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Canadian GP: The most open race of the year?
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Posted By: James Allen  |  04 Jun 2013   |  6:55 am GMT  |  212 comments

Montreal is always one of the most interesting races of the season from a strategy point of view. With a very high likelihood of safety cars, a low grip surface and very easy overtaking, it is always an entertaining race and hard to predict. Red Bull leads both championships at the moment, but has never won in Montreal. McLaren has ruled for the last three years but has an uncompetitive car this year.

And will this be the race where three-times winner Lewis Hamilton gets the upper hand over his resurgent team mate Nico Rosberg?

After the extreme of Monaco, qualifying is significantly less important at Montreal because overtaking is easy and this also has a big bearing on race strategy, generally pushing teams towards more stops rather than less.

Montreal has several long straights linked with chicanes and a hairpin. There are no high-speed corners to speak of. Good traction out of slow corners is essential as is good straight-line speed and a car that is good over the kerbs.

As overtaking has always been relatively easy at Montreal, there is just one DRS detection zone, with two potential passing places, one being the long back straight.

Montreal is an unusual circuit in that it is a road circuit based on an island and is only used for racing twice a year. The track is very dirty at the start of the weekend and improves dramatically as the weekend goes on, although the grip level remains low. So the strategists have to predict what the tyres are going to do in the race, based on data, which is a moving target.


Track characteristics

Montreal – 4.36 kilometers. Race distance – 70 laps = 305 kilometers. 12 corners in total. A circuit made up of straights, chicanes and a hairpin

Aerodynamic setup – Medium downforce. Top speed 326km/h (with Drag Reduction System active on rear wing) – 316km/h without.

Full throttle – 60% of the lap (quite high). 15 seconds unbroken full throttle on main straight. Total fuel needed for race distance – 142 kilos (average/high).

Fuel consumption – 2.0kg per lap (average/high)

Time spent braking: 17% of lap (high). 7 braking zones. Brake wear – Very High.

Loss time for a Pit stop = 11.2 seconds (very fast)
Total time needed for pit stop: 15.2 seconds.

Fuel effect (cost in lap time per 10kg of fuel carried): 0.28 seconds (low)


Form Guide

The Canadian Grand Prix is the seventh round of the 2013 FIA F1 World Championship.

McLaren has won the Canadian Grand Prix for the past three years and should have a stronger outing here than at other races so far this year as it attempts to recover from a poor start.

Ferrari has traditionally been strong in Montreal, but has not won the race since 2004. In Monaco the team showed a problem with traction out of slow corners, which is at a premium in Montreal.

The car also doesn’t go as well on the supersoft tyres as it does on other tyres.

Historically this has not been one of Red Bull’s strongest circuits; downforce isn’t a major factor here. Last year Sebastian Vettel started on pole position but finished fourth. Vettel, who has never won in Canada, is on a good run this season and has yet to finish lower than fourth in six races.

As far as drivers’ form is concerned; Lewis Hamilton is the king of Montreal, having won the race three times. Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen have all won the race.


Weather Forecast

Being coastal and set on a seaway, Montreal can experience extremes of weather for the race; it can be very hot and humid, but also cold and wet. This will have a huge bearing on the tyres. In the week preceding one event, there were temperatures of 15 degrees on one day and 28 degrees on another. It is one of the most extreme circuit locations for temperature variations.


Likely tyre performance and other considerations

Pirelli tyre choice for Montreal: Prime tyre is Medium (white markings) and Option tyre is Super Soft (red markings)

Last year Pirelli brought the soft and supersoft as it used in Monaco. This year the prime tyre is a step harder.

Pirelli has stepped back from its original intention to bring revised tyres with a new rear construction for competition use in Montreal. Instead it will supply two sets of the revised tyres for test purposes only on Friday.

The track surface is smooth and the lack of long corners means relatively low energy going into the tyres. The key to making the super soft last is to limit wheel spin with the rear tyres. This happens when the drivers accelerate out of the low speed corners. Strangely with the Pirellis the drivers find it more difficult to feel wheel spin and as traction control is banned in F1, it’s a delicate thing to control.

The difference between the two tyres is likely to be well over a second per lap, in qualifying trim.

The temperatures will be the key to the weekend. Montreal has one of the highest variations of temperature of the season. Track temperature can be as low as 15 degrees and as high as 35 degrees. Hotter conditions will force the teams to change the tyres more frequently.

Race Strategy: Number and likely timing of pit stops

At Montreal the winning strategy is always to plan your fastest race from lights to flag and then prepare to be flexible in the event of a safety car.

Last year Red Bull and Ferrari lost out to McLaren by trying to make a one stop strategy work, whereas Hamilton’s McLaren won the race on an aggressive two stop plan.

Because of the ease of passing, track position is less important than at many other venues. The most important thing is to qualify well and run your fastest race and see where that puts you at the end, because you will not have problems overtaking. Running in clear air as much of the race as possible is key, so if a car doesn’t qualify as well as expected, we may see the team try an aggressive strategy to keep the driver in clear air.

The pit lane at Montreal is short and therefore pit stops are very fast at around 18.7 seconds. This pushes strategists to consider making more stops.

Historically it has worked out that going with one stop would mean that the car was ahead of the two stoppers at their final stops, but they can usually pass the one stopper in the closing stages as his pace drops on worn tyres. However a safety car would swing things towards the one stopper, so there is always an element of gambling in Montreal.

Chance of a safety car

The chances of a safety car at Montreal are very high at 67%. There is an average of 0.8 safety cars per race. Seven of the last 11 Canadian Grands Prix have featured a safety car.

This is because, with the track lined with walls and several blind corners, there are frequent accidents and the conditions for the marshals when clearing an accident are dangerous.


Recent start performance

The run to the first corner in Montreal is short and there have been many first corner incidents over the years. But it is also a first corner where there are many lines and making up places is possible.

In the 2010 race, for example, only the front four cars ended the first lap in the same position in which they started!

As far as 2013 start performance is concerned drivers have gained (+) or lost (-) places off the start line this season, on aggregate, as follows –
Gained

+11 Gutierrez

+9 Perez

+8 Sutil***

+8 Van der Garde*****

+7 Maldonado

+6 Chilton

+5 Massa

+4 Button

+3 Pic

+2 Di Resta

+2 Alonso

+2 Hulkenberg**

+1 Vettel

+1 Bianchi******


Lost

-1 Bottas

-2 Rosberg
-4 Raikkonen

-5 Hamilton

-6 Webber*

-8 Ricciardo

-9 Vergne ****

-9 Grosjean


*Webber dropped from second to seventh after a clutch problem in Australia
** Hulkenberg did not start in Australia *** Sutil suffered puncture from contact with Massa in Bahrain ****Vergne retired following collision. *****Van der Garde and Maldonado made contact in Monaco. ******Bianchi started from pit lane in Monaco after stalling


Pit Stop League Table

Of course good strategy planning also requires good pit stop execution by the mechanics and we have seen tyre stops carried out in less than two and a half seconds by F1 teams.

It is also clear that the field has significantly closed up in pit stops. The top nine teams in the table below are within a second. It shows how much work has gone on in this area.

The league table below shows the order of the pit crews based on their fastest time in the Monaco Grand Prix, from the car entering the pit lane to leaving it. The positions from previous race are in brackets.
Worth noting is that Lotus did a faster stop than many of its rivals for the first time, while most of the teams improved their pit stop times by around 0.7secs since last year’s Monaco Grand Prix

1. Red Bull 24.316
2. Lotus 24.420
3. Ferrari 24.489
4. McLaren 24.585
5. Mercedes 24.801
6. Toro Rosso 24.827
7. Sauber 24.974
8. Marussia 25.098
9. Force India 25.214
10. Caterham 25.696
11 Williams 29.063

The UBS Race Strategy Briefing is written by James Allen with input and data from several F1 team strategists and from Pirelli

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212 Comments
  1. F*ckYeah says:

    “The chances of a safety car at Montreal are very high at 67%. There is an average of 0.8 safety cars per race. Seven of the last 11 Canadian Grands Prix have featured a safety car.”

    James, 7 safety cars in 11 years makes the chances, calculated over those 11 years 79%, the figures of 67% and 0.8 seem contradictory.

    Apologies for the statistical pedancy.

