Chances to shine as F1 teams head to Montreal
Insight
Chances_Shine
Posted By: James Allen  |  03 Jun 2014   |  8:05 pm GMT  |  166 comments

This weekend is the Canadian Grand Prix at Montreal, one of the F1 fraternity’s favourite races and a solid favourite with many drivers. Battle will be resumed between the two Mercedes drivers, contesting the world title, but Ferrari has a major upgrade here, as does Red Bull’s engine partner Renault and it will suit Force India, who could be podium contenders.

Montreal is unique, with its long straights and corners lined with walls, especially the “Wall of Champions” on the exit of the final chicane.

But it’s also a difficult race to win, as strategy is really important here. It has high (56%) chance of a safety car, which often turns races on their heads, a short pit lane, which means fast stops and an unusual track surface – low grip and used for racing only once a year.

Plotting the development of the grip levels as the track improves is one of the keys to success.


Track characteristics – Click to enlarge

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.

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

Total time needed for pit stop at 80km/h: 18.8 seconds.

After the extreme of Monaco, qualifying is significantly less important at Montreal because overtaking is easy and with a short pit lane, 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.


Form Guide

The Canadian Grand Prix is the seventh round of the 2014 FIA F1 World Championship.

Mercedes is the dominant force at the moment with six wins and six pole positions. This track is likely to flatter their package too, so expect a head to head once again for pole and the win between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. Hamilton has the far stronger record here, three poles and three wins. Rosberg’s best qualifying is fourth and best race result is 5th.
However he has worked hard on his braking and precision, which are key to speed here, when blended with aggression.

For the last few seasons, Ferrari has had a problem with traction out of slow corners, which is at a premium in Montreal. It has a major upgrade of chassis and power unit planned and much hope is riding on it.

Historically this has not been one of Red Bull’s strongest circuits; downforce isn’t a major factor here, but in 2012 Sebastian Vettel started on pole position and finished fourth; last year he won the race. Lack of power is likely to restrict the team’s competitiveness this season, although Renault has promised that the team will be able to use full power for the first time at this race.

This should be the best chance for Force India to repeat the Bahrain podium result. The track will suit their slippery chassis, strong power unit and good traction. Sergio Perez drove very well here in 2012 to score a podium for Sauber.

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


Weather Forecast

Set on the St Lawrence seaway, Montreal can experience extremes of weather for the race; it can be very hot and humid, but also cold and wet, as it was in 2011 (above). This will have a huge bearing on the tyres. It is common to see huge temperature variations – 15 degrees of track temperature on one day and 35 degrees on another. It is one of the most extreme circuit locations for this phenomenon.


Likely tyre performance and other considerations

Pirelli tyre choice for Montreal: Prime tyre is Soft and Option tyre is Super Soft. This is the same combination as in Monaco.

This combination of Pirelli tyres in Monaco proved very durable and quite hard to warm up and this is likely to be repeated this weekend.

The track surface is smooth and the lack of long corners means relatively low energy going into the tyres, which means longer life, but difficulty with warm-up. The key to making the super soft last is to limit sliding and wheel spin with the rear tyres. This happens when the drivers accelerate out of the low speed corners. This is even more of an issue this year with the high torque levels from the hybrid turbo engines, which really spin up the rear wheels.

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.

Because pit stops cost less time (18 secs) the temptation is to do two stops, but a Safety Car at the wrong moment can hand the advantage to a one-stopping car. There are many examples of this in recent years.

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. For a fast car out of position, getting out of sequence is an idea, so the car can run in clear air as much as possible.

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.

One stop would pit around Lap 26/28. Two stops, which should be faster, would pit around Laps 16 and 44.


Chance of a safety car

The chances of a safety car at Montreal are very high at 56%. Seven of the last 12 Canadian Grands Prix have featured at least one 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 debris from an accident are dangerous.


Recent start performance

The run to the first corner in Montreal is short (just 150m to braking point) 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!

From a strategy point of view, the start is a key game changer.

As far as 2014 start performance is concerned drivers have gained (+) or lost (-) places off the start line this season, on aggregate (taking total places lost away from total places gained), as follows –

Gained
12 Kobayashi, Massa
11 Maldonado
10 Gutierrez
9 Bianchi, Hulkenberg, Bottas
8 Ericsson
4 Perez
2 Chilton, Raikkonen, Sutil
1 Grosjean, Alonso

Held Position
Rosberg

Lost
12 Vergne
4 Button
2 Magnussen, Kvyat, Ricciardo, Hamilton
1 Vettel


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.

With heavy penalties for unsafe release from a stop and loose wheels, teams have calmed down their stops to aim for consistency and no mistakes.

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. NB – The sample is not totally representative as in Monaco many stops were conducted under a safety car.

1. Williams 24.264s
2. Mercedes 24.672s
3. Lotus 25.029s
4. Caterham 25.116s
5. Ferrari 25.282s
6. Toro Rosso 25.444s
7. Force India 25.714s
8. Sauber 25.906s
9. McLaren 25.992s
10. Marussia 26.137s
11. Red Bull 26.586s


The UBS Race Strategy Briefing is written by James Allen with input and data from several of the leading teams’ strategists and from Pirelli

Click on the Infographic image below to see all the strategy considerations in an easy to use, at a glance format

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166 Comments
  1. the_rh1no says:

    I absolutely love this race, cannot wait.

    1. Tornillo Amarillo says:

      In Montreal, with such a friendly and secure atmosphere, I’ve shaken hands with Raikkonen, stayed close to the drivers in the parade, visited the circuit in a free-Thursday morning… James is it still available the free-visit of pits?

      1. James Allen says:

        There were a few 1,000 in the pit lane this morning, yes. Don’t know if it was free or not, but plenty of people there

  2. Gaz Boy says:

    O Canada……you are blessed with the best RACING circuit in Formula 1.
    Why is Montreal so great for racing, rain or shine? I think it’s a combination of

    a) very slippery, greasy track surface can catch out a driver at any corner
    b) point and squirt configuration that has a compression effect on the cars, unlike a Tilke-drome that stretches out the cars
    c) Montreal is not a downforce track. No fast corners, all slow corners so it’s mechanical grip that matters, not aerodynamic. Also a mega long back straight that severely compromises cars that do run a lot of wing.
    d) very, very tough on brakes. Ask Jarno Trulli
    e) That mega long back straight is great for overtaking and also very tough on fuel consumption. Another reason why teams have to run cars with little wings (for less drag, as too much drag increases MPG). And of course, little wings mean more skittish cars!
    f) if a driver makes a mistake, more often than not he has a nice chat with the concrete walls unlike the Tilke-dromes where there is 20,000 miles of run off (seems like it anyway).
    g) Did I mention the threat of rain?

