Just a few days ahead of the next Grand Prix, Fabrice Lom, race engineer for Jarno Trulli, spoke about Montreal's Gilles Villeneuve circuit and its key characteristics. Q: What kind of track is the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve? It's a temporary...
Just a few days ahead of the next Grand Prix, Fabrice Lom, race engineer for Jarno Trulli, spoke about Montreal's Gilles Villeneuve circuit and its key characteristics.
Q: What kind of track is the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve?
It's a temporary circuit, like Monaco or Melbourne. This means the track is very dusty and slippery at the start of the weekend. Lap times are constantly improving, even during the race, because the circuit 'rubbers in' more and more as the cars run. A good top speed is also an important factor, because it allows drivers to overtake at the end of the long straights.
Q: What sort of demands does the circuit place on the engine-chassis package?
The layout is essentially made up of hard acceleration and heavy braking, which makes it extremely demanding for engines and the brakes. You need a powerful engine and good torque at low revs in order to get good drive out of the corners. In terms of how the engine is used, Montreal is the fifth least demanding circuit of the season, with the engines under full load for only 55% of the lap.
However, the average lap speed of around 200 km/h is the fourth highest of the season. On the chassis side, the car needs good traction exiting slow corners. Also, the repeated heavy braking has a significant impact on performance: the system used must operate at the ideal temperature, and the 'feeling' through the pedal must correspond to the driver's needs, without fading as the race goes on.
Q: What will be the key factor this weekend?
Fuel consumption is crucial in Canada: this is where the teams will use most fuel of all the seventeen races in the championship. Consequently, a fuel efficient engine and/or a car with a large fuel tank could make a vital difference.