    1. James Allen says:

      Yes but there were races before tha last 11 years

      1. Andrew M says:

        Also there are sometimes more than one safety car per race.

      2. Oz Geezza says:

        Funny,how some contributors to J.A site
        want to be know all, regardles that J.A.
        furbish a superb almost beyond the pale
        analysis for a forth coming Canadian F1.
        Nope,it have to be corrected,.Fair dinkum
        where do get them,perhaps one should take
        more notice of the contributor name.

    2. Jonathan Lodge says:

      I would suggest a new calculator!

      7 from 11 must be less than 70%! – it is actually 64%.

      If you want to be pedantic you might, at least, be accurate!

    3. schumerak says:

      I noticed something similar at Monaco, but it is possible to have more than 1 safety car in one race, and then none in another, i think these 2 statistics refer to that..

    4. Robert N says:

      Firstly, 7 out of 11 races mean a chance of 63.6%, so that would be the figure if you only considered the last 11 years.

      Secondly, a 67% chance of a safety car and an average of 0.8 safety cars per race are not contradictory if you consider that there can be more than 1 safety car per race.

    5. Ricardo says:

      If more than one safety car comes out in one of the races that should not increase the probability of a safety car coming out. If you have 5 races and the safety car came out 5 times in one race and zero in the others the probability is still 20%, not 100%.

      Another thing is if probabilities have any use. Past performance does not influence future events.

      1. Tim says:

        Another thing is if probabilities have any use. Past performance does not influence future events….
        That is true only for random events, such as tossing a coin or spinning a roulette wheel.
        The reason there has been a high number of safety cars at Canada, was explained in the article – the nature of the track means, following an incident, it is difficult to clear the debris whilst maintaining the safety of the track marshals.

      2. Ricardo says:

        I believe we agree then

    6. **Paul** says:

      The most open race of the year? Not in my opinion, I’m expecting this to be a simple fight between the two cars best on tyres, Lotus and Ferrari and their respective top drivers, Kimi & Fernando. When I say fight, I really mean “tyre management battle”. I really hope that it’s not the case and we get to see some racing perhaps…

  2. dufus says:

    Not sure about the majority here but the Canadian GP time difference is the worst for Aussies.
    Midnight for practices,3AM qualy, 4AM race.
    Sheeesh

    1. Wade Parmino says:

      Canada, US and Brazil are all like that for Australia. It is annoying but it goes both ways; we get the Australian, Malaysian, Japanese and Korean GP’s all at a good time. Fans in North America are inconvenienced on more occasions than we are.

      1. Random 79 says:

        +1 :)

      2. Thomas says:

        Tbh I prefer the early or the late races (europe-based) as staying inside for a race mid-day is quite annoying during the summer.

      3. SPYKE (canuck) says:

        +1

      4. Tank says:

        Yeah, but seeing that our race (Australia) is on your Sunday morning, you guys have the rest of the day to sleep it off… lucky the Canadian GP has a public holiday long weekend this year, but otherwise I’d be leaving for work before the flag on Monday morning!

      5. dufus says:

        I’d really like to know what the fan base is in North America. Surely it’s the die hard only.
        Isn’t Nascar on top by a along way.
        Which begs the question why the US isn’t involved in the fastest most technology advance motorsport in the world ?

      6. Marcus in Canada says:

        Nascar is the biggest, but it’s a different demographic to F1, and Canada (especially Quebec) is a different demographic to the US…

    2. All revved-up says:

      Hardcore fans just take Monday off work! A day off for a holiday, vs an F1 race – no brainer! F1 is cheaper, more exciting and easier to organize!

    3. Glennb says:

      “Midnight for practices,3AM qualy, 4AM race”.
      = sickie Monday :)
      I’ve been doing it since I can remember. Canada, Brazil and now USA.

      To tell the truth, I’m that used to watching the Euro races at ~10pm that I actually dislike watching the Aus, Jap etc in the afternoon. Too many distractions in my house at that hour :(

      1. Tom says:

        Haha EXACTLY this. I’m from Australia and most races start at approx 10pm here. It is beautiful, everyone else asleep, leaves me in my own little F1 bubble for a few hours :)

      2. dufus says:

        Yeh, good point. A 10:00pm start is quiet time in my house as well so no resistance to my screams at the TV. Honestly at the start i hold my breath that MW will make good position into turn 1 and then i hold my breath for the rest of the race for MW. Maybe sad to a few but true for me :)

    4. Anil says:

      Sorry to hear that but as the calendar has gradually moved towards the East, I find more and more races take place in the very early mornings (India, Korea, China, Suzuka, Melbourne).

      I think us brits actually prefer the late start times that Brazil, US and Canada offer!

    5. Tim says:

      Personally I quite like the timing here in UK. Coverage starts about 6.00pm( local time) I think, so it makes for quite a nice Sunday evening.
      Sorry to hear about the timing for you guys though – I guess that’s why they invented SKY + :-)

    6. SteveH says:

      As Wade says, here in the US west coast every European race starts at 5:00 Sunday morning. Quit bitching!!

      1. docjkm says:

        Exactly!!

    7. Quade says:

      Haha!
      The Australian, Chinese and other Asian races are “bad timing” for the rest of us.

    8. Poyta says:

      Lucky its a public holiday on Monday in South Australia then!

    9. tara_185 says:

      True its not as fun but luckily its queens birthday on Monday this year

    10. I live in Thailand and there’s really not a bad time for a race here. Canadian GP is the roughest as it starts around 1 or 2am. The European races usually start between 7 and 9pm and the flyaways are generally held around lunchtime.

      I do miss waking up early for the first race of the season though. A lunchtime start to a F1 season just doesn’t seem quite right!

    11. TGS says:

      I know! I’d forgotten all about that until I checked the guide this morning.

  3. Matthew Cheshire says:

    Surely Kimi is a good chance here. Hopefully Grosjean can stay with him – he can’t rear end anyone important if he’s winning.

    1. Alfonso de Portago says:

      Unless he takes out a title challenger when lapping them…and of course, he’ll slow down for his in lap if he wins, so might rear end someone entering parc ferme…

      1. Matthew Cheshire says:

        Ricciardo flew about 15 m in Monaco. That would make a mess.

    2. Charlie says:

      Except for back markers!

      1. Matthew Cheshire says:

        Well yes, That’s why I said “important” (sorrry Max)!

    3. AuraF1 says:

      Perhaps Grosjean can take it to a meta level and crash into himself…

    4. hero_was_senna says:

      Oh I don’t know, Hamilton managed to rear end Kimi in the pitlane in 2008.

      1. KRB says:

        Loved Kimi’s comments about the race:

        “I have won there which was pretty good, but I have experienced some setbacks there as well. Many times the race has been quite a lottery as there seem to be different things which affect it. The weather can change a lot, sometimes the tyres or the track aren’t working very well, sometimes there are a lot of safety cars, or sometimes another driver runs into the back of you when you’re waiting at a red light.” :-)

  4. Kay says:

    McLaren has a bad car this year.
    Ferrari hasn’t got good traction and poor on slow corners.
    This track doesn’t favour the Red Bull cars.

    Lotus or Mercedes will bag this one imo. Shouldn’t be too bad for Force India either, especially for Adrian Sutil after his strong showing in Monaco.

    1. Phil Glass says:

      If Merc bag this one too, it won’t help their case with the FIA Tribunal. Better to sandbag here maybe!

      +1 Looks good for Kimi. But hang on, Perez and Grosjean: that’s 2 SCs to cancel out any early gains for the leaders.

      I’m going for Alonso shining on a dampish sunday. Drinks on me if he wins!

      1. Poyta says:

        Its a low energy tyre track so just like in Monaco they are expected to do well there and not really be affected by their tyre issues – of course most people will start some theory that its all down to the so called illegal testing.

      2. KRB says:

        It’s not low energy, b/c it’s the worst track all year for brake temps, which feed into the tires. The load factors are like Monaco though, no high speed corners.

        Lewis has gone really well here, but we’ll be able to notice here the effect his brakes problem is causing him. It should be a good track to iron out those wrinkles in practice.

        If I was Merc, I would be going 4-stops all the time. That’s assuming that the majority will be doing 3-stops.

