Canadian Grand Prix: Preview Jackie Stewart will celebrate his 60th birthday this Friday, 11th June. The 1973 Canadian Grand Prix was Jackie's last competitive race before he announced his retirement at the end of the season having clinched ...
Canadian Grand Prix: Preview
Jackie Stewart will celebrate his 60th birthday this Friday, 11th June. The 1973 Canadian Grand Prix was Jackie's last competitive race before he announced his retirement at the end of the season having clinched his third world drivers' championship. He competed in seven Canadian Grands Prix, the first in 1967. He won the race in 1971 and 1972 both times at the wheel of a Tyrrell-Ford. The Stewart-Ford team completed three days of testing at Silverstone last week in preparation for this weekend's race. The team was pleased with the progress made with aerodynamic and suspension modifications to the SF3.
RUBENS BARRICHELLO Car No.16 (SF3-04) 'My results with the Stewart-Ford team have been very good in Montreal, I qualified third in 1997 and finished fifth in the race last year so with the improvement in performance we have made this season, I will be looking for another good qualifying position. The circuit is notoriously hard on brakes but that is one of the areas where the SF3 has been impressive this season. The car's traction, vital for the slower corners at the Gilles Villeneuve circuit, is also very good. Barcelona was disappointing but we made gains in testing at Silverstone last week where we did some running in Montreal race trim and I'm confident we will able to mount a strong challenge for points.'
JOHNNY HERBERT Car No.17 (SF3-05) 'I like the Montreal track a lot. It's not a difficult circuit to learn, but it's not always easy to be quick there because it's a mix of fast straights, slow corners and hairpins and set-up is crucial. It's always a bit of a trade off where downforce is concerned. You need to have a small amount of wing for the straights but equally you need sufficient grip for the slower sections. I find the track very challenging - it has a bit of everything. Testing last week went well - in between showers - and I'm looking forward to a good weekend.'
JACKIE STEWART, SGP Chairman 'The Canadian Grand Prix is a significant event for the Stewart-Ford team as it is currently the only race in North America where so many of our partner-sponsors are either based or have a major market presence. The team has performed well in Montreal previously, with Rubens qualifying third on the grid in 1997 and having both cars in the points with fifth and sixth place finishes in 1998. Hopefully the circuit will suit the latest version of our car - the SF3. We are confident following last week's Silverstone test that we have made a significant improvement to the car which should enable us to maintain our push for world championship points in Canada. I have won twice in Canada (1971 & '72) and I have a long affinity with the event because for many years the Grand Prix weekend has coincided with my birthday. This year it is rather an important one.'
MARTIN WHITAKER, Director, Ford Racing, Europe 'Until next year's Indianapolis race, Montreal is the closest Grand Prix to Ford's world headquarters in Dearborn, Detroit so there is always an added incentive for the Stewart- Ford team to do well. A lot of Senior Ford Executives will be in Montreal to see the Stewart-Ford team in operation and help Jackie celebrate his 60th birthday.'