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Canada GP: Preview - Mercedes

NEWS STORY
30/05/2014

Lewis Hamilton: Monaco was another great weekend for the team and I'm so proud of all the hard work the guys put in to make it happen. Of course, from a personal perspective it wasn't what I was aiming for. I race to win every time and unfortunately it just wasn't my weekend. But I drove with all my heart and gave it all I could, so I head to the next race with even more energy and determination. Montreal is one of my favourite weekends of the year. It's where I won my first Grand Prix back in 2007 and I've had another two victories there since, so it holds some special memories for me. The city itself is incredible. It's one I always love to go to and there's always a great crowd, so I'm hoping for them that the weather is good and we can put on a great show!

Nico Rosberg: Sunday in Monaco was a very special day for me. It was a fantastic result to get another one-two and I'm really happy for the whole team. Lewis drove really, really well and pushed me massively hard but I kept it cool and was able to take the win. He has been on top of his game so it was important for me to break his momentum last weekend. I now have the lead again in the World Championship which is great. But it's still very early days and it's going to continue to be an extremely tight battle between us this year. From Monaco, we head across the Big Pond to Canada. Montreal is one of my favourite venues. It's a beautiful but also crazy city where there is always a lot happening: particularly in the evenings... it's a great place to celebrate a good result, shall we say! That's what I'll be aiming for again this weekend.

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: We are pleased to head to Canada on the back of another strong weekend in Monaco. We went into that race convinced that our rivals could outperform us and that's how we worked to prepare for the weekend: like we were the underdogs. So we were pleased to see that we still had a good advantage at the front of the field. The team is operating at a very high level right now but we need to keep the ball flat, stay humble and keep pushing. On paper, you might say that Canada is the kind of circuit that should suit our package. But we don't have a crystal ball and we have been bitten by that way of thinking in the past. We know that our rivals are getting closer and that we will need to extract every bit of potential to deliver a strong performance in Montreal. Lewis has a fantastic track record in Canada, Nico has the momentum from his win in Monaco. We are all looking forward to the next chapter in the story of this season.

Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical): Monaco provided another fantastic weekend for the team. We approached the event with cautious optimism, but without being entirely confident that our car would enjoy the same performance differential as seen at the previous rounds of the season. This made the result all the more satisfying, particularly given the special effort put in by everyone involved to prepare for the unique challenges of this race. We now head to Canada, which is another unusual circuit but in the opposite vein to Monte Carlo. It's very much a power circuit and we're looking forward to seeing how the Mercedes-Benz Hybrid package performs around this type of track layout. Endurance will also be an important factor given the high demands placed on the components, so this weekend will provide a comprehensive test of the Power Unit. There were some concerns after Monaco following a retirement for Valtteri Bottas but the team at Brixworth have been working extremely hard to understand that problem and ensure that it is contained across every engine. We are confident that this will be the case. In Montreal, we have a circuit at which Lewis has traditionally excelled and, with both him and Nico on top of their game, we're expecting them to push each other all the way through the weekend once more. As always this will of course depend on the team providing a good package and equally strong reliability. We will be bringing a number of updates to the car, both on the power unit and aerodynamic side, so it should be an interesting weekend. Montreal is a fantastic venue that provides great racing, good weather and a lively atmosphere thanks to some very enthusiastic fans. Overall we're excited about the weekend ahead.

Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve: The Inside Line

Lewis: It's a circuit where you have to be aggressive, so it's always suited my style. Finding the braking point into the left-hander of Turn One is really important, as you then switch straight back into a very tight right-hander at Turn Two. Running too deep through the first will ruin your line into the second, which will lose you a lot of time. You have to be mindful of the kerbs through here as they can throw the car off balance quite easily, while the exit of Turn Two also has very low grip. It's a tricky section of track to start the lap and one which quite often sees incidents: particularly on the first lap.

The first of many chicanes around the circuit comes at Turns Three and Four. You have to take plenty of kerb through the corner and then run wide, right up against the wall, on the way out. It's so very to get that wrong. The next chicane at Turns Six and Seven is a bit tighter and slower, but good exit speed is crucial for the straight which comes up afterwards. This leads you down into another chicane at Turns Eight and Nine, where you quite often see overtaking.

It's so important to carry good speed once again to give you a good run down into the stadium complex at Turn 10, where you find the biggest crowds of fans during the weekend. It's a really tight right-hander and you want to brake as late as possible: running deep into the corner and making a 'V' shape to get the best exit possible down the crucial back straight.

The straight itself seems to go on forever and you also have DRS available for the second time around the lap. Looking into the distance it's so hard to pinpoint your braking point before you clip the kerbs, do your best to avoid the infamous 'Wall of Champions and put the power down across the start / finish line.

Nico: The Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve is the first race of the season that really calls for reduced downforce. For this reason, the teams generally arrive with a special low-downforce package. I'm particularly looking forward to this weekend as with the new generation of turbocharged Hybrid cars, this means we'll reach absolute top speed! We will probably be peaking at somewhere between 340 and 350 km/h on the straight.

The special feature of this circuit, other than the fact it runs around the stunning Île Notre-Dame, is that there are many chicanes where you literally have to bounce over the kerbs. This makes the track a real challenge that you have to rise to as a driver. I like that, as it gives you extra satisfaction when you get it right.

The Turn 10 hairpin towards the back end of the circuit is one of the most difficult sections of the track to negotiate. You have to get the braking point just right to avoid running too deep: especially when attacking or defending, as this corner also offers excellent scope for overtaking following on from the fast section the comes before it.

The final chicane at Turns 13 and 14, which runs alongside the infamous Wall of Champions, is likewise a standout feature. You approach it at full speed and have to get the braking just right, before bouncing the car over the kerbs. Many great drivers of the past have had a close encounter with that wall - some sustaining severe damage to their cars in the process - which is where it gets its name.

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