McLaren preview the Canadian Grand Prix

McLaren team and drivers preview the Canadian Grand Prix weekend, Round 7 of the 2018 Formula 1 World Championship, at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on the Île Notre-Dame in Montreal.

Fernando Alonso: “After a disappointing race in Monaco, I’m already looking forward to heading to Canada. It’s a great track and a real test for the driver and the car. It’s claimed many top drivers in the ‘Wall of Champions’ and the Safety Car often plays a role in the outcome of the race.

“I’ve always enjoyed racing in Montreal. It has the best combination of a great track, challenging street circuit characteristics, and it’s a fun city to visit. I’ve enjoyed some great races in Canada and I won there in 2006, so it’s a special place for me. Even more so this weekend, when I’ll be celebrating my 300th grand prix. This will certainly be a tough circuit for us, but we’re making progress with our package race-by-race. A little bit of the drama or changeable weather conditions we’ve seen in Canada so many times in the past could offer us some opportunities – it’s up to us to take advantage of every possibility.”

Stoffel Vandoorne: “I really enjoyed racing in Canada for the first time last year, and I feel well prepared to tackle the streets of Montreal again. It’s a completely different track to Monaco, but a lot of the principles are the same – narrow streets, close barriers and tight racing. I hope we can have some fun this year and get in the mix. I feel that we’re improving step-by-step, and I hope we can show this in Canada. We had an unfortunate situation in quali in Monaco where we had no choice but to send the car out with a small issue, and it influenced our grid slot and then the rest of the weekend. As well as solid preparation, we need a little bit of luck on our side this weekend, for both myself and Fernando. I love street tracks – they’re the circuits I enjoy racing on most as they’re the biggest challenge for a driver. There are definitely more overtaking opportunities in Montreal than in Monaco, so there’s more chance of capitalising on any action that happens. We’ll be working hard in every area to bring everything together for race day, hopefully along with some points.”

Eric Boullier, Racing Director: “Canada has been a great race in McLaren’s history, and we all love going racing there. The Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve is a great street track, unlike any that we see on the calendar today, and is a really tough challenge for the engineers, mechanics and drivers. It’s a circuit that is notoriously unpredictable, and all the teams work hard to set up their cars for its demanding characteristics. Even then, a lot is still left to chance, which is why the drivers, teams and fans alike are huge fans of this grand prix. We know it won’t be an easy weekend for us, but it’s important we focus on getting ourselves in the most representative grid slots we can to be able to fight on Sunday. We’ve had a couple of difficult weekends, so hopefully in Montreal we’ll be able to see further progress and bring home some points – and the raft race trophy!”