The Haas F1 Team’s Esteban Gutierrez heads into this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix of the back of an 11th place finish just missing out on a point for the American team. Looking ahead to the race in Montreal Gutierrez was asked:
You mentioned at Monaco that despite the result, you felt more comfortable with the car. What are you feeling in the car that’s different from what you experienced in Spain?
“The more we know the car, the more comfortable and confident I feel. Every time we go out, I know a better direction to follow with the setup.”
Back-to-back 11th-place finishes have you knocking on the door of a point-paying result. How tight is the competition to finish in the points and how close do you think you are to getting a point-paying result?
“It’s been a challenging start to the season, but now we have some consistency and we can build a lot from that. I’ll keep pushing. And the team is doing a great job of learning more about the car, becoming more efficient in developing the car’s setup throughout the race weekend. We’re on track to achieve the results we want and earn as many points as possible.”
The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is a semi street circuit. Is there anything you can take from Monaco and apply to Montreal, especially considering Pirelli is bringing the same tire compounds from Monaco?
“Montreal is a pretty low downforce track. It’s very smooth and there are many, many long straights. It’s usually a challenge to make the tires work, and I think that’s going to be the key point of the whole weekend.”
Canada is known as the hardest-braking grand prix of the year. What do you need to feel in the car to make the most of your car’s braking capability, and how do you manage your brakes for the entire, 70-lap race?
“It’s very similar to Monza, with a lot of long straights and low downforce. It’s important to have a good car mechanically. Hopefully, our car is well adapted to the circuit.”
What is your favorite part of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve?
“I like all the chicanes because you can use a lot of curbs, which it makes it very exciting. I’m really looking forward to getting there and driving the track. It’s always great to be back in Montreal.”
Describe a lap around Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
“You come into the first corner with a lot of speed. Then you get into turn two, which goes around and has a very difficult exit with some bumps. You arrive into the first chicane, where you can use a lot of curbs. Then you have a high-speed corner that is flat out, and you arrive into the next corner under braking, using a little bit of the track’s banking and the curb before exiting onto the following straight. It’s a very long exit. After that, there’s a medium-length straight that brings you to a hard-braking zone. It’s a very challenging entry because you tend to put a lot of speed in, which makes the exit difficult. There’s a wall there too, so it can get pretty exciting. Then you come down to the hairpin, where it’s very big braking, very tricky on the entry. It’s a difficult corner, especially when you have low grip. It’s important to properly prepare the exit so you can take advantage of the longest straight on the track. That straight brings you to the last chicane, which has the Wall of Champions. It’s a very quick chicane and very interesting, because if you catch as much as you can on the curbs, absorbing a lot with the steering wheel and trying to make the corner as straight as possible, you gain a lot of lap time.”