The two Scuderia Toro Rosso drivers will be hoping for a change of fortune when the F1 season arrives in Montreal, Canada for round seven of the championship. Both Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniil Kvyat qualified inside the top ten in Monaco but both were forced out of the race with exhaust issues while running inside the points.
Vergne returns to the track where he had arguably his best race of 2013 when he finished sixth after qualifying seventh. His 2014 campaign hasn’t gone smoothly for the Frenchman however, with four retirements from six races, including last time out in Monaco where he was on for some points. He hasn’t added to his points tally since the opening round of the season in Australia and he is hoping for that to change in Montreal.
“The Gilles Villeneuve circuit is definitely very hard on the cars,” said Vergne. “I had a very good Grand Prix there last year and I will be trying for a repeat performance this time, although finishing sixth, like I did in 2013 will not be easy. It is very demanding on the brakes, because of the hard braking areas after fast sections and you also need good top speed because of the long straight down the back. So you run less aero there.
“I’m looking forward to the weekend, as I like going to Montreal, which is a really cool city and this event is on my personal podium for the best races of the year. People say the track is dangerous and maybe that’s part of its appeal. I find the circuits where the barriers are a hundred metres away from the track a bit dull. Taking a corner flat out, right on a knife edge, with walls to your left and right is a completely different feeling to going flat out where you know that if you go off you have several hundred metres of run-off.
“The last corner here before the pit straight is a good example. It’s a nice corner, as it’s quick and you have to jump two big kerbs, so it feels a bit like going back to one’s karting days, throwing the car around at high speed. It’s a work of art getting it right.”
Rookie team-mate Kvyat will be racing on a circuit he has never seen before when he takes to the track this weekend. The Russian teenager suffered his first retirement of 2014 last time out in Monaco having impressed the F1 paddock with his speed and maturity around the tight and twisty, Armco lined Monte Carlo track.
“The Gilles Villeneuve Circuit is another one on the calendar where I have never raced before and Canada is another country that will be new to me,” said Kvyat. “In preparation, I watched a few Canadian Grand Prix on television, especially the on-board footage and a few days ago, I spent several hours in the simulator preparing for it.
“My first impression is that it’s going to be an interesting weekend. The track has a lot of stop and go sections, as well as the hairpin and chicanes. It’s going to be challenging and as always, it’s going to be about finding the right rhythm and putting the lap together.
“It’s a bit like Monaco, as there is not much run-off area, but after my first experience of Monaco nothing seems difficult now! All I know about Canada is that it’s a beautiful place and like us Russians they are mad keen on ice hockey, so I hope to visit the Montreal hockey stadium if I have time.”