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Thu, 7 June, 2012Canada: Driver preview quotes

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Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull-Renault:
“Montreal is a great city, everyone loves to go there the atmosphere is always great. The track is on an island in the St. Lawrence river, and is a great challenge for the drivers. Like the track in Albert Park in Australia, the roads are public, so tyre wear can be high. There's also a lot of wear on brakes, which can cause us a headache. Last year the race dragged on due to the heavy rain but it's a good place to go racing.”

Mark Webber, Red Bull-Renault:
“I would say Montreal is one of the top five grands prix of the year because it's a sensational atmosphere. It's a really, really good venue and always provides an interesting grand prix there for whatever reason, and last year was no exception. It's a low downforce track with long straights and high top speed, which is a different challenge. We'll see how that unfolds, but we're very confident the car should work well round there. I love driving the circuit; it's a good one to get our teeth into, a little bit like a street circuit, so I'm looking forward to getting out there.”

Jenson Button, McLaren-Mercedes:
“Obviously, returning to Montreal will be an extremely proud and happy moment for me. My win there last year was one of those rare occasions when everything just came right it's still hard to believe that I was running in last place past half-distance and yet still managed to come through and take victory on the final lap. The memories of that win will always be with me. Montreal is always a race I look forward to anyway. The city has such a great vibe to it, the people are friendly and extremely welcoming and the fans are incredibly passionate. It's the perfect place to go racing and you can feel the excitement building literally as soon as you step off the plane. This weekend, though, it's going to be important to get a handle on the car in qualifying. At the last two races, Q2 hasn't gone my way, so, no matter what pace you have in the race, you're still compromised on Sunday afternoon, particularly as the pack is so tightly bunched at the moment. My aim for the weekend will be to have a stronger qualifying performance and to be able to build on that in the race.”

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren-Mercedes:
“This is turning into a unique season one where every race provides new challenges and different outcomes. Even though everything hasn't gone right for us, I'm confident that myself and the team are doing everything we can to ensure we're in the best possible position to challenge for victory each and every weekend. I know that the results we all want will soon come to us: I am doing everything I can to extract every tenth from the car, and I know that the guys at the track and the men and women back at MTC are doing everything they can to give me a car that's worthy of winning. We are still very much in the hunt for this world championship and I'm looking forward to bringing that fight to Montreal, which is one of my favourite races of the season. The contrasts between Monaco and Montreal couldn't be greater. Although they're both races that take place in the middle of a city, the circuits are very different and each has its own unique personality. The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is a fantastic track it's super-fast in places, which means it requires finesse and precision, but you can also end up racing wheel-to-wheel with people at 200mph too, which is an incredible sensation. However, you still want a car with decent low-speed traction all those long drags are usually preceded by tight hairpins, so it's important that you can get the power down efficiently if you're to pull a good laptime together. With KERS Hybrid and DRS in the mix, it should be an exciting grand prix although, interestingly, we're reverting to a shorter, single-DRS zone after the double-zone last year. On paper, I think our car will be well-suited to the combination: we showed in Spain that we're very good in high-speed corners, but we were also quick in the final sector, which is slower and more technical. Of course, it's still difficult to accurately predict the outcome, so I'll be focusing on another clean weekend where I can score more consistent world championship points.”

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes:
“The Canadian Grand Prix is all about the great atmosphere at the track and in the city. The Canadian fans make the whole weekend into a real celebration and, for us drivers, it's great to feel their passion for motorsport. That gives us a natural boost and it would be great to give them even more reasons to celebrate at the end of the weekend. The race in Montreal is usually action-packed, like we saw last year. The characteristics of the circuit should suit us, and we are counting on our car performing well there. As I said: a trip to Montreal is always worth it. And let's hope we can make our trip this year especially worthwhile.”

