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  1. The Lotus F1® Team suffered disappointment over the weekend in an unfulfilling Canadian GP that saw both Lotus F1® drivers retire from the Montreal race Despite a heart-warming fight from the Lotus F1® Team, the Canadian 2014 Grand Prix failed to unfold as hoped for by the black and gold troupe with both Lotus F1® Team drivers forced to retire before the end of the 70-lap race. Pastor began from P17 and despite ascending to P8, he had little choice but to retire in lap 21 when power unit issues proved insurmountable for the Venezuelan. Romain who had begun from P14 fared little better and suffered rear wing damage cutting short his race and he retired in lap 59. Romain Grosjean DNF E22-03: “Today was not great in terms of pace for me, however there are some positives looking forwards. We can see that a Renault Sport F1 team can win a race so we have a target there, especially when the win came at a circuit that is not thought to be one of the stronger ones for them. Congratulations to Daniel for his win which I watched in the garage. The rear wing of my car broke, so it was safer to retire than risk a potentially dangerous situation. We have a lot of work to do, so it's time to go home and try to understand our problems and come back stronger in the next races." Pastor Maldonado DNF E22-01: “We had a similar problem to yesterday where we lost a lot of power. It's a shame as the race was going very well, and we had an excellent pace - to be honest I was quite surprised by the car. The strategy was good, as we were looking for one stop whereas all the other cars were planning two stops, so we were looking very strong today and even without stopping we were on a similar pace with the other teams. We just need to look into exactly what happened and work hard to fix the problems we are having. We’ve shown we can be competitive." Federico Gastaldi, Deputy Team Principal: "Today saw a great Formula 1 race and we must say congratulations to Daniel Ricciardo for his first win. For us, it was certainly not our finest moment. Pastor was driving very strongly with a good strategy which should have seen him finish strongly in the points. He had an issue related to his power unit from the start of the race and eventually he had to retire because of this. This is frustrating for all involved and we will do everything we can to eradicate issues like this in the future. Romain had a tough race where he pushed all the way, but there was a problem with his rear wing. Again, not ideal and something we need to understand and rectify. We have a busy few weeks before Austria.” The team now look forward to the next round of the competition that takes place in Austria on 22nd June.
  2. Kimi Räikkönen equalled Michael Schumacher’s record of consecutive points finishes as he endured a difficult Canadian Grand Prix. Romain Grosjean fought through the field to temporarily occupy a points placing, before an unexpected second stop dropped him to 13th place from his back of the grid start in Montréal. Kimi falls to third place in the Drivers’ Championship, with Fernando Alonso now in second, 12 points ahead of him. The team drops to fourth in the Constructors’ Championship, with Mercedes 20 points ahead in third. Kimi started from P11 with a new set of supersoft tyres, changing to new mediums on lap 22. Romain started from P22 on a new set of medium tyres, switching to new supersofts on lap 42 and new mediums on lap 53. Today was Kimi’s 35th consecutive race finish – 27th consecutive with Lotus F1 Team – and 24th consecutive Grand Prix points finish; the latter statistic meaning he equals Michael Schumacher’s record. Kimi Räikkönen, P9, E21-03 “My race didn’t start very well and then my brakes were fading with the pedal going soft; similar to the problem we had on Friday. It wasn’t ideal but at least the brakes were good enough to slow me down for the corners. Unfortunately though it meant I lost a lot of time and wasn’t able to attack, plus we lost a few seconds in the pit stop which obviously didn’t help either. Most of my race was just following the cars in front and defending from those behind, so not the most enjoyable day nor the most enjoyable result. It’s been a bad weekend, but at least we scored a few points.” Romain Grosjean, P13, E21-02 “It was always going to be a tough race coming from the back, but it’s still disappointing to miss out on the points. Things were looking good until we switched to the option tyres, but they dropped off far quicker than we expected which forced us to stop again. Sadly that effectively put an end to our race as by that time there was no way back. After a promising start on Friday it’s not been the best weekend, but we had good pace last year at Silverstone so we’ll come back looking to put things right.” Eric Boullier, Team Principal "Today was certainly character building. On the plus side, Romain drove a measured and mature race through the field and should have finished in the points had we not had to make a second stop, which wasn’t to our original plan. Kimi had a frustrating day, but still scored some points. We couldn’t show the pace we wanted this weekend and will be all the more focused when we get to Silverstone as we are obviously very keen to get our championship challenge back on track.” Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director “We clearly haven’t been quick enough all weekend and we’ll go back to Enstone to analyse why. We’ll then react to those conclusions and hopefully get ourselves back up to where we want to be, which is fighting for podiums and wins. We have an aero test before Silverstone, a new bodywork package and other tweaks to come so there is plenty of potential to improve. We simply weren’t quick enough this weekend.” Ricardo Penteado, Renault Sport F1 Team Support Leader “That was a race to the finish, in many respects. Every lap we were changing settings to try to give an extra advantage over the competition, particularly from the starting positions we were in. The change in weather conditions changed fuel consumption so we had to play with that, plus we had to control the temperatures throughout the race as we were in traffic every lap. Getting P9 for Kimi keeps the points going, but we hope we can return to the front at the next race in Silverstone.”
  3. Kimi Räikkönen will start from ninth on the grid and Romain Grosjean a distant 29th - or thereabouts - after a hectic qualifying session for the Canadian Grand Prix. Following a shortened morning practice session, qualifying was wet throughout with a brief red flag period nearing the end of Q2. Romain was a victim of unfortunate timing as a yellow flag affected one fast lap in Q1, and an increasingly wet track prevented another. He qualified 19th, meaning he will start from the back of the 22-car grid once his ten-place grid penalty is factored in. Kimi Räikkönen, E21-03. Q: P9, 1:27.432. FP3: P10, 1:20.316 “We didn’t have grip in these conditions so we did pretty much all we could do, but if there’s no grip you can’t go faster. In this weather it’s difficult as sometimes the rain gets harder, sometimes the track is drying so you have to try to be out there when the circuit’s at its best. P9 on the grid is not what we want so we’ll have to see what we can do in the race tomorrow.” Romain Grosjean, E21-02. Q: P19, 1:25.716. FP3: P11, 1:20.596 “Clearly not the best day, and of course with the grid penalty I now start in what should be P29 for the race, which is a long way back! After we changed to new intermediates mid-way through the session I had one lap to set a time when the track was at its driest, but there were yellow flags after someone went straight on so I had to slow down and respect the warning. Then the track was too wet to go faster. We got caught out a little bit by the weather but it’s nobody’s fault; just yet more bad luck. In these conditions it’s impossible to predict when the rain will be at its heaviest and we didn’t see anything from the radar to suggest it would get worse. It’s going to be a long race from the back, but we know the car is quick so our weekend is far from over yet.” Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: How was qualifying for the team? It was a disappointing day for us. Romain couldn’t get a good lap in the first session meaning he will start from the back of the grid. Kimi struggled too and will start from ninth, which is not where we want to be. The E21 clearly wasn’t working well in the wet conditions experienced today. We opted for a more dry weather focused set-up which, although it hindered us today, should benefit us tomorrow if the weather does stay dry. We certainly weren’t expecting the level of water that we did see on the track during qualifying. How difficult was it on the pitwall through qualifying? It wasn’t that difficult as it was consistently wet rather than being wet and dry giving us a decision to make on which tyres to run. We went for the first lap of Q1 with both cars using the super soft dry tyre and it was immediately clear that it was too wet for slicks. After that, timing and finding space on track became the key considerations. Predicting when there might be yellow flags, unfortunately, is a very difficult science. What are the predictions for tomorrow’s weather and strategy? Certainly we expect it to be warmer than today and that should help us. There’s still a chance of rain, but the track and air temperatures should be of benefit. If it is dry then we – like all of the teams – will be learning the slick tyre performance as we go along as there has been only limited running on them so far this weekend. That said, I think it could be a race of 1-2 pit stops rather than a 3-4 stop strategy.
