Canadian Grand Prix Preview
Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve – 70 laps – 4.361km
Madrid, 1st of June 2012
Amidst the European season, the Formula 1 World Championship makes a quick stop-off in Montreal for the Canadian Grand Prix. The Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve is a happy hunting ground for HRT Formula 1 Team as it is here that the Spanish outfit achieved the best result in its history in 2011 when Vitantonio Liuzzi crossed the finish line in 13th place, after an epic race that lasted 4 hours 4 minutes and 39 seconds because of the heavy rain, making it the longest Grand Prix in Formula 1 history. The team arrives in Canada on the back of its best result this season so far after Narain Karthikeyan’s 15th place in Monaco, and will be looking to carry on this momentum.
The Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve is a track that combines long straights with slow corners, pushing cars to the limit. Brake cooling and stability under braking are crucial and tyre degradation is high as a result of the constant acceleration and braking.
Pirelli have elected their soft and super-soft tyres for this Grand Prix.
Pedro de la Rosa: “I really like the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve because I’ve always done well there. The races are very open, with a lot of overtaking opportunities, such as the first corner and the last chicane. The surface evolves a huge amount throughout the weekend, meaning that it’s a unique circuit in terms of tyre behaviour and the hardest thing is getting to understand the track. You can be competitive with good top speed, braking and grip and it’s important to set the car up in a similar fashion to Monaco to get it coming out quickly from turns. We’re bringing a new low-downforce rear wing, specially designed for Canada, and intending on continuing with the progress shown in Monaco. After retiring in Monaco, I’m even hungrier to achieve a good result in Canada”.
Narain Karthikeyan: “Canada is a unique feature on the calendar, a mix of street circuit with no runoffs like Monaco along with purpose-built bits. I really like the track and I was 14th at the finish of the crazy race last year before getting a penalty. The weather usually throws up something in Montreal, so there may be an opportunity for us. We will be bringing a new rear wing as well, given the low-downforce nature of the circuit. We need to pick up where we left at Monaco, in terms of gap to the front-runners and our immediate rivals”.
Luis Pérez-Sala, Team Principal: “One of the most emblematic Grands Prix takes place in Montreal. As a driver I really liked it because it’s a different circuit, with a lot of braking and accelerating and various overtaking opportunities. For the team it’s also a special place because the best result in its history was achieved here last year. In Monaco things went well for us and this circuit should also be favourable for us because our car behaves well when braking and we’ve improved our traction, which are two important aspects in Canada. Our weakest point is quick corners and there aren’t many here. Our biggest handicap could be not having KERS, but we’ve brought a special rear wing for this circuit which we hope will make us more competitive. We’re in good spirits after the positive result in Monaco; Narain wants to continue with his good form and Pedro is more motivated than ever after his good performance all weekend ended in a retirement”.