    1. NickH says:

      Always a great race. Chicanes, point and squirt, long straights, a combination for good racing. Lewis will be the man to beat, this is arguably his best track. Weather may play a part. Will be interesting to see if Ferrari actually make a step.

    2. jeff h says:

      thanks Gaz Boy, I have been going since 1982… it is indeed a special track. it is on a little island in the St Lawrence. you can take the subway (Metro) to get there. You can drive from city centre to track in 10 minutes on a clear weekday. The party scene in the downtown area is crazy!!! Streets are closed off and all nationalities are buying each other drinks, a super cool buzz.
      I was on dining on St Laurent many years back and Jean Alesi, Gerhart Burger and Mika Salo were a few tables over from us.
      and the Montreal women, ohh la la!

      1. JohnBt says:

        [I have been going since 1982]

        Gosh, now you’re making me so damn envious.

      2. Gaz Boy says:

        Indeed………
        Did you know in 2011 Lazarus returned to earth and came down in human form at Montreal on 11 June 2011? He came back in the form of Jenson!!
        Ah, 2011. Lazarus Button indeed. Even after 3 years, I still can’t quite believe after two thirds distance Jenson was bog last and yet unbelievably came through the pack to harry Sebastian into a mistake and win the race!
        Again, thank you Montreal and Canada……….
        More of the same please…………

      3. EMTE says:

        And had 6 pit stops !!

      4. RodgerT says:

        It was a great feat but he caused a couple of the safety cars that allowed him to even still be in the race.

      5. BogRacer says:

        See you there Jeff! I haven’t missed a Canadian GP since 1999. It is (was) always a great buzz trotting off the Metro at Jean Drapeau to the symphony F1 cars during FP1. Suddenly the long walk across the bridge is cut in half by a two-fold increase in walking speed (with loaded cooler in hand no doubt)!
        It really is a great weekend for any F1 fan.
        You’re 100% correct, Jeff. The girls are unbelievable, the food is great and the downtown atmosphere is second to none. I’ve met (and partied) with fans from all around the world including Hungary, UK, Sweden and even a few crazy Aussies during the Epic 2011 monsoon! It’s a GP that all should try to attend.

      6. Gary says:

        Well, this year you’ll get everything you enjoyed in the past sans the symphony of F1 cars.

      7. jeff h says:

        Winston Churchills’ on Crescent St sometime Saturday night. Balcony if there’s room. F1 fans are the friendliest of sporting fans in the world…bar none!
        I will let out a BogRacer holler, if you hear it, you will know
        who it is.

        cheers

      8. gpfan says:

        First went in 1982. Same as Detroit.
        Sixteen years straight. Since then,
        it has been hit and miss.

    3. Martin says:

      Hi Gaz

      “Another reason why teams have to run cars with little wings (for less drag, as too much drag increases MPG).”

      These aren’t road cars where drivers cruise at a chosen speed. Regardless of the drag level a racing driver is going to want to have the throttles at 100% on the straights. To save fuel you’d less throttle or fewer revs.

      Carrying more downforce will lead to increased fuel consumption as the cars spend less time braking and cornering as a percentage of the lap time. Drag isn’t the issue as such as the driver is generally demanding more power than the drag force consumes.

      Running less wing allows a little more regenerative braking to occur this year.

      Cheers,
      Martin

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        Thanks Martin for the info.
        I’m led to believe in the last few years the Bulls had a very draggy car but was compensated by the good fuel economy of the Renault V8, but that isn’t quite the case this year!

      2. Martin says:

        As I wrote, the aerodynamic drag is largely irrelevant for the fuel consumption of racing cars. Focus on that point. Car A is on full throttle for 63% of a lap and Car B with less downforce 62.5% of a lap you save a fraction of a per cent of fuel.

        For Red Bull it was all about lap times. Which is why the wing levels are what they are. The Renault engine had less power and used less fuel. Compared a Mercedes-engined car the Red Bull had a gain in the early laps by carrying less weight. At the end of the race the advantage went Mercedes’ way. Give Red Bull a Mercedes engine and it would just allow them to run more drag to further improve the lap time.

  3. Mark says:

    Will be in the stands this w/e! weather looks to be good. Can’t wait!

    1. Tom in Adelaide says:

      Awesome, have a great weekend! Spare a thought for us Aussies setting their alarms for 3am :P

    2. KRB says:

      FP1 & 2 might see rain, which could affect the rest of the weekend.

      Thought I’d look at some prior seasons, to compare the Merc drivers’ point totals, versus other drivers in other seasons. The results are interesting.

      Points totals > 100 through six races, since the year 2000 (using 2010- scoring system):

      2011 VET – 143
      2002 MSC – 140
      2009 BUT – 140 (treating MAL as full pts)
      2006 ALO – 129
      2004 MSC – 125
      2000 MSC – 125
      2014 ROS – 122
      2005 ALO – 120
      2014 HAM – 118
      2007 HAM – 112
      2001 MSC – 111
      2013 VET – 107

      Of course, in all of those seasons the lead in the DWC standings was often over a race-win’s worth. In 2014 so far, the biggest gap has been 18 pts, yet for 5 out of the 6 rounds the gap has been less than half a race-win.

      So while it’s only a two-horse race, it’s been much closer than other seasons.

      1. Kingszito says:

        A Mercedes driver is just 7th in the list of the most scored points in the first 6 races of the season. Good statistic!

      2. Andrew M says:

        Awesome stat attack, makes a mockery of people claiming this season is dull/boring/not worth watching etc

      3. NickH says:

        Yeah but tbf Hamilton would be on 143 if he didn’t Dnf in Melbourne

  4. Anil Parmar says:

    I love this track but I can’t help feeling DRS has ruined this track. We used to see so much overtaking going into the hairpin but nowadays we only see it into the chicane. Even last year we had Lewis backing off before the hairpin so Alonso would overtake him before the DRS zone. Thankfully Alonso backed off too, but it’s so frustrating seeing this, especially when we used to see such great racing into the hairpin.

    The second DRS zone is also a bit OTT but hey ho. Fantastic track :)

    1. KRB says:

      Yeah, I hate that DRS has led to that. It happens in Brazil too. Surely there’s a way to have another detection point, up from the approach to the hairpin, and if car B is behind car A at this first detection point, but ahead at the actual DRS detection point, that car A won’t then get DRS to then re-pass car B down the back straight.

      That way car B doesn’t “lose out” by overtaking going into the hairpin, so there’s no disincentive to making passes there.

      1. Martin says:

        If they had two DRS zones either side of the turns 8/9 chicane with the detection zone for the second well before turn 8 could be interesting. The run into 10 is short but would be aided slightly, and defending into 8 would be risky as it could compromise the run out of 9 through to 10.

        In my head it works, anyway.

    2. NickH says:

      I agree, and a lot of the overtakes are done before they even arrive at the last chicane such is the power of the DRS, they cruise past 2/3 of the way down the long straight.

