Prixview – Canadian Grand Prix

Prixview Testing & Race Reports

Round seven of the season sees Formula One cross the Atlantic for the first time this season for the Canadian Grand prix. First held as a non-championship round at Mosport in 1961 as a can Am race around the undulating circuit it was traditionally held at the end of the season.

Six years later the race became the final round of the championship held ninety minutes away from the current circuit at the Circuit Mont-Tremblant and alternated with the Mosport International Raceway. Between 1968 and 1977 all the races at Mosport were won by Ford power, while Jacky Ickx and Sir Jackie Stewart took back to back victories.

In 1977 the race moved to the current circuit which was then called Île Notre-Dame Circuit, the first purpose-built circuit around a park which was built on Saint Helen’s Island. The island sits in the middle of the St Lawrence Seaway and was used to hold German POWs during the second world war and was expanded to hold Expo 67. As well as the nearby island Notre-Dame where the circuit is.

Alongside the circuit sits a rowing lake built for the 1976 Olympics, North America’s largest artificial rowing basin. The lake has been home to the annual Boat Race which has been run after qualifying which sees the teams as well as FOM and The FIA fight for the honour of being the winners.

The circuit is a street style circuit and has better overtaking opportunities than most as the drivers drive at high speed around the lake. The layout of the circuit was created when all the little roads around the island when connected together to create the circuit. The most famous corner officially called Mur du Quebec has been known as the Wall of Champions after Damon Hill, Michael Schumacher and Jacques Villeneuve crashed into the wall in 1999.

Other champions which have crashed into the wall include Carlos Sainz Jr, Nico Rosberg, Sebastian Vettel, Derek Warwick and Jenson Button.

The first Grand Prix was won by Gilles Villeneuve himself and that was his first win in the sport. His name put Formula One on the map, and following his fatal accident at the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix the circuit was renamed after the poplar Canadian.

While Michael Schumacher has the most wins with seven, Lewis Hamilton could equal him this season. Montreal has always been a circuit where Hamilton has performed well with six wins from eleven races, the Englishman’s first win came here in 2007. However, he has got it wrong here crashing out twice.

This race is a bit of an unknown as it’s a street style circuit where Mercedes have struggled in this season, however, the circuit needs good straight-line speed and downforce. Overtaking is possible and more likely as drivers can get close to each other.

Facts and figures

Race Formula One Grand Prix Heineken du Canada 2018
Venue Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal, Quebec
Circuit Length 4.361km (2.709 mi)
Laps 70
Race Distance 305.270 km (189.694 mi)
Lap Record 1:13.622 (Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari, 2004)
Most wins drivers Michael Schumacher (7)
Most wins manufacture Ferrari

McLaren (13)

Fast facts

  • Montreal is home to many beautiful churches and is often called The City of Saints or City of a Hundred Bell Towers.
  • Robert Kubica took the first ever F1 victory by a Polish driver in the 2008 race, a year after he had survived a horrendous accident at the circuit.
  • Many drivers including Kubica, Lewis Hamilton and Daniel Ricciardo took the first wins of their career in Montreal.
  • Ralf Schumacher won the 2001 race with brother Michael finished second, the first-ever sibling 1-2 in F1 history. They repeated that again three years later, this time with Michael ahead, only for Ralf’s Williams to be disqualified due to a technical irregularity with the brake ducts.
  • Montreal has hosted more races than any other circuit outside Europe
  • McLaren are the defending Boat Race winners, the race has been held most years since the first Grand Prix, beating FOM and the FIA. Last years race was the first formal race overseen by the FIA

Event timetable

Session Local BST
Friday
P1 10:00-11:30 15:00-16:30
P2 14:00-15:30 19:00-20:30
Saturday
P3 11:00-12:00 16:00-17:00
Qualifying 14:00-15:00 19:00-20:00
Sunday
Race 14:10 19:10

What happened in 2017?

Lewis Hamilton took his sixth career win in a dominating fashion in Montreal, leading the race from the start and leading his teammate Valtteri Bottas throughout the race. His win allowed him to close the gap in what proved to be a record-breaking weekend, as he equalled Ayrton Senna on the number of poles, something he would later and continues to set the record for.

