For the 1978 race here, the temperature at the Ile Notre Dame circuit – it had not yet been named after Gilles Villeneuve who would win that day – was just 4 degrees Celsius, but back then the Canadian Grand Prix was held in September. Today, at the track in summery June, it doesn’t feel much warmer, as the cold wind whipping in off the Saint Laurent river makes it feel even colder than it is. It’s due to get warmer, but not much, over the weekend, so that both our drivers were a bit preoccupied about how to get their tyres up to temperature, when they spoke to the media in the paddock this morning.
“If the cold continues it will be a challenge for everyone to fire up the tyres, because the fastest corner here is a fourth gear turn, so you don’t get much opportunity to put some energy into the tyres, apart from a bit of weaving down the long straights,” explained Carlos Sainz. “The SuperSoft will be hard to manage, but it could be a good race tyre if it gives you the possibility to do a one-stop race. Having the UltraSoft will help as it has the lowest operating range, but in general tyres will be a tricky topic this weekend.”
“In general, the last two races were very positive for me in terms of performance -said Carlos- and I am confident we can keep going like that. As for this weekend, my target is still Q3 and then points,” he added after admitting that the Toro Rosso package might not be that well suited to this track, nor indeed to the following one in Baku.
“It might be a particular weekend in terms of tyres and strategies,” said Daniil Kvyat, echoing the views of his team-mate. “It’s even colder than winter testing at the moment… I believe there are some good opportunities ahead -added the Russian-, even if this weekend will be a tough one for our team. We just need to extract the maximum we can out of the package.”
As for the STR11 which he has raced twice now, Kvyat had this to say: “It’s a good package, with a few rough edges which we can work on smoothing out and that requires a bit of time. But generally, the team has once again built a good chassis, which looks very strong this year. Hopefully we can get some more out of it soon.”