Jenson Button’s website has a brief Canadian Grand Prix preview up, and both he and McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh say the fairly high-speed track, especially with the slow corners leading onto long straights, should suit the McLaren well next weekend.
Plus, Whitmarsh adds, it’s just great for Formula 1 to be back in North America.
But first Jenson:
Looking back at the pace of the Turkish Grand Prix, which was run pretty much flat-out from start to finish, it’s going to be interesting to see how Canada plays out. It’s an extremely fast circuit, but it isn’t a place that tolerates even the slightest mistake because of the proximity of the concrete walls.
The track configuration should suit the MP4-25, it’s got a couple of slowish corners that lead onto long straights, so we should be able to use the combination of the Mercedes-Benz engine and our aero package to be competitive in both qualifying and the race.
Canada is always an unpredictable weekend — it’s a bit of a one-off, which is great for Formula 1 — and I think this year’s race has all the ingredients for a classic.
And then Whitmarsh:
The residents of Montreal really take this race to their hearts, and there’s always a fantastic atmosphere throughout the race weekend. The circuit itself is fast and unforgiving — practically the perfect recipe for exciting, unpredictable and close racing. Additionally, I believe we return to North America with a product that is strong and healthy, with a depth of driver talent that is probably as great as any other time in the sport’s history.
Off the back of a very strong result in Turkey, we feel that the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve will be well suited to the characteristics of MP4-25. It’s a low-downforce track where straight-line speed is fundamental to a good laptime. Once again, we’ll be looking for another strong result before the circus returns to Europe for the rest of the summer.
If McLaren could make a strong run in Canada, it could pull a fair lead in both championships, albeit with plenty of races left to come and arguably four teams still in the hunt. We’ll have to see if McLaren has got some momentum on its side.
What say F1B? Are the cards starting to fall in favor of McLaren?