Canadian Grand Prix: Mercedes preview Montreal weekend

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Round Seven of the 2014 Formula One World Championship brings us to Montreal for the Canadian Grand Prix, held at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve;

Lewis Hamilton: “Monaco was another great weekend for the team and I’m so proud of all the hard work the guys put in to make it happen. Of course, from a personal perspective it wasn’t what I was aiming for. I race to win every time and unfortunately it just wasn’t my weekend. … I drove with all my heart and gave it all I could, so I head to the next race with even more energy and determination. Montreal is one of my favourite weekends of the year. It’s where I won my first grand prix back in 2007 and I’ve had another two victories there since, so it holds some special memories for me. The city itself is incredible. It’s one I always love to go to and there’s always a great crowd, so I’m hoping for them that the weather is good and we can put on a great show!”

Nico Rosberg: “Sunday in Monaco was a very special day for me. It was a fantastic result to get another one-two and I’m really happy for the whole team. Lewis drove really, really well and pushed me massively hard but I kept it cool and was able to take the win. He has been on top of his game so it was important for me to break his momentum last weekend. I now have the lead again in the world championship which is great. But it’s still very early days and it’s going to continue to be an extremely tight battle between us this year. From Monaco, we head across the Big Pond to Canada. Montreal is one of my favourite venues. It’s a beautiful but also crazy city where there is always a lot happening: particularly in the evenings…it’s a great place to celebrate a good result, shall we say! That’s what I’ll be aiming for again this weekend.”

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: “We are pleased to head to Canada on the back of another strong weekend in Monaco. We went into that race convinced that our rivals could outperform us and that’s how we worked to prepare for the weekend: like we were the underdogs. So we were pleased to see that we still had a good advantage at the front of the field. The team is operating at a very high level right now but we need to keep the ball flat, stay humble and keep pushing. On paper, you might say that Canada is the kind of circuit that should suit our package. But we don’t have a crystal ball and we have been bitten by that way of thinking in the past. We know that our rivals are getting closer and that we will need to extract every bit of potential to deliver a strong performance in Montreal. Lewis has a fantastic track record in Canada, Nico has the momentum from his win in Monaco. We are all looking forward to the next chapter in the story of this season.”

Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical): “Monaco provided another fantastic weekend for the team. We approached the event with cautious optimism, but without being entirely confident that our car would enjoy the same performance differential as seen at the previous rounds of the season. This made the result all the more satisfying, particularly given the special effort put in by everyone involved to prepare for the unique challenges of this race. We now head to Canada, which is another unusual circuit but in the opposite vein to Monte Carlo. It’s very much a power circuit and we’re looking forward to seeing how the Mercedes-Benz Hybrid package performs around this type of track layout. Endurance will also be an important factor given the high demands placed on the components, so this weekend will provide a comprehensive test of the Power Unit. There were some concerns after Monaco following a retirement for Valtteri Bottas but the team at Brixworth have been working extremely hard to understand that problem and ensure that it is contained across every engine. We are confident that this will be the case. In Montreal, we have a circuit at which Lewis has traditionally excelled and, with both him and Nico on top of their game, we’re expecting them to push each other all the way through the weekend once more. As always this will of course depend on the team providing a good package and equally strong reliability. We will be bringing a number of updates to the car, both on the power unit and aerodynamic side, so it should be an interesting weekend. Montreal is a fantastic venue that provides great racing, good weather and a lively atmosphere thanks to some very enthusiastic fans. Overall we’re excited about the weekend ahead.”