Formula 1 is back in Canada after a one-year hiatus, and this weekend’s Canadian GP in Montreal will be the first time rookie teams visit Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, one of the most unique circuits on the F1 calendar. A mixture of long straights, low-speed chicanes and concrete walls, Montreal is demanding on the brakes and rewards confident drivers.

It’s summed up nicely by Renault’s Robert Kubica. “The walls are very close on the exit of the chicanes, especially Turn Four. If you can scrape it by millimetres you will be two tenths quicker than if you miss it by two feet.”

“Canada’s a race we all look forward to. It’s a temporary circuit where you often see quite a few people hit the wall, bringing out the safety car more than it’s usually seen. It’s one of those races where it’s possible to pick up points, and we’ve got to put ourselves in a position to do that,” says Lotus tech chief Mike Gascoyne.

“We’ve got two very experienced drivers in the car which will help us be there at the finish and that’s the primary goal. It’s going to be hard on brakes, but we’ve had no problems in that area. We’re also bringing a few more new parts, including a low downforce package specifically for Canada, so overall we want to build on the performances we’ve been putting in, aim for bullet-proof reliability, and have two cars see the flag,” he added.

Team boss Tony Fernandes pin points Lotus’ main issue. “We have developed well in a number of important areas, but so far reliability is one where we need to work harder – I hope Canada’s where we can turn that around,” he said.