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Vettel leads the way in Montreal practice, but will the tyres last?
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Vettel leads the way in Montreal practice, but will the tyres last?
Posted By: James Allen  |  12 Jun 2010   |  12:05 am GMT  |  24 comments

Sebastian Vettel set the pace on Day 1 in Montreal, setting the fastest time ahead of Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari and Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes.


It was a day when pretty much everyone suffered with tyre graining, due to the smooth surface of the track. The rears are suffering in particular and we could see drivers stopping twice in the race if it carries on like this.

It’s been chilly all weekend so far in Montreal and although the sun made an appearance this afternoon, it didn’t pull the temperature up much, so that made the tyre graining problems even worse.


Red Bull look more competitive than most people expected, themselves included. It sounds strange to say that, but this wasn’t expected to be one of their best tracks as it’s all about low speed corners and long straights. That said, their car has very good traction out of slow corners, one of the big improvements on this year’s car from last year and that was working for them today in a low grip environment, while McLaren struggled this afternoon with tyre graining. But as the track improves, I think McLaren will become more of a force and as the only team with an F Duct wing which works as its designed to, that will give them a chunky advantage on the straights.

Ferrari seem cautiously optimistic and Mercedes seem quite competitive so I’d envisage a close fight between Red Bull and McLaren in qualifying, with McLaren possibly having the edge in the race, although it will come down to how well the drivers manage the tyres. It could be quite exciting between the Ferraris and Mercedes, with Kubica’s Renault there or thereabouts too.

FRIDAY PRACTICE TIMES
1. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:16.877 32
2. Alonso Ferrari 1:16.963 + 0.086 35
3. Rosberg Mercedes 1:17.151 + 0.274 34
4. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:17.273 + 0.396 33
5. Massa Ferrari 1:17.401 + 0.524 33
6. Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:17.415 + 0.538 28
7. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:17.522 + 0.645 29
8. Kubica Renault 1:17.529 + 0.652 36
9. Schumacher Mercedes 1:17.688 + 0.811 34
10. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1:17.903 + 1.026 35
11. Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:17.961 + 1.084 33
12. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:18.385 + 1.508 27
13. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1:18.447 + 1.570 41
14. Petrov Renault 1:18.582 + 1.705 40
15. de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1:18.658 + 1.781 34
16. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:19.142 + 2.265 38
17. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:19.168 + 2.291 32
18. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:19.274 + 2.397 41
19. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1:19.969 + 3.092 35
20. Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 1:20.879 + 4.002 29
21. Senna HRT-Cosworth 1:21.097 + 4.220 31
22. Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1:21.346 + 4.469 11
23. Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:21.488 + 4.611 25
24. di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1:21.577 + 4.700 30

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24 Comments
  1. Autosport reckon a wet Saturday in prospect, Mclaren were running more wing it seem, could be very useful if it rains. Going to be good dry or wet

  2. Irish conor says:

    I think redbulls downforce advantage could help here too even though there is no high speed stuff they are much more stable and slide round less than everybody so that could be an advantage in keeping tires alive. Great traction they have also helps. Looks tight for quali when the lap is soo short also. Can’t wait

  3. Kenny says:

    Vettel complained of front tyre graining and that seemed quite confusing to me. Is that to do with the retardation forces experienced under braking?
    Could you possibly shed some light?

  4. John says:

    Do not expect RedBull to have an advantage here maybes will be very closer in qualifying.

    Agree with James, expect McLaren to be quicker in race pace than quali.

    James, whats this being said this weekend by McLaren will have a new car in silverstone?

  5. Andrew Myers says:

    Hi James,

    After Turkey and also this practice I’m wondering if HRT have now managed to get the better of the Virgin cars (at least in terms of speed – reliability still seems an issue for all the new teams).

    I think they’ve done a solid job given what they were up against before the start of the season and how far behind they were in the early races.

    Any thoughts? I’d love to see a future article on how you rate the performance of the teams thus far.

    1. James Allen says:

      Quite right – time for an article on the new teams. HIspania have certainly started to make steps forward.

  6. CH1UNDA says:

    If it is a set up problem McLaren will nail it by quali this afternoon

  7. irawan says:

    Dear James,

    At this particular stage of the race have you ruled out Ferrari as tittle contender? Seems your prediction in every race does not mention Ferrari as a runner up in qualifying. What is wrong with them. Cheers

  8. weeklyincome says:

    Its already been said that Schumacher
    has never been out-qualified by a team-mate
    in Canada,so I’m hoping that trend continues.

    1. CHIUNDA says:

      End of trend at Canada 2010

  9. JohnBt says:

    HEAVY GRAINING OF TYRES IS GOOD! No explanation needed. You all know why.

  10. Vivek says:

    Could it be that Bridgestone reduced the quality of the tyres to spice things up after what we saw in the first few races

    1. James Allen says:

      No, the tyre specs were set at the start of the season

  11. Vivek Krishna A says:

    James, Red-Bull and Ferrari seem the only teams to post improved times on their option tires while others couldn’t improve much with them in FP2.

    Considering the increase in pace, will it be feasible to run two stints on the supersofts and do the last one on the hard tires? who do you tip for victory on Sunday?

  12. El shish says:

    James, what doyou make of the mood around mclaren after fp2? The official line seems to be that it’s not working out for them as expected. Is there an element of sandbagging there or are they facing a real uphill battle to get the setup right here? Can imagine it’d be awfully embarassing for them to struggle after everyone having said they’d dominate here.

  13. Luke A says:

    James you seem much more optimistic about McLaren than I am. Both Button and Hamilton seemed incredibly downbeat after 2nd practice. I’m not sure whether this is because they were expecting to have a healthy lead and they now realise that, at the very most, they will be joint fastest, or, because they are actually going to struggle to break into the top 3 fastest teams here.

    I agree that they should surely improve as the track does, to me it does not make sense that there F-duct isn’t working here, as I read on f1.com, plus they haven’t been too bad through the tight twisty stuff at the likes of Spain and Turkey, and I can’t see the car vibrating as much as it usually does.

    1. James Allen says:

      I think the track will come to them

  14. Galapago555 says:

    James, any news about rain during the race?

    1. James Allen says:

      There is some talk of it. It’s rained overnight here

  15. Chris Kerr says:

    Hi James.

    Do you know if the drivers had the same graining in 08 with the grooved tyres? I know that the tyres are now slick and slightly smaller but wondered if the teams and Bridgstone expected the graining to be if this magnitude during FP1 and FP2?

  16. Young Slinger says:

    Heavy showers being forecast, tyre stops may play the major role tomorrow. Leave it too late to change and it may be ‘allo ‘allo to the wall…..!

  17. Icytrue says:

    It might be good for the show if there is some variation in pit strategy with some cars two stopping. Do you know if any teams are contemplating this now that they have seen the rapid degradation of the tyres?

  18. JanK says:

    Kubica said yesterday that two stops may not be enough, tires last only five laps and they’re gone. If it rains today or before the race and it doesn’t rain during the race, there will be no rubber on the track and we could see some three-stoppers!

  19. CHIUNDA says:

    Lewis doesn’t think starting on the softs is a gamble – but if there is no early safety car he might be held up by squabbling traffic depending on how early he pits

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