BMW Motorsport director Mario Theissen has reason to be confident as his team heads across the Atlantic for this weekend's Canadian Grand Prix, but he knows only to well that the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve can bite.

While Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica are riding high after five rounds of the 2007 world championship, the Montreal venue is well-known for making a mockery of form and talent - remember the spate of world champions hitting the last corner wall - and Theissen is keen to see his drivers come away with points.

"Last year, we crossed the Atlantic in fifth place in the standings and, in 2007, we will be arriving in Canada as the third best team," he compared, "However, in 2006, we were only able to take two points away from the pair of races in North America. This is something we are naturally looking to improve on, and we are aiming to collect as many points as possible on the back of our good result in Monaco in order to further strengthen our position in the championship.

"The atmosphere at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is simply captivating, with parallels to Monaco, but the type of challenge presented by the Montreal track could hardly
be more different. The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve places totally different aerodynamic demands on the cars and pushes both the brakes in particular, and the engines, to the limit. In line with the F1 regulations, our cars will continue with the same engines as we used in Monaco."

Technical director Willy Rampf confirmed that the two F1.07s would sport another new technical package to cope with the special demands of the Montreal circuit.

"The combination of long straights and chicanes makes Montreal what we call a 'medium downforce' circuit, and we have developed a special aero package that takes this into account," he explained, "The long straight leading up to the final chicane offers the drivers the best overtaking opportunity if top speed allows, but Montreal is harder on the brakes than any other circuit on the F1 calendar, so maximum brake cooling and high-performance specifications for discs and pads are the order of the day."

Rampf shares Theissen's confidence, despite the venue's notoriety as a car-breaker.

"This is a circuit that punishes even the slightest error, as the crash barriers are largely extremely close to the track and there are not many run-off areas," he said, "We were very competitive in Canada last year, and I am extremely confident that we will be able to come away with good results again this year."

 

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