Everyone in Formula One seems to love the Canadian Grand Prix, and the Panasonic Toyota Racing team is no exception. After all, there is something special about the location of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. The track snakes around Montreal's Olympic Rowing Lake on an island in the St Lawrence Seaway just minutes from the centre of this fun-filled city. The relaxed atmosphere of the place also ensures that your chances of bumping into a racing legend go up simply by hanging out in the shops and bars downtown. But the serious business begins on Friday as Toyota's drivers aim to increase the team's impressive points total from 2005 so far. Rest assured that race drivers Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli will do everything to keep the team in third place in the constructors' championship. Olivier Panis, who loves the Canadian atmosphere and maple candies will also give the team the benefit of his experience and fully reacquaint himself with the race team before his appearance as third driver on Friday in Magny-Cours, when he will give Ricardo Zonta the chance of a deserved one-race holiday.
THAT SEAWAY I LIKE IT
Jarno Trulli arrives in Canada in third place in the world drivers' championship after a start to the season that has included three podium finishes already. Now he will look to score yet more points in Montreal.
Jarno Trulli (Car 16): "The Canadian Grand Prix is one of my favourite races. The atmosphere you get in Montreal both at the track and in town is great. In June the weather is nice and you can enjoy the long evenings to relax in the town after a hard day at the circuit. The time difference to Canada is not to hard to adjust to, but I always try to arrive at overseas races early so my body clock can adapt. I like driving on this track, too, and I especially like the way the circuit flows. The circuit's long straights mean you need a low downforce set-up. That makes things slightly more difficult for drivers because the car feels lighter, and more critical to drive when you are braking and turning in. So we have to get used to that. I really can't say yet how we will perform in Canada. It's still my first season with Toyota and I haven't yet had a chance to drive the car around the circuit. But I remain positive looking ahead to the race and I hope we can bring home yet anothe!
r great result for the team."
QUEBEC FOR MORE
A past winner of the Canadian Grand Prix, Ralf Schumacher will revel in Montreal's special atmosphere as he looks to add to his haul of points from 2005 so far.
Ralf Schumacher (Car 17): "I always look forward to the Canadian Grand Prix. Montreal is one of my favourite places on the calendar. The city is beautiful and welcomes Formula 1 with open arms with a lively and unique atmosphere. The people are friendly and everyone gets behind the thrill and excitement of our sport. That makes our annual visit extremely enjoyable. Montreal also boasts one of the best circuits on the calendar in Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. It is a track which offers a special technical challenge with its fast straights and heavy braking, which demands a lot from the car. I have quite a good record in Canada – including a win here in 2001 and second place in 2003. Here we are yet another two years on, so logically, I look set for another good result, this time with Panasonic Toyota Racing. After the disappointment and frustration of the Nürburgring, I think we have a package that can perform well around the part street circuit in Montreal. With a fresh RVX-05 !
engine I am looking forward to adding to my 17 points from the season so far."
The relentless pace of this 19-race season continues unabated as the teams travel across the Atlantic for round 8 in Canada. Now Toyota will look to reap more rewards in Montreal.
Mike Gascoyne – Technical Director Chassis: "This year's hectic race schedule is placing unprecedented demands on every team to maintain its development pace for each race weekend. We have barely had time to recover from the demands of the Monaco-Nürburgring back-to-back races before we find ourselves preparing for the North American double-header in Montreal and Indianapolis. Montreal has always been one of the most enjoyable races on the Formula 1 calendar. The track, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, was built around the site originally developed for the world trade fair Expo 67 and comprises some public streets. For that reason it is not often used, so it tends to be quite dirty for Friday free practice before it rubbers in. The circuit is especially demanding on the brakes, but engine performance is also key to a good lap time due to the long straights. As such, the major changes to the car for Canada will be the introduction of a lower downforce package, which will have been tested in Monza. In the past, we have enjoyed a reasonable level of performance at Montreal. Given the speed and reliability of the TF105 this season, we have to look to get a strong podium finish."