      Still, great track! Drivers are going to have to work hard to keep it out of the walls with all the downforce gone

    3. Mansell Mania says:

      There are a few tracks when you should just turn DRS off altogether and let them race. This is one of them, there’d still be plenty of overtakes!

    4. BogRacer says:

      100% agree Anil. No need for DRS on the main straight. A short DRS zone on the front straight into Senna is fine, but total overkill anywhere else on the track.
      I sat at the hairpin last year and the silliness going on ruined the racing a bit. But hey, I sat among a bunch of crazy Italo-Canadians (all decked-out in red of course) and had a great time nevertheless!

      1. KRB says:

        Apparently (and I heard this a few years back, so things might’ve changed in the meantime) Montreal has the most Italophones of any city outside of Italy.

    5. Mazirian says:

      I love this track and I agree completely.

      In my view this is the real tragedy of DRS: it is trying to make badly designed tracks interesting (which it really doesn’t do either) but ends up punishing the good tracks and devalues both overtaking and defensive driving.

      Skip DRS and instead reduce aero (which would save costs and are much less relevant to road cars than any V8 engine) and fix the tracks. But I digress, and I really look forward to the race!

  5. Paul Dalgarno says:

    I like the track, but the DRS passing was stupidly easy in the past. Maybe the new engines will make this a bit harder as I haven’t seen really excessive speed differences this year.

    Also, as an aside, thank goodness the tyres are not being talked about so much this year. Many examples of drivers going hammer and tongs at the end of the races this year, which is much better than the rubbish we had in the last year.

  6. goferet says:

    Oh yes, we wait to see what Ferrari has been cooking up back at the factory but as always, it will be a challenge for anybody to make up the deficit to the front runners Mercedes.

    My guess is Ferrari are targeting Red Bull which will be bad news for Vettel because both Alonso & Kimi will take points off him.

    Anyway Montreal is a fan favourite for the wall of champions has always given the fans a rush of adrenaline to the head though the recent tendency of cutting that final corner is proving to be a killjoy.

    Right, looking forward to the next chapter of the Lewis/Rosberg battle but considering Rosberg struggled with the supersofts in Monaco, he may have a tricky first stint.

    As for best of the rest, it would be awesome if Force India could score another podium likewise will be looking to see how Bianchi goes after his good result in Monaco.

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      Have you noticed that the Scuderia hasn’t won since 2004? Interesting……….
      In the last 7 years Montreal has been a boogie-man track for Ferrari, with just a miserly 2 podiums. In 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2012 Ferrari, through a combination of silly accidents and botched strategies completely ruined their chances. OK, in all fairness Kimi being rammed in the pit-lane wasn’t Ferrari’s fault, but a botched re-fuelling stop for Felipe certainly was.
      Prior to 2004 Montreal and Ferrari were made for each other: victories in 1978, 1983, 1985, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2004. In the last several years the Montreal magic has worn off its sheen for the Prancing Horse……

      1. goferet says:

        @ Gaz Boy

        Lewis said the track favours the aggressiveness so perhaps the track doesn’t sit well with the new Ferrari driver’s driving style.

      2. Mocho_Pikuain says:

        Kimi drives with silk gloves, but i think Fernando has one of the most agressive styles out there.
        He has always been fast around the gilles vileneuve, but as you said the past years there have been silly accidents and botched strategies, otherwise Fernando would have been on the podium for the past 4 years.

  7. Kramgp says:

    I was lucky enough to go the Montreal GP a couple of years ago, when Lewis last won. There are some fantastic viewing spots where you get to see plenty of track, but avoid the start finish straight and there is no seating at the wall of champions.
    The venue states that you can only bring small coolers, but the true Canadians had coolers the size of park benches. Probably because once inside you could only get American beer.
    Can’t wait

    1. Andrew M says:

      I was on the start finish straight in 2010 and enjoyed it very much :)

    2. gpfan says:

      ” Probably because once inside you could only get American beer.”

      I think you were at The Glen.

      The race is sponsored by a Canadian brewery.

  8. goferet says:

    Some Montreal stats:

    Been racing since 1978 (except 1987 and 2009)

    i) Schumi 7 wins, Piquet + Lewis = 3 wins, Alan Jones + Senna = 2 wins

    ii) Ferrari 10 wins, Mclaren 9 wins, Williams 7 wins

    iii) The only back to back winners are Alan Jones & Schumi

    iv) Piquet & Schumi are the only drivers to have won in different teams >>> both won with Benetton.

    v) In 34 years, the circuit has seen 17 one time winners.

    vi) No repeat winner has gone more than 2 seasons between wins >>> the exception being Piquet who won his 3rd race after 5 years

    vii) Drivers with most poles are Lewis, Senna, Vettel and Schumi >>> 3 poles a piece.

    viii) Schumi is the only person with 3 wins from pole.

    Fun fact:

    * Lewis has 100% qualifying record i.e. has always qualified ahead of his teammates

    * The old Schumi (before Mercedes) also had 100% qualifying record against his teammates and usually qualified in top 3

    * Likewise, discounting 2003 when he didn’t set a time, the old Kimi (before Lotus) hadn’t lost to a teammate in qualifying.

    1. Sasidharan says:

      Looking forward to the last one. Kimi is old now. ;)

      1. goferet says:

        @ Sasidharan

        Yeah, hopefully the iceman won’t have bad luck this weekend.

    2. Gaz Boy says:

      Montreal has also seen a drivers break their GP winners duck too – Villeneuve Senior (1978), Bousten (1989), Alesi (1995), Lewis (2007) and the much missed Robert Kubica (2008) all take their first win at this classic circuit.
      Also, Alesi and Kubica were destined both to be a one-time only winner (calling them one-hit wonders is a bit harsh).
      Although Montreal has a reputation for being a bit prone to rain, there have only been 5 rain affected races in Canada since the race has been held at Montreal – 1981, 1989, 1990, 2000 and 2011. Compare that to Brazil, Malaysia or Spa and Montreal seems desert like bone dry!

      1. goferet says:

        @ Gaz Boy

        No, I don’t think Montreal has a reputation for being rain affected for starters the track isn’t long enough and isn’t located in the hills.

        As for Alesi & Kubica being a one hit wonders, I mean, who would have thought, right?

      2. Gaz Boy says:

        I still feel sad that us spectators never got to see Robert challenge for a possible WDC – his unfortunate rally accident deprived Formula 1 and us spectators of a driver who possibly could have blossomed into a potential WDC……..
        That’s why I can’t wait for The Hulk and Bianchi to get signed up by a Big Boys team ASAP as a racing driver can never assume that “oh in 2 years time I’ll be WDC” as nobody knows what the future holds…………

    3. Glennb says:

      Seems Alan Jones is due for a win here goferet ;)
      and I’ll probably put a $1 each way on Piquet.

