escape the noise and goings on, but I love it.

“The circuit itself is a real challenge, for the cars and the drivers. Braking is very important because there are long straights and it’s the second hardest circuit on the brakes in the whole season – cooling them is a priority and getting your braking points right is the key to a good lap. There’s always a lot of action in the braking zones, so we’ll see how we get on in the race. Riding the kerbs well is also critical, so it’s important to set up the car for them, and we’ll focus on that on Friday.”

Jarno Trulli: “Canada’s a funny one for me – even though I love Canada – the track, the people and the city – the race itself has never loved me! It’s a great challenge, and I’ve always performed pretty well there, but I’ve never had much luck there, so maybe that will change this year.

“As it’s a temporary circuit it’s a major challenge the whole way round. There’s the constant threat of the walls and it’s critical not to make any mistakes. You have to have confidence in the car and a good setup gives you the chance to push, but you’ve got to be perfect the whole time, otherwise it will bite you. It’s also very quick, and hard on brakes, so the cooling and the stability under braking are both important, and I think we’re pretty good in both areas, so we should be ok. Our car has been performing better and better over the last few races, so we’ll see what happens when we get out there, but I think we’ll continue to move away from the other new guys, and towards those ahead.”

Mike Gascoyne: “Canada’s a race we all look forward to. It’s a great city and a great race and we’re all glad to be going back to Montreal. It’s a temporary circuit where you often see quite a few people hit the wall, bringing out the safety car more than it’s usually seen. It’s one of those races where it’s possible to pick up points, and we’ve got to put ourselves in a position to do that. We’ve got two very experienced drivers in the car which will help us be there at the finish and that’s the primary goal. It’s going to be hard on brakes, but we’ve had no problems in that area. We’re also bringing a few more new parts, including a low downforce package specifically for Canada, so overall we want to build on the performances we’ve been putting in, aim for bullet-proof reliability, and have two cars see the flag.”

Tony Fernandes: “It’s been a busy couple of weeks since Turkey for the team and they’ve been working very hard in the factory, particularly focusing on our reliability. We have to aim to get two cars home whenever we can and consistent reliability is the key to doing that. We have developed well in a number of important areas, but so far reliability is one where we need to work harder – I hope Canada’s where we can turn that around.

“It’s one of the great races on the calendar, and we’re all looking forward to getting out there. North America’s an important area for us, particularly bearing in mind CNN is one of our partners and the heritage Lotus has on the continent, so I hope we put on a good show in Montreal. The steps we’ve taken so far this season should help us do that, and we’ve also just announced how we’ve strengthened the senior technical team, so the building blocks for the future are in place for us to keep moving forward.”

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