- Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Sébastien Buemi drives the Red Bull Racing Formula One car in exclusive winter session on Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, and incredible ice run on frozen waters of northern Quebec -
MONTREAL, Jan. 20 /CNW/ - When Formula One announced the return of the Grand Prix to Montreal in 2010, Red Bull Racing couldn't wait to celebrate in one of their favourite cities - no matter what the calendar, or weather report, said. So with parkas packed and custom tires in the lab, the team mapped out its ultimate winter drive.
The first stop was an exclusive session on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. With Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Sébastien Buemi behind the wheel, the Red Bull Racing Formula One car ripped through the snow-lined course. While the team kept a close watch on the car's performance in sub-zero temperatures, Buemi put rubber to asphalt and ice, delivering the ultimate sneak peek to, what will hopefully be a point-scoring run on June 12, five months before their competitors get reacquainted with the fabled course.
ICY CONDITIONS AHEAD
While the circuit whet the team's appetite, Red Bull Racing decided there was more fun to be had with the winter elements of Quebec. With warm weather patterns forcing a public showcase of the car racing on the frozen waters of the Olympic Basin to be cancelled, the team decided to truck north to a quintessential Canadian winter wonderland, Lac-à-l'Eau-Claire. In homage to the return of Formula One to Montreal, the team first mapped out a replica of Circuit Gilles Villenueve on the remote lake. Framed by spectacular scenery, there was only one thing left to do - race!
In a specifically adapted car to ensure the best possible traction for Sébastien, the Red Bull Racing Formula One car was fitted with Bridgestone Potenza F1 snow tires. The special Bridgestone F1 snow tires, produced by Bridgestone Motorsport's Technical Centre in Tokyo, featured 420 studs on each of the front tires and 588 studs on each of the rear tires. "There's only one set in the world so we had to be very careful with them because it's the only set we've got," explained Tony Burrows, Red Bull Racing's test team manager. The tires, and Buemi, didn't disappoint. Made from tungsten and embedded in aluminium casings, Bridgestone's tire studs have been designed to specifically provide grip on ice and hard-packed snow. But it was Buemi who displayed incredible skill and mettle, navigating the car through the chicane and hairpin turn of the replica course, delivering an incredible drive with each jaw-dropping lap. "A bit cold but in the end, it is good to be back in Montreal," said Buemi of his experience in Montreal.
Next stop for the team is testing in Spain to prepare for the upcoming season.
About Racer: Sébastien Buemi
Sébastien Buemi was the only rookie driver at the beginning of the 2009 F1 season, impressively scoring two points on his debut. As a youngster he won multiple Swiss go-kart titles, becoming European Junior Champion in 2002. He followed that with success in German Formula BMW and, as a member of the Red Bull Junior Team, the Formula Three Euroseries and GP2. In the latter he enjoyed multiple podium finishes and three victories, before being elevated to F1. With one full season of F1 under his belt, Sebastien is looking to build on that experience in 2010 and as a French speaker, is particularly looking forward to the Canadian GP in Montreal.
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