Round seven of the 2017 FIA Formula One World Championship sees the sport embark on its first North American trip of the season, to Montreal, home of the Canadian Grand Prix.
Long a favorite race destination for teams, drivers and fans, Canada this year celebrates the 50th anniversary of F1’s arrival on its shores, at Ontario’s Mosport Circuit. After a decade of racing there and at Quebec Mont-Temblant, the race found a permanent and enormously popular home in Montreal and the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is now sixth on the list of most visitied F1 venues, only being eclipsed by the equally storied Nurburgring, Spa-Franorchamps, Silvertone, Monaco and Monza
It’s a circuit that presents drivers with a unique set of challenges too, blending high speeds with heavy braking zones. The semi-permananet facility also has the feel of a street circuit in that the barriers are close and the grip level is low, especially at the start of the weekend. In short, it’s not a circuit for the fain of heart.
To counteract the lack of grip, tyre supplier Pirelli is this weekend bringing in its range, the Soft, Supersoft and Ultrasoft. The combination was last used in Monaco and has also been used in Russia and Australia this year.
Selected sets are as follows:
Sebastian Vettel heads into Montreal with 25-point Drivers’Championship lead over chief title rival Lewis Hamilton. However, this circuit at which the Mercedes driver excels with Montreal being one of the three tracks the Briton has won at five times (the others being the Shanghai International Circuit and the Hungaroring), and after a difficult Monaco, he will be hoping that local form works in his favour this weekend.
In the Constructors’ Championship, a one-two finish in Monaco swung the pendulum back in favour of Ferrari and the Italian squad goes into this weekend with a 17-point advantage over Mercedes.
How the Canadian GP stacks up for both teams:
- Still hold the race lap record: Rubens Barrichello (Brazil), Ferrari 2004, One minute 13.622 seconds. (I imagine this will be smashed this weekend (but Ferrari will want to retain it).
- However Raikkonen’s pole in Monaco was his first since 2008
- Ferrari last won in Montreal, a circuit named after their late great Gilles Villeneuve, in 2004 with Michael Schumacher.
- Raikkonen and Vettel are also previous winners in Canada.
- Hamilton has won it five times (in 2007, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016) and this year’s race is also the 10th anniversary of his first
- 2016 pole: Lewis Hamilton (Britain), Mercedes, 1:12.812 –
- 2016 winner: Hamilton
- Champions Mercedes have won 54 of 65 races since the introduction of the 1.6 litre V6 turbo hybrid power units in 2014, but only three of six this season
- Mercedes have been on pole in 60 of the last 65 races
- Hamilton has 64 poles so far, one short of the late Ayrton Senna’s career total and four behind Schumacher’s record 68
Monaco ended a 21-race podium streak by Mercedes, the fourth longest such run in the sport’s history
THE CIRCUIT – TWO DRS ZONES
Statistics for Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix (Round seven of 20 races):
- Lap distance: 4.361km. Total distance: 305.270km (70 laps)
- Start time: 1800 GMT (1400 local)
POINTS TO NOTE:
- McLaren are the only team yet to score in 2017.
- This year marks the Canadian Grand Prix’s 50th anniversary.
- Alonso, Daniel Ricciardo, Raikkonen and Vettel are also previous winners in Canada.
- McLaren have won 13 times in Canada to Ferrari’s 11.
- Since 2000, the race has been won from pole seven times.
- Williams rookie Lance Stroll will be the first Canadian to start his home race since Jacques Villeneuve in 2006.
I have tried very hard to keep this as factual as possible.Rest, really is opinion and your guess is as good as mine.. but I am looking forward to the weekend