The threat Mercedes expected from Ferrari, never really developed as Sebastian Vettel damaged his front wing in contact with Max Verstappen. Chaos was part of the race from the start as Carlos Sainz hit Romain Grosjean, Sainz then went into the side of Felipe Massa forcing Fernando Alonso to take avoiding

What to watch for?

Lewis Hamilton is on paper the man to beat this weekend, in his ten Grand Prix’s in Montreal he has had more wins and pole positions than anyone else. However, Mercedes have struggled on the whole this season at street circuits but this is more of a Baku style street circuit where Mercedes won.

Sebastian Vettel and the Red Bulls are in the mix as there are stop start sections which flow to create good overtaking opportunities. Like Monaco, safety cars are common and turn one and two is a pinch point on the first lap as the circuit narrows.

The weather can also be a factor as rain can be brought in from the Atlantic down the seaway and knowing when to pit is the key, but it does dry quickly. That was important in Jenson Button’s 2011 race as he worked his way from last following contact with Hamilton to pass Vettel on the last lap of the longest Grand Prix in history.

2017 vs 2018 Race Data

  P1 Fastest P2 Fastest P3 Fastest Q1 Fastest Q2 Fastest Q3 Fastest Race Time Fastest Lap
2017 01:13.809 01:12.935 01:12.572 01:12.685 01:12.496 01:11.459 01:33:05.154 01:14.551
Diff -0.946 -1.277 -1.347 -1.345 -0.580 -1.353 +02:01.915 -1.048
2016 01:14.755 01:14.212 01:13.919 01:14.030 01:13.076 01:12.812 01:31:05.269 01:15.599

Data Profile

A lap of Montreal

LEWIS HAMILTON COMES ACROSS THE LINE AND BEGINS TO HEAD TO THE OUTSIDE FOR THE KINK BEFORE TURN ONE. HE THEN BREAKS AT ABOUT 100M BEFORE, HEADING TO THE APEX AND STRAIGHT INTO TURN TWO RUNNING AROUND THE APEX BEFORE HEADING TO THE OUTSIDE ON THE RUN TO THREE. BREAKS FROM THE OUTSIDE BEFORE GOING TO THE APEX AND ACROSS STRAIGHT THROUGH FOUR AND INTO FIVE.

BUILDS SPEED ON THE EXIT AND BREAKS GOING INTO TURN SIX HITTING THE APEX AND AGAIN AT SEVEN, WHERE HE RUNS TO THE OUTSIDE. BREAKS GOING UNDER THE BRIDGE FOR EIGHT, HITS THE APEX AND RUNS STRAIGHT INTO THE APE=X OF NINE. RUNS TO THE WALL ON EXIT BEGINS ALLECTARTION.

BREAKS AS HE REACHES THE HAIRPIN, RUNS AROUND THE APEX AND GOES TO THE OUTSIDE THROUGH TWELVE AND RUNS ALONG THE LONG STRAIGHT. HE BREAKS JUST BEFORE PIT ENTRY, HITS APEX OF THIRTEEN AND FOURTEEN AND RUNS ALONG THE OUTSIDE DOING A 1:11.459.

Tyres

Driver

Team Hypersoft Ultrasoft Supersoft

L. Hamilton

Mercedes 5 5 3

V. Bottas

5 5 3

S. Vettel

Ferrari

8

3

2

K. Raikkonen

8 3 2
D. Ricciardo Red Bull – Tag Heuer 8 3

2

M. Verstappen

8 3

2

S. Perez

Force India – Mercedes 8 2 3
E. Ocon 8 2

3

S. Sirotkin

Williams – Mercedes 7 2 4
L. Stroll 7 1

5

F. Alonso

McLaren – Renault 7 4 2
S. Vandoorne 7 4

2

P. Gasly

Toro Rosso –Honda 8 3 2
B. Hartley 8 3

2

R. Grosjean

Haas – Ferrari 7 4 2
K. Magnussen 7 3

3

N. Hulkenberg

Renault 8 2 2
C. Sainz 8 2

3

M. Ericsson Sauber – Alfa Romeo

7

4 2
C. Leclerc 7 3

3

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Jack

Jack is responsible for the day-to-day running of Formula One Vault. He brings you all the brilliant content. Has an obsession with all things Formula One and anything with an engine.

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