Canadian GP: McLaren preview

The West McLaren Mercedes team travels to Canada for round eight of the FIA Formula One World Championship. The race is held at the popular Gilles Villeneuve circuit, set against the dramatic skyline of downtown Montreal. Since the Canadian...

The West McLaren Mercedes team travels to Canada for round eight of the FIA Formula One World Championship. The race is held at the popular Gilles Villeneuve circuit, set against the dramatic skyline of downtown Montreal.

Since the Canadian Grand Prix made its debut in 1967, the event has been held at three circuits. The inaugural race took place at Toronto's Mosport Park, which hosted the Grand Prix a total of eight times, with Mont Tremblant, located to the North of Montreal, the location for the event in 1968 and 1970, before relocating to Montreal in 1978.

David Coulthard:

"It was a disappointing weekend for us last time out at the European Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, but as I said at the time everyone throughout the team is fully committed to turning the situation around. The race at Montreal has a fantastic atmosphere and is definitely one of my favourite events. It is an interesting track to drive and although it is primarily a race circuit, some sections are road circuit and the Armco are therefore fairly close, giving some sections a tight feel in nature."

"The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is not, however, a slow venue, we hit some of the highest speeds of the season, including 320km/h along the back straight. Other characteristics include the dirty surface as the circuit is not regularly used. This leads to low grip for running on Friday, but you see an improvement during the course of the weekend"

Kimi Raikkonen:

"The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is largely made up of fast sections, either long straights or sweeping curves, broken up by slow corners and chicanes. Because of the extremes of speed and slow corners, we have to run with a medium downforce set-up in Canada. I am hoping that we can do well in qualifying again, following Nürburgring, and set us up for the race. Since the European Grand Prix I have completed some 1,000 km with the team at Silverstone with the MP4-19B, it was a positive session and we are looking forward to continuing the cars' development after Indy."

Martin Whitmarsh, CEO Formula One, West McLaren Mercedes:

"The West McLaren Mercedes team has been operating an intensive programme of testing since the European Grand Prix. At Monza, David and Pedro de la Rosa have been working through our Canada-specific preparations, which have included a new rear wing package aimed to optimise the cars performance given the downforce requirements of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Our realistic aim for the event is to retain the modest performance improvement demonstrated at the Nürburgring."

"We believe we now understand the reliability issues that occurred at the European Grand Prix and are consequentially changing engine specification for the Canadian race. In addition to Monza, we have also run the MP4-19B, at Silverstone with Kimi at the wheel. We completed our planned testing schedule with the car, which is the next phase of our continuous development programme, and will continue its on-track proving process in the week following the United States Grand Prix."

Norbert Haug, Vice president Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:

"Our programmes at Silverstone and Monza last week went well. During the first three days of the MP4-19B's debut test at Silverstone Kimi covered 215 laps and 1,100 km. In Monza David was testing the MP4-19 in preparation of the forthcoming Canadian Grand Prix and covered 1,100 km in total. Pedro added another 680 km on the third day."

"The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve at Montreal features a bumpy surface, and the succession of long straights, tight chicanes and hairpins is very demanding on the brakes. Due to the fast circuit layout, which allows top speeds of more than 300km/h, almost 60 per cent of the lap is on full throttle. Our team's main objective will be to regain reliability and have both Kimi and David finishing the race."

-mclaren-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Pedro de la Rosa , David Coulthard , Kimi Raikkonen , Norbert Haug , Gilles Villeneuve , Martin Whitmarsh
Teams Mercedes , McLaren