  4. Romain Grosjean ended the first day of practice for the Canadian Grand Prix with the third fastest time, whilst team-mate Kimi Räikkönen – fifth fastest in the morning – saw his afternoon session curtailed as the team investigated a brake issue on his E21. The morning session saw a damp but drying circuit, with afternoon running conducted in cool, dry conditions. Pirelli’s wet and intermediate tyres were used in the morning; the medium, super soft and developmental medium compound dry tyres in the afternoon. Technical programme notes: Both drivers ran with new, Montréal downforce level front and rear wing specifications today Pirelli’s wet (blue), intermediate (green) and medium compound dry (white) tyres were used in the morning session, the medium, developmental medium and super soft (red) in the afternoon Kimi had a brake issue in the afternoon which ended his session early What we learned today: The Montréal-spec front and rear wings and related aero package work well The E21 looks good in damp conditions but did not display its customary high-fuel pace Kimi Räikkönen, E21-03 Free practice 1: P5, 1:21.608, 22 laps Free practice 2: P11, 1:15.599, 35 laps Kimi: “We improved the car through the day and by the end of the session it was ok; not ideal but certainly not a disaster either. It wasn’t easy to get the tyres up to temperature today, but it’s pretty cold at the circuit so that’s not too much of a surprise. If we can get the tyres working better it will be an improvement for sure, but it’s not going to change the world. We’ll be looking at how to get them a bit warmer for qualifying tomorrow and then see what the weather does. After that, we’ll do the best we can.” Romain Grosjean, E21-02 Free practice 1: P3, 1:21.258, 21 laps Free practice 2: P3, 1:15.083, 40 laps “It was more or less a normal Friday for us. This morning was obviously a wet session so we worked on setup for those conditions, then in the afternoon we tested the prototype tyres and completed some long runs. It’s quite hard to get the tyres switched on in these conditions as the surface here is very smooth, so with low temperatures it’s a bit more tricky to build up the energy in the rubber; more so with the mediums but even with the super softs. It’s meant to be quite warm on Sunday which is always a good thing for us, so we’ll try to get the maximum from the car in qualifying tomorrow and go from there.” Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “We’re fairly happy with our single lap pace, but we weren’t as comfortable as we usually are on high fuel levels. Both drivers also complained about a lack of tyre temperature, but with warmer temperatures forecast for Sunday this shouldn’t be too much to worry about. We didn’t learn too much in the morning in the damp conditions, other than getting some worthwhile laps on the intermediate tyres to ensure we’re happy in case of a wet qualifying session. In the afternoon we ran all three types of dry tyre – including the developmental spec – so we’ve got a good amount of data to collate overnight. Kimi’s session ended early as we made a precautionary stop related to the rear brakes, but it’s nothing of concern for the rest of the weekend.”