    4. Glennb says:

      Another breath taking stat mate.
      Alan Jones is the only driver to win back-to-back races here whilst sporting the #27 ;)
      And a tongue in cheek stat.
      Lewis is the only driver to win the event 3 times while being the teams #2 driver.

  9. AuraF1 says:

    Thank you Canada – on paper your circuit looks less than thrilling and so much of it could be bad but it’s almost always the highlight of the season! Long may it continue to reign (and rain…)…

    1. KRB says:

      I think the CGV is the closest we have currently, to the old Hockenheim … a pure power circuit, with no high-speed corners.

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        I’ve noticed watching the BBC classic f1 race from 1979 at Montreal that the pits used to located down at the hairpin – I don’t know why they were moved to where they are now, perhaps there wasn’t enough room for 11 odd teams.
        Also, that 1979 race was held in September, where as from 1982 onwards the race has been held in June. For reasons of better weather I guess.

      2. KRB says:

        Yeah, the moved the pits in 1987, when the race wasn’t on the calendar. Definitely a better place for it, although it’s made for some crazy moves with some diving into the pits as some are braking to make the final chicane. I remember Kubica flying by someone on their right, and into the pits, as they were braking for the chicane.

  10. goferet says:

    Meanwhile, considering Alonso and Kimi’s reputations, the Americas haven’t exactly been happy hunting grounds for the pilots for not only does Alonso have 1 win in both North and South American but he also has 5 Canada dnfs in 11 starts.

    Likewise, if for fun’s sake we are to discount Kimi’s gifted win in Brazil 2007, this would mean Kimi too would have 1 win in both North and South America.

    1. NickH says:

      Kimi would arguably have 2 wins here if Lewis hadn’t been so ‘eager’ in the pits in 2008

      1. goferet says:

        @ NickH

        Agreed. Kimi was very fast in that race

    2. Mocho_Pikuain says:

      Well, Alonso has a 50% podium score in his american races (both nord and south) not including the 2005 Indianapolis gp. Truth is that most of those podiums came in Brazil, north america has given him just a couple.

      1. NickH says:

        Strangely never won the race though

  11. Pkara says:

    Can’t wait for Canada
    Come on Lewis :-) Kick Ass

  12. goferet says:

    The full list of champions that have their name on the wall of champions are:

    1) Alexander Wurz, two-time winner of
    the Le Mans 24 Hours >>> binned it in 1997.

    2) Damon Hill, 1996 F1 World Champion, binned it in 1999.

    3) Michael Schumacher, 7 time F1 World Champion, binned it in 1999.

    4) Jacques Villeneuve, 1997 F1 World
    Champion, binned it in 1997 and 1999.

    5) Ricardo Zonta, 1998 FIA GT sports car
    Champion, binned it in 1999.

    6) Nico Rosberg, 2005 GP2 Champion.

    7) Nick Heidfeld, 1999 International
    Formula 3000 Champion, binned it in 2001.

    8) Rubens Barrichello, 1991 British
    Formula Three Champion, binned it in 2002.

    9) Jenson Button, 2009 F1 World
    Champion, binned it in 2005.

    10) Tiago Monteiro, binned it in 2006.

    11) Juan Pablo Montoya, 1999 CART
    Champion, binned it in 2006.

    12) Vitantonio Liuzzi, 2004 International Formula 3000 Champion, binned it in 2007.

    13) Kamui Kobayashi, 2008-09 GP2 Asia
    Series Champion, binned it in 2010.

    14) Sebastian Vettel, 2010–13 F1 World
    Champion, binned it in 2011.

    15) Bruno Senna, nephew of 3 time World Champion Ayrton Senna, binned it in 2012.

    16) Pastor Maldonado, 2010 GP2 Series
    Champion, binned it in 2012.

    1. Sebee says:

      Why is Lewis missing from this list? :-)

      1. goferet says:

        @ Sebee

        Lol… Because he has never paid the champion’s wall a visit.

      2. kenneth chapman says:

        @ goferet….. well according to some he is ‘the champion’ so he should at least be accorded naming rights as well! that would also give him equality with rosberg.

    2. Kramgp says:

      I remember the 99 race like it was yesterday. An absolute classic, and M. Walker got a bit excited too.

    3. Sasidharan says:

      Come on Lewis. You are not in this great list. 8)

    4. Poyta says:

      Considering that Nico has a tendency to blown it and make an error in qualifying sessions I for one am hoping he does it again in Canada and adds his name to the wall of champions – unlike at Monaco an error here would not come with the reward of a pole position and an almost guarantee of a win afterwards. It would basically make it even for the two Merc boys with a DNF each and a more true representation of where they stand in the championship leaderboard.

      1. goferet says:

        @ Poyta

        Lol… Forgive and forget

    5. Zesssmo says:

      With all those names… I have to take my hat off to Alonso, Kimi & Lewis. Will see who’s the first to add his name to the list.

      1. goferet says:

        @ Zesssmo

        I reckon the rookies maybe a safe bet.

      2. goferet says:

        Actually Alonso retired from the 2005 race when his rear tyre hit a wall that isn’t the wall of champions

      3. Mocho_Pikuain says:

        Then we should name it the wall of THE champion :D

    6. Gaz Boy says:

      If Bianchi and the Hulk crash this weekend – two drivers who I believe can challenge for a WDC within a season or two (if the top teams actually take a chance on them – come on Luca and Ron!) – then in a weird way, they are in good company!

    7. Chris says:

      Didn’t our Nige bin it there once?

      1. goferet says:

        @ Chris

        Hmm… I don’t think so because I didn’t see our Nigel’s name in the list.

      2. Gaz Boy says:

        I think in Canada 1982 Our Nige was rammed by Bruno Jack O Malley which resulted in the Big Brummie badly injuring his wrist. So technically Nige has had an accident in Canada, albeit it wasn’t at the Wall of Champions and it wasn’t his fault!
        Remember 1991……….just a few hundred yards to go for an easy win and Our Nige’s Williams conked out! Poor old Nige, but to be finish first, first you have to finish!

      3. Gaz Boy says:

        PS Bruno Jack O Malley is a joke folks. It’s what the McLaren mechanics used to call him and actually put that Irish-Italian logo when he drove for them in the late 70s!
        (Back in the days when Macca was run by Teddy Mayer and Alastair Caldwell. Can’t imagine Ronspeak allowing “Genitals Button” on the side of Jenson’s car eh?)

      4. Mike Taberner says:

        Well he didn’t actually hit the wall…he tried to dice with Senna on the entry and lost. Spun out on the inside. Sat in the car for the longest time without moving..had to be helped out and lifted over the pit wall and then he charged down to yell at Ron Dennis…I have the pictures somewhere…like Paul Newman said when asked about Nigel ” greatest actor I ever met “

    8. alexdhq says:

      The only repeat offender was local boy, Jacques Villeneuve

    9. Glennb says:

      Didn’t Vettel hit it one year and survive? Could have been another wall. Meh.