      3. Poyta says:

        True although Monaco is very heavy on breaks too and they seemed to cope ok there. 4 stops? Last year most easily did it in 1 and some chose to do 2 so I’d be surprised if anyone chooses to do 4.

      4. “Its a low energy tyre track so just like in Monaco they are expected to do well there and not really be affected by their tyre issues”

        Not really… this track you can pass on, so they can’t just crawl around at the front at sub-Caterham pace until the chequered flag this time.

    2. aveli says:

      we’ll find out the results at the end of the race. i found out that prophecy is the least paid profession.

    3. Alexander Supertramp says:

      Don’t know about Mclaren, think they really improved their race pace. I’m actually expecting something good from them this week-end.

      1. Quade says:

        Yes, McLaren looked quite good in Monaco. Its a fair bet they’ll do well in Canada. Lets see how they run.
        Fingers crossed.

    4. Bring Back Murray says:

      Even if Pirelli bring harder tyres I can still see Merc falling backwards during the rice, even at a slower rate. Raikkonen will have them!

    5. Quade says:

      Lotus has even worse traction than Ferrari (especially off the start line). Plus, the corners aren’t that slow in Montreal.
      The race is usually more about kerb hopping skills, handling fickle weather and crumbling tarmac.

    6. hero_was_senna says:

      Depends if weather forecast are accurate. Friday and Saturday are looking likely to be wet.
      So Alonso on pole?
      If that’s the case, I wouldn’t bet against him winning the race, like Germany last year.

    7. Yak says:

      Mercedes, unless they really have improved their car dramatically, might struggle. While NR had the lead at Monaco start to finish, he was cruising knowing that the guys behind wouldn’t be able to overtake. They won’t have that luxury in Canada.

      I’m expecting a Mercedes front row, and then a Alonso and Raikkonen race for the top step. My bet would go on Raikkonen.

  5. goferet says:

    My favourite part of Canada is the wall of champions. Yes, lap after lap one is kept wondering will he make it or won’t he.

    Yes, Canada is one of those old school circuits that punish mistakes which isn’t always a bad thing.

    But again, we have to thanks Pirelli for the good job they have done for currently this season, we haven’t had any first corner incidents for why crash out on the first lap when you can make up places during the race >>> and so goes the reasoning.

    Meanwhile, the FIA should have disabled the DRS this year for seeing as overtaking is relatively easy there, it’s therefore not necessary. Last year’s race was somewhat made easy because of the location of the DRS.

    Anyway, something peculiar about these north and south American tracks is lots of drivers haven’t won at these tracks e.g. Montreal, USA, Brazil and those that have been lucky enough to win have mostly won only one race.

    I don’t know, maybe it’s due to the fact the majority of F1 pilots apply junior years at the European venues.

    1. Tom says:

      DRS out all together? I was under the assumption that there was still 1 DRS zone for this race?

      1. KRB says:

        2 DRS zones, 1 detection point. Detection point just before the hairpin, 2 zones on the straights before and after Wall Of Champions.

    2. All revved-up says:

      Agree. I feel brand new circuits like Austin, Bahrain, Korea etc should all have some element of risk where one could wreck a car like the Wall of Champions. A classic feature.

      We were robbed of barrier brushing skills at Monaco, so not sure if drivers will be driving well within their skills at the Wall – with this season’s tip toe tyres.

      I rather suspect so. All except Grosjean of course. He conspires to crash where no one has.

    3. Quade says:

      One of these years, Grosjean might just totally remove the wall of champions. :)

      1. Elie says:

        Id buy him a latte if he takes out Perex :) lol

    4. ProbeIV says:

      Read that there will actually be two DRS zones in Canada this weekend (but with only one gap/timing assessment point)…

  6. Matt W says:

    I think Hamilton’s stock is falling fast. Whilst I think John Watson’s recent comments were a tad too strong, I do completely agree that Hamilton doesn’t appear to be as focused on F1 as he did in his first 2-3 fantastic seasons.

    He seems very concerned with the image of “brand Hamilton”, associating with certain celebrities, pulling stunts like taking his dog to races (which is wholly inappropriate).

    Ironically since he signed with Simon Fuller’s PR agency, I actually think Hamilton’s public image has absolutely plummeted. If you chat to general F1 fans in the UK, in my experience the vast majority seems to no longer like Hamilton very much and feel he has sold out to fame and fortune over F1 success.

    I can’t blame him, a young chap offered the chance of creating his own version of Brand Beckham is going to be an easy sell. I just wish he would ditch all the bad PR advice and really knuckle down, and not just keep trotting out empty quotes about how he now has to get “serious” etc before continuing his PR blunders.

    1. Bring Back Murray says:

      Maybe the dog can look after the tyres better! (only joking – am a Ham fan at Heart – although take note about the falling stock – he needs a couple of strong races – fast!!)

      1. Calvinette says:

        I think people tend to be a bit harsh on Lewis. I’m sure I can remember Kimi bringing his dog to the paddock some years ago and can’t remember anyone giving him grief for it. Of course, that dog was scary.

        To be honest, Lewis seems like an impressionable young man and having a showbiz girlfriend keen on the pursuit of ‘cool’ probably doesn’t improve Lewis as a driver. Also, he is finding that the world of PR is weird and unpredictable and has the potential of making you look like a pathetic try hard, when all do you is try hard to be popular.

      2. Quade says:

        Kimi, Schumi and several others have brought their dogs to the paddock.
        Lewis just invokes silly season in some.

      3. Tim says:

        I tend to agree with you. For some reason, Lewis seems to get a lot of F1 fans very agitated. I don’t really understand why. He is a young man from a humble background who has done very well for himself – that’s it.
        If you take his team mate, Nico, for example, one might imagine he would be less popular. He comes from a very privileged background with every advantage money could bring. Yet some fans appear desperate for Nico to get the upper hand.
        It’s a funny old world.

      4. Equin0x says:

        Well he’s not that young anymore I know because I’m the same age and the years are going by too quickly especially as a top F1 driver, watching Vettel as a younger man breaking every record must be hard, also Rosberg is causing him alot of headache, the rot has to stop at Montreal its Hamilton’s strongest track.

      5. Stephen Taylor says:

        Didn’t Schumacher bring his dog to Spa in 2005 or something?

    2. Theoddkiwi says:

      Yeah because having a pole position, starting most of the races from the front row, being forth in the championship, only really making one mistake by going a little to slow on one lap in Monaco. He’s driving terribly.

      If you look at the sector times during Quali in Monaco he was fastest in two of the three sectors and made a mistake in the first sector that left him 0.09 seconds slower than his team mate. All while driving a car that has some fundamental problems with tyre wear.

      He might as well give up

      1. Chapor says:

        Not to mention that he ( gasp! ) took his dog to the track… What an outrage!!

      2. docjkm says:

        And… and…
        He has a good looking, famous gal pal!

    3. ashboy says:

      There is some photo’s on the offical F1 site of drivers taking dogs to F1. It’s not new.
      Don’t see how it makes any differance. It’s only the same as having any family member there.

    4. aveli says:

      i find comments about how hamilton should conduct himself disrespectful after all we all have the right to make options about our lives and careers why hasn’t he got that right? the funny thing is only people less successful are being so disrespectful. surely they don’t realise that they would’ve been so much more successful than hamilton if choices were wiser than hamilton’s. there are many other drivers on the grid who need john watson’s advice in order to make them half as successful as hamilton but john watson seem to only allow hamilton’s option take control over his emotions….:he is commuting crimes against humanity by making such comments. ie violating the human rights laws. people like watson should be locked up and the key thrown away.

      1. RacingLife says:

        +1

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        locked up and throw away the key?
        Wouldn’t that be a violation of human rights as well, after all, he’s only expressing his opinion.
        He has a platform for his opinion, but it’s no less relevant than a Lauda or a Stewart who have both made negative comments about Hailton.
        Or is that acceptable because they won Championships?

      3. aveli says:

        i think it’s normal to decide what the rules are and following the rules as agreed and abnormal to make them up as you go along.
        all convicted criminals who deserve it are locked up and the keys thrown away. schumacher took his dog to races and didn’t get any such reaction.

    5. madmax says:

      With the cars having such an influence now, the only real barometer of how well a driver is doing is the other fella in the same car.

