The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on the Île Notre-Dame in Montreal is a very special place for the Sauber F1 Team: It was there the team claimed its only victory to date in its 20 year history in Formula One on the 8th June 2008. On that day the result was a one-two with Robert Kubica from Poland crossing the line ahead of Germany’s Nick Heidfeld. The current car, the Sauber C31-Ferrari, was the fastest car on track for long periods of the recent Monaco Grand Prix. Despite this the team ended up scoring no points. Both drivers, Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Pérez, have set themselves high targets for the Canadian Grand Prix on the 10th June.
Kamui Kobayashi (car number 14):
“At the circuit in Montreal there are long straights but also slow corners. I think our car seems to be okay for this. I hope there we can have the performance we want to see. Last year I was second on the grid for the re-start after the red flag for the wet conditions, but then we suffered with tyre warm up problems and I am sure we have definitely improved on that with this year’s car. We shall have to see what we can do, but I think Montreal is one of the places where we can be strong. In case it is cold there, a key will be how the tyres work. I really like the city and the track, although, unfortunately, I have never had a great result there. This year I want to make up for this. Our car is getting better and I’m looking forward to the Canadian Grand Prix.”
Sergio Pérez (car number 15):
“It will be my first Canadian Grand Prix, as last year I only did a few laps in the first free practice before I realised I did not feel well enough to drive. I felt very dizzy in the car which was a consequence of last year’s Monaco accident. I think at times in recent races we have been very unlucky, but the pace is there as my lap times during the Monaco race clearly proved. I’m looking forward to doing a good job in Canada and scoring as many points as possible. It is a fast and fluid circuit on which you are often close to the wall – challenging and exciting.”
Giampaolo Dall’Ara, Head of Track Engineering:
“The Montreal track is narrow with walls that are very close in some places. It offers interesting challenges. The first one is to find the right level of aerodynamic efficiency, because the level of downforce and drag is lower than on most of the other tracks. The time spent on the straights requires maximising the speed, while the corners, with the exception of the hairpin, are low speed and feature changes of direction. Therefore the car needs to be well balanced under braking, needs good traction and must be reactive. The next interesting challenge is the fact Pirelli has decided to provide us with the soft and the super soft tyre compounds as they did in Monaco. We don’t expect any problems with the super soft tyre in qualifying, but then the more difficult part will be to find the right race strategy to get the maximum out of the tyres. What’s different to last year is that there will only be one DRS zone. However, I don’t expect this to make a big difference, because overtaking is normally possible on the Montreal track. On the car we will have a new rear wing for the medium downforce requirement, plus some minor modifications.”