  13. Mitchw says:

    Do or die. Montreal is the race where teams decide whether to pack jt in for the year and get to boffining the 2015 car or motor. Such decision. Very exasperate.

    1. Mansell Mania says:

      Probably most of the teams are already thinking about 2015!

  14. Andrew Woodruff says:

    Agreed – Canada is one of the best.

    Has to be a Hamilton home banker this one, doesn’t it?

    Hoping that Ferrari have taken a big step forward…

  15. Nick4 says:

    Totally off topic James, any comment on the statement by Patrick Head backed by Flav Briatore that F1 is too expensive and has taken a wrong turn. I had hoped you would run an article on the sport is still very much about entertainment and not just about “supposedly” saving money. Have the F1 engineers usurped the direction of the sport? Is Ferrari’s determination to get AN and let him nominate his fee proof of this? Thanks.

    1. mitchw says:

      Poor Mr. Head has lost the official plot. The anoraks ought have a word, keep him shut his mouth.

      1. Nick4 says:

        Patrick Head oversaw an incredibly successful era at Williams and he’s an engineer! How can his insight be irrelevant? I still think James should have run an article on this matter. His insight is the best in the sport and he is never frightened to cover any matter.
        Frankly the sport has lost direction. Its leadership is emasculated with BE getting old and defending himself in court; Todt lurks in the background and there is no one in the paddock willing to stand up for the sport. Those who do get shouted down as heretics. In truth I have no idea who is leading the sport at present.
        Alonso’s comments in his BBC interview are revealing as to how little the drivers are actually able to push their cars. Either their tyres are going off or the fuel consumption is too high.
        Where to goeth Formula 1? The only star it is following at the moment is the Mercedes star.

      2. NickH says:

        They can’t get the tyres up to the optimal temperature because they are rock hard, so they basically don’t work. They just grain up and offer no grip. It’s still possible to make durable tyres that offer consistent grip, sadly these are not them.

    2. goonerf1 says:

      Whilst I’m not James Allen Nick4 :) I 100% agree with the statements that are coming out from the “old guard” of Formula 1 if you like. The “no-nonsense” kind of guys. Patrick Head, Flavio Briatore, Alain Prost, Gary Anderson etc, are all essentially saying the same thing. It’s gone away from what Formula 1 is really all about.

      I personally lay the blame for this at the door of the manufacturers and Mr Ecclestone. Decisions are being taken on the future of F1 from a business and marketing perspective, not a motor racing perspective, and that is a very dangerous and slippery slope to be on considering motor racing is the core business model of F1.

      The solution however, is fortunately very simple.

      You need only look at the feeder series of GP2 or World Series by Renault, to see that keeping the cars simple is what generates great racing, shows off the true skill of the drivers, and keeps costs down.

      As I’ve mentioned in previous posts on here before, I think F1 could do a lot worse than adopting a majority of the elements from the core models of GP2 and WSR. It could also look at Indycar aswell.

      Whilst I’m sure we’re all aware GP2 cars are the same and WSR cars are the same, what Indycar do, the last time I checked anyway, is allow teams to design certain aspects of their own cars, under strict regulations, to maintain this competitive element, but then state that any part/development must then be made available to fellow teams for a certain amount.

      So for example, say Mercedes developed a new suspension system, they would then have to make this available to all the other teams for say $100,000.

      This works in that it keeps the teams on a level playing field, encourages Merc not to spend a fortune because they can only charge a maximum amount to the other teams, and allows the manufacturers to continue design and development in conjunction with their road car divisions.

      In my personal opinion, this is the route F1 should have gone down, and needs to go down.

      The majority of problems in F1 are born of the fact that it is just so expensive and needlessly overly complicated.

      Simplify the cars through standardisation of parts across all teams and everything else will follow.

    3. Kingszito says:

      It’s a new technology, so the price will reduce with time.

      1. goonerf1 says:

        As everything does. That isn’t the question.

        The question is how much will it reduce by? And how long will this reduction in cost take?

        It’s absolutely no good if it takes 5-10 years because the majority of smaller teams will have folded by then the way things are going.

        We nearly lost Sauber last year and they were struggling to pay 8million for an engine, let alone over double that at nearly 20million.

        And it’ll never get anywhere near the 2million that Patrick Head was talking about.

        F1 needs to wake up.

        It can’t afford to live in its own little bubble anymore. Quite literally.

        In these austere times, where sponsorship is increasingly difficult to come by (especially for the smaller teams who get so little TV time), and everyone globally is cutting back, (and lets remember here that even McLaren don’t have a title sponsor yet), F1 can’t continue to keep spending in the way it is.

        It’s staring everyone straight in the face, yet unfortunately, the powers that be in Mr Ecclestone and the manufacturers are either oblivious to this, or simply just don’t care.

        These people are in control of the sport and are quite obviously only interested in the business and marketing. The quality of the racing comes a very, very distant second. And in a business where your core reason for existing in the first place is racing, that is a very bad situation to be in.

        And lest we forget, the manufacturers can and will get up and leave at any time. Toyota have done it. BMW have done it. They will quite happily pack up and go and race elsewhere and not give 2 hoots about F1.

        F1 needs to look after its core interest and the spirit of racing that all of the old guard are talking about. But do so within a financial model that is fair and sustainable to all.

        As per my previous post, I think the correct way to do this is via standardisation of the vast majority of the cars components.

        On the basis of the 2million euro engine talked about, and having standardised cars, essentially glorified GP2 cars, I really struggle to see how a team could spend past, say, 20million a year.

        You could even put these 2million euro 800bhp engines in the back of a GP2 car and it’d be pretty close to an F1 car!

        That’s a huge saving!!! And still more than it costs to race Le Mans!

        And with the same if not similar cars, the racing would be much better, closer, fairer. We would actually know who the fastest and best drivers are, and we wouldn’t have the situation where poor old Fernando yet again is stuck in a rubbish car, his career disappearing before his very eyes with all the talent in the world to go and win more world championships. (And I’m not really a Nando fan btw).

        That isn’t right. It can’t be. F1 is too car dependent, where it should be driver dependent.

        Which is another benefit, with drastically reduced budgets, the pay drivers would disappear aswell.

        More sponsors could come on board for reduced amounts, making it feasible from a business/marketing perspective throughout the grid.

        And 20million for a year of racing and not winning, compared to 160million, is a lot more digestable for the manufacturers. A lot more. Especially when you consider that manufacturers spend something like 1million a day on R&D just for their road cars.

        As I’m sure you can probably tell, this is the only long term route I can realistically see F1 taking if it wants to stick to its core values.

        If it wants to adopt these new values of energy efficiency then so be it, but it must be done in the spirit of F1.