      Would his stock be falling if he was still alongside Kovalein or Button instead of Rosberg?

      Did he not trash Jenson just last year?

      1. Steve says:

        “Did he not trash Jenson just last year?”

        Well, no. Hamilton: 190 points. Button: 188 points. That’s not a thrashing, it’s a tie. And both men had plenty of problems with their cars, not just Hamilton.

      2. madmax says:

        Hamilton vs Button 2012
        17 vs 3 (teammate finishing above other where both cars completed qualifying)
        7 vs 3 (teammate finishing above other where both cars completed race)

        Points are sometimes a very poor reflection of what happened. 2012 was one of Hamilton’s strongest and most consistent years only to be destroyed by unreliability.

        Now 2011, that was a different story.

      3. hero_was_senna says:

        Yes, but Lewis had them whilst leading Grand Prixs. Button had them because he couldn’t set his car up during the first half of the season.

        People are too quick to judge drivers.

        My God, it was only 3 races ago that Alonso was in danger of being outqualified by Massa for the 5th time in a row, yet everyone was saying how it would affect him.
        It was just about a year ago that everyone was telling Ferrari to get rid of Massa because of his dire performances.
        I have never changed my mind about Massa, I do not think he deserves to be in a Ferrari, I haven’t since he first joined in 2006, but I trust Ferrari have their reasons for keeping him. To me it was always a case of nepotism, with Todt and his son getting Massa into Ferrari.

        It’s not only drivers that are targeted. Teams are to. Ferrari were instructed by countless worldwide forums to give up on the 2012 car and concentrate on the 2013. This was after Australia. Yet they almost won the drivers title.
        This year, I have already heard opinionated observers advising Mclaren to focus on 2014. That’s what I admire about F1 teams and strong drivers, their absolute self belief. Pity more people don’t have that quality.

      4. KRB says:

        Steve, didn’t you go on about Vettel losing 25 pts at Valencia? So it’s unlucky for Vettel, but Hamilton retiring from the lead in SIN and ABU just merit a shrug from you? Never mind a broken anti-rollbar in Korea, a puncture in Germany, a squeeze-job (not the nice variety) by Grosjean, a bevy of pit stop blunders, some youthful exuberance from HUL ending his race (from the lead again) in Brazil, plus plain uncompetitive cars in GBR and BHN.

        Sheesh … tough crowd.

    6. Alexander Supertramp says:

      I disagree, nothing dramatical so far. He’s been doing a decent job, but people expect him to beat Rosberg. Anything less than a conlclusive victory will harm his reputation. Don’t know whether that will happen, but he still has time to recover. But he has been underachieving (for reasons he’s not always the one to blame) ever since 2009 (he has not been higher than 4th in the Championship). So he needs to do more than beat his team mate, he needs to take the fight to Alonso & Vettel (& kimi). If not this year, then definitely next year. That’s the big time limit, 2014.

    7. Fireman says:

      Luckily we as spectators can focus on watching the races. I think both Mercedes drivers are doing a great job. Hamilton might not take the upper hand at all. Nico is no slouch.

      1. Matt W says:

        Nico is no slouch but Hamilton is a world champion who many would suggest has an undeniable talent that should see him win multiple world titles. Look at the other multiple champions on the grid. Rarely do you ever see Vettel or Alonso parading their private lives so openly to the media. They have one career which is F1 and it is their sole focus.

        Naturally a driver like Hamilton is going to come in for some criticism if he doesn’t live up to his potential. Granted he can say it has been the car for the last year or so, but you would expect Vettel or Alonso to be beating Rosberg from the off.

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        Great point about their private lives. Have you ever followed them on twitter?
        Alonso has a photo of him in team gear and twitters about training sessions and team events.
        Lewis has a dramatic photo of him in shades and posing as a rapper. He tweets about his girlfriend, the mutt and his trips to the USA for different events.
        Each to their own, but I remember the 2011 season which Lewis struggled through and made countless poor taste comments and driving errors and blamed it on his inner demons and his relationship.
        We found out that winter, that Alonso had been going through a marriage breakup all year and was divorcing, yet his driving was as good as ever.

      3. Tim says:

        , but you would expect Vettel or Alonso to be beating Rosberg from the off…

        Exactly, Alonso would show Rosberg a clean pair of heels. Just like he did Hamilton at McLaren.

      4. Yago says:

        Matt W:
        First, Hamilton is beating Roberg from the off, while adapting to a new team.
        Second, I’m not so sure ALO and VET would have an easy time against Rosberg. I actually think ALO would beat any one by the end of the year, but ROS would give him a hard time. Regarding VET, I don’t think there is much to choose between him and ROS, it would be a hard fight to see who would come up on top.

        Before judging HAM prematurely, wait for a few more races to unfold, starting right away with Canada!

      5. Danny Almonte says:

        Actually it’s the media that parades private lives to the public. It’s how they make their money.
        People continue to underrate Rosberg. He trashed Schumacher quite badly despite predictions that Rosberg would be the one to be destroyed.

      6. hero_was_senna says:

        @ Danny Almonte.
        I doubt the media has anything to do with the twitter output from Lewis and co..

    8. FerrariFan says:

      Who is John Watson? and who is he to judge Hamilton? I think the problem is we have underestimated how quick Rosberg is. When he outperformed Schumi, we assumed Schumi has lost it. Lets give Hamilton a season before we come to any conclusion. He is new to the car and team and it will take some time to get used to. Remember Kimi had all those steering trouble at the beginning of last year?

    9. Zombie says:

      I’m a dog lover and i am offended by your comment ! How is taking pets to F1 races inappropriate ? I have seen pictures of Michael walking with what appears to be a english terrier. Seen pictures of James Hunt with a labrador.

    10. Poyta says:

      More Nicole and less Roscoe please!

    11. **Paul** says:

      I think Lewis stock started to fall when Jenson became his team mate, basically though:

      vs Alonso = Draw, although the team hated FA.
      vs Kovalinen = Easy Hamilton win.
      vs Button = Draw over their 3 season very even.
      vs Rosberg = Rosberg by a nose…

      The issue here isn’t with Lewis, it’s with the media who made him out to be the greatest F1 driver on the planet. They constantly talk of the guy as one of the best three out there, yet it’s Vettel who is making records and is the younger driver and Alonso who’s keeping him honest. They’re the two I really rate in the sport.

      1. j says:

        Interesting math but of course your focus is on Hamilton (like everyone on here) when it should be on Shumi via Rosberg.

        There was a lot of talk that when Shumi came back that he was tarnishing his reputation because he was equalled by Rosberg who at the time the fans didn’t rate.

        Now we can see a bit better how Rosberg stacks up in a decent car and have to, begrudgingly, give some credit to Schumacher for being able to be fit enough to match up with Rosberg for most of their time in the same car.

  7. goferet says:

    Some Canada stats

    i) Have been racing in Montreal since 1978. Giles just like Prost got his first win at home.

    ii) Schumi 7 wins, Piquet 3 wins, Lewis 3 wins, Alan Jones 2 wins, Senna 2 wins. Everybody else 1 win

    iii) Ferrari 10 wins, Mclaren 9 wins, Williams 7 wins, Newey cars 3 wins. Lotus has never won

    iv) Last 10 years, 3 out of 10 have won from pole and in 20 years, 8 out of 20.

    v) Alan Jones and Schumi are the only back to back winners

    vi) Schumi and Piquet are the only ones to have won in two different teams. Both won with Benetton

    vii) 4 winners in the last 10 years have gone on to win the WDC title and 12 winners in 33 years have done likewise.

    1. egoFret says:

      Yes, once again some profound permutations.

      Ps. Keep up the good work!

      1. goferet says:

        I do thank you mon ami

    2. hero_was_senna says:

      I would like to add, that in the last 62 years, a Grand Prix winner has always gone on to win the World Drivers Championship

  8. goferet says:

    Some driver stats.

    a) Schumi had a special bond with this track for not only does he have double the wins of the next best but he’s the only Ferrari driver with more than one win in Montreal plus none of his teammates won this race.

    Add to that, Schumi is the only WDC champion to have won a race in Montreal for the red team

    b) Lewis has either DNF-ed or won in Montreal plus he hasn’t finished higher than P3 at tracks he won the previous year.

