Why McLaren are looking forward to F1’s Montreal return

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McLaren drivers Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo say they are excited to return to Montreal for the Canadian Grand Prix.

Due to the pandemic, this weekend’s race is the first at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve since 2019, and McLaren come into the event fresh from their second double points finish of 2022, with Daniel Ricciardo eighth and Lando Norris ninth in Baku.

Norris has only raced at Montreal once, retiring after just eight laps in 2019 with suspension damage, and the Briton says he is hoping for better fortunes this time.

“I’m excited to be heading back to Canada. It will be my second time racing there so it’ll be great to get back on track in front of the Canadian fans,” said Norris.

“The 2019 race certainly didn’t end the way I wanted it to, so I’m looking forward to getting back on track and giving it my all.

“I’ve done my prep on the sim(ulator) and I feel up for the challenge in these new cars.

“Baku was difficult with the windy conditions, but it was important to get a double points finish for the team.

“We still have some work to do to get further up the grid, but I’m confident we will get there, and we have a great team of people working at track and back at the factory to continually push us forward.”

Ricciardo keen on return to site of debut win

In contrast to Norris, Ricciardo has a special history with Montreal, having taken his maiden Grand Prix win there back in 2014, and the Australian talked up F1’s return to Canada.

“All of my favourite races seem to start with M: Melbourne, Monaco, Monza and, obviously, Montreal,” said Ricciardo.

“I’m buzzing to be going back to Canada after a couple of years. Montreal is a great city and there’s always a brilliant atmosphere, so I’m looking forward to soaking that all up and using it to keep pushing forward on track – it’s always a fun one.

“I got my first win there back in 2014, so hopefully I can use some of that Canadian magic to get some more points for the team this time round.”

Ricciardo has struggled so far this season, scoring only 15 points to Norris’ 50, and with rumours suggesting his seat at McLaren for 2023 is under threat, the Australian says he is keen to ensure he remains upwardly mobile in Montreal.

“It was great to get back in the points in Baku after a tough few races,” said Ricciardo.

“It was a difficult one, but the hard work and determination clearly paid off and I’m going to use this momentum we have going heading into part two of this double header. I’m excited.”



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