Pierre Gasly had an excellent Azerbaijan Grand Prix, filling the Frenchman with confidence that he can take the momentum into this weekend’s returning Canadian Grand Prix.
The Scuderia AlphaTauri driver performed magnificently in Baku, the French driver finished fifth after starting in sixth. The result saw Gasly finish as ‘best of the rest’, something the Frenchman has done now on a number of occasions.
Ahead of this weekend’s race in Canada, Gasly reflected on what was a successful previous round.
“I went back home from Baku with Max and, as he won the race, it was a pretty entertaining flight! I was extremely happy with our Baku weekend – P6 on the grid, P5 in the race. It was a perfect weekend, with great strategy and pit stops, an excellent start and good speed. I was very happy for the whole team, as we had not enjoyed much luck in recent races. It was tough, but we stuck together and kept working and it finally paid off. I feel we have kicked off our season properly now.”
This weekend’s race at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve represents the third street race in a row, and the end of a gruelling double-header. In the past, lap-time has been gained around the venue by riding the kerbs, however, Gasly believes the complete opposite will be needed to be quick this weekend.
“Canada is another street circuit and I think that this year, the Montreal circuit will be really challenging, especially with these new cars that are very stiff, much more so than their predecessors. The big kerbs and the high speeds will be a real test as will the final corner and the famous Wall of Champions! We will have to avoid the kerbs a lot more, whereas in the past you needed to ride over them to do a quick lap.
“Although it’s another street circuit like the last two races, it’s a much faster layout with quicker corners. On paper that suggests it might be a bit more complicated for our car, so it means we must make sure we arrive fully prepared and are able to get everything out of the package we have. Operationally, the team must be on top of its game if we want to get the results the car is capable of delivering, as we saw in Baku.”
“Montreal is another unusual circuit” – Yuki Tsunoda
Yuki Tsunoda saw a potential points finish end in bizarre circumstances last weekend, after in the closing stages of the race his rear-wing suffered a strange failure. The Japanese driver’s DRS flap managed to split in half, with half open and half closed. As a result, Tsunoda was forced into the pits by the race directors, where his team incredibly then taped it back together.
Tsunoda would’ve scored points had the incident not happened, leaving the AlphaTauri driver feeling disappointed following Baku.
“Although my race result in Baku with no points is very disappointing, I think we can approach the Canadian weekend with optimism after a really strong showing in Azerbaijan, where we were on the pace all weekend. It was our best team Qualifying and at least Pierre scored good points for fifth, but it was very frustrating that I lost what looked like being a sixth-place finish because of the rear wing problem. So, I am feeling very motivated to continue making progress this week.”
This weekend’s race will be Tsunoda’s first at the Canadian circuit, however, he’s made sure to use the circuit while playing the Formula 1 game! The young driver has no idea what to expect this weekend, and is excited to visit both the circuit and the country for the very first-time.
“After Monaco and Baku, Montreal is another unusual circuit, with generally low grip and high-speed corners, so that like in Baku, we will be running medium-low downforce to get good straight line speed. I have only experienced it on the simulator but it looks interesting. Actually, it’s a circuit I have used a lot when playing the Formula 1 game, so I had a reasonably good idea of what to expect before driving it on the sim.
“We’ll see after FP1. It has a mix of medium and slow-speed corners, as well as fast chicanes. I have never been to Canada before and I’ve been told Montreal is a fun city, so I’m looking forward to my first visit and to discover what it’s like on and off the track.”