Force India preview the Canadian Grand Prix, Round 7 of the 2017 Formula 1 World Championship, at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Ile Notre Dame in Montreal.
Vijay Mallya: “I was naturally disappointed to see us leave Monaco empty-handed. Operationally we were strong and the car showed good pace, but sometimes the luck doesn’t go your way and there’s nothing you can do. The positives we take from Monaco leave us feeling optimistic for Canada. The car is working well and we’ve made progress over the last few races. The confidence throughout the team continues to grow and we approach every race knowing we can fight for points. It’s important we get back into our rhythm in Montreal and build on our strong start to the year.”
Sergio Perez: “I said after Monaco that I was proud of the team and the way we raced in Monaco. We gave it everything, but it wasn’t our day. It’s frustrating because the car felt good all weekend. It was a shame not to make the most of this opportunity and continue our run of races in the points. I feel confident about Montreal. It’s a track where I’ve had some good races and I like the challenge of the circuit. It’s all about being late on the brakes and aggressive through the chicanes. You have to be precise too with the walls so close to the track. I think the sport needs more tracks similar to Montreal where mistakes are punished. These old-school tracks excite the drivers and fans, and usually produce entertaining races.”
Esteban Ocon: “Montreal is another new track for me so I’m going to be on the learning curve on Friday. I know the lap from playing video games and being on the simulator, and I’ve always liked the circuit characteristics. Although I haven’t driven in Montreal, I know the place already from my visit last year. It’s definitely a cool event because everybody in the city supports the race and Canada really loves Formula One. It feels like a big party in the streets, especially on the Saturday night. After the bad luck in Monaco I want to get back to scoring points in Montreal. The car is getting better with each race and I think I’m fully up-to-speed now. I’m really happy with the team and the way we work together – we’ve already built up a good understanding and they know what I need from the car.”
Sahara Force India’s Chief Race Engineer, Tom McCullough, analyses the challenge of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve: “Canada is a challenging track, with long straights and high speeds. Fuel consumption is high and the brakes are tested – with high energy and temperatures, wear is something to look after. On the other hand, the circuit is relatively easy on the tyres. We are bringing the three softest compounds to this race, yet still expect tyre degradation to be low. Good lap times come from being able to ride the apexes and the exit kerbs, but this can be risky as the majority of corner exits have walls. It’s easier to overtake in Montreal than in Monaco and the weather can produce some surprises because it changes quickly. Races here tend to be very unpredictable.”