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Thu, 7 June, 2012Canada: Team personnel preview quotes

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Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren-Mercedes (Team Principal):
“I think everybody in Formula 1 enjoys the Canadian Grand Prix – the city plays a wonderful host to the event, and the circuit is fast, challenging and unforgiving. Throw in the commonly unpredictable Quebecois weather and you have the perfect combination for an excitable and unpredictable weekend. Of course, we were the major benefactors of that very unpredictability last year, and nobody at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes can think of Montreal without remembering Jenson's magnificent victory there last year. But, let's not forget that Lewis, too, has many happy memories of this circuit – he won his first grand prix there in 2007, has had pole position three times and dominated the event in 2010. Canada has been a happy hunting ground for the team in recent years and we're fired up to make it a hat-trick next weekend. Finally, the Canadian Grand Prix will mark the 300th grand prix with our partners Mobil 1, Mercedes-Benz and Enkei. Mobil 1 kicked off their relationship with McLaren at the 1995 Brazilian Grand Prix – and, since then, we've never looked back. It's been an incredibly productive partnership – on both a technical and personal level. During that time together, we've achieved quite a lot: three drivers' championships, one constructors' championship, 72 grand prix victories, 70 pole positions, 81 fastest laps and 2525 points. Let's hope we can add to those figures in Montreal next weekend.”

Ross Brawn, Mercedes (Team Principal):
“On the back of a successful weekend in Monaco which saw Michael qualify first on Saturday and Nico finish in second place on Sunday, everyone at the team wants to keep the momentum going and get the racing underway in Montreal next weekend. The Canadian Grand Prix is always a fantastic experience, with both the city and fans giving Formula One such a warm welcome. The circuit itself is an exciting challenge, and the first real high-speed test of the season where brakes, engine power and tyre management are crucial. Races at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve have the tendency to be eventful! We're looking forward to putting on a good show and hope to have another strong weekend.”

Norbert Haug, Mercedes (Daimler):
“As we head to Montreal, the question everybody's asking is: will we see a seventh different winner in seven races? The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve has a habit of throwing up unpredictable races, with seven of the last ten races featuring Safety Car deployments. Last year's grand prix lasted over four hours and was not only the longest race in F1 history but probably one of the most exciting, too. The circuit at the former Olympic venue of the Ile Notre Dame is characterised by slow corners, including three taken below 100 kph, and four long straights on which the cars exceed 285 kph. The overall set-up compromise favours low downforce and low drag, while the brakes are given a really tough time. At two of the past four race weekends, MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS had the speed to qualify and race at the front of the field. Nico has converted this competitiveness into 59 points in the past four races - the most of any driver in the field. Michael has suffered several technical problems and our priority is to give him a problem-free weekend in Montreal. As his fastest qualifying time in Monaco demonstrated, Michael has the speed to compete at the front. He has won seven times in Montreal, his Silver Arrow carries number seven and Canada will be race seven of the 2012 world championship...”

Eric Boullier, Lotus-Renault (Team Principal):
“We approach the Grand Prix as any other. We have a car which has shown good pace all season and two drivers who have both shown they can deliver podium performances in this highly competitive season. Yes, we are coming off the back of a disappointing weekend in Monaco, but we've shrugged off worse setbacks than that.”

James Allison, Lotus-Renault (Technical Director):
“Montreal is a total contrast to Monaco, however it's another circuit which is further towards the smoother end of the spectrum in terms of track surface, so it will give us a chance to see how much this may have affected performance in Monaco, and whether we can get the business done under these kinds of circumstances. We'll be taking a smaller rear wing with a front wing set up to balance that. One of the key factors is to make sure we have our braking configuration correctly set up with good levels of cooling to survive what is a very arduous race for the brakes. Luckily the car has been quite good on brakes throughout the year to date with no real issues to report.”

Giampaolo Dall'Ara, Sauber-Ferrari (Head of Track Engineering):
“The Montreal track is narrow with walls that are very close in some places. It offers interesting challenges. The first one is to find the right level of aerodynamic efficiency, because the level of downforce and drag is lower than on most of the other tracks. The time spent on the straights requires maximising the speed, while the corners, with the exception of the hairpin, are low speed and feature changes of direction. Therefore the car needs to be well balanced under braking, needs good traction and must be reactive. The next interesting challenge is the fact Pirelli has decided to provide us with the soft and the super soft tyre compounds as they did in Monaco. We don't expect any problems with the super soft tyre in qualifying, but then the more difficult part will be to find the right race strategy to get the maximum out of the tyres. What's different to last year is that there will only be one DRS zone. However, I don't expect this to make a big difference, because overtaking is normally possible on the Montreal track. On the car we will have a new rear wing for the medium downforce requirement, plus some minor modifications.”

