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2010-06-11 06:58
Montreal - Robert Kubica has already experienced the absolute extremes of Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, one of the fastest and most dangerous tracks in F1.

Three years ago, the Polish driver was involved in an horrific high-speed crash that could have killed him. He not only survived almost unscathed, he returned 12 months later to win his first Grand Prix race.

"I like it when the walls are close and when there is very small margin for a mistake," he told a news conference Thursday. "It is always more challenging and it gives you, at least for myself, more fun to drive."

With its long straights and narrow run-off areas, Montreal's street circuit has always provided a real test of nerves to F1 drivers.

Hardly a race goes by without an incident, but in the fearless world of Grand Prix racing being on the edge is what whets the appetite of most drivers.

"I'm a big fan of street circuits but I'm also a big fan of safety because I have gone through a big crash here in Canada," Kubica said. "If I had crashed ten years ago with such a big impact as I had three years ago, I probably wouldn't be here.

Organizers made some changes to the track in the wake of Kubica's crash but leading drivers still branded it a "joke" in 2008 after pieces of asphalt began disintegrating during the qualifying session.

Montreal was left off last year's F1 calendar because of financial problems unrelated to the safety concerns but was reinstated this season.

"I think a lot of us like the street circuits where there's a lot less room for error." said Lewis Hamilton, who won his first Grand Prix at Canada when Kubica crashed in 2007.

"Obviously in the olden days we had the other circuits where you just had grass on the outside whereas now we have Astroturf and a lot of tarmac which makes it a lot easier. But nonetheless, it's still a real challenge."

Sunday's race has all the ingredients of a classic. This year's championship is shaping up as one of the most competitive in years and tensions are already starting to boil over with the two Red Bull cars colliding with each other in Turkey and McClaren almost suffering the same fate.

The forecast of heavy rain this weekend has promised to add another dimension and left drivers relishing the prospect of an eventful race.

"When we come back to a track like this, it is one of the older circuits, with real character," Hamilton said.

"As Robert said, you can get really close to the walls and there's the real danger factor there which also puts some of the excitement back into it." Please click on the newslink:

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