Team Sauber Petronas heads for North America where the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal is Jacques Villeneuve's home race and the first of two further back-to-back races. Willy Rampf (Technical Director): "Montreal is a medium downforce...
Team Sauber Petronas heads for North America where the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal is Jacques Villeneuve's home race and the first of two further back-to-back races.
Willy Rampf (Technical Director):
"Montreal is a medium downforce circuit, because of the very long straight that runs from the hairpin to the last chicane. You need a car with high-speed poise and good balance, and a high top speed so that you can defend yourself or try to overtake other drivers along the straight."
"You do a lot of running close to the concrete walls on the back section of the circuit, so you need very good balance to give you the confidence to get the lap time."
"They have resurfaced the track since 2004 so we do not really know what to expect with regard to the tyre performance. Normally in Montreal we would go for a fairly soft tyre compound because of all the braking and accelerating that you do and the need for good traction."
"Montreal makes the highest demand on brakes of any circuit on the calendar, so we have to maximise brake cooling and use the highest performance brake materials. It also places high loadings on the engine. Since the ambient temperature can be unpredictable, we also need to have a wide range of engine cooling configurations available."
"Because of the medium downforce configuration we will have a revised aero package with new front and rear wings which we tested first at Le Castellet before Monaco, and again last week at Monza."
"The track offers opportunities for overtaking: on the exit to the hairpin, along the main straight, and under braking for the last chicane. Brake stability and traction are important here, so we look forward to perform well at this race."
Jacques Villeneuve (140 GPs, 5 points 2005):
"Montreal is a special race for me. That's not only because this is my home race so it feels special to come here, but because there are many great aspects to this event. The track is located in a very nice area and the crowd is fantastic."
"The drivers are closer to the fans than at most tracks and it creates such a great atmosphere. The city offers a lot of entertainment and the people are very welcoming. I don't know of anyone coming to Montreal without being literally charmed."
"In terms of racing, the qualifying laps are not so exciting as there aren't any real fast corners, but racing is great because of the many heavy braking areas available around the track, where it is possible to overtake."
"Down the main straight you reach speeds between 330 and 340 km/h but the mid-speed chicane halfway down is a tricky one: You have to carry a lot of speed into this corner and change direction quickly. A lot of drivers have had accidents there, me included!"
"I hope that we will be able to score some points here as we suffered from bad luck in recent races and the team really deserves some good results. I know that my week is going to be very intense but I am very excited about it and look forward to being there."
Felipe Massa (41 GPs, 2 points 2005):
"Montreal is a great city, and I like the track, too. It's quite special and a little bit like Imola. Lots of straights and chicanes. That makes it hard on the brakes, but it means there are overtaking opportunities because of the straights. The secret is being able to get out of the preceding corners well, especially the hairpin."
"It's usually better to try passing somebody down the following straight after getting a good exit, than trying to outbrake them going into that corner. That's only a small chance, if you catch somebody out. I think it should suit our car better than some other circuits, the way that Imola did, so I think we can do well here."