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes:
“The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal is a great track, and I'm really looking forward to our visit there. With its low downforce and slow corners, a little bit like Monza, the track should suit our car. We've made good progress over the past few weeks, and that was clear from the performance in Monaco. So I'm hopeful that we can make another step forward in Canada and have a successful weekend. The fans are always fantastic at this race and they really turn the city into a carnival for the race weekend. Gilles Villeneuve was a great friend and rival of my father, which also makes this weekend very special. I can't wait to get there.”

Kimi Räikkönen, Lotus-Renault:
“I have always liked the Canadian Grand Prix. I won there in 2005 so Montreal has good memories. The city is one of the best places to visit on the calendar. I really enjoy the stop-start nature of the circuit layout and the challenge of the track. It's an interesting place. Qualifying is important, but not essential to get a good result as there are a few places to overtake. To do well in Canada the car needs to be good under braking because it's very tough on brakes at this circuit. You also make use of the kerbs and our car has been pretty good in this area. It's also a circuit with different track surfaces and sometimes the surface itself can change over the course of the race weekend. This is interesting as it means different grip levels, so another challenge there.”

Romain Grosjean, Lotus-Renault:
“It will be my first time in Canada so it's another new experience for me this year. Obviously this means it's also going to be my first time driving the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. I'm looking forward to it because it's a track which many drivers have told me they like. It's also a track which can bite you, and we've seen that over the years with the champions' wall. Even though I'm not a Formula 1 champion, I'll be giving that part of the track some respect!”

Paul di Resta, Force India-Mercedes:
“It's quite an unusual track with some long straights and you need good top speed to be competitive. We run a special low-downforce package, similar to the one we use for Monza, so the car feels quite different and a bit loose without all the downforce. It always takes a few laps to get used to things again.”

Nico Hülkenberg, Force India-Mercedes:
“The track is one of my favourites and I love Montreal as a city. There's a good atmosphere because the whole place gets behind the race and the city is always full of fans. It's quite an unusual circuit being a mix between a permanent track and a street circuit, so there are lots of corners where the walls are very close. It's easy to make a mistake because you have to use the kerbs and get close to the walls to get a good lap. It's two years since I raced there, but I was able to do Friday practice last year.”

Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber-Ferrari:
“At the circuit in Montreal there are long straights but also slow corners. I think our car seems to be okay for this. I hope there we can have the performance we want to see. Last year I was second on the grid for the re-start after the red flag for the wet conditions, but then we suffered with tyre warm up problems and I am sure we have definitely improved on that with this year's car. We shall have to see what we can do, but I think Montreal is one of the places where we can be strong. In case it is cold there, a key will be how the tyres work. I really like the city and the track, although, unfortunately, I have never had a great result there. This year I want to make up for this. Our car is getting better and I'm looking forward to the Canadian Grand Prix.”

Sergio Pérez, Sauber-Ferrari:
“It will be my first Canadian Grand Prix, as last year I only did a few laps in the first free practice before I realised I did not feel well enough to drive. I felt very dizzy in the car which was a consequence of last year's Monaco accident. I think at times in recent races we have been very unlucky, but the pace is there as my lap times during the Monaco race clearly proved. I'm looking forward to doing a good job in Canada and scoring as many points as possible. It is a fast and fluid circuit on which you are often close to the wall challenging and exciting.”

Pastor Maldonado, Williams-Renault:
“We have been working very hard to improve the performance of the car and I can feel it getting better all the time. I am therefore hoping for a strong finish in Canada, a circuit which I really enjoy. It has a nice combination of corners with very high speed straights followed by slow speed chicanes, and the feeling of speed is increased by the closeness of the walls. There is a big DRS effect on the straights as well so we should see some overtaking this week.”

Bruno Senna, Williams-Renault:
“Canada is one of the most challenging tracks of the season. It is a combination of a street circuit and a normal fixed circuit with a mixture of very fast, long straights and tight slow corners with heavy braking. It is also important to have as much track time as possible before the weekend to learn the track surface because it can evolve quickly. Our car is looking competitive at this stage of the season so hopefully we can show good pace here.”

