On the 13th June. The quick and challenging Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on the picturesque island in the St. Lawrence River has played a fateful roll in the history of the team. In 2007 Robert Kubica had his terrible accident there, and in 2008 the only victory in the team’s F1 history was celebrated when Kubica won and his team-mate, Nick Heidfeld, was second.
Pedro de la Rosa: “It is great to have the Canadian Grand Prix back on the calendar, as everybody always enjoyed it so much because of the atmosphere and the great racing there. I think the layout of the Montreal circuit is good for exciting races, and it is definitely one of the tracks where overtaking is easiest. It is a track where you run less downforce compared to previous races, and it is also one of the few tracks that has a distinctive personality. Last time I drove there was in 2005 in a Friday practice. One of the most enjoyable races for me was the 2001 Canadian Grand Prix. I was in the top five cars and fighting with Mika Hakkinen and some other guys – we had great fun. It is one of the hardest races for brakes and also a tough one for the engines. Physically for the drivers it is a rather easy one.”
Kamui Kobayashi: “I have only been in Montreal once, and this was for the 2008 Grand Prix, which I attended as a reserve driver for Toyota. Obviously back then I had time to enjoy the atmosphere. I have to say in a way it reminds me of Melbourne, with people partying and having fun over the Grand Prix weekend. I’m very much looking forward to racing in front of that crowd, and, after we had a reasonable race in Turkey, I really hope this is the beginning of a much stronger period in the championship for us. We have to keep working hard to make this happen.”
Technical Director James Key: “It is great to go back to Montreal because it is such a popular place. The Montreal circuit is unique in many respects. It is the first time this year we will be running with a medium downforce level, therefore we will be taking drag off the car to optimize the lap times. Secondly you have very heavy braking in Montreal. We will be watching the brake wear levels and temperatures very closely and also paying close attention to the car’s braking stability, while traction out of the corners is also important. It is a bit of a stop and go circuit and the kerbs in the chicanes are another major aspect you have to consider when setting up the car. On top of that, tyre wear and grip levels can be strange and difficult to manage there. It can be very low grip and in the past we have sometimes seen grip levels have not improved over the sessions. At the same time you can have heavy tyre wear and loads of marbles off line, and perhaps this is track surface related. Finally there are some clear overtaking opportunities on the Montreal circuit, so we expect an exciting race and hope to continue the good form we had in Istanbul.”