CANADIAN GRAND PRIX 1997 - PREVIEW ================================== The West McLaren Mercedes team are looking forward to the Canadian Grand Prix at the Gilles Villeneuve circuit in the ...
CANADIAN GRAND PRIX 1997 - PREVIEW ================================== The West McLaren Mercedes team are looking forward to the Canadian Grand Prix at the Gilles Villeneuve circuit in the metropolitan city of Montreal. The unique atmosphere generated at this particular venue, on the Ile de Notre Dame, is enjoyed by the majority of the Formula One paddock.
Since the Spanish Grand Prix both drivers have been busy testing at both Silverstone and Magny Cours. Their test programmes included evaluating tyres for Goodyear and further developments to MP4/12 in preparation for Montreal.
The track is similar in some ways to those of Imola and Melbourne where the emphasis is on braking and traction. The circuit has four braking points from speeds in excess of 290km/hr with the remainder being from over 250 km/hr, making it one of the most severe circuits for the braking system.
Fuel consumption is also an issue from a strategical point of view. With the circuit being relatively easy on the tyres there is the temptation to try and run the race with only one stop. However, the nature of the circuit, with its heavy braking and hard acceleration, means that fuel consumption is inevitably high. The teams therefore, will be juggling with the problem of balancing high fuel consumption against fuel tank capacity and a one stop strategy.
Overtaking on the Montreal circuit can prove to be exciting, with several opportunities presenting themselves. The two favourite places are the old Pits Hairpin and the end of the long straight before the pits. For the race, drivers will be trying to run as little 'wing' as possible as they search for the speed advantage to enable them to achieve these overtaking manoeuvres.
'Canada presents a number of challenges,' said Ron Dennis 'which we hope will give the West McLaren Mercedes team the opportunity to demonstrate the progress achieved in recent weeks.'