The 2003 Formula One World Championship hits the halfway point this Sunday with the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal. Hosted at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, the 4.4km track poses a new challenge for Minardi driver Justin Wilson as the 24-year-old...
The 2003 Formula One World Championship hits the halfway point this Sunday with the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal. Hosted at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, the 4.4km track poses a new challenge for Minardi driver Justin Wilson as the 24-year-old rookie competes there for the first time.
With a reputation for being a car-breaking circuit, Montreal's blend of slow corners and long straights poses a quandary in car set-up with a balance required between a strong aerodynamic package enabling grip to combat the slow corners without compromising the car's straight-line speed, this also places much higher demands than usual on an F1 car's brakes.
Justin's been busy preparing for his trip across the Atlantic since returning from Monaco. "I've been watching the videos from last year's Canadian Grand Prix as a rough guide to racing there. The circuit's new to me but I have the benefit of the extra two-hour test session on Friday morning to help me learn first-hand the characteristics of the track and how the PS03 reacts to it."
"We have a good engine with the Cosworth unit and in Canada we really need to be able to maximise that strength coupled with suitable grip through the corners. I've already been speaking with my engineer on car set-up and I'll listen to what Jos (Verstappen) has to say as he's raced there before."
Having posted two successive finishes in Spain and Austria, Justin's efforts in Monaco were thwarted when fuel vaporisation led the engine on his PS03 to cut out, forcing him into retirement exiting the tunnel before his only scheduled stop. Wilson continued to impress in the Minardi as he passed and comfortably led the works Toyota car of former Monaco GP winner Olivier Panis at the start.
Justin has remained in the media spotlight since returning from Monte Carlo with the announcement that shares in Justin Wilson plc were oversubscribed by the closing date of 30 May. In a press conference at Café Grand Prix in London last Wednesday a delighted Jonathan Palmer, Wilson's manager, announced that the maximum share subscription of £1.2m had been raised following a phenomenal response from the general public.