2011 Canadian Grand Prix Preview
Team Principal, Dr. Vijay Mallya, sets his sights on more points in Montreal.
Looking back on Monaco, I have to say how delighted I was to see Force India back in the points. It’s always a fantastic weekend – probably my favourite race of the year – and to see Adrian fight his way to seventh place was the perfect result after a difficult couple of races for the team.
The six points scored will be important for our battle in the world championship because the teams around us are all very competitive. We have a real fight on our hands if we want to catch Sauber and we must continue working hard to maintain our advantage over Toro Rosso.
Our attention now turns to Montreal, a venue where our cars have traditionally gone well. We have been busy in the wind tunnel developing the low downforce spec of our aero platform, which will hopefully allow us to challenge for more points. There are also a few more subtle detail changes to the bodywork as we continue to extract more and more performance from the car.
Adrian on Montreal
Adrian Sutil looks forward to one of his favourite races of the year.
I’m really looking forward to going back to Montreal. It’s a beautiful city, very international, and it’s definitely one of my favourite races on the calendar. I think everybody enjoys going there. That’s why I try to arrive a little bit earlier than usual to see some of the city and acclimatise to the jet lag.
Although we’ve always been quite quick there, I’ve never really had great results in Canada. I scored a point last year, but without a puncture I know it could have been a much better result. We usually have good straight-line speed, which is very important in Montreal, but you also need a car that has good stability and grip over the curbs. I think experience is important there because it’s quite bumpy and the car moves around a lot, which demands a special way of driving.
It’s a circuit that is good for overtaking because of the combination of straights and chicanes. And this year with the DRS I think we will see an even more interesting race.
Paul on Montreal
Paul Di Resta gets set for his first taste of Montreal in a Formula One car.
This year’s Montreal race will be a real adventure for me. I’ve never driven the circuit so the priority will be to get up to speed as quickly as possible and learn the track. On paper it looks like quite a straightforward circuit with long straights and chicanes, but you never truly know a circuit until you drive it for real.
My preparation has included some time on the simulator. It’s clearly quite an unusual circuit where you need good top speed to be competitive. That’s why we run a special low-downforce package, which will be quite a new experience for me. I drove the car in this spec at Monza last year during free practice and the car feels quite different so I will need to get used to that.
I said after Monaco that I felt disappointed. We seemed to be quite competitive in clean air and I think I missed a chance to score some points for the team. It would be good to get back in the points this weekend and that’s what I’ll be aiming for.
Nico goes aero testing
Nico Hulkenberg was back in the VJM04 last week as he joined the team at Cotswold Airport for our first aero test of the year. The car was packed full of sensors and instruments to measure aerodynamic performance. The data recorded will help the team validate the numbers generated from the wind tunnel and CFD simulations. Three more aero test days are allowed during the remainder of the season.
Meet The Force
We thought it was time to get to know Adrian’s race engineer, Brad Joyce, a little better. Here’s a quick introduction…
Brad, what’s the best thing about your job?
I enjoy the competitive environment and the fast-paced intellectual challenge.
Do you have a favourite racetrack?
Spa – it’s high-speed and offers a different engineering challenge compared to the more mundane circuits.
Favourite Force India moment?
The 2009 Italian Grand Prix where Adrian started on the front row and finished the race in fourth place.
Do you have any superstitions?
I try not to walk under ladders. I also favour the number 7.
How do you relax away from the track?
I spend time with my family. I have a seven-year-old son and a four-year-old daughter with my girlfriend.
Do you have any hobbies?
I enjoy trading stocks and shares and have an interest in economics.
What important items will you be packing for Canada?
I always use the same folder for my notes on the pit wall. Also, I must not forget my glasses because I can’t see that well without them!
Whyte & Mackay’s Guide to Montreal
Our team partner, Whyte & Mackay, makers of Scotch whisky, give some survival tips for a week in Montreal.
Where to visit?
If you want to enjoy the rich variety and texture of city life, then pay a visit to St. Laurent Street. It’s a true reflection of Canadian multiculturalism. No stay in Montreal is complete without a visit there.
If shopping is what you’re after, then St. Catherine Street has the answer. Stretching for 15 kilometres across the city from east to west, the Street is lined with major department stores and shops.
For a taste of the artistic side of Montreal, head along to Crescent Street to visit luxury boutiques, haute couture showrooms and art galleries.
Where to drink?
The Whisky Café is the place to go for lovers of Scotch whisky with over 150 blends to try.
Inside you’ll also find a cigar lounge.
For cocktails and high-end bar tending at its finest, pay a visit to L’Assommoir. With over 250 unique cocktails on the menu, there’s plenty to keep you entertained on Saturday night.
Koko restaurant and bar is also worth a mention. Located in the heart of the action during Grand Prix weekend on St. Laurent Street, it’s the venue of choice for the stylish and sophisticated. It also boasts a great terrace and cocktail list.
Where to eat?
A visit to Schwartz’s restaurant, located on Boulevard St. Laurent, is a must. Serving world-famous smoked meat, it’s a Montreal landmark that has welcomed celebrities and visitors from all over the world.
For the best in Italian dining, why not try Graziella, located in Old Montreal. A creative menu that captures the artistry of cooking includes some delightful culinary treasures.
The choice of the locals seems to be Leméac – a French bistro that serves up sophisticated cuisine while adding a new twist to some French classics.
Lovers of sushi should make their way to Kaizen for some of the freshest sushi in Montreal. The menu is complemented by a great wine list and Montreal’s largest selection of premium Japanese sake.