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Challenging times in Montreal
19 June 2013 In Davide Valsecchi's latest exclusive column on Crash.net, the Lotus F1 Team third driver and 2012 GP2 Series champion reviews Canada and looks ahead to the British Grand Prix at Silverstone…
The Canadian Grand Prix weekend was the first time I'd ever been to Montreal and even though it wasn't a great weekend for us on track, I enjoyed the opportunity to visit the city.
The atmosphere at the track was absolutely incredible; it was just perfect all weekend. It was also great to see the circuit, which is fantastic. It is very particular, with long straights, the slow chicane and walls that are really close. That means that you can't make a mistake, and makes what happens on track even more exciting.
I'd love to have the chance to race there in F1 in the future, as it is a very special race and there is a lot of history at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, as there is at some of the famous European circuits like Spa and Monza.
I really loved being there, but like I said, it was a tough race for us and only Kimi was able to score points on race day.
He wasn't really happy with how we did, particularly on Saturday when we weren't competitive enough in the damp conditions. It hurt us in qualifying and meant that we weren't in a position to challenge in the race. Although Kimi finished ninth and was able to score some points, we hope that we'll be more competitive in future.
I do think we'd have been in a better position if it hadn't been for the rain on Saturday, as I reckon we could have been in the top five on the grid. That wasn't the only issue we faced however, as you have to remember that we also we had problems with the brakes during the race. In the first few laps, Kimi had an issue with the brakes fading and he lost the chance to recover a few positions as a result.
The end result was that we dropped a place in the Constructors' Championship and Kimi also dropped a place in the Drivers' championship, and we need to recover from that as quickly as possible.
For Romain, it was always going to be a difficult weekend because of the penalty he had from Monaco and it didn't get any easier in qualifying as he lost out with the conditions. They were very strange as one moment it was raining, then it would stop and the circuit would dry a little and you just had to be on track at the right time. Sadly, Romain was on track at the wrong time and the end result was that – after his penalty – he started from last on the grid.
From there, it was always going to be hard for him, but he did a good job on race day. He ran in tenth place for a lot of the grand prix but our speed wasn't incredible and he dropped back a bit to finish 13th. Even though he didn't score any points, he didn't have a bad afternoon but his problem was where he started; it was just too far back.
After the disappointment of Canada, we'll aim to fight back in the British Grand Prix now and with it being one of our home races, we'd love to be on top at Silverstone and show all of our best qualities.
Silverstone is a beautiful circuit and the atmosphere is always great. To many, England is the home of motor racing and there are always a lot of fans present to cheer the teams and drivers on. It's a circuit I enjoy personally and I have good memories of my time on track from GP2. Last year, I recovered from a penalty that put me last on the grid to finish seventh in race one, and then finished second in race two.
Hopefully we'll be able to create some good memories this time around and I'm sure that Kimi will fight back from his result in Montreal and will be back in the top positions again. Of course, it's not easy to say how strong we will be, but we have done a lot of work on the car since Canada and have tried to develop it to make it quicker.
We will do the maximum that we can to be on top and we know that we have to show an improved performance when the race weekend comes around. It's a big race for everyone at Enstone, and our aim is to reward them with a good result.
Until next time, that's me signing out...Davide Valsecchi
To keep tabs on the Lotus F1 Team's progress in 2013, simply follow this link: www.lotusf1team.com