Panasonic Toyota Racing crosses the Atlantic this week for the Canadian Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, where the team expects to recover from a disappointing Monaco weekend. The Canadian Grand Prix is the first race of a North American double-header with the United States Grand Prix following just a week later to give the team a logistical challenge. Despite that, the lively city of Montreal is one of the favourite stops on the Formula 1 calendar with enthusiastic fans and much-appreciated hospitality making it a seasonal highlight. The relatively low-downforce Circuit Gilles Villeneuve features high-speed straights punctuated by several chicanes for a very different challenge to Monaco, so the team will use a revised aerodynamic package this weekend. After an extremely frustrating weekend in Monaco, Toyota leaves Europe for a new continent determined to improve.
Ralf Schumacher (Car 11): "I always look forwa rd to the Canadian Grand Prix because Montreal is such a great place to hold a race, with a beautiful city and lively atmosphere. I find it an enjoyable place to be and I have a good record in the race – I won in 2001 and was second in 2003. The circuit itself is one of the best of the season. It is technically challenging as it has long straights followed by heavy braking, which really takes it out of the car. But the team has taken this into account and we have made changes for this race, with a totally different aero package compared to Monaco. Obviously Monaco was a bad weekend for the team but we are working hard on the issues we had there and I hope we’ll see an improvement in Canada."
Jarno Trulli (Car 12): "I really enjoy the Canadian Grand Prix and it is one of my favourite races because the atmosphere in Montreal is just fantastic. I certainly hope I can enjoy this weekend more than our race in Monaco, which was very difficult after the problems we had in qualify ing. But Montreal it is a completely different kind of circuit which makes different demands on the car, particularly when it comes to the brakes. I am sure we will move forward from our Monaco performance and I expect to be fighting further up the field. It has been two races now where we have not scored points so we are really motivated to do better in Canada. I scored points there last year after one of my best races of the season and that is the target again - I’m optimistic we can get a good result."
Pascal Vasselon – Senior General Manager Chassis: "For me, the Canadian Grand Prix is the second best race on the calendar after Monaco because there is a great atmosphere, you are in the middle of a city and the Canadian people are very hospitable. Montreal is the first time we will race our medium/low downforce aerodynamic package, which consists of new front and rear wings and other small changes so our first task in Friday practice will be to maximise this package, w hich we also plan to use at Indianapolis. The Montreal track is very tough on brakes so we have introduced improvements to our brake ducts which will help aero efficiency and also cooling, as this is very important. Another factor to think about is the generally low tyre grip in Montreal as a result of the track surface. Monaco was a very disappointing weekend for us but we will put that behind us. We go to Canada with the goal of closing the gap on the front teams and scoring points again."