Canadian Grand Prix – Both McLaren drivers say that Canada may be more demonstrative of their recent upgrades than the Monaco weekend showed.
McLaren may have gone home sans points after the Monaco Grand Prix, due to a late race gearbox failure for Fernando Alonso while running in P7, but both drivers believe Canada may be more representative of the improvements the team have made.
Stoffel Vandoorne, who finished outside the points in Monte Carlo due to a qualifying technical problem, believes the team is improving with every race and with the rumoured Renault power unit upgrade on the way with a supposed extra 30 horsepower, the Belgian is keen to make up for the poor result in Monaco and a lacklustre start to the season.
“I feel that we’re improving step-by-step, and I hope we can show this in Canada,” he said. “We had an unfortunate situation in qualifying in Monaco where we had no choice but to send the car out with a small issue, and it influenced our grid slot and then the rest of the weekend. As well as solid preparation, we need a little bit of luck on our side this weekend, for both myself and Fernando.
“I love street tracks – they’re the circuits I enjoy racing on most as they’re the biggest challenge for a driver. There are definitely more overtaking opportunities in Montreal than in Monaco, so there’s more chance of capitalising on any action that happens.
“We’ll be working hard in every area to bring everything together for race day, hopefully along with some points.”
Alonso heads to Canada celebrating his 300th Grand Prix start, and believes it will be a tough race for the Woking-based outfit. Having tested for Toyota’s LMP1 team at Le Mans this past weekend ahead of the world-famous 24-hour event, he has the potential for a strong points finish in Montreal to deal with first:
“I’ve always enjoyed racing in Montreal. It has the best combination of a great track, challenging street circuit characteristics, and it’s a fun city to visit. I’ve enjoyed some great races in Canada and I won there in 2006, so it’s a special place for me.
“Even more so this weekend, when I’ll be celebrating my 300th grand prix. This will certainly be a tough circuit for us, but we’re making progress with our package race-by-race.
“A little bit of the drama or changeable weather conditions we’ve seen in Canada so many times in the past could offer us some opportunities – it’s up to us to take advantage of every possibility.”