The straights are long so the driver needs strong acceleration, ideally reaching top speed towards the end of the straight. The corners are tight and low speed, so the driver needs the power quickly to flick the car in and out of the chicanes, but smoothly through the hairpins. Giving the driver the power when he needs it is one of the key challenges of the weekend and we have worked particularly hard with the teams to develop engine maps and settings to this end.
The Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve also puts the internals under intense pressure. Over half of the track is taken at full throttle, with two long straights, and the heavy braking points at the end of those straights put the ICE under extreme load. Even the energy recovery systems will feel the pressure in Canada with the numerous heavy braking points and straights, so overall it’s a very difficult race to get right.
We are realistic ahead of this race. We’ve put in a great deal of work on reliability and have improved our record in the last two races, but we know that Montreal will be tough for us performance-wise.
Knowing that power is critical, we have to try to repeat our Monaco approach, which was to optimize each sector individually.
Unlike Monaco, however, we also need to assess the right drag/downforce compromise to allow good performance in qualifying and the race. We are getting there, and hope we can be closer yet again in Montreal.