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Canadian Grand Prix: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes preview

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McLaren Mercedes preview the Canadian GP to be detained at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal.

Jenson Button: “It’s fantastic to be going back to Montreal after a year away. I think everyone in Formula 1 loves the city, the people and the track, so it’s very fitting that we’re heading back – particularly during one of the best seasons we’ve had for years.
Looking back at the pace of the Turkish Grand Prix, which was run pretty much flat-out from start to finish, it’s going to be interesting to see how Canada plays out. It’s an extremely fast circuit, but it isn’t a place that tolerates even the slightest mistake – because of the proximity of the concrete walls.

The track configuration should suit the MP4-25, it’s got a couple of slowish corners that lead onto long straights, so we should be able to use the combination of the Mercedes-Benz engine and our aero package to be competitive in both qualifying and the race.
Canada is always an unpredictable weekend – it’s a bit of a one-off, which is great for Formula 1 – and I think this year’s race has all the ingredients for a classic.”

Lewis Hamilton: “I won my first grand prix in Montreal – 2007 seems like such a long time ago, but I still have some absolutely fantastic memories of that weekend: the pole position, the crazy number of Safety Cars, the uncertainty in the final laps, and then, at last, crossing the line, which just a massive feeling of relief and amazement at the same time. It was fantastic.
Returning for 2010 is great, because it’s such a fast, demanding and unforgiving circuit – I love racing here. It’s an incredibly tough track – even if you can avoid the walls, which are really close and exciting at some places, the surface is very treacherous offline because of all the marbles. It’s a place where you don’t want to make even a tiny mistake.

And the city is a fantastic place too. It’s great to be heading back to North America after two years away. The people in Montreal really embrace their race and there’s a lot of support for the drivers and the teams. I can’t wait to get back there.”

Martin Whitmarsh,Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes: “The return of Formula 1 to North America is a very positive move for the sport. After a two-year absence, I think everybody is tremendously looking forward to the Canadian Grand Prix, a race that has long been a staple of the calendar.

The residents of Montreal really take this race to their hearts, and there’s always a fantastic atmosphere throughout the race weekend. The circuit itself is fast and unforgiving – practically the perfect recipe for exciting, unpredictable and close racing. Additionally, I believe we return to North America with a product that is strong and healthy, with a depth of driver talent that is probably as great as any other time in the sport’s history.

Off the back of a very strong result in Turkey, we feel that the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve will be well suited to the characteristics of MP4-25. It’s a low-downforce track where straight-line speed is fundamental to a good laptime. Once again, we’ll be looking for another strong result before the circus returns to Europe for the rest of the summer.”

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