        And as a little side point. If F1 really wants to come across as this new, greener formula, why on earth is the entire paddock jetting off to North America for one single, solitary race in the middle of the European season?

        Imagine how much it costs to fly, ship and drive all the team staff, freight, catering, tyres etc over to Canada and back for one race. It must be extortionate! From a fuel, money and environmental perspective. At least pair it with the U.S. race.

        The same goes for the Kuala Lumpur and Singapore races. The 2 cities are only 4 hours driving distance apart, yet their separate ends of the season? Come on! Again, the fuel, money and environmental costs are huge compared to what they could be.

        I’d suggest that F1 is better off looking at these issues rather than saving 20-30kg of fuel over a race distance, if it really is as sincere in being a greener formula as we’re all supposed to believe it is.

        As a final thought…, F1 is about the car world letting its hair down. Going and having some fun on a race track at the weekend. That, at the end of the day, is the main reason above all else, why we all love motorsport, and why we all turn on to watch it. And why the drivers all started karting in first place.

        F1 should get back to this raw simplicity. It’s not an engineers sport. Thats better suited to Le Mans, which is a far more sensible series in which to develop road going technology anyway.

        So F1…, to summarise, drastically cut your costs, embrace your core values again, and the sport as a whole, will be the winner.

    4. Glennb says:

      I think the problem is a lot of people have this notion in their head that F1 is a sport. It’s clearly a business and decisions are made thus.

      1. Nick4 says:

        I have no problem with the need to run the sport as a business. However the market, you, I, IOW the F1 fans, watch it because it is a sport not because it’s a business.
        The IRB and ICC haven’t evolved their sports and rules around a more efficient piece of equipment but around the watching appeal of their respective games; they have used technology to improve that appeal.
        The car market is not JUST the person who buys the latest Ferrari, Merc (most of us can’t afford those anyway) or Renault even though F1 may have influenced their decision. The market is much bigger than that ranging from the die hard F1 fan to the curious viewer because of its spectating appeal. The football world cup is a classic example. A lot of people will watch the WC or Olympics that don’t regularly watch football or athletics because these are spectacles; the ultimate presentation of a spectacle. F1 has to elevate it’s appeal so that all the time people want to watch a GP because it is a spectacle not a boring noiseless tail chase.

  16. bmg says:

    Interesting post, Redbull’s pit stops are a bit of a surprise.

    James have Redbull dropped in intensity this season knowing they can’t win?

    I would love to see someone else win a race other than Hamilton and Rosburg.

    Lets hope it’s raining and lot’s of safety cars deployments.

    1. James Allen says:

      No, it was a safety car stop, they are usually top four

      1. kenneth chapman says:

        plus i would think that the malaysia/ricciardo wheel problem would still be uppermost in their minds.

  17. Irish Con says:

    If the cars were hitting 337 clicks down the Barcelona main straight what are they gonna do in Canada down the back straight, 350 odd???

    I love this circuit. It tests the drivers and shows the man from the boys.

    1. Aaron says:

      Will we get to see 8th gear used? The cars have 8 forward gears this year, but from all the onboard footage I’ve seen, the drivers only seem to be using the first 7. I assume 8th is such a high ratio it will only be used at high-speed tracks like Monza?

      1. Kingszito says:

        8th gear has been used this season. It has been used in all races so far except Australia and Monaco.

      2. aezy_doc says:

        It was used in China. Not sure, but I think it was used in Malaysia too. this is an intriguing part of the regulations this year that has not been talked about much. My understanding was that the gear ratios are set at the start of the year and can’t be changed. That being said could some of the difficulty that, say McLaren, are experiencing be due to inefficient gear ratios? There is no reason that with development thus far McLaren shouldn’t be closer to Force India, but maybe this is a problem they have that they can’t actually do anything about? Could someone help me out here?

      3. Kev says:

        Williams for sure have very low gear ratios and are frequently using 8th gear. Mercedes seem to have the highest ratios. Each team chooses their own ratios but they are allowed to change them once during the season. The general thought was that teams would make the change for the spa/monza tracks

      4. Spinodontosaurus says:

        The teams have significantly different gear ratios to each other – I know Ferrari and Red Bull have reached 8th gear at pretty much every event bar Monaco.

  18. Elie says:

    I understand that people like the drama associated with the slippery circuit and plenty of walls, but as racers Im really surprised drivers like a brake & squirt circuit, where your success is determined by the cars engine and its brakes to a large degree and we’ve seen many fails in that regards over the years..there are some nice little bits like the first corner but I wouldnt have thought its a favourite amongst drivers from a pure driving perspective. ( then again the more g’s you pull in an F1 car the better- I guess) Canadians are great people and the place comes alive even just seeing it on tv..so from that angle I get it.

    Hoping Ferraris update see them fighting – beating Red Bull. This will be a crucial point for the rest of the season as many teams will start to change focus if they are not making gains.

  19. MB 1974 says:

    James just wondering about what u think about Renault saying that they will be at 100 percent for the first time this year. Do u think it will bring them closer to the Merc by much or is it all just talk,

    1. James Allen says:

      It is a big thing to say, if it turns out that they are still behind – that’s their 100%. No development allowed remember

  20. Bullish says:

    Interesting to see how brake wear might affect those super fast Mercedes.

    James – Any chance of an update of number of engines used etc?

    1. KRB says:

      It’s on the FIA site, at:

      http://tinyurl.com/PUs-used-prior-to-CAN14

      You can find all that stuff under Technical Reports, under Event & Timing for the Cdn GP, on the FIA’s site:

      http://www.fia.com/championship/fia-formula-1-world-championship/2014/canadian-grand-prix-event-timing-information

      There will be an update of PUs used after Saturday qualifying.

  21. Multi 21 says:

    This will also be the first time a number 27 car will race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve since Alesi won in 1995.

    Get on the Hulk for a strong performance.

  22. kenneth chapman says:

    whilst i have never been a great fan of montreal, it is a defing race in many ways. the fact that i need to be wide awake and bushy tailed at 3.00am also has an effect on my ‘wah’

    this race should be a mercedes walkover and i would be very surprised if anyone gets within a ‘bulls roar’ of them. it will be interesting, as usual, to see what happens to following four/six places though. ferrari are pinning a lot of hope on their upgrades and red bull will have, what renault are promoting, the full ‘enchilada’ vis-a-vis a 100% output from their PU.

    it better be good…

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      I was thinking the other day that, because of the time-zones, perhaps Montreal could have a Saturday race?
      Having the race start, at say 10.30 AM local time wouldn’t make much difference if you live right at the start of the International Date Line – i.e New Zealand, Australia, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, East Timor et al……….however, having a Saturday race at Montreal would mean F1′s heartland customer base in Australasia/Oceania would still have to watch the race live in the early hours – but on a Sunday morning, rather than Monday.
      Kyalami used to have the race on a Saturday, as did Silverstone, so F1 does have pedigree in having a race a “day early”.

