Infiniti Red Bull Racing arrive in Montreal confident they can be even closer to the Mercedes team of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton at the front of the field. Daniel Ricciardo finished on the tail of Hamilton last time out in Monaco, and while Sebastian Vettel failed to finish, the pace the team showed was impressive.
World Champion Vettel will want to get back on track after seeing his race in Monaco ended early with a mechanical issue. He took his first win at the Montreal track in 2013 but also knows the limit having visited the ‘Wall of Champions’ during a practice session in 2011.
“Canada is a very demanding high-speed racing track, which is surrounded by rails and concrete walls,” said Vettel. “There is definitely a high risk potential, especially in Turn 15, where you will soon get to know the notorious “Wall of Fame” should you be driving a few centimetres too far to the right.
“The first danger zone is already at the start. In the very narrow right-left passage, it’s all about avoiding contact with the other cars; otherwise there will be a crash. It is not uncommon for the safety car to make an appearance at the Canadian Grand Prix.”
Team-mate Ricciardo is coming to Canada on the back of two consecutive third place finishes in Spain and Monaco. The Australian has never finished in the points at Montreal but will want to change that this weekend. He knows the concentration levels around this track are high, and the result of an error can be race ending.
“I doubt anyone on the grid lacks motivation, but there’s definitely a little extra edge to it at some circuits,” said Ricciardo. “They tend to be the ones that demand the most from you and hold real consequences from getting it wrong. Montreal definitely falls into that category.
“Each of the chicanes (the hairpin too) is an opportunity to make up, or lose, time but the crucial corner is probably the last one: you arrive at top speed so there’s a lot to be gained in braking if you get that just right, and then the way you go over the kerbs is worth more time. The flip side is that it’s very easy to get wrong and if you do then there’s that big wall waiting.
“It’s a clear choice: some guys will play it safe and sacrifice half a tenth to get through there cleanly; others who will take a risk and go flat out trying to find a little bit. The nearer you are, the faster you’ll go. Give the wall a kiss and you feel pretty good: Kiss it too hard and that’s it!”