Teams praise return to Canada despite high cost - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 06-06-2010, 11:03 PM Thread Starter
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Teams praise return to Canada despite high cost

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Teams praise return to Canada despite high cost
Sun, 6 June, 2010

Formula One teams have not been shy in welcoming the Canadian Grand Prix back to the calendar, with the sport travelling to Montreal for next weekend's race after a one-year break. Teams were up in arms when F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone announced the sport would have no race in North America in 2009, forcing the Briton to agree a cut-price deal with Canadian authorities to secure the return of the race to the much-loved Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

All teams have reciprocated and are full of praise for the circuit, the hosting city and its people, with few having bad words to say about the event.

Technical director of BMW Sauber, the last team to win a race in Canada, was pleased to be returning: “It is great to go back to Montreal because it is such a popular place,” said James Key. His driver Pedro de la Rosa was also keen to get back on-track in Montreal: “It is great to have the Canadian Grand Prix back on the calendar, as everybody always enjoyed it so much because of the atmosphere and the great racing there. I think the layout of the Montreal circuit is good for exciting races, and it is definitely one of the tracks where overtaking is easiest,” said Pedro.

Lotus Racing's Heikki Kovalainen, who achieved a fourth place there in his debut season of 2007, said he was looking forward to be back in Canada: “I'm really looking forward to Canada. Montreal is an amazing city and everyone there really loves the fact they have a race on their doorsteps,” he said. “It's pretty impressive how the whole place almost becomes like a festival – some streets are closed for parties, events and all sorts of things, and everyone really gets behind the whole race. With the circuit being practically in the city it's hard to escape the noise and goings on, but I love it.”

Mike Gascoyne, chief technical officer at Lotus, said “Canada's a race we all look forward to. It's a great city and a great race and we're all glad to be going back to Montreal,” while team principal Tony Fernandes was similarly praising of Montreal: “It's one of the great races on the calendar, and we're all looking forward to getting out there.”

It was the same story at Toro Rosso, where team principal Franz Tost is keen to return: “At Scuderia Toro Rosso, we are looking forward to coming back to Montreal, as the city is a great venue that always gives Formula 1 a good welcome.”

Seven-times world champion Michael Schumacher is looking forward to his Canadian return, having picked up seven wins there in the past. “Canada is definitely one of the places on the Formula One calendar which everyone is keen to visit, myself included of course. I have always had nice weekends in Montreal and enjoyed flying over to North America,” he said.

His team principal Ross Brawn was also pleased to see Formula One return to North America: “We are delighted to be returning to Canada next week and the race is always one of the most popular weekends on the calendar with the city of Montreal putting on a great show. This year will be no exception and we hope that the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve produces its usual standard of exciting racing and the weekend is a success for our sport in the important North American market.”

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton was understandably upbeat about returning to Canada, having picked up his maiden F1 win there in 2007: “Returning for 2010 is great, because it's such a fast, demanding and unforgiving circuit – I love racing here. It's an incredibly tough track – even if you can avoid the walls, which are really close and exciting at some places, the surface is very treacherous offline because of all the marbles.”

Team principal Martin Whitmarsh called the return a 'positive move' for F1: “The return of Formula 1 to North America is a very positive move for the sport. After a two-year absence, I think everybody is tremendously looking forward to the Canadian Grand Prix, a race that has long been a staple of the calendar.”

Jenson Button was also positive about F1's new deal with Canada, having secured pole position there in 2005: “It's fantastic to be going back to Montreal after a year away. I think everyone in Formula 1 loves the city, the people and the track, so it's very fitting that we're heading back – particularly during one of the best seasons we've had for years.”

The teams' positive noises come despite complaints that the one-off flight to Canada, without a twinned event in the United States, will cost the teams more money than they will receive from the commercial rights' holder. The return of the United States Grand Prix in 2012 will split a portion of that cost over two races making them comparably cheaper for the teams, but at a time of intense cost-cutting teams could have done without the extra expense, and will be pushing to ensure the US GP is back on the calendar in 2012 as planned.

Undoubtedly a poll of F1 fans would produce a similarly positive response, with the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve having regularly produced exciting races in the past. Featuring long straights and slow-speed corners, driver error is not uncommon, while the close proximity of uncompromising barriers means any mistake is usually harshly punished.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 06-07-2010, 11:44 AM
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Great post. My wife and I leave Houston on Thursday to attend this wonderful event. Hit me with a PM if you want a shirt, anyone who has posted as much as you have certainly has put out enough good karma.
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