    On the other had, Lewis’ qualifying record is pretty good. 3 poles, one P2 and the worst has been P5 in 2011.

    c) Kimi has two podiums and has always finished in the points in Montreal. His only DNF came in 2008 when Lewis hit him in the pit lane.

    d) In 10 years, Alonso has two podiums and 5 DNFs

    e) Vettel has been on the podium once

    f) Jenson has three podiums and 4 DNFs

    1. Glennb says:

      @goferet
      c) Kimi has two podiums and has always finished in the points in Montreal. His only DNF came in 2008 when Lewis hit him in the pit lane.
      Meaning he scored no points…

      f) Jenson has three podiums and 4 DNFs
      and 1 Take out own teammate :)

      1. Equin0x says:

        What are you chatting on about the accident was Hamilton’s fault.

    2. Alfonso de Portago says:

      I think Kimi was going to win that race in 2008… really frustrating.

      1. Phil Glass says:

        And was robbed of a win at Spa by Lewis cutting the chicane at Bus Stop, or should I say, it didn’t help …….

      2. Simon Donald says:

        Im sorry but Kimi crashed all on his own that day.

      3. Sebastian says:

        He crashed out because he was running behind Hamilton loosing down force. While that is racing it is relevant given that you can question Hamiltons overtake.

      4. KRB says:

        Kimi was ahead of Lewis when he spun off and out. YouTube it.

        Lewis would’ve won that day without cutting the chicane. McLaren should’ve told Lewis to give the pos back, instead of relying on Charlie’s word that he’d given the pos back properly. A great ending to a race messed with afterwards.

  9. goferet says:

    And will this be the race where Lewis Hamilton gets the upper hand over his resurgent team mate Nico Rosberg?
    —————————————————

    Am told the issues Lewis has been having at Mercedes have to do with brakes.

    Lewis’ preferred brakes are the C I brakes which allow for later and harder braking as shown by the fact Lewis bolted these on after FP2 in China and went on to out qualify Nico by 4 tenths.

    However, the major disadvantage of the C I brakes is they create overheating tyres and with Mercedes’ tyres woes, that’s a none starter.

    1. James Allen says:

      We have a Mark Gillan analysis of this coming up

      1. goferet says:

        @ James Allen

        Thanks!

      2. I will says:

        That is why I am checking this website every day.
        Thanks JA

      3. Alexander Supertramp says:

        He already did one for sky.. But this one will be way better!

      4. veeru says:

        I don’t think it was Mark Gillan. It was Mark Hughes who did it for sky

      5. Alexander Supertramp says:

        Haha, I have never made the distinction between the two! Well, I finally know how the ‘real’ Mark Gillan looks.

      6. KRB says:

        It was CI brake discs with Akebono calipers on the McLaren; it’s CI discs with Brembo calipers on the Mercedes. I can’t imagine the pairing would make that big a difference. If it’s to do with how the heat-transfer – from the brakes to the tires – works on the W04 vs. the MP4-27, then you’d expect Lowe’s input would help with that.

    2. AuraF1 says:

      You’d probably have to be careful about using the word ‘resurgent’ applied to Nico Rosberg. It appears he’s been doing a decent job for years (as was Schumacher it now appears) it was simply a range of truly bad Mercedes cars. It would probably be better to say a ‘substandard’ Hamilton is struggling against his consistent teammate.

      Interesting if the brake issue is that big a deal. Mclaren always suggested the brake compound split between Lewis and Jenson made no difference to their sensors it was simply driving style. But then I guess the drivers wouldn’t choose different brake compounds for no reason. Should be an interesting technical article.

      1. Quade says:

        Lewis problems are fairly common knowledge. He drives on the brakes. He has an uncanny ability to feel for the latest braking sport and use it.
        To do this, he needs brakes that are highly responsive, but the Mercs brakes are squiggy, making him have to apply more pressure.

        However, his brand of brakes have been running hotter than Nico’s (who has 3 years of Mercs tyre cooking experience to draw on), so his tyres suffer more. This in turn breeds a lack of confidence in applying the brakes (chicken and egg), resulting in less speed.

        Its a tyre chomping meets aggressive brakes situation. Call it hell on Earth. :)

        Merc have been experimenting with brake cylinders (and new brake ducts) to suit Lewis style, but have failed so far. They wil get it right and Lewis will be back. Considering the situation, he’s doing excellently.

      2. AuraF1 says:

        True but a lot of the Hamilton fans have been on this forum for the past 3 years decrying Jenson Button for not adapting to the car like Hamilton can – and how the very best drivers are more adaptable.

        If it was fair comment for them, surely you’d have to say Hamilton is supposed to be the fastest driver, surely he should adapt his style and overcome the inherent difficulties of the car?

        A highly unfair argument I agree but I do find it intriguing that Hamilton is defended against all flaws while all other drivers are derided as only being good as their worst drive.

        (I am a life-long McLaren fan BTW so I was a natural Hamilton supporter, not a hater, just observing a trend!)

      3. Yago says:

        Hi Quade,

        Very interesting. Just would like to clarify a point. As I see it, it is not Lewis ability to find the latest braking spot what makes him special, if it was this Monza would probably be his best track, which is not. It is that he is able to brake a bit later because he likes to start the turn also later, so he reduces the effective turn length. To make a difference by doing it, “straight -chicane-straight” circuits are not enough, you need longer corners as for example in China, where he really excels. Of course he excels also in Canada, but I think it is more related to the low grip conditions of the circuit and the presence of walls.

        This said, I think you are right, Lewis needs to feel the brakes in order to apply his style, as he generally begins to turn in before completely releasing the brake pedal. So I agree on your general point on the need of responsive brakes.

      4. Quade says:

        @AuraF1
        Even with Lewis current problems, he is NOT slow, in fact he has been on pole and on the the podium a couple of times this season.
        Secondly, like the pro he is, he knows exactly what the problem is (far from being lost or confused) and is working to sort it.

        Also, I don’t see the purpose of bringing Jenson into the argument, he is no longer Lewis teammate, its more natural to compare him with Perez.

      5. Quade says:

        @Yago
        You’ve got a great theory there. I think the truth lies somewhere between both our positions; for instance, Lewis is good at Monaco which doesn’t have the longer corners China has, they are all short and quite tight.

        @AuraF1
        Just to add a bit. Lewis uses a different brake brand from Nico. Unfortunately, Lewis brake brand needs a much higher operating temperature than Nico’s. So with Mercs tyre chomping habits, he is damned if he brakes (tyres overheat) and damned if he doesn’t – tyres do not get to working temperature and begin to grain as evidenced in Monaco – (race and quali radio messages).

      6. hero_was_senna says:

        I find it interesting that the Brawn run squad has had this issue before, in 2009.
        Barrichello struggled for the first half of the season with braking and it was only when they changed the material that he recovered his pace. In fact, he won Valencia that season after the brake change.

        I know from having been in the Ferrari simulator that the brake pedal was set up for Alonso’s preference and it was like trying to push against a wall, it didn’t move! Maybe it’s not pedal feel but something more organic within Lewis.

    3. madmax says:

      In China Rosberg was using Hamilton’s qualifying set up because of a car issue in last practice so not the best example.

  10. ram says:

    Hoping Webber wins this…somehow feel this could be Webber’s last year in F1… Will love to see the “aussiegrit” go out in style…

    1. Glennb says:

      Webber will win this one from pole.
      You heard it first here ;)

    2. Random 79 says:

      +1

      Not sure about Canada, but he should pick up one or two before the year is out :)

  11. Robert says:

    Hello,
    Does the DRS have to be used in every race? It seems to me in Canada in particular it is pretty superfluous, and make actually inhibit close racing as it might passing too easy.

    1. Bring Back Murray says:

      Absolutely there is no need for DRS in Canada at all. They seriously need to fine tune the DRS – its much too easy to pass now on nearly every circuit. A happy medium is what is required.

    2. madmax says:

      Agree, decent tracks and you don’t need the DRS and tyre gimmicks

  12. McLaren78 says:

    If Merc go for an aggressive strategy, they have good chances for the win, otherwise I can’s see past Vettel.

    1. Hendo says:

      With 15 secs at full throttle, I don’t think the Red Bulls have enough speed to hang onto the others – even with their superior traction out of the hairpins.
      And unlike Monaco you can’t hide a lack of pace by sitting in the middle of the track to hold your position.

