Canadian Grand Prix Preview – Mercedes GP Petronas
In the midst of Formula One’s European season, Round Seven of the 2011 World Championship sees the sport take a trip across the Atlantic Ocean to the vibrant city of Montreal for the Canadian Grand Prix on Sunday 12 June.
• Mercedes-Benz power has achieved eight podiums in Canada since 1999, including four victories.
• Six of the last nine races have featured Safety Cars; the historical probability of 67% is one of the year´s highest.
• The 2010 race featured 61 pit stops; so far in 2011, there have been an average of 60 pit stops per race.
“Montreal is a great city to visit and the Canadian Grand Prix is always one of those races where it feels like the whole city gets involved and creates a really nice atmosphere. The circuit itself is very much a stop-and-go scenario with much of the focus on top speed and braking. We also have the two DRS zones this year for the first time, so it will be interesting to see the impact that this makes. It is really difficult to have an idea of how our car will perform in Montreal. There is no doubt that Monaco was a tough weekend for the team but, as always, we will learn our lessons, and be ready to fight again in Canada.”
“The Canadian Grand Prix is one of my favourite race weekends of the season. Montreal is a great city, with a carnival atmosphere over the weekend, and the fans are always really friendly and so enthusiastic. The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is a nice race track; it’s also very challenging and hard on the engine and brakes. I’m looking forward to the weekend, and I hope that we can move up and be back competing where we belong. The spirit within the team is great and we will fight for a better result than in Monaco. I am confident that we will be able to do it.”
Ross Brawn, Team Principal
“The Canadian Grand Prix is always one of the most popular races on the calendar, and an important weekend to showcase our sport to the North American market. The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is the first real high-speed circuit of the season, where the brakes are important and engine power is a factor. All of the teams suffered with big tyre problems because of graining last year, so it will be interesting to see how the new Pirelli tyres behave next weekend. It’s not easy to predict whether the tyre situation will follow what we experienced in 2010 or whether we will have a different situation. We have two DRS zones which will increase overtaking at a circuit where passing was already possible. With the combination of DRS and the tyres, this should lead to an exciting and eventful weekend.”
Norbert Haug, Vice-President, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
“Much like in Monaco where we raced last weekend, Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve mostly features slow speed corners, and we will again be using the soft and super soft Pirelli compounds; however this is where the similarities end. The circuit features long full-throttle sections that see the cars exceed 295 kph on four separate occasions. It is also one of the toughest tracks of the year for the brakes, with six major braking events per lap. In summary, this is a low downforce and low drag circuit that presents significant technical challenges. On the sporting side, we will be able to assess the impact of two DRS zones in race conditions for the first time, which could contribute to making the action even more exciting. As a team, our aim is to respond to our Monaco weekend with better race performance. We know that we can demonstrate the speed for a top ten qualifying position over a single lap; we have to ensure that we maintain the same level in the race on Sunday in Montreal.”