The Williams F1 team have scored points in every race in 2014, something they could have only dreamed about a year ago when they only scored points twice all year. Felipe Massa continued the points scoring run in Monaco with a seventh but team-mate Valtteri Bottas has scored 34 points to Massa’s 18 so far this season.
The team head into Montreal confident the car will suit the track with aims to add more points to their tally which will help them in the very tight midfield battle F1 has this season.
In the previous ten visits to Montreal, Brazilian Massa has never finished the race on the podium, with a best finish of fourth for the Sauber team back in 2005. He feels the Montreal should suit his Williams team especially with the benefit of the Mercedes power unit behind it.
“We aim to be more competitive in Canada and hopefully we can have a good performance,” said Massa. “The top speed of the car is good and this will be our main strength.
“Montreal has hosted some great races in the past and this has a lot to do with the weather, so we need to be prepared as it can rain and often without warning. The city is a very relaxed place to be so it’s nice to go back there every year.”
Finnish Team-mate Bottas has fond memories of his first visit to Montreal last year when he took an amazing third place grid slot in the under-performing Williams. He might have fallen back in the race, but he had made his first positive mark on the Formula 1 world. He returns this year with a better car, and will be hoping to return to the points after retiring last time out in Monaco with a mechanical issue.
“I have some great memories from Canada last year as I qualified my career best position of third,” said Bottas. “The track is such a contrast from the last race in Monaco, and I think it plays to the strengths of the car, such as good straight line speed.
“We are aiming to continue our record of points in every race so far this season. It’s a special track not only in the fact that it’s technically a street circuit, but that there are a lot of big braking zones and few fast corners.”
The Head of Performance Engineering for Williams Rob Smedley describes Montreal as a ‘special circuit’, and knows tyres will be a big part of strategy come race day. He feels the car should suit the fast nature of the circuit where average speeds generally exceed 130mph.
“Canada is a very special circuit due to the long fast straights and slow corners,” said Smedley. “We will take the same compounds as Monaco so we know how these tyres work from the last race. If the weather is cool we could suffer from tyre heating issues and if it’s hot then there is the chance of thermal degradation. Tyre issues are something we are aware of and so will be a focus throughout the weekend.
“Kerbing is also important in Montreal as being able to ride the kerbs over the two chicanes is key to a quick lap time. Our car is aerodynamically efficient which is vital on the long straights in Canada so we feel we are in good shape.”