  13. Tom says:

    Going to be a really interesting weekend. I think Mercedes will be very strong, as with Ferrari. McLaren might finally get a decent points haul here. I for one am hoping Red Bull have a shocker to keep the World Tyre C’ship at least mildly entertaining for the rest of the year.

  14. PeterG says:

    Why haven’t they shortened or totally removed DRS for this race?
    This circuit does not need DRS but if they are going to use it the zone should be really short or moved onto another straght because where it is makes passing so easy its boring to watch & completely predictable so theres no longer any good fights over position here.

    In both 2011 & 2012 the DRS zone at Montreal made passing stupidly easy & as JV pointed out last year the placement of the DRS zone was seeing people back out of overtakes into the hairpin because they didn’t want to be re-passed in the DRS zone.

    1. Anil says:

      The hairpin used to be one of the best overtake zones as well :/

    2. aveli says:

      i like drs but its use shouldn’t be restricted. drivers should be allowed to use from the start of the race to the end of the race. the use of kers should also not be restricted.
      they should at least try deregulation for o season to understand exactly how the races will be influenced by unrestricted use of kers and drs,

    3. KRB says:

      Drivers won’t pull out of overtakes into the hairpin this year, b/c the detection point was pushed much further back (i.e. before anyone would have passed the car ahead in an overtake).

      Thing is then, that that same car will then get the benefit of the DRS down the Casino and then the Pit straights.

      If anything, the position of the detection point might actually increase overtakes into the hairpin this year, so they can then get the DRS benefit in clear air afterwards.

  15. stig says:

    James, how many pitstops did the Merc`s do last year?

    I think this race is wide open. Given that Mclaren is out of the picture, I feel RBR is a contender here, most of all because I dont see any clear favorites other than mabe Rosberg.

    Hamilton might need a few more races to get the car just right, so he`s previous track record in Canada is not that important.

    Merc will lock out the frontrow again most likely, and with 2 stops they are my best bet!

    Alonso/Ferrari have gotten a lot of bad press from Monaco, but I think they had a lot of carproblems/suspencion isues, the traction is not that bad, and here they can run at own pace. I can see Alonso wining this race with 2 stops and going flat out!

    Kimi did not have the best setup last year, he (or Grosjan, looked good last year) needs to be perfect to challenge for victory, but I`m sure he can keep good pace with a 1-stopper. Would love to see Lotus go for 2 stops, and take the lead early in first stint :)

    I`m cheering for Kimi, but I think this will be Alonso or Rosberg. Cant wait!!! :)

    1. KRB says:

      If the Merc’s can do it in 2 stops, I’ll be very surprised. Also wouldn’t help with the perceptions around their tire testing.

      I think they’ll go 3 stops, SS-M-SS-SS. The loss time is only 11-odd seconds for a pit stop. Last year, Hamilton made 25 seconds on Alonso in the last 20 laps (came out 12s back, ended up 13.5s ahead).

      Last year’s supersofts lasted between 13-19 laps in the opening stint, most on laps 16-17. With softer tires this year, let’s say laps 14-15 for the first stint.

      O=Option P=Prime U=Used N=New

      OU14-PN26-ON16-OU14

      All depends on if a team can keep back a set of fresh options.

  16. Horno says:

    Looking at these stats, one must think this must be the year that Ferrari wins again in Montreal, or at least I hope so.

    Also it would be could for the championship if Vettel doesn’t score that good this time around, but do not get me wrong; I don’t wish him bad luck.

    Weather will be key, because in wet it will be a Red Bull/Mercedes fight, in dry Lotus and Ferrari will also participate.

    It will also be interesting to see how teams react one the tweaked tyres which they will test.

    1. Graham Passmore says:

      The weather here has been cool, windy & wet over the past weekend. It’s still cool (a bit under 20C) and windy right now, and as I look out my office window I see a mix of blue sky & lots of puffy grey clouds. CBC weather forecast predicts some rain over the race weekend, but whether or not that will mean quali and/or racing on a wet track remians to be seen. When its, windy, the track dries quickly. Looks like a hot/dry weekend is NOT in the offing though.
      Go Red Bull!

  17. Bring Back Murray says:

    Always loved Canada. Was my favourite track in Geoff Crammonds F1 GP.

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      It was even better when they had these Esses.

    2. hero_was_senna says:

      Whoops, forgot the link!

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWiHKny_GSs

  18. Peter says:

    Its Alonso or Hamilton this weekend for the win in my opinion. Short pit stops and lack of high speed corners would not favour Lotus. However would love to see Kimi gaining points on Vettel and staying in the hunt for the championship.

    1. aveli says:

      is that why vettel is leading the drivers championship?

  19. aveli says:

    another article with great information leading up to a race and i am glad that you read our posts and respond however, it would be interesting to see how the pit stops compare by comparing the total (or average) times the car is stationary at the pits because the driver drives the car from pit entry into the garage and out again to the pit exit line. to understand how the pit crew influence the race it’d nice to see how fast they were over the whole race rather than a single stop. for example if their first time was 3s for one car and 2s for the second in the first round and 3s and 5s for the second round of stops, either compare the average or compare the total for both cars, 13s or 3.25s i failed to explain it well last time and hope i have made it clearer. comparingthe quickest time is like award the driver with the fastest lap time the winning trophy even if he was the last to cross the finish line at the end of the race.

  20. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    Some questions: What is the possibility of Paul DI RESTA to win this now in Canada?

    Can Checo PEREZ be in the podium with 1 stop strategy?

    I would like some shake up in the order to overcome the boredom really.

    Here we go:

    POLE Hamilton
    1st DI RESTA
    2nd PEREZ
    3rd MASSA or Vettel

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      Most days I’d suggest taking the meds again. One brave podium wish!

  21. Irish con says:

    The Ferrari is fast in a straight line but lacks traction. The red bull is the opposite. The merc is good but poor rear tyre deg. The lotus is very good at everything but lacks the out and out pace. So who wins?

    Be interesting to see how Lewis gets on as this is his best track but he is struggling with the brakes and braking is very important here.

    Hopefully red bull have a bad race to tighten the championship right up with kimi, Sebastian and Fernando all separated by as little points as possible heading to silverstone.

  22. Brent says:

    Two Fridays ago it dropped to -3C and we awoke to snow on the ground, this past Friday it was +30C. I’m just west of Ottawa.

    They are calling for 17C and rain Saturday and 20C with isolated showers Sunday, sorry.

    1. Anne says:

      Well since you bring this up. What about Friday? If it raining Pirelli can´t test the new tyres. I wish Pirelli has a Plan B just in case

      1. Brent says:

        Rain 17C, 70% chance Friday, 90% Saturday

      2. aveli says:

        sunday 22 celcius.

  23. Glennb says:

    Unless Merc have miraculously gotten over their tyre eating issues I dont see them as a serious contender around this fast track. Red Bull are generally strong everywhere and shouldn’t be overlooked here. Ferrari don’t do too well on the SS tyre this year so that might hurt them. McLaren just suck this year. That leaves the Lotus and Force India. If they can keep their tyres when all about are using there’s and blaming it on Pirelli, they might just have a look in ;)

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      If it’s true about the Supersoft tyres, then they’ll qualify on them and get rid as quickly as possible.
      Most of the top teams ran a soft tyre in China and changed to the medium compound for the remainder of the race.
      RBR actually qualified on the medium tyre because of how high degradation was in free practice on the super soft.

    2. Poyta says:

      Being a fast track has nothing to do with Mercedes tyre issues – its the long fast sweeping curves that kills them – there are none here at Montreal. Red Bull strong everywhere? They are actually down on top speed and if anything this track rewards top speed.

  24. Kartik says:

    Passing will be quite easy now as we have Two DRS zones instead of One like last year. So Going for more stops and taking every thing out of tires is much better than going for less stops

  25. Harvey says:

    Can’t understand why people think Mercedes will be so strong. Are their tyre problems going to suddenly vanish? And if they do, tongues will be wagging up and down the pit lane.

    1. Tim says:

      As I understand it, the track layout is not especially demanding of the tyres. I believe it’s long, high speed, high down force corners that trash the tyres – and Canada ain’t got none of them. I guess that is why there is a slight optimism from Mercedes fans.

