Canadian GP: Toyota preview

The Canadian Grand Prix is round eight of the 2002 Formula 1 World Championship, making it the halfway point in the season. It takes place at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, situated on the Notre Dame island in Montreal's St Lawrence Seaway. The ...

The Canadian Grand Prix is round eight of the 2002 Formula 1 World Championship, making it the halfway point in the season. It takes place at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, situated on the Notre Dame island in Montreal's St Lawrence Seaway.

The 4.361-kilometre track winds its way around the periphery of the island - which was the base of the Canadian Rowing Olympics and the centre of Expo '67 - and it comprises a mixture of permanent racetrack and public roads. The race has been a permanent fixture on the F1 calendar since 1978.

The Panasonic Toyota Racing team has not previously tested here, but it hopes that the track's long straights and slow corners will play to the strengths of its TF102. The car has stability under braking, a reliable RVX-02 engine and, for this race, there are some new aerodynamic parts including a new engine cover.

En route to Montreal Mika Salo and Allan McNish will drop in on Toyota's road car production plant in Toronto, prior to arriving in Montreal on Thursday morning.

Ove Andersson

"We have new aerodynamic parts for Montreal, which we hope will be a step forward. We had a difficult test session in Silverstone last week due to unsettled weather, but we were able to test some new rear and front wing assemblies for Canada. We qualified well in Monaco, but we failed to get either car to the finish. We must try to put that right this weekend."

Mika Salo

"Montreal is a great city for a race. There is a good atmosphere and the people seem to embrace it, which makes it fun. The track should suit the TF102 because we have a good engine and the car is stable under braking, both of which are important here. I ran some new aerodynamic parts at Silverstone last week, which improved the balance of the car, so I hope that we can aim for the top 10 in qualifying."

Allan McNish

"This is another circuit that I haven't driven at, but I'm looking forward to it. Mika has already warned me that the track will be very dirty on Friday because it is very rarely used outside the grand prix weekend, so it will be just a matter of playing ourselves in prior to some rubber being laid down. Everyone tells me that Montreal is a great city, so I'm looking forward to visiting it. My French isn't too bad, so I should be able to get around okay."

Mika Salo on Montreal

"The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is effectively a series of slow corners linked by straights, which makes traction absolutely vital. This puts the onus on mechanical grip and traction control because, aerodynamically, you run the car with very little wing so as not to affect your straightline speed. Another key aspect of the track is the proximity of the barriers. Like in Monaco, they are very close in various places, so it is vital that you don't make a mistake otherwise you'll be punished in a similar way to Monaco. But Montreal is an enjoyable lap; I like driving there, particularly in the race because it is possible to overtake."

-toyota-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Allan McNish , Mika Salo , Gilles Villeneuve
Teams Toyota Racing