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Canada Grand Prix: FIA Drivers Press Conference


The driver press conference with Sergio Perez, Lewis Hamilton, Nico Hulkenberg, Lance Stroll, Pierre Gasly and Oscar Piastri.

Now, Lance, our local hero, can we start with you? Home Grand Prix. What makes this race different for you?
Lance Stroll: I Well, it's home. I grew up here, so, you know, 20 minutes away from the track, so it's always special coming back.

Give us a little bit of history. When did you first come to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve?
LS: Oh, back in my young days, yeah, when I was just a little guy, I remember the Schumacher days, early 2000s, coming to watch the race here was always a very exciting weekend. And yeah, I mean, inspired me in many ways to be here today, you know?

And you've scored points in four of the five races you've contested at this racetrack. What is the secret to a good lap?
LS: It's a fun track. It's got, like, some big kerbs and technical aspects of it. Not much margin on exits with the walls being close. So I've always enjoyed the challenge here. And the weather can always be interesting. It can always be a fun factor too, which it looks like it might be this weekend, so we'll see.

It does, doesn't it? Rain in the forecast. Just quickly, do you think Aston will be more competitive this weekend than they were in Monaco last time out?
LS: I hope so. We seem a little more competitive on the tracks with longer straights. And our car is, I think, pretty efficient. So I hope.

Alright. Best of luck. Enjoy the home race. Checo, why don't we come to you next? Many congratulations are in order. Two more years with Red Bull. How straightforward were the negotiations?
Sergio Perez: I think like every negotiation, you always have a process to go through, which is not always really nice to do it in between the races where everything is flat out. So it's really nice to get this distraction for the team and for myself out of the way so that we can focus on pure performance. And I think that's the best thing for our team.

The deal takes you through to the new technical regulations in 2026. Just give us your thoughts on how you view the competitiveness of Red Bull over the next two years or so.
SP: Well, I think, like you say, there are some great teams making a lot of progress and we've got to do the same. I think it's always great to be part of a set of regulations with the team, you know, when you're changing regulations and you're part of that team, you're already working on that, giving some ideas here and there, and it's something really quite nice to have, to be able to be part of that.

Alright, Checo, and let's bring it on to this weekend. How do you view the competitiveness of Red Bull here in Montreal?
SP: Well, I think it's... I hope it's not as severe as it was in Monaco with the right issues that we had there. We've done some work, some analysis, and I think it's great to have straightaway sort of a similar challenge to Monaco in many aspects. So it will be an interesting one, but I do expect us to be a little bit stronger. I don't think it will be our strongest track, but I really hope that we can be fighting up there.

Alright. Best of luck this weekend and congrats on the new deal. Lewis, let's come to you now. Back to the scene of your first Formula 1 victory and six subsequent ones as well. You've always gone well here. What is it about this place?
Lewis Hamilton: I don't know. Hi, everyone. I think it's probably just kind of a street circuit and a bit like a go-kart track, long straights. So it's a track that bodes well for late brakers and someone that's aggressive, I guess, aggressive driving style.

And is that you?
LH: I think I've had an aggressive driving style for a long time, yeah.

Tell us about the car and your chances this weekend. The team is telling us that you're making a lot of progress in recent races. Are you feeling that in the cockpit?
LH: Yes, the car's continuing to improve. I think everyone's obviously taken a step hopefully closer to the Red Bulls, and I think that's been really positive. But incredibly proud of everyone back at the factory, just how hard everyone's working and how resilient everyone is. Everyone's just staying very focused, head down. The morale's really great in the team, so I'm hoping that we can get closer to these guys and start actually competing at the front with these.

Do you think that's possible this weekend? Is a podium on the horizon?
LH: I don't think it's far away. And so we've got the upgrade. Both cars have the upgrade this weekend. So I'm looking forward to seeing how that feels actually on track.

You've got the new front wing. Going to out-qualify George this weekend?
LH: I'll try.