Mark Gillan, Williams-Renault (Chief Operations Engineer):
“On the back of a mixed weekend in Monaco the whole team is looking to demonstrate further improvement in Montreal, with the aim of getting both cars home in the points. Montreal is a great race and usually full of drama with a very low pit lane loss which pushes the strategy towards having more stops. The high likelihood of a safety car deployment adds to this drama. The track layout is very hard on brakes and one must also ensure that the aerodynamic package has an appropriately high efficiency target. Pirelli bring to Montreal the same tyre compounds used in Monaco, namely the soft and super soft tyres. Weather wise we are expecting ambient temperatures into the high 20Cs with corresponding track temperatures in the high 30Cs, although there is a chance of rain throughout running.”

Mark Smith, Caterham-Renault (Technical Director):
“The Montreal circuit is another fascinating challenge from a technical perspective. As a temporary street-style circuit it is always very green when we start running on Friday but the evolution level is not as high as somewhere like Monaco. The asphalt on the track surface is also very smooth and has very low grip levels so the tyre degradation rate is high throughout the whole weekend. As we have already seen this year, managing tyre wear is the key to both qualifying and the races, so tyre strategy will play an even more crucial role in Montreal than it has all season. The other major factor in Canada concerns the brakes. The track has a couple of very long straights with heavy braking zones at the end that lead into tight corners so it is pretty severe in terms of brake wear. We need to make sure we keep optimise the brake cooling every lap and while we do not have a specific brake duct set for Canada, we will be using the larger ones in our range to give us the best chance of managing the brake cooling.”

Tony Fernandes, Caterham-Renault (Team Principal):
“I am still on a high after the race in Monaco. Moving back into tenth place is important but there are 14 more races to come this season and we are taking nothing for granted. However, Heikki's 13th place and the battling performance he and the whole team put in is another sign that all the hard work we have put in over the last two and a half years is starting to pay off. Vitaly has not had the best luck in the last couple of races but his hunger, enthusiasm, humour and determination are all evident whenever he is with us so he has everything he needs in his locker to succeed with us long-term. I am very realistic about what we have achieved so far, and I know that Monaco is a unique circuit that gave us the sort of opportunity we grabbed last Sunday, but I also know that as we continue through this season we keep making small but significant steps forward. During the Monaco race I had some very good news from the factory about a new update we have planned for Silverstone and to see that come in while we were having our best race of the season was another sign that we are doing this in the right way. Next it is Canada, a race the whole team looks forward to and possibly another one where we can spring a surprise. Unfortunately I will not be in Montreal but I will be watching every session and I know everyone wants to build on what we achieved at the last race.”

Luis Pérez-Sala, HRT-Cosworth (Team Principal):
“One of the most emblematic Grands Prix takes place in Montreal. As a driver I really liked it because it's a different circuit, with a lot of braking and accelerating and various overtaking opportunities. For the team it's also a special place because the best result in its history was achieved here last year. In Monaco things went well for us and this circuit should also be favourable for us because our car behaves well when braking and we've improved our traction, which are two important aspects in Canada. Our weakest point is quick corners and there aren't many here. Our biggest handicap could be not having KERS, but we've brought a special rear wing for this circuit which we hope will make us more competitive. We're in good spirits after the positive result in Monaco; Narain wants to continue with his good form and Pedro is more motivated than ever after his good performance all weekend ended in a retirement.”

John Booth, Marussia-Cosworth (Team Principal):
“We're hoping that Canada will represent a bit of a turning point that puts us back on the right track again. The disappointment has centred less around car performance and pace, and more around a few set-up niggles and reliability issues that have crept in, particularly for Charles. We need to have both cars qualifying consistently and reaching the chequered flag. The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is a temporary street circuit, yet it is very different to Monaco. The track can be very demanding of the car and requires a careful compromise between the varying low and high-downforce elements. Operating the tyres and brakes can also be a challenge. In common with Monaco though, the barriers are very close and the drivers need to be careful of 'that wall'. In the past, Montreal has not been short on surprises; we've had everything from small animals to torrential rain intervening in the course of events. According to the early forecasts, the weather is likely to range from very hot to very wet through the weekend. It is however a trip we all love to make, as Montreal is such a fantastic Grand Prix destination and the fans are very warm and welcoming.”

Paul Hembery, Pirelli (Motorsport Director):
“We go from Monaco to Canada: two of the most spectacular races of the year. Not only is Montreal a fantastic place to hold a race, but it's also a great circuit. The soft and supersoft tyres should be able to demonstrate more of their natural characteristics than they were able to in Monaco, where drivers are constrained by very low average speeds and not much energy going through the tyre. This enabled them to complete very long runs even on the supersoft, which should not be the case in Montreal where the tyres have more work to do. Tyres have traditionally played a very important role in this race, especially if it rains. We saw how being on the right tyre at the right time enabled Jenson Button to win the Canadian Grand Prix last year even after six visits to the pit lane. That race was far from typical though, so we've not yet had experience of running the supersoft in Canada under normal conditions. The practice sessions will be vital for the teams to understand how exactly it works on full tanks in particular. We think we will see several different strategies at work, with teams likely to split their strategies in order to cover every possibility.”

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