      1. BogRacer says:

        No chance Gaz Boy. We Canucks party too hard over the GP weekend to run the race on Saturday! We recover on Sunday during the race for our trip back home!

      2. Gaz Boy says:

        O Canada! I love the Canadian’s enthusiasm and vibrancy, it’s what makes Montreal such a wonderful event and special atmosphere. Not to mention the best race of the year!

      3. HulkenBerg says:

        I think Bernie is trying to convert Oceania races to night/twilight races so they are more friendly to European times, not the other way around.

        Besides, don’t you want to see Greg Rust and Alan Jones (Australian commentators) bleary eyed 3am in the morning? :)

      4. Gaz Boy says:

        “So AJ, what do you think of yesterday’s qualifying?”
        “ZZZZZZZZZZ…………….Oh, were on air???Sorry Greg, um………..yeah, good, wasn’t it?”

        Perhaps Rusty and Jonsey have stocked up on a certain energy drink which is promoted by Sebastian and Daniel!

    2. C63 says:

      @ KC
      the full ‘enchilada’…

      I don’t know why, but that expression always makes me smile :-)
      Note to self – use it in a post.

      1. kenneth chapman says:

        @ C63……yes, the ‘full enchilada’ adds a certain piquancy. it spices things up. it is not original though and a uni lecturer of mine at art school was prone to using it on occasion and i just appropriated it, like you are intending to do. besides, mexicans are prone to filling their ‘enchiladas’ to the brim with all manner of spicy ingredients hahaha.

  23. kenneth chapman says:

    ooops, ‘defining’

  24. tara_185 says:

    Canada sound like it’s going to be another good one at the end. I like it when strategy is key.
    To bad is on at 3AM(!) here. No more American races please :(

    1. tara_185 says:

      Also why is bianchi on 4 penalty points? Did he cause a massive crash?

    2. Gaz Boy says:

      I’m assuming you’re based in the Australasian continent or the Far East – ‘ve posted above perhaps the race could be run on a Saturday -it’ll still be a 3AM start in Australasia but the pain would be softened by being on a Sunday morning rather than Morning morning!
      Is it true Tahiti is based east of the International Date Line? Perhaps the dedicated F1 viewer in Australia and New Zealand could book a weekend away there to coincide with the Canadian GP so they can watch the race at a more hospitable time!
      Not even Mr E can change the positioning of the International Date Line…………….

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        PS Why does the International Date Line begin just before New Zealand when the International Time Zones go west and east of Greenwich Mean Time?
        Having said that, if that was the case, the UK would be 24 hours ahead of the likes of Paris, Modena and Stuttgart!!!!!!!!!!
        Nah, sorry to our friends and commonwealth colleagues in New Zealand and Australia but unless anyone can think of somewhere better to put the International Date Line, it looks like its staying put!

      2. gpfan says:

        I get up at the un-Godly hours to watch
        the eastern fiascos and Dubai, etc.

        Early Sundays for the European races.

        We have two North American races that
        are at a sane hour, and Brazil.

        Time tha rest of ya learnt tae quit
        yer greetin’.

  25. JohnBt says:

    Canada has always been a thrilling circuit. Looks like the Merc PU will power down the dominant straights. Tire degradation will surely change strategies and safety car deployment seems very likely. Am waiting for the other teams to break the duck and be on the top step of the podium. Will there be some incidents with Lewis and Nico, I welcome that! Remove the Elastoplast but the wounds are still wide open. Bring it on!

    Off topic-I noticed the F1 promos are still using the V8 audio.

  26. luqa says:

    Last engine upgrade for the year from Renault. Will be interesting to see where they stand in the overall scheme of things..

    1. Dave Emberton says:

      Renault said Canada was the first time they’d be able to run full power. I can’t imagine Red Bull will leap frog Mercedes, but I think they’ll be closer than some expect.

  27. David in Sydney says:

    Either ROS or HAM will bin it this weekend which result in the other taking significant advantage.

    If they both bin it it’s be a Hulkenberg, Alonso or Vettel win.

    RIC for a podium once again.

  28. Bavman says:

    Nailed it again James, keep up the good work, Lewis is not the Messiah, he’s just a naughty boy, ;-)

    1. Breton says:

      Very naughty!

  29. C63 says:

    The infographic above is brilliant. :-)

  30. goonerf1 says:

    One of the best races on the calendar. A perfect case in point that you don’t have to spend multi-millions of pounds on a race track to create great racing.

    With all the talk of where F1 going, its expense, becoming more energy efficient etc, Canada serves as the perfect reminder as to why we all love F1 in the first place.

    Great racing, enthusiasm from local fans, its near a major city, not in the middle of sugar cane field somewhere.

    Formula 1 is at its best when its done simply. It doesn’t need to cost a fortune. Thats what makes it enjoyable. I just wish Mr E and the manufacturers would realise this.

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        You can’t beat the classic tracks – Montreal, Silverstone, Spa, Monza, Suzuka, Interlagos. They may be a bit frayed round the edges, but they have given us spectators some wonderful races rather than these dreary Tilke-dromes…..

      2. goonerf1 says:

        Absolutely. There is very definitely a divide in the calendar, split between the “fans” races if you like, such as the ones you’ve mentioned above, and the races that are there for business and marketing reasons, like pretty much all the rest.

      3. goonerf1 says:

        Cheers James,

        Mind if I ask you a question?

        What are the chances of a fan coming to a Grand Prix and joining yourself or Ben Edwards in the BBC commentary box for the practice sessions, to discuss f1 from a “fan outside the bubble of F1″ perspective? :)

      4. James Allen says:

        We do phone ins, like Slicks O Six on BBC 5 LIve for that very reason, several times a year. I imagine there will be one post Silverstone.

        Not sure it’s a commentary box thing. Although in FP1 and FP2 Ben and I read out plenty of tweets and messages from fans, “outside the F1 bubble”

      5. kenneth chapman says:

        @ james….off thread somewhat but do you have any intentions of a follow up article on the ‘fuel meter’fiasco earlier on in the season. bringing us up to date would be appreciated. also could you comment on what happened to the release and publication of the ‘pit to car’ transcripts covering monaco? no one seems to have put them online?

        thanks

      6. James Allen says:

        Can’t do anything on the second item

        A follow up on fuel sensors is a good idea, thanks

      7. kenneth chapman says:

        @ james….thanks for that. as you no doubt are well aware, the gill sensors appear headed for the trash can and the new sentronics seem to be all the go.

        also some intrigue going on there as well as the new sensor company seems to be made of ex gill chappies and a couple of other companies.

        as for the transcripts not being available, that then begs the question as to why that should that be? they have been released in the past. do the olfactory senses detect a rodent?