Alright. Well, Lewis, good luck to you. Nico, what about Haas? Tell us about your chances this weekend? How hopeful are you?
Nico Hulkenberg: Yeah. Somewhat optimistic. First of all, I love this place. I love this track. It's probably one of my favourites, if not the favourite. So looking forward to just get out there. I really hope there is going to be some dry running, too, and not just the full wet. It's more low-speed content, the circuit, which kind of helps and suits our car better. So that makes me a little bit more optimistic to be more competitive.

I'm interested that you're hoping for a dry weekend because...
NH: No, just to exploit the track, just to drive in the dry as well, to take the kerbs at the proper speed and everything. It's a different sensation in the dry compared to...

But in terms of your chances this weekend, hoping for a bit like last year when you qualified second?
NH: Yeah, I mean, there is no guarantee when it's wet or changeable conditions that you're going to do well. But obviously that spices things up, puts everyone more on the edge. I don't mind it, but I'll take it as it comes.

Nico, Monaco was obviously a really difficult moment for the team. Just how is the mood in the garage this weekend?
NH: It's good. I mean, yeah, it happened, but, it's done and dusted. No point... There was not much to debrief or dwell on it. Obviously, you know, look forward and focus on the task and the racing ahead now.

Alright. Best of luck this weekend. Thank you, Nico. Pierre, let's come to you now. How encouraged were you by the pace of Alpine last time out in Monaco?
Pierre Gasly: Well, I must say it was pretty positive. First Q3 of the year, we managed to show some good speed throughout the whole qualifying, Q1, Q2, Q3. So definitely some good signs. Obviously, we know Monaco is kind of a particular track, so we know we might not be in similar positions on all the tracks, but definitely some good signs.

Well, what about here? It's a very different layout, but there are some similarities to Monaco in terms of the corners.
PG: Yeah, it's still... We know we're still a bit on the back foot, and we're trying to rethink a bit how we want to approach this car concept. So at the minute, it's mainly focusing on maximising what we got. And as we can see, a lot can happen on race day. So yeah, we'll see. We'll try again our best. We know we're fighting for a point right at the back of the top 10. But hopefully, we can be in a position to repeat the performance of Monaco.

Now, Pierre, since Monaco, it's been announced that Esteban Ocon is going to be leaving Alpine at the end of this season. How does that news affect what you're going to do in 2025?
PG: To be honest, absolutely nothing. I think, you know, at the minute it's quite clear the position I'm in. And yeah, for my future at the moment, I have nothing really to announce. And then, yeah, you guys will know in due time.

Just a couple of words on Esteban. What kind of a team-mate has he been for you at Alpine?
PG: Yeah, it's been... I'm just taking time to think, because I know how you guys are going to take every single word that comes out. It's a long story between Esteban and myself. And I think so far in the last year and a half, we managed to work and co-operate very professionally. So I think this is important to mention. It hasn't always been easy, as you would imagine from two very competitive drivers. But yeah, considering the story between us, I think it's been It's been good. So, yeah, I will say I'll stick to these lines.

Alright. Thanks, Pierre. Best of luck this weekend. And Oscar, coming to you now. The last three races have gone really well for you, culminating in that second place in Monaco last time out. Just tell us about the progress you feel you've made in that time?
Oscar Piastri: Yeah, I think, like you said, the last three weekends have been very solid, I think, for the whole team, but also for me personally. Monaco was really the first time that we got a really strong result out of it. But yeah, I mean, clearly the car is performing well at the moment and I feel like I've taken a step forward as well and been able to build some consistency in the last few weekends, which is always nice. But yeah, I feel like I'm in a good place.

Have you found something in the set-up, or is it purely a confidence thing?
OP: I would say more just a confidence thing. I think there have been good moments here and there, even at the start of the season. I think the first few rounds were quite promising, a couple of difficult races in the middle, but on the whole, I feel like I've taken a good step forward in quite a few areas from last year. I think it's just been the consistency that's really been the missing thing. So the last few weekends have been good to try and get on top of that. But I don't think I've done anything special. I don't think as a team we've really done anything special. We've just got the car in a good window. And with the upgrades, clearly it's performing well. So yeah, I think we're all just taking it up a notch.


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