    2. Poyta says:

      Because they have very good traction out of slow corners and very good top speed which is crucial on this track and the lack of long fast sweeping curves means that tyre degradation is not an issue. Has nothing to do with vanishing tyre problems but this of course won’t stop tongue wagging – suggest you don’t add to the wagging.

  26. Val from montreal says:

    The F1 circus is back in Montreal ! I’ve only been twice to this race in my life , 1997 and 1998 , and I was lucky to have witness the Regenmeister win on both occasions ..

    1998 has to be one of my best week-ends of my life ..

    Before the race starts on sunday , there is always a parade lap 2 hours before the race … All of the drivers are seated in convertibles and get driven around the race track waving to the crowd and spectators … I was seated near the Senna hairpin with my friend … In my area of the grand-stand I was the ONLY one wearing a Dekra cap and waving a huge German flag ( even though im Italian ) ..

    Mind you , back in those years Schumacher was the arch villain in Quebec … The French-Canadians hated him with a passion … From far we start seeing Schumacher’s convertible approach my section of the grand-stand , the boos and insults start to be heard … I was maybe 15-20 feet away from where the cars passed us at a slow speed … Schumacher gets near from I was and I start yelling like a maniac : ” MICHAEL ! YOUR THE BEST MICHAEL ! ”

    That’s when time literally froze for me … Schumacher hears me yelling , looks up , notices me with the German Flag and Dekra cap , looks at me straight in the eyes smiling and then he gives ME a thumbs up !!

    I completely freaked out ! I could’nt believe it … My idol made eye contact with me .. That moment will forever be ingrained in my mind …. After that MSC crossed the finish line and won , my friend and I ran like 2 Ben Johnsons to the podium ceremony and we witness the famous Schumacher ” Jump ” …

    That’s my story … : ))

    1. Ahmed says:

      Awesome story Val!
      This is what F1 is all about

    2. hero_was_senna says:

      I love it, totally understand that emotion.

      I met Senna once in the Silverstone pits and was just in awe, couldn’t do anything.

      A few years later, my friend Anthony and I, were at the 1994 Silverstone tyre tests.
      We’d been in the pits in the morning and we managed to get into an area, that we shouldn’t have had access to, down the Hanger Straight for the afternoon session.
      We climbed into a marshal’s post and Ant started taking photos.
      Schumacher came though at racing speed and the man must have had eyesight belonging to a Hawk, because he pulled up in front of us and sat preparing a race start right in front of us. He revved the engine and took off. Brilliant.

      Some years ago, I took my daughter to a Prince concert, another personal idol of mine. We had
      front row seats and as he was singing Purple Rain he walked over to our side of the stage. He spotted my daughter, 8 year old kid kind of stands out, and sings to her before breaking into the guitar rift. That was special too.

      Memories can be pretty damn amazing.

    3. Elie says:

      You ran like two Ben Johnsons -lol- What steroids were you on ! I thought for sure you might have flashed him

    4. Tornillo Amarillo says:

      Well written Val. That’s the magic of being in the circuit, just for those few seconds in the parade!

      I did the same that you did with Schumacher in 2003, but when he looked at me, he saw my posters of McLaren and he knitted his brows…

      Also I shake hands with Kimi during an event of marketing for the public in Montreal that year, unfortunately I can’t found any similar event now with drivers, are there?

    5. Yellowbelly says:

      I was lucky enough to be at the 1992 British Grand Prix at Silverstone, free of charge courtesy of tickets given to me by Martin Brundle! I watched the race from Luffield, with views of the cars coming through Bridge, then Priory & Brooklands, past Luffield and on to Woodcote.

      I was part of the throng that flooded the track after Nigel Mansell’s memorable win, Senna’s car was transported away right in front of us, Damon Hill had his first race start, and I gave a special cheer to Martin Brundle for his podium finish. Have thought him a top guy ever since!

    6. Tim says:

      I was maybe 15-20 feet away from where the cars passed us at a slow speed … Schumacher….

      Hey Val, I was just re-reading some posts and noticed yours. Technically, wouldn’t this situation have breached the restraining order that MSC took out against you?

      1. Valentino from montreal says:

        LOL … NO … Maybe I should get a restraining order for you , your border-line stalking me …. : ))

  27. Eduan says:

    This weekend Vettel has DNF and Kimi Raikkonen reduces the gap to Vettel! No chance Mercedes will keep grid slots like Monaco this time. Maybe Lewis should stop focusing on his puppy and make up his mind weather he wants to be a F1 driver or wants to be Hip hop star! May then he will win races.

  28. Sebee says:

    WOW!

    Did Nico and Lewis really use different helmet liveries in this 1000km Pirelli test as to not be identified?

    If this is true…well, let’s just my reservations about stiff punishment for Mercedes would be fully eliminated.

    1. Welps says:

      They used white different helmets and overalls and Hamilton was tweeting Disneyland pictures on the days he was testing. They also used trucks with different colors.

      Also people at the circuit confirm Mercedes was packing up on Sunday like everyone else but when leaving the circuit they took a different turn, waited a day in another area, got all their gear in the already mentioned trucks with different colors and drove everything back to the circuit, which was sealed off and made impossible to take pictures.

      This is huge but everyone is hush-hush about it because they know this could mean the end of mercedes in F1. Which would mean no more Merc engines, no more Hamilton, no more Brawn, etc.

      It is no coincidence that mercedes made a statement a few days ago how they can leave F1 if Bernie was linked to fraudulent behaviour. They were basically saying: “let this one go or we go”.

      1. Sebee says:

        Get the heck out of town!

        For real?

        Simply amazing.

        Is this why FIA is dragging Ferrari into this, to have an out?

      2. Tim says:

        Out of interest how do you seal off a circuit? Particularly a circuit that is overlooked by a hotel.
        One final question, how do you know all this, if it’s so secret?

      3. Tim says:

        Sebee, have you read the blog? The gentleman who claims he has the skinny on all the security etc, seems a tad confused. He says he took pictures of the Ferrari test, at the same circuit/corner that he was later denied the opportunity to photograph the Merc’s.
        Now that would be impressive, as you know, the tests took place not only at different circuits, but different countries as well!
        I would suggest his testimony may be safely ignored :-)

      4. Tim says:

        Sebee, apologies for my post/reply above. I made a factual error – I was confusing two different stories in my mind. My bad , as the young folk would say.

      5. Phil Glass says:

        this whole episode gets me real mad. I hope sincerely that Merc have the book thrown at them…. for once, maybe F1 governance will make the right call. Here’s hoping.

      6. aveli says:

        they duck and the book will end up in the rain soaked dirt.

      7. Sebee says:

        OK. I thought about this.

        If these are facts, Mercedes need to face the unsporting consequences. Question needs to be asked – why are you in F1? Is it to brake rules and use leverage to get away with it? I know it is already hardly a sport, but how far away from sporting behavior do we want to go?

        FIA is not in a fun spot here. But they need to take action on this one.

        I’ve seen the photos. I can’t believe no one could come up with an SLR in 3 days to take better pics however.

        Sounds like Honda may need to move up their program a year just in case yoo.

      8. hero_was_senna says:

        It was suggested last year that Mercedes were planning an exit strategy. I don’t know the figures, but don’t Lauda and Wolff have equity in the team?

      9. Gazza says:

        Apparently they also handed out free earplugs to the local population to stop anybody hearing the engines.
        It most have cost a fortune you can hear an F1 engine from miles away.!!

  29. Sebee says:

    Val from Montreal,

    What are we talking about for weather so far? Cool and wet for Sunday?

    1. Val from montreal says:

      Saturday it’s raining , 17 degrees celcius

      Sunday its partly cloudy with chance of rain , 22 degrees celcius ….

      My forecast is as follows : Hamilton not as fast as Nico in both qualy and race , Vettel wins …

      1. Sebee says:

        I can live with that forecast. ;-)

        Stay dry!

      2. Tim says:

        Hi again Val. Do you think fortune telling is really the right career for you? You have had quite a few goes at it and, frankly, your success rate is pretty poor – 1/6.
        Maybe you should consider something else :-)
        ps. ‘see you’ at the end of the season.
        Take care.

