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Canadian GP Preview: BMW

Series: F1

Although the BMW WilliamsF1 Team was disappointed not to convert Juan Pablo Montoya's pole position in Monaco, Ralf Schumacher provided the BMW/WilliamsF1 partnership with their finish and points score in the Principality. Historical precedent is with the team as they travel to Canada, with Ralf's victory in Montreal in 2001 very much in mind. The relative performance of WilliamsF1, McLaren and Ferrari in Canada is closely run, with Ferrari and McLaren having recorded eight race wins against WilliamsF1's tally of seven. After a week of intensive testing at Silverstone this week, the BWM WilliamsF1 Team will be looking to redress this balance.

Juan Pablo Montoya:
Montreal is an interesting circuit, and its character is a bit like Melbourne. The circuit is quite technical in the way you need to be very precise where you put the car on the track, and to get best results, you have got to be very gentle with the car, all of which makes it good fun. Last year I raced there for the very first time and in spite of the result, I quite liked it. We should look good for this year's race, thanks to the BMW engine - which will be able to give his best on the Gilles Villeneuve circuit - and probably also to the Michelin tyres, which behaved well there already in 2001. I am looking forward to this race.

Ralf Schumacher:
I am very happy to go racing in Canada. I had a good result there last year and if it is possible, I would be obviously very pleased to repeat the outcome. Due to the rain and many stops, the last test we had in Silverstone wasn't really the best preparation, but still, it took us forward a little bit. As the Monaco qualifying session has shown, we are there at the top as well, even though we must admit that Ferrari made a big step forward in the race. If we will manage to transfer our good qualifying performance to the race, then we will have a very good chance of winning.

Sam Michael (Chief Operations Engineer, WilliamsF1):
Montreal is a low to medium downforce circuit dominated by a lot of traction and braking. A large demand is placed on aero efficiency, braking performance, engine power and traction. Selecting your downforce level is a critical choice for all the engineers throughout the weekend.

Strategy can be varied here because of the overtaking opportunities, so it should provide for an interesting race on Sunday. Michelin provided a good tyre for Monaco and should do the same for Canada. We are going to the race optimistic of a good performance having won there in 2001, but also being mindful of how strong Ferrari and McLaren are this year.

Mario Theissen (Director, BMW Motorsport):
We have fond memories of our strength in the Montreal race last year. However, compared to 2001, the situation is now different as there was no team dominating races like this year. But the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve should still suit us and we hope to compete with the fastest again.

In Monaco we have been quite pleased with our performance, especially as it was the first time we did so well on a narrow and windy circuit. Of course the engine failure on Juan Pablo's car hampered the result, but now we know why it happened. An engine backfire had caused a fire inside the airbox.


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