  5. The 10th round of the 2012 season will take place on the 1.75-mile temporary street circuit at Toronto’s Exhibition Place, by the lakeshore. And Lotus is excited because the engine builder is packing an upgrade. Lotus HVM Racing driver Simona De Silvestro is looking forward to a great race weekend. The Swiss Miss is hoping to see some improvements on her #78 machine when the newly installed Lotus engine runs its first laps on the Toronto street circuit. “Lotus will be bringing us an update, before every race, starting this weekend” she said. “We’ll see how Toronto works out, but I think with an upgraded engine, we should have better results. We just need to keep focusing on what we are doing. For sure, it would be great to run in the top 10, that would be really good for us. We are going to go to Toronto with an open mind. I’m excited to see what this new engine can do.” She added: “It’s been frustrating so far this season, because we had a strong race car at Detroit and again at Iowa, but with less power, it was so hard for us to pass,” she said. “We seem to be able to keep a good pace, but when it’s time to pass, we don’t have the speed to do it.” Director of Lotus Racing Claudio Berro says: "We sent IndyCar a list of modifications we wanted to do on the engine between now and the end of the season. The list included the parts we intend to modify, when, and the level of power improvement expected. IndyCar approved all our requests and just needed to know from us when an engine would be updated. The first update is planned for Toronto. The next step will be for Edmonton. We will bring as much performance as we can, with reduced fuel consumption which is as important, and which means that we will accept the 10-spot grid penalty for any upgrade." On Monday, before heading to Toronto, the Lotus HVM Racing team went testing at Mid-Ohio. This was the first test in which the team has participated since the start of the season. The team worked on different areas of the car, as the new Lotus engine was only installed after the test. The city of Toronto is definitely a favourite spot among the IndyCar teams and drivers. Toronto is the cultural, entertainment and financial capital of Canada. The Metro Toronto area is home to more than 4.7 million people and is often referred to as the “Canada’s version of New York City”. Toronto has much to offer. Rumor has it that most of the IndyCar drivers bring their wives and girlfriends to this event, mainly for the shopping and fine restaurants. The architecture, the shops, and the people is what Toronto is all about. The energy is palpable in this city. And best of all, Canadians are big open-wheel fans. The IZOD IndyCar Series is bringing back the ‘push-to-pass’ feature for the remaining five road and street races on this year’s schedule, starting this weekend. This feature allows a driver to add turbo-boost by pressing a button on the steering wheel in order to pass. However, the IndyCar Series has imposed a pre-determined time to utilize the push. For the Toronto race, the total time will be 100 seconds. It will be up to the driver to manage the seconds used. All in all, this should make for a very interesting race weekend.
  6. How did Romain Grosjean shoot from the midfield to second place in those dying laps? He was originally on a two stopper just like Vettel and Alonso. It was a fantastic performance. When we see how Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso finished the race with no grip and terrible lap times, you appreciate what an unbelievable result it is for Romain. He looked fast the whole race, normal pace, but all the time he was saving his tyres so the tyres were in really good condition for the final 15 laps. Another four or five laps, I just wonder what could have happened. Lewis Hamilton was fast, but Romain was even faster. I tell you, it was a great race. The middle was a bit boring, but the end was sensational. The Circuit de Gilles Villeneuve must hold a special place in your career, having taken your sole grand prix win there. What is it about the place that you love? The layout is very exciting for drivers, because the walls are so close, as are the grandstands and the fans. The crowds there have so much passion, because of Gilles Villeneuve and the spirit he brings to racing in Canada. All the fans remember him, and I’m one of them. He gave me the passion I now have for motorsport. Speaking of inspiring the next generation of drivers, did you see Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne wore a Jean Alesi-inspired helmet in Monaco? That was fantastic. It actually made me very emotional because nowadays you think the current generation don’t care about what happened in the past, the drivers that raced in F1 years ago. It was a full surprise to me. I spoke to him the day before on the telephone and he told me he had a surprise for me, but I wasn’t expecting that. It was a lovely gift. Romain outperformed Kimi Raikkonen last weekend, as he did in Monaco. Both drivers now have second places to their name. Is the pressure now on Kimi to deliver that first win of the year? I don’t think so because there have been seven winners from seven races, and the points are all shared across the board. Almost anyone is capable of winning the championship. Romain and Kimi are both very capable of not only winning the next race, but winning the title. What impresses me is the consistency of speed from Lotus. We all wondered if they had enough budget to keep up in the development race against Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari, but they are maintaining their competitiveness very well. How do you think the team will get on next week in Valencia? It’s a strange circuit, but even if we look at the results at ‘normal’ circuits this year, like Barcelona where everyone knows a lot about the track, the winner was a surprise! Next weekend could be the same, and I’m hoping the surprise winner is driving a Lotus.
