Daniel Ricciardo won his first-ever GP in Canada last year so naturally he is excited to return to Montreal.
Q: Daniel, winning in Montreal didn’t really change your opinion of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, did it?
Daniel Ricciardo: "Not really. Possibly winning has made me love it a little bit more but really I’ve loved it since my first lap, back when I was driving for Toro Rosso. I remember coming back into the pits and saying "what a circuit", I was amazed at how good it was – and I’d only done an install."
Q: Gotta give us a bit more than that Dan…
DR: "It’s just a ridiculous amount of fun. You can jump across the kerbs and really get the car bouncing around. It’s like getting back to go-kart days, you really feel like you own it – and I love that. You can get aggressive with it, and aim to just brush the wall. There’s a lot of risk but that brings a lot of adrenaline with it. It’d be wonderful if you were doing it in isolation but with 100,000 screaming fans urging you on, it’s just mega."
Q: How do you judge the risk versus reward between the walls?
DR: "It’s a clear choice: some guys will play it safe and sacrifice half a tenth to get through there cleanly; others who will take a risk and go flat out trying to find a little bit. The nearer you are, the faster you’ll go. Give the wall a kiss and you feel pretty good: Kiss it too hard and that’s it!"
Q: So, good then?
Q:How about the city?
DR: "Awesome. Great places to eat and drink – plus the fact Crescent Street is closed off for a big party is very, very cool. The whole city gets involved in the race and you get the impression that the grand prix is really embraced."
Q: Presumably last year there was a bit of a party on Sunday night?
DR: "There was – but I was very restrained and in bed by 1.30am. There’s a point where the adrenaline wears off and suddenly you’re absolutely exhausted. I remember falling into bed, thinking "wow, crazy day", and out went the lights. Fortunately the crew are made of sterner stuff and kept the party going. They were not a pretty sight at breakfast the following day…
Q: We’ve just had a tight and twisting street circuit in Monaco and we’re now heading to a quite different temporary track in Montreal. Is a lap of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve as intense?
Daniil Kvyat: "Yes, it’s quite intense but in a very different way. The straights are long but you have these big braking zones. It has a little bit of the feeling of street circuit because of the walls but it is more of a traditional, classic track. It has a unique feeling though and it’s a great place for racing. It’s great for drivers and the races are usually very exciting, so I’m looking forward to it."
Q: What about the atmosphere in Montreal? It’s a city that really embraces F1.
DK: "Yeah, the atmosphere is always really good. It’s a great crowd and they seem to really know a lot about F1, which is great."
Q: Is it a town you enjoy hanging out in?
DK: "From what I’ve seen it’s a good city, but to be honest I haven’t actually been out and about there very much. However, my trainer likes it very much, because of the hockey. He’s a former hockey player so he loves it there. We’ve visited the stadium and I’ve watched a few games on the TV because it’s often play-off season [the Stanley Cup] when we’re there, so he’s always watching it."
Q: You’ve got a good hockey team, Salavat Yulaev Ufa, in your home city in Russia, don’t you?
DK: "Yeah, they’re good, but they’re facing difficult times now. But they’re my home team so I have to support them. I was never a really big fan of hockey but since meeting my trainer I’ve followed it a bit more and I do enjoy it, especially when Russia beats Finland!"