Canadian F1 Grand Prix 2011: Preview (VMM)


Woking, United Kingdom, Jun 03, 2011

We’ve packed up all our equipment used in Monaco last weekend and returned to base, but it won’t be long before we’re off to Montreal for the Canadian Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton has very fond memories of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, having scored his debut Formula 1 pole position and race win in 2007. He said: “Montreal is a very special place for me. It’s where I took my first Formula 1 pole position and won my first race. I’ve always got on really well with the track, the layout seems to suit my driving style, and I won there last year from pole position.

“Perhaps even more importantly, the fans in Montreal and everyone in North America who makes the trip to the city are some of the best in the world. They are so positive, supportive and friendly – my trips to the city have been some of my favourite experiences in Formula 1, and I’m massively looking forward to arriving in Montreal to a friendly welcome next week.

“Our car should be well suited to this track; we have a great engine, the best KERS Hybrid system in the sport and excellent traction out of slow corners.

“All in all, it’s set to be another good weekend for us – I’ll be looking for a strong result on Sunday.”

Jenson Button feels that it’s only a matter of time before the team returns to the top step of the podium, and is hoping for a good qualifying performance in Montreal. He said: “There’s a real momentum within our team at the moment – I think we had a race car good enough to win in both Spain and Monaco; with a little improvement to our qualifying, I think we can start to dictate race pace, which was something we were briefly able to show at both of the last two races.

“I’m still very pleased with my performance in Monte-Carlo. It wasn’t a win, but it was nice to lead the race and to be able to pull away comfortably. Even if the result didn’t match it, that sort of thing is always nice to keep at the back of your mind.

“I had a good race in Montreal last year – the car was great in the race and I was able to pull off some nice moves to score our third one-two of the year for the team. I’ve never won in north America and I think we have the pace, the development and the momentum to have a good shot at changing that next weekend. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Martin Whitmarsh has taken heart from the team’s performance during the last two races, and feels current sentiments within the team will lead to a victory soon. He said: “After narrowly missing out on victories in Spain and Monaco, there’s still a tremendous desire and spirit within the team to get back onto the top step of the podium. Indeed, while it was disappointing to lose out on victory in Monte-Carlo, we can still draw enormous encouragement from the fact that we appear to have a very competitive car – particularly in race trim – and I feel we can move forwards and once again take the fight to Red Bull this weekend.

“The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve has been the scene of some very dramatic and exciting memories for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes – Lewis’s victories in 2007 and 2010 and Jenson’s brilliant pass on Fernando Alonso to secure second last year all stick in the mind. It’s been a circuit where our car and engine package has traditionally excelled, and I’m hopeful of another exciting race for the team next weekend.”

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