Canadian GP Williams preview

The BMW WilliamsF1 Team goes to the Canadian Grand Prix determined to put the disappointments of the last two races behind it, and optimistic results of two positive tests in Magny-Cours and Monza this week will help with the reliability of the ...

The BMW WilliamsF1 Team goes to the Canadian Grand Prix determined to put the disappointments of the last two races behind it, and optimistic results of two positive tests in Magny-Cours and Monza this week will help with the reliability of the FW23s. Both tests were held in hot conditions, which were experienced last year in Canada for practice and qualifying, but not the race. While Magny-Cours was used to decide on car set-up and tyre compounds for the French Grand Prix, Monza was the ideal venue for testing for Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve where low downforce and a powerful engine are needed for achieving the ultimate straight-line speed and good brakes are important. The last time the team won in Canada was in 1996 with Damon Hill, and before that notched up a further five victories in the 32 Canadian Grands Prix run to date.

Ralf Schumacher
"The Canadian track is quite similar to Melbourne, only with less run-off areas in some fast sections. There are also two overtaking opportunities. On the negative side, this is a heavy circuit on brakes. I think the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve could be pretty favourable to our car as we have a powerful engine, which is essential there. It's not particularly demanding on the drivers, as it is basically a 'stop-and-go' track. I like Montreal and I am looking forward to being there, hoping this time I will be able to finish my race and be in the points."

Juan Pablo Montoya
"I have never been to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve so it is completely unknown to me. In view of this I cannot say if it will suit my driving style, I need to have at least a bunch of laps under my belt before commenting on that. In Canada I am sure I will meet some old friends from last year when I raced in the USA, which is obviously nice, but still I know I will have to concentrate on my job. Top priority for me is seeing the chequered flag, which I failed to do too many times so far."

Frank Williams
"The Montreal circuit is an interesting one from many points of view but most importantly it affords several potential overtaking opportunities per lap: a rare event in itself. The city too is quite interesting and can provide some quite racy fun in the evenings I am told!"

Dr. Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director)
"We have achieved very positive results in both the Monza and Magny-Cours tests. In the last few weeks we have been working not only on engine and car performance, but also on reliability. Happily the characteristics of the Canadian track are favorable for our team. After two accidents that were not our fault, four drivers' mistakes and five technical failures, we hope we can improve our disappointing record of three race finishes out of 14 starts. We want to come back from Canada with some points in the bag."

The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is named after Jacques Villeneuve's father, who won the first race at this track in 1978, and is situated on Ile Notre Dame, a man-made island in the middle of the St Lawrence Seaway.The circuit is 2.747 miles (4.421 km) long. The 69-lap race gets underway at 13.00 local time (17.00 GMT) on Sunday,10th June. A total race distance of 189.549 miles (305.049 km) will be covered. The lap record was set last year by Mika Hakkinen in his McLaren-Mercedes with a time of 1m19.049s (125.105mph/ 201.338 km/h). The 2000 race was won by Michael Schumacher in the Ferrari.

-Williams/BMW

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes , McLaren , Williams