Lewis Hamilton is aiming to build on his 'dream result' from Monaco when he takes part in his very first race at the evocative Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal next weekend, round six of the 2007 Formula 1 campaign.

The Canadian Grand Prix is the first in a double-header of transatlantic races in the coming fortnight, with the US Grand Prix at Indianapolis set to follow a week later. Both will be breaking new ground for the young Brit, but with five podium finishes from his maiden five outings in the top flight, he has shown he is anything but a slow learner.

"The result in Monaco was great for everyone in the team," the reigning GP2 champion enthused. "It was a dream result considering it was my first year there in a Formula 1 car, and it means we are going to North America at the top of both championship tables. I cannot wait to get back on-track and continue to focus on racing.

"This will be my debut at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, and because of the chances there are to pass it looks like a great track to compete on. It has some very distinctive characteristics such as the low grip, long straights, hard braking and so on, so my initial laps will focus on understanding all these and how best to drive the track to get good times.

"I have completed preparation work with my engineers at the McLaren Technology Centre specific to Canada and the US, and it will be great to finally take to the track here in Montreal."

Hamilton currently shares the lead of the drivers' standings with team-mate Fernando Alonso, though the Spaniard holds the slight edge thanks to his two victories in Malaysia and Monte Carlo. Between them, they have propelled McLaren some 20 points clear of arch-rivals Ferrari in the constructors' title chase, an advantage Mercedes-Benz Vice-President Norbert Haug hopes to maintain as the circus heads across the Pond.

"The first three letters are almost the only things which the street circuits of Monaco and Montreal have in common," the German stressed. "The layout of the track could hardly be more of a contrast to Monaco. Instead of maximum aero downforce as in Monaco there will be only a little; instead of slow turns we will see fast corners, instead of short straights there are long ones.

"This is particularly demanding for brakes and engines; four times per lap, the drivers slow down from speeds of more than 300km/h to about 100km/h. Before Monaco our team completed an intensive test on the long version of the Paul Ricard circuit to prepare for this race."

 

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