Romain, 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 car reacted much better to what we were doing, and to my driving style. That was a good thing, and a good direction. We got back to more common settings and worked from there.
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?
It’s a city circuit, but very different from Monaco. There are a few things we can bring forward, but not much.
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?
Hopefully, we don’t have to manage the brakes too much, which is normally a good thing for a driver. For the setup, you want a stable car for the braking. You also want the confidence to be able to brake late and to not have any instability or locking up on the entry phase into a corner.
Montreal is home to one of your best finishes in Formula One – a second-place effort in 2012. What do you remember about that race and how did you achieve that result?
That was a great race. I started P7. I had a one-stop strategy while everyone else was on a two-stop strategy. Initially, I thought I would finish fifth or sixth as I was stuck behind the Mercedes of (Nico) Rosberg. I couldn’t overtake. Then, everyone pitted. The ones who didn’t were really struggling with grip, so I could overtake them. I didn’t quite have the pace to chase Lewis (Hamilton) and take the win.
How important was that second-place finish at Montreal in 2012 during that early portion of your Formula One career?
It was a great race and, obviously, a great result. I always try to do my best. It was a good race. I enjoyed it. It’s always important to strive for the highest finish you can and be as high on the podium as possible.
What is your favorite part of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve?
I like the whole circuit. I’ve always loved it and really enjoy racing there. It’s always a great feeling.
Describe a lap around Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
After the start-finish line you go into turn one. It’s tricky braking with a lot of front locking. You’re straight into turn two – a very bumpy hairpin. Then it’s the chicane. You use a lot of the curb and have to be careful on exit because of the wall. Then it’s another left and right corner with tricky braking. You come from the right-hand side corner flat out, and then there’s a long throttle application with a lot of g-force. Then you brake for turns eight and nine. Under the bridge, it’s very bumpy. It’s not so easy to get the grip of the car there. Then it’s the hairpin. Very big braking there. You try to carry some minimum speed and not lose too much time. You then need a good throttle application. Then there’s the famous chicane at the end of the lap, where you really want to brake as late as possible and carry as much speed as possible through that tricky part.