Canadian GP: Williams preview

Formula One travels to Canada next week for the first race of a double header in North America. In preparation for the eighth round of the season, the team have run a split test programme this week at Silverstone and Monza. Both Juan Pablo Montoya...

Formula One travels to Canada next week for the first race of a double header in North America. In preparation for the eighth round of the season, the team have run a split test programme this week at Silverstone and Monza. Both Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher, as well as the team's official test drivers, Marc Gené and Antonio Pizzonia, worked through an intense schedule and covered a total of 3,629 kilometres over the three days.

Despite the characteristically demanding nature of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, WilliamsF1 have claimed six victories over the years, while, with BMW, the Anglo- German partnership secured its first win in 2001. With the team lying in fourth position, with a total of 36 points in the Constructors' Championship, the BMW WilliamsF1 Team head to Montreal with several new developments for the FW26 and in the hope of returning to previous form.

Juan Pablo Montoya:

"Once again we are facing two back-to-back races, but this time they're not in Europe, which makes it even harder for everyone involved. We have been working really hard in preparation for the next two Grands Prix testing at Silverstone and in Monza. Both the Canadian and U.S tracks require a lot of power and minimal downforce but the BMW engine is still very good, even if some other teams have improved since last year, so we should do well there."

"The BMW WilliamsF1 Team has always performed well at the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit as it seems to suit our package, also the track offers some good overtaking opportunities so I am really looking forward to that. Montreal is quite a technical circuit, you need to be very precise as to where you put your car on the track, while you also have to be very gentle with it to get the best result. Everyone in the team has been working flat out recently so we are hoping that these two races will help us turn the corner and get us back to the top of the grid again."

Ralf Schumacher:

"Even though things haven't gone right for me recently, I am looking forward to the trip to Canada and the United States. I especially like Montreal as I like the city and the people but most of all I really like the circuit. In the past few years, we've managed to produce some good results there so I'm hoping the track should suit our car again this year."

"Following this week's tests at Silverstone and Monza, I'm convinced that we have made a step forward, but I don't know how big this will be until we get to Montreal. I am not going to let our difficult start to the season get in the way of future races because you always have to look forward, not back. I am now thinking on a race by race basis and I will always try to make the best out of the situation."

Sam Michael (Technical Director WilliamsF1):

"The team has tested at two tracks this week, Silverstone and Monza, with all of our drivers contributing to the on-going development programme of the FW26. At Monza with Ralf, we worked on brakes, tyres and aero testing, while at Silverstone we concentrated on traction control, tyres and set-up work with Juan Pablo, Marc and Antonio all sharing testing duties."

"In respect of the forthcoming Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal is a low to medium downforce circuit, dominated by traction and braking, with low cornering speeds so selecting the correct downforce level is crucial. Increased demand is therefore placed on the cars' braking efficiency, aerodynamics and engine power. Overtaking opportunities are better than those at other circuits on the calendar so we should see some good racing. Based on previous form, however, the safety car is regularly deployed at this race so we will need to ensure we develop a good race strategy."

Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director):

"Apart from the pre-requisites of aerodynamic and brake efficiency, the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is going to be very challenging for the BMW P84 engine. The track's long straights will test engine power, while Montreal's high temperatures will place a strain on its reliability, but we should be well equipped for both challenges."

"Since the San Marino Grand Prix, we've had the same engine revolutions and power available over race distances as we have in qualifying, but we are continually progressing the engine's development, with the primary focus on increasing its power. As well as this, we are working with WilliamsF1 on improving the driveability, traction control and start performance of the FW26, which were targets we worked on as part of last week's test programme in Monza and Silverstone."

"North America is the most important overseas market for BMW and we expect a lot of BMW fans to be in Canada, many of whom will have come over from the U.S. On Saturday night in Montreal there will once again be a street party hosted by BMW Canada, the "BMW M Night," so the Canadian Grand Prix will undoubtedly be a very enjoyable weekend for both the teams and the fans."


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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Williams