Renault drivers look ahead to Montreal


Giancarlo, you scored your best result of the season so far in Montreal. Are you pleased that the team is making progress?
Giancarlo Fisichella: Yes, it's important for me and for the team to see we are going forward step by step, and that we are finding answers to the problems we have suffered since the start of the season. The team has worked night and day in the last weeks, and it is a boost to everybody's determination to see the first rewards on track. From my point of view, I am pleased to have put in a good performance at Monaco, because it is a real driver's circuit, and that shows I am performing well.

The next round is in Canada. Do you enjoy the race?
GF: It's a fantastic race, in a great city. I have some very good memories from this race, because I have been on the podium four times! I hope to have another good race for me and the team this year as well.

What will be your approach to this, the sixth Grand Prix of the season?
GF: The last test and race have given us some more confidence, and I think we will perform well this weekend. Of course, it's a street circuit, so it will be very slippery on Friday. But as the weekend goes on and the cars put rubber down, the grip levels will improve. When I start running, my focus will be on finding the braking points, rediscovering the line and keeping momentum through the chicanes, which is very important for a good lap-time.

What are your expectations for the race?
GF: I think that we can be optimistic. Things have improved for us in the last weeks, the car balance is better, and the overall grip is higher too. Both factories are working flat out to improve the car even more, and all the members of the team are pushing to the limit. They have done a fantastic job so far. That hard work will definitely pay off, and I am confident that in Montreal, we will show we're back on form.

Heikki, you had a tough weekend in Monaco…
Heikki Kovalainen: As I said at the time, there is not really much to take from the weekend. I didn't have a chance to set a good time on Thursday, and it got worse from there. I was doubly disappointed because I know how hard the team has worked to give Giancarlo and myself a more consistent and faster car. But that's in the past now. I am focused on the Canadian Grand Prix, and on continuing to improve my performance.

Canada is a new circuit for you. How did you prepare for it?
HK: In general, when I am preparing for a race on a circuit I don't know, I try and get the onboard camera images from previous seasons so I can see what the track looks like from the cockpit, understand the racing line and work out things like braking points, and which kerbs you can use. Then, on Thursday, I do a lap of the circuit on foot with my engineers, and along with the data from previous years, we do a kind of inspection, talking about each corner. Then on Friday, we really get down to work, and I can begin to see if my preparation has worked out. I hope it pays off this weekend.

In technical terms, what factors do you have to take into account?
HK: Canada is all about finding a good compromise between top speed, for which we use a low downforce package, and stability under braking and through the chicanes, in which we need good grip. There are some quite quick chicanes, in third and fourth gears, and we worked on this area in particular at the Paul Ricard test, as the circuit configuration we used included corners of this type, so we could evaluate the car in the right conditions.

The brakes are also used heavily in Montreal. Is this something you pay special attention to?
HK: Yes, absolutely. We have to get the brake cooling right, and you often hear the engineers asking drivers to slow down to look after the brakes, which can be a difficult situation to manage in race conditions. We worked on this area as well during testing, and the team will be paying special attention to the brakes in the opening sessions to ensure we are in a good situation for the race.

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Published: 04/06/2007
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