Preview – Canadian Grand Prix
7th Round of the FIA Formula One World Championship, 10th to 12th June 2011
Hinwil, 3rd June 2011 – The Sauber F1 Team is heading to the Canadian Grand Prix full of confidence after its results in Monaco. In the principality Kamui Kobayashi finished fifth, which is the team’s best result since the end of 2009, and Sergio Pérez made it into the top ten qualifying for the first time.
However, before action starts at the race weekend in Montreal (10th to 12th June), Pérez will have to pass the usual medical test with the FIA doctors. For Peter Sauber’s team the circuit on the Île Notre-Dame in the St Lawrence river is anyway a special place. It was there back in 2008 where the only win in the team’s history was achieved. It was even a one-two when Robert Kubica won ahead of Nick Heidfeld.
Kamui Kobayashi (car number 16):
“Last year we were struggling with our performance in Montreal, but our current car is a big improvement and should be much better for this kind of circuit, the same way we showed an improved performance in Monaco. Therefore I’m quite positive and looking forward to this Grand Prix. Last year I made a big, big mistake on lap one. I had overtaken some cars with no problem, but then crashed when trying to catch another one. I have regretted this for a long time. However, I believe with the new devices this year there are better chances for overtaking.
The track’s surface is quite special and slippery, I hope we manage to find some grip there. Regarding braking stability, which is crucial in Canada as you are braking pretty hard, I think we should be okay. I hope Sergio will be back in the car and we can both score points. I believe we have the performance to do that. Also off track I like this Grand Prix a lot. Montreal is a very nice city and usually a very excited crowd welcomes us there.”
Sergio Pérez (car number 17):
“I feel very good and fit. Of course I want to race in Montreal, but I also know the final decision is up to the FIA doctors. I have never been to Montreal and know the circuit only from watching TV. Originally it was planned I would go to the Ferrari simulator at Maranello, but this had to be cancelled after my accident. Anyway, it is not the first unknown circuit for me and I have never had difficulties adapting. I found it very hard to be just a TV spectator for the race in Monaco, and can’t wait to get into the car again.”
James Key, Technical Director:
“Montreal will be the first track this year where slightly lower drag levels tend to be beneficial, although this will depend on the grip of the track surface and the tyres, which are an unknown. Last year we had some interesting strategies developing because tyre degradation was quite high.
Mechanical grip, good traction and kerbing is quite critical
It’s not clear if this will also be the case with the Pirelli tyres. It’s a circuit with quite a few low speed chicanes and kerbs, so mechanical grip, good traction and kerbing is quite critical. It’s also a track which is one of the hardest on braking, therefore brake stability, brake cooling and general use of the brake system will be something to watch out for. The track in Montreal is usually good for overtaking, and with KERS, DRS and the tyre characteristic it should definitely offer opportunities for this. For the first time this year we will have two DRS zones which will also add to this.
Our car will have some modifications to adapt to a lower drag setting, but we will tune that according to the track grip and the conditions. We hope for a good race weekend again. Monaco was a race with ups and downs, with Kamui bringing us ten points but with Sergio not competing after his accident in qualifying. When I spoke to him he sounded very well and was looking forward to getting back to work. We are looking forward to having him back in the car.”