  30. Yawn says:

    Another Pirelli 1 race coming up then.

  31. cartweel says:

    Going to be a cool/wet weekend I think- not so good for me sitting inside the hairpin, but should be good for racing and Merc chances. Forecast is 20C highs with chance of rain all 3 days.

    I feel Ferrari/Force India will make some waves this weekend- both seem to have had straight line speed when needed. Could this be the first FI podium of the year? Will the rain bring the Williams into contention???

    Can’t wait- my favorite weekend of the year!

  32. John M says:

    Sorry to nitpick, but coastal?

    Montreal is ~200 miles from the Atlantic Ocean and ~170 miles from Lake Ontario.

    Anyway…looking forward to the race. I love this track. The Wall of Champions is always a nail-biter.

    My only complaint in recent years has been the DRS overtakes are way too easy at this track.

  33. ferggsa says:

    I agree with you, but just to add to your comment, America’s Cup (sailing) contenders had to come from an Ocean based Yacht Club, and in order to accept challengers from Canadian lake area, lawyers came up with an argument that the river being navigable all the way up to the lakes made it “an arm of the ocean”, so legally, James is right

  34. RogerA says:

    I’ve attended every f1 race held at this circuit since 1982, However I will not be attending this year’s race.

    Reason been that every year we used to sit at the casino hairpin & we used to see loads of great racing action while sitting down there.

    However the last 2 years there has been virtually no action down at the hairpin as nobody wants to try & overtake there anymore because the DRS zone is just up the road.
    I saw countless times in both 2011 (Once it dried out & DRS came on) & in 2012 where a driver could have gone up the inside into the hairpin yet back out of the move to ensure they got DRS & there were many cases where both drivers looked to be backing off both trying to be behind at the detection line.

    So me, my Family & friends who all used to attend together have decided we won’t be going back to Montreal until DRS is either banned entirely or they see sense & move the DRS zone elsewhere where it doesn’t hurt racing in the places where fans are.

    I’d also argue that this track doesn’t need DRS, As I say I’ve attended a lot of races there & its always been a race where overtaking was possible & the racing was always great. Would be better to have zero DRS on this circuit.

    1. Tornillo Amarillo says:

      They listen to the fans and put two DRS zones then…

    2. Yellowbelly says:

      +1

  35. Honkhonk says:

    I think this race might be a last chance for Ferrari and possibly Lotus to make a dent in the challenge for titles. I hope that blatant cheat Ross Brawn’s team suffer a serious penalty that will remove them from this years title. I’m sorry but why have both your lead drivers drive a meaningless test? He’s as big a cheat as he was at Benetton. I think Mercedes will easily get to the podium. Out on a limb here but I think the Force India’s will do well too.

  36. AlexD says:

    A DNF from Vettel could revitalize the championship

  37. RacingLife says:

    It would be really nice if Lewis could rise and shine in this race… Another team, new season and another opportunity! You’re a professional sportsman and doing your job, seeking for improvements regardless of what some people say! Your time will come! Bienvenu à Montreal!
    We’ll be there to cheer & support you all this week-end.
    Good luck Mr Hamilton!

    1. aveli says:

      hamilton is a natural born racer assessing his adversaries and gegner. once the coast is clear, he’ll emerge and mesmorise.

      1. laTulipe says:

        +1
        I’ve got through some pages and really can’t help myself, keep wondering why people are so biased! He has a WDC to his name, multiple wins…One day is up another he’s not up there! We saw his fellow drivers dealing with same stuff given the situation in the past, but this is just lame.
        I don’t agree with everything said in here but sometimes you just have to skip the comments!
        Nobody expected Lewis to beat Nico or ‘trash’ him…The man himself has acknowledged how strong and competitive his team-mate has been since the beginning!
        What i see, some people are building expectations and fast to judge him just for the sake of it (it’s not even on the racing side, they go personal)
        The season is not over yet, let’s see how it evolves between these two!

      2. aveli says:

        the name hamilton adds spice to f1, some hot others endothermic. he has done so fron 2007. only one other driver had such an effect on the sport. the only difference is that it took him about 13 years and 7 drivers’championships to achieve that status.

  38. andrew says:

    More than semantics at play here, but the “UBS” race-plan nomenclature could use some fine tuning, maybe?
    To the point then, if you plot your race plan in advance of the race start and never waiver from it, it might be properly called a race “strategy”. If you deviate from your original race plan, at any point thereafter, that is more correctly termed a race “tactic”, and not a change in “strategy”. I think the whole of F1 could stand to think more like sailors and employ folks called “tacticians”; as the race-day situation changes so frequently based on a myriad of very dynamic and uncontrolable factors.

  39. Linda1 says:

    Hamilton @ Montreal-

    2007 – 1st
    2008 – DNF
    2010 – 1st
    2011 – DNF
    2012 – 1st

    If that pattern continues he’ll DNF this weekend.

    Also agree with comments about about drs, it is not needed on this circuit & hurts the quality of the racing here past 2 years. its just zero fun watching drivers hit a button & cruise easily past the defenseless car ahead.

    the point of drs was to help make overtaking more possible in places where it otherwise woudl not have been.
    in reality however its just worked as a passing device more often than not & that is not what it is supposed to do.

  40. goferet says:

    I thank you mon ami

  41. mhilgtx says:

    I am afraid that this might be another Merc win.

    Lotus and RBR don’t have enough pace and Ferrari needs a particular set of circumstances to win. A track that is not front wheel limited is probably not going to work for them. Even with the fastest straight line speed.

  42. Johny says:

    Every time I go to an F1 race Jean Alesi wins. Nobody would see that coming this weekend. ;-)

    Don’t call your bookies. Alas, I won’t be there.

    Hoping for real racing…

  43. dean cassady says:

    I’m Grosjean to qualify on pole, then pick his way through the crowd from tenth, to the flag.

  44. dean cassady says:

    by the way, it’s cold here in Canada, this year; and it looks like cold and rain for practice and qualifying, then slightly milder and dryer, i.e. lower chance of precipitation, on Sunday.

  45. Elie says:

    Dead right its an open race because of the unpredictable weather.

    If its dry I would favour a Mercedes powered car with Lotus very close.I think Force India have their best chance at a podium here. The cooler conditions may allow the Mercs to look after their tyres a bit with cooling off down the straights.

    If its damp or wet has to be Red Bull or Ferrari.

    1. Yago says:

      If it’s damp or wet it will be very difficult for Ferrari (at least in Quali). I don’t know where did you get that Ferrari is good in damp/wet/cool conditions. I agree though on Red Bull. Damp/wet conditions would probably produce a Red Bull domination (of course in the race there are a lot of situations that could turn around things).

      1. Elie says:

        It’s more that Fernando seems to find the best way around in damp conditions.

  46. David M. says:

    James, Montreal coastal? Where were you educated mate? Sure it’s on the St Lawrence seaway but it is so far from the coast as to describe it coastal is far fetched. Albany (NY state is closer to the coast, but can’t be described as coastal.

  47. Ryan Eckford says:

    I think Mercedes are the team to beat here in Canada. They have a good car in terms of traction and accelerating out of slower corners, and their tyres won’t be put under extreme strain.

    This is due to the fact that there are no real high-speed/energy corners to put extra heat into the tyres, and due to the lower downforce level required at this circuit, which won’t push the tyres hard into the ground.

    I also get the feeling we are going to see something special from Lewis Hamilton this weekend. He was very close to getting the brakes right in Monaco, and with the best part of a fortnight to make adjustments, he should be in a great position to grab his first win of 2013.

  48. Rufus says:

    For a long time the Canadian Grand Prix has been one of my favourite races of the season.

    It is one of Hamilton’s best circuits and so I think he will get pole. However, I think unfortunately for he and Rosberg the problem of tyres will return in spite of the controversial test.

    The tactic to run slowly to look after the tyres and still be at the front won’t work. Although Montreal doesn’t have the high speed corners it is hard on tyres. If you remember, the idea of producing tyres that wore out more quickly came about after Montreal 2010 when even the very hard wearing Bridgestone tyres wore more quickly than normal.

    Presuming Ferrari’s Monaco pace was a temporary blip I think it will be close between Red Bull, Lotus and Ferrari with Mercedes in there at the start. As always in Canada it should be exciting.

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