  7. Lotus F1 Team returned to the podium with a superb performance from Romain Grosjean, the Frenchman clinching his best Formula 1 result to date by climbing from seventh on the grid to second place in a searing Canadian Grand Prix. Kimi Räikkönen rose from twelfth on the grid to eighth at the chequered flag, helping the team move eleven points ahead of Ferrari in the Constructors’ Championship. Lotus F1 Team have now scored more points from the seven races thus far in 2012 than during the entirety of the 2011 season. Romain started on used super softs and changed to new softs on lap 21. Kimi started on new softs and changed to new super softs on lap 40. The team is now the second highest scoring team over the last four races and have the second highest number of podiums this season. Kimi Räikkönen, P8, E20-03 “The car was a bit better in the race than it was in qualifying. I seemed to get stuck behind people a few times. The DRS zone is not very long, and it’s still a difficult battle if the car ahead of you is also using the DRS. We had a chance to do a bit better, but it didn’t quite all come together today. We scored points again so that’s always a good thing, especially this season. Qualifying yesterday wasn’t perfect so obviously that left us with more work to do. If you start further forward it’s easier to finish higher up the order. We’ll try to achieve that in the next race.” Romain Grosjean, P2, E20-04 “It’s been a great day for the team. It was an incredible race and the one stop strategy worked perfectly for us. It wasn’t an easy race, but we wanted to be aggressive to achieve a good result. Yesterday was a bit disappointing, but we learnt a lot from Friday to Saturday and the fruits of all these lessons were seen today. It wasn’t easy to manage the second set of tyres for so long, but it worked so I’ll happily do that again for another result like today. It’s fantastic to finish in second position on my first visit to Montreal, hopefully I will finish in first on my second time! I would like to thank the entire team for the amazing job we’ve done this weekend” Eric Boullier, Team Principal "Today’s result is due to very good team work and keeping focused on the task at hand. The E20 was very well setup for the race, our strategies worked for both cars to finish much higher than they started and both drivers drove superbly. Romain drove an excellent race and P2 is superb for the whole team, especially everyone at Enstone who keeps pushing to develop every area of the car. We know that if we can get more in qualifying we will be able to achieve even better things in the races, so that is our task ahead.” Alan Permane, Director of Trackside Operations “Today all went very much to plan. Coming into the race we were fairly confident that we could do a one stop strategy; it would be a bit tight on the tyres, but it was clear from Friday that the tyres had the pace and the durability to do one stop. Today was a lot hotter, and we had a fall back of a two stop strategy, which we didn’t need. Romain did everything he needed today and it’s a well deserved result. For Kimi we used the opposite tyre strategy from Romain by starting him on the soft tyre and it worked for him to finish four places higher than he started in what was a very competitive race. It’s two very solid drives we’ve had today so we’re very happy to bounce back from Monaco in emphatic fashion. ” Ricardo Penteado, Renault Sport F1 Team Support Leader “A fantastic double points finish for the team with a career-best result for Romain. It was not an easy race as fuel consumption was difficult to gauge on Friday, but we took a risk to go very aggressive and it was the right choice: Romain’s pace in the last few laps was impressive. Congratulations to all as the result moves us ahead of Ferrari in the championship now.”
