Though the accent might not be familiar, it’s the second consecutive French-speaking race in the season, and although Canada is not a Renault market, team partner Infiniti will be heavily represented as well as Twizys making an appearance with local partner Azra.
“There are a number of reasons we can be optimistic for Montreal: the main one being that both drivers will have the new power unit upgrade for the first time,” says Renault Sport Racing managing director, Cyril Abiteboul. “The PU worked well in Monaco but we should see the full benefit on this circuit, which is much more power sensitive.”
Team technical director Nick Chester explains that the straights of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve could play to the strengths of the latest evolution of the power unit developed in Viry-Châtillon.
“It’s a good step forward and we have it in both cars in Montréal,” says Nick. “In Monaco we were able to benefit primarily from the improved driveability whereas Montréal is more a power track thanks to its straights following slow corners. This means we should really see the power unit stretch its legs.
The circuit is mainly about braking and traction. There’s a lot of heavy braking so you need to be on top of cooling for the brakes to ensure they don’t overheat and need a setup which has good stability under braking to give the driver confidence.”
Kevin Magnussen has raced in the Canadian Grand Prix once previously, in 2014, and likes the place. “It’s a cool circuit with a semi-street track vibe to it. It’s quite challenging in its nature with some rapid chicanes and big braking zones. Overall it’s a quite enjoyable circuit to drive and it usually offers a good race,” he says.
For Jolyon Palmer it will be his first time racing in Montréal. “I was there last year and I realised what a really cool city it is,” he says. “It’s also one which genuinely embraces Formula 1 coming to town so can’t wait to return. The track itself looks great with good overtaking opportunities. There has been good racing there in the past so it’s exciting to be headed for my first race there."