What do our drivers think of when it comes to Canada?
Daniil Kvyat (Car #26):
“I think we can look forward to the Canadian weekend in a positive frame of mind because of the way things have been going in recent weeks. In Monaco, we scored good points after qualifying and the race both went well for us. All in all, there were many positive things from the last race. The car was also quite competitive in Barcelona, as well as in Monaco, which are two very different tracks so it’s a good thing for the future that we know we can perform on a variety of circuits.
“I think the team has done an excellent job of developing the car since the start of the year, in terms of understanding what the car needs to go quicker and in finding the correct setup approach. From my side, I have learned how to get more out of the package, and all these elements combined means the car is performing better now.
“As for the Montreal circuit, it’s a very fast track, obviously. Lots of straight line performance is needed there. Then, there are a few chicanes in the middle. They’re all change of direction kind of corners. The road surface is quite dirty there on Friday because the track is not used during the year, so you need to understand where the track goes during the weekend and how it evolves. It’s a very classic event and it’s an enjoyable track to drive. The long straights and the big braking zones mean the racing there has always been quite exciting, as you can fight with other cars and the DRS zones mean there is plenty of overtaking, which make it interesting for the spectators.
“With long straights and slow corners, you always need some kind of compromise with the car’s aero and mechanical setup, so you spend Friday trying to understand what works best for the car and where are the limitations to work on those. Obviously, we have our baseline setup, we’ll see how it works on Friday, and decide to keep it or correct it overnight for Saturday.
“I like the atmosphere at this circuit and I hear they have made changes to the facilities, so it will be interesting to see what they have done. A change is always welcome but, with such a busy weekend at all the races, for me the only thing that matters is the driver’s room – to have my space and relax when I need it – and that there is a bathroom somewhere not too far away!
“Montreal, to be honest, is one of my favourites in terms of the place, the circuit location, and the track itself. It’s very high on my preferred races list. It’s a very cool city to be in. Very alive, very good food and a great atmosphere.”
Alex Albon (Car #23):
“This will be my first time racing at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and based on the last couple of Grands Prix, I am hoping for a strong performance and more points. The Monaco race weekend finally delivered the results we’ve been longing to get, after most other races when there’d always been a slight hiccough along the way. In the last race, we really nailed it and the team worked very well. Although I’d raced in Monaco before, the F1 weekend was a different ball game with all the distractions outside of driving the car; so many people to meet, all the celebrities in the Energy Station. It was a very cool event and I can see why people go there. Getting into Q3 for the first time was pleasing. We had the pace all weekend, which is encouraging, and finishing P7 and P8 puts us in a confident mood for Montreal.
“I’ve never been to Montreal before, but I’ve heard great things about it and, in a way, the last few races kind of build you up to it, as the circuit seems to have a bit of Monaco, but also Barcelona. I’m excited to go to a new track and it looks really cool. It seems like a true driver’s track, where you “play” with the walls and every driver loves that. I enjoyed learning the track on the simulator and it looks very technical. In terms of setup, the compromise is a bit like Baku as you need the speed down the long straights, but the corners are slow and require plenty of downforce. It’s the sort of track for which I will need to do my homework. It is very bumpy and there are lots of tricks you need to know to get a fast lap, making good use of the kerbs. I’m excited!
“I’ve also been told that the city itself has a fantastic feeling to it, so I’m looking forward to discovering that too. I believe we can have another good result here. I’ve finished between eighth and eleventh in 5 of this year’s 6 races, which means our car is consistent and works through all types of corners, on different kinds of tracks, and even different track surfaces. It means we have a good basis on which to build on with this car, we are now unlocking its potential with our race pace especially looking pretty good. From my side, I am also getting a better understanding of how to set up the car to suit my driving style, so everything is moving in the right direction.”