  8. Romain Grosjean set the seventh fastest time whilst Kimi Räikkönen suffered a hydraulic issue which prevented him from climbing higher than twelfth during qualifying for tomorrow’s Canadian Grand Prix. Kimi Räikkönen, E20-03. Q: P12, 1:14.734. FP3: P9, 1:14.997 “Obviously it’s disappointing to go out in Q2 but we had some issues with the differential which meant the car wasn’t handling as it should. When the grid is so tight it makes a big difference not having the car exactly as you like it. Still, we had no issues on the long runs yesterday, we have options to choose from with the tyres, and the warmer weather is definitely suiting us better so hopefully we can put everything right before tomorrow and go from there. The race is where it counts, so let’s see what we can do.” Romain Grosjean, E20-04. Q: P7, 1:14.645. FP3: P8 1:14.873 “For sure we wanted a bit more from qualifying but this is a tricky circuit to get right, and the big variation between conditions yesterday and today didn’t help. The warmer temperatures definitely suited us more but not quite as well as we thought. The car felt pretty strong but my last run could have been better, which is a shame. Still, making it through to Q3 is never a bad thing and it’s a long race tomorrow. Our car has been quite easy on tyres so far this season and hopefully that could make the difference. Last time I started in P7 we ended up on the podium, so let’s hope it can happen again tomorrow!” Alan Permane, Director of Trackside Operations: “Good, but not great...” How do you assess today’s qualifying performance? “We had a problem with the hydraulics on Kimi’s car in the session which meant the differential was not working properly, so he did a good job to qualify where he did. Romain went through to the final qualifying session comfortably and then did a really good first timed lap in that session on scrubbed tyres. The new tyres didn’t give him the grip and confidence he expected and his lap on these wasn’t any faster. It’s unusual that we would have a warm-up issue here in these conditions, but we’ll be looking at everything to understand what happened.” How difficult has it been to read the track here? “The track was very dirty after yesterday’s rain so we saw a lot of evolution today, though it wasn’t particularly tricky to predict. Having said that we’ve had a little bit more trouble than usual setting the cars up; just finding the right balance with the heavy breaking here, making it comfortable enough into the corner and not having too much understeer mid-corner. Certainly with Romain it’s fair to say that he’s not as comfortable as he normally is with his car” Could Kimi’s hydraulic problem in qualifying carry over into the race? “I have no doubt that we’ll resolve Kimi’s issue for tomorrow. We can see the symptoms clearly on the data and we recognised it very early on. We informed Kimi that there was a problem during qualifying. It wasn’t something we could easily remedy during the session but I’m very confident that we’ll find the problem overnight and fix it.” What are the strategy considerations for tomorrow? “In terms of strategy we’ll be assessing different options. Tyre degradation is very low here, so we could see a few teams attempt a one stop race. Overtaking is very much possible here with the long straights and the DRS; it won’t be easy by any means but certainly simpler than in Monaco.”
  9. OH CANADA! Originally known as the Ile Notre Dame Circuit, set on an island in the Saint Lawrence River, it was quickly re-named after the man who won the inaugural race in 1978 – Gilles Villeneuve, one of the bravest (translation: gifted but mental) racers who ever lived. Check out the futuristic architecture around the island, like that big glass ball thing (technical name: geodesic dome). The place used to be home to the 1967 World Fair. ON TRACK: Set upon public roads in a park, the circuit starts the weekend very ‘green’ with about as much grip as a fisherman trying to wrestle an eel into a bag. That means muchos accidents in free practice. The star of the stack show is the outside of the final corner, known as the wall of champions because it’s stamped its authority on the likes of Michael Schumacher, Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve (who sadly never managed to win at his dad’s track). The characteristics of this track are high speed straights and low speed corners. This may suit McLaren and Mercedes better than the Renault-engined Lotus and Red Bull cars, which have an appetite for flowing corners. Due to the stop-start nature of the layout, gearboxes are put under enormous strain. They experience around 2,000 changes during the 70 lap race. Safety cars are common place here because there’s little run off – even less than Melbourne. That means the result could be a lottery. Last year Jenson Button won the race, yet at one point he was tooling around at the back. RACE DETAILS: Local start time: 15h00 Number of laps: 70 Circuit length: 4.361km Race distance: 305.270km Lap record: Rubens Barrichello (Ferrari, 2004), 1m13.622 WHAT THE DRIVERS SAY: Kimi Räikkönen : “I have always liked the Canadian Grand Prix. I won there in 2005 so Montreal has good memories. The city is one of the best places to visit on the calendar. I really enjoy the stop-start nature of the circuit layout and the challenge of the track. To do well in Canada the car needs to be good under braking because it’s very tough on brakes at this circuit. You also make use of the kerbs and our car has been pretty good in this area. It’s also a circuit with different track surfaces and sometimes the surface itself can change over the course of the race weekend. This is interesting as it means different grip levels, so another challenge there. It’s a street course, but there are still places to overtake so you don’t have to change all of your focus to qualifying like you do in Monaco. It is a race that sees a lot of safety cars; there has probably not been a Canadian Grand Prix without having a safety car. Most likely it will happen again. A safety car makes it difficult for the strategy as you can’t predict when it might come. If the safety car is employed, then you have got to hope that it happens at the right time.” Romain Grosjean: “It will be my first time in Canada so it’s another new experience for me this year. I’m looking forward to it because it’s a track which many drivers have told me they like. It’s also a track which can bite you, and we’ve seen that over the years with the champions’ wall. Even though I’m not a Formula One champion, I’ll be giving that part of the track some respect! Normally I enjoy street circuits – I was right on the pace in Monaco. I enjoy the sensation of being close to the walls. Finally, the weather in Montreal can be quite changeable, as we saw last year. I’m sure it’ll be a challenging and exciting grand prix.” OFF TRACK: That story about the man who was crushed beneath a vending machine while trying to shake a Coke can out of it wasn’t an urban myth. His name was Kevin, and he was from Quebec. Gilles Villeneuve and Jim Carrey were/are Canadian too, and their photos are in the dictionary under crazy. It’s important to understand this before embarking on a jet boat tour up the wildest stretches of the Lachine Rapids. For god’s sake wear a life jacket. It’s said there are all sorts of ghosts, ghouls and spectres haunting the narrow lanes of Old Montreal. Take one of the ghost tours and listen to the creepy stories about child murderers, witches, and kleptos. You can also take a jet boat tour up the St Lawrence and take in a show at the Cirque de Soleil. Montréal is where this circus arts phenomenon first started. Founder Guy Laliberté is a huge F1 fan. A while back he blew $35m on a 12-day trip to space. With money like that, it’s a surprise he’s not racing for Marussia this year. After a boutique hotel? The Hotel de l’Institute is actually set on the top floors of the Institut de Tourisme et d’Hôtellerie, where people come from all over the world to study Canadian hospitality. The hotel employs a lot of its own students. Therefore, if you ring reception to say you need an ironing board, bear in mind that they’re in the middle of a dissertation and can’t you just put a towel over the desk and do it? Montreal’s numero ‘une’ steakhouse, La Queue de Cheval, is hugely popular with drivers and team principals and serves the paddock’s favourite plonk – Jarno Trulli wine. Inside it looks like a gentlemen’s club (no, not the sort Montreal is famous for) with polished dark wood and private dining rooms. Kimi recommends the ribeye. Au Pied du Cochon - P.D.C, as the local gastros call it - will probably give you a heart attack. But at least you’ll die happy. Their namesake dish, a pig’s foot, is the size of a man’s forearm and is poached, stuffed and roasted in a wood oven. A layer of foie gras is layered over it like a saddle before it comes to your table. Foie gras is in no short supply here. You can have it on a burger, on a pizza, on pancakes or simply with chips. Or go for ‘Duck in a Can’ which does, indeed, come with a can opener. Indie music is a major force in Canada, and you can judge breakthrough acts at La Sala Rossa, an atmospheric, chandelier-lit gig venue, which used to be a left-wing political centre and once hosted Eleanor Roosevelt. While most of the acts here are unsigned, it has drawn some ‘known’ indie bands such as The Datsuns, British Sea Power, Hot Chip and Arcade Fire – the latter band being Montréal-based, and a frequent sight at this venue. La Sala Rossa cooks up a good paella too, as well as great music. Jacques Villeneuve: World Champion, singer-songwriter, hair-dye enthusiast, and owner of Montréal’s hottest real estate, Newtown - his (kind of) eponymous resto-bar-club. The basement dance-floor has a colourful disco screen at the back that looks like Canada’s biggest battenburg. If you used to engineer JV’s car you might be offered a free round of drinks. Unless you worked at BAR-Honda. In which case, keep a low profile.
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