Toro Rosso pair Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari will take on the challenge of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for the first time next weekend as F1 returns to Montreal after a year's absence.
Neither driver was on the grid the last time F1 visited Canada back in 2008, although Buemi was present with Red Bull Racing in his role as reserve driver.
The Swiss racer admits that he is looking forward to sampling the circuit and insisted that there could be some surprises as the team's run in low downforce spec for the first time.
“The last time there was a Grand Prix here, I was the Red Bull reserve driver, so I got a feeling for how the weekend pans out and how the track changes over the practice days,” he said. “I remember they had problems with the asphalt breaking up and I understand that much of it has now been resurfaced. It will be the first race of the year where we run the cars in low downforce trim and that's something I'm looking forward to, as those conditions can make for a few surprises. It's the sort of track where the driver can make a difference and therefore I really hope I can pick up some points.”
Team-mate Alguersuari admitted that he has a lot to learn as he tackles Montreal for the first time, with the low downforce nature of the venue being the big challenge he faces.
“I know it is a very tricky circuit to get the best from because of the combination of low downforce and the fact the surface has very little grip, given that in winter it's covered in snow and ice and then hardly used during the year,” he said. “I think my first race weekend here will be really interesting, getting used to the low downforce and its effect on braking, which in any case is an important factor here.
“It should all be about finding the right compromise in terms of your set-up to deal with these unusual characteristics that we do not encounter on any other track on the calendar. I will have a lot to learn, but I am really looking forward to another new experience as part of my F1 learning curve.”