      8. Jim says:

        Ditto.

    1. cartweel says:

      The magic comes because it is accessible. You don’t have to spend hours in a car trying to park, and spend a fortune on concession stands. You simply pack your cooler, jump on the metro, walk to your seats and enjoy the race.

      There is the thrill of pushing the cars to the limit WITH consequences. I do understand that safety is absolutely critical, but this leads to the new track designs that we have- each trying to out-shine the last but really just a bunch of white elephants…

      1. goonerf1 says:

        I completely agree with you.

        What I would like to see on these new tracks, and the ones that have been re-modelled, is say 4 or 5 metres of tarmac beyond the kerbs on the exit of big braking zone corners, like the hairpin coming up in Montreal, then beyond that, a gravel trap.

        I say this from the viewpoint of, if you have a small lock up and run a bit deep, I don’t think that’s really deserving of going out of the race. And having a bit of tarmac around the outside of corners allows drivers to drive around accidents without being forced out onto the dirt.

        But, if you make really quite a sizeable mistake, then you should be punished.

        And the tarmac before the gravel trap would serve as a surface on which you can brake, instead of just skipping across the gravel trap at high speed into a barrier.

    2. Robb says:

      I agree with what you say about not needing to spend mega-bucks on all these new super expensive tracks. Circuit of the Americas isn’t bad for a Tilke track, but you could spend a fraction of the 400 million bucks that it cost to build on upgrading, say Road America, to F1 standards and probably have a better track.

      1. Jeremysmith says:

        For the record, one again COTA is not a Tilke circuit. Please make a note of it …

      2. kenneth chapman says:

        @jeremysmith…actually tilke was contracted to construct COTA but it was designed basically by the original promoter and kevin schwanz…i think that was who it was but i stand to be corrected.

      3. Jeremysmith says:

        @Kenneth Chapman..
        That’s absolutely correct Kenneth…
        Cheers !

      4. goonerf1 says:

        Couldn’t agree more. I’d raise my hand and vote for Road Atlanta.

        F1 cars through those esses would be something to see :).

    3. gpfan says:

      “…its near a major city,…”.
      Wrong. It’s IN a major city. The
      entrance is on a Metro stop, and
      the Casino is in the middle of
      the track.

      The only bad points (the reasons
      I do not go every year), is the
      horribly rude local fans, and the
      ‘Woodbridge Mafia’.

      Meeting American fans is always
      a joy. Truly professional.

  31. Adam W says:

    James – given the 100kg fuel limit this year, would it be possible to add a note on fuel consupmtion to the track characteristics section?

  32. snarfsnarf says:

    It’s sad that not many mention the tragedy regarding the track marshall last year. It was a terrible way to go and hopefully they honor his memory in some small way and avoid any tragedy this year!

    1. BogRacer says:

      Agreed! Thanks for that.

  33. FADA says:

    This sums up my thoughts exactly -
    “I feel that Montreal will be a return to the mean. i.e. Hamilton winning again. I do like Nico, i don’t think he’s a bad guy but his 4 victories since Hamilton joined the team are hardly what you would call stellar. Monaco last year, fairly he put it on pole but everyone knows the race is over after the first corner. Last year at Silverstone Hamilton’s tyre blew out when leading, then Vettel retires from second and Nico comes through to win. Melbourne this year Hamilton retires his car, Nico wins (Hamilton comes back and wins next 4 races). And then Monaco this year, well…. interpret that one how you want. Im not saying Rosberg so far has needed help to win his races, the facts say it.”

  34. Jim says:

    Renault engine update, Ferrari engine update, I thought these things were sealed?

    If they’re not sealed, they now know how Mercedes moved the intercooler to gain the advantage, so why not just copy that? Either they’re sealed, or they’re not?

    1. Andy says:

      The engines them selfs are sealed but they can do software updates. Hope this helps.

  35. Kingszito says:

    I’m so excited. Renault bringing updates to allow Red Bull to run 100% power output, Ferrari bringing a significant updates to their car too. Lewis and Nico friends or for PR. So these are the questions to be answered this weekend.
    1. Will Lewis and Nico feud continue publicly?
    2. Has Red Bull or Ferrari closed the gap to Mercedes?
    3. Will this be the weekend Vettel beats Riccarido, can he?
    4. Who will be the best of the rest this weekend presuming the usual suspects finished 1&2?

  36. peruvian says:

    This is a race that you could gain a lot IF your car had traction control…. maybe somebody can record the cars powering out of the corners to have a better picture of this cheat… some say, Reanuld engines have some mode of traction control, wouldn’t surprise me, even Ferrari wouldn’t surprise me, but we will see, or hear :)
    Looking forward to this race, and your recordings.

  37. DJ Canada says:

    i fell a great sense of pride with all the
    great comments about the Canadian GP. I hope they sign the 10 year deal and keep this
    classic on the calendar!

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      I was gutted when Montreal lost its slot on the 2009 calender. Being a “mid summer” race, it’s loss on that years calender was sorely missed by everyone.
      Canada is indeed a fantastic track, a great event and, best of all, always a superb race.
      I guess its because the F1 calender over the last few years has been full of dullard tracks such as Shanghai, Bahrain, Hockenhiem, Abu Dhabi, Korea and the like. Great facilities but zero atmosphere.
      Montreal has the rare combination of being a fantastic track with a brilliant atmosphere. The Canadian spectators are enthusiastic, the event is well organised and as for the 2011 race……….well the excitement ratings were off the scale for that one!

  38. Richard D says:

    Sky F1 aired a rerun of the 2011 Canadian GP last night and I found it one of the most exiting finishes ever! Jensen Button coming from last place,after 5 visits to the pit lane, to take the win after scaring Vettel off the track on the last lap! Pity he doesn’t drive like that all the time.

  39. Red Rider says:

    This is also my home GP. I live about half-an-hour by metro. I just checked the local CBC weather. 30% chance of rain Saturday and sunny Sunday … but that can and often does change.

    http://www.cbc.ca/weather/s0000635.html

  40. Samir says:

    Some Montreal firsts/lasts if I’m not mistaken:

    1. Gilles Villeneauve’s first win
    2. Piquet’s last win
    3. Lewis Hamilton’s first win
    4. Jean Alesi’s only win
    5. Robert Kubica’s only win

    2014 for Ricciardo’s first if the Mercs take each other out ;)

  41. Ahmed says:

    Let’s all give a moment of our time to mark robinson, the marshall who passed away during last years GP.

  42. Ahmed says:

    Its going to be interesting to see how this story regarding RBR and a “secret test” unfolds http://www.grandprix247.com/2014/06/05/reports-of-secret-red-bull-test-emerge/

    1. NickH says:

      Very interesting. To be honest, it was a bit of a miracle that Red Bull were as strong as they were at Melbourne, considering they could barely do a lap at Bahrain. Also