Heikki Kovalainen, Caterham-Renault:
“Montreal is a very cool track. It's a temporary street circuit with a couple of long straights and low downforce settings and that makes the cars pretty tricky in the faster corners and into the braking areas, but it's a great track to race on. As with everywhere we race you have to find a good balance to get the best lap times, but you need a setup that means you can really attack the kerbs, particularly in the final corner as you head back to the start /finish line. You also need to make sure you have maximum speed down the back straight, so we'll look closely at the gear ratios we use and balance seventh gear against the speeds we could be doing with DRS and KERS both engaged. Apart from being a great race Montreal is also a really good city as well. All the teams like going there as the fans are passionate, the stands are always full on track and the city itself turns into a party town while we're there. The Canadian people are brilliant and there's a special atmosphere all over Montreal, which we only get at a few races we go to so it's one of the weekends everyone's up for.”

Vitaly Petrov, Caterham-Renault:
“I have very good memories of Canada after finishing fifth there last year and I'm really looking forward to getting back to Montreal. Everyone loves racing there it's a great city with some really good restaurants, and enough bars to keep everyone who's not driving happy! The track itself is a good challenge from inside the cockpit. It's very slippery on Friday morning and while the grip does improve over the weekend it's important to keep the rear tyres in good condition. There a few things to get right for a really quick lap you need to manage the brake wear and cooling enough to be able to get on the brakes hard every time you need them, you have to have very good traction out of the slower corners and you need to be able to really hit the kerbs hard to save the tenths of a second that add to up to a good time. The other thing is the weather. Last year it obviously got so bad we had to stop the race and while that's not good for the fans it's much safer for the drivers. Hopefully we won't have quite so much rain again this year, but if it does we'll deal with it. I like racing in the wet, it gives us more of a chance to fight a few cars ahead and it's an even better feeling in the car when you get it right in the wet. Whatever happens it's always a pleasure to come back to Montreal.”

Pedro de la Rosa, HRT-Cosworth:
“I really like the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve because I've always done well there. The races are very open, with a lot of overtaking opportunities, such as the first corner and the last chicane. The surface evolves a huge amount throughout the weekend, meaning that it's a unique circuit in terms of tyre behaviour and the hardest thing is getting to understand the track. You can be competitive with good top speed, braking and grip and it's important to set the car up in a similar fashion to Monaco to get it coming out quickly from turns. We're bringing a new low-downforce rear wing, specially designed for Canada, and intending on continuing with the progress shown in Monaco. After retiring in Monaco, I'm even hungrier to achieve a good result in Canada.”

Narain Karthikeyan, HRT-Cosworth:
“Canada is a unique feature on the calendar, a mix of street circuit with no runoffs like Monaco along with purpose-built bits. I really like the track and I was 14th at the finish of the crazy race last year before getting a penalty. The weather usually throws up something in Montreal, so there may be an opportunity for us. We will be bringing a new rear wing as well, given the low-downforce nature of the circuit. We need to pick up where we left at Monaco, in terms of gap to the front-runners and our immediate rivals.”

Timo Glock, Marussia-Cosworth:
“I'm really looking forward to this race as it's the scene of my first Grand Prix, where I scored two points. Every time since, Canada has been very good to me. It's another quite special track. Once again it is a street circuit, although maybe not in the same way as Monaco. There are a lot of straights here, so you need a compromise between low downforce and high downforce. It's also a place where you never know what might happen. We've had a lot of rain in the past and also the 'Wall of Champions' often plays its part in determining the race outcome, or the build-up to it. It should be an exciting weekend and let's hope we continue the excellent work we demonstrated in Monaco.”

Charles Pic, Marussia-Cosworth::
“I'm very excited about my first experience of racing in F1 in Canada next weekend. It's a great circuit and another new and different challenge. My first objective is to learn the track quickly. This is a circuit Timo knows well, so this will be a good benchmark for me. The potential is certainly in the car. With regard to performance, I am quite happy about the last three races, but unfortunately we didn't finish them because of some car-stopping problems. We need to put that behind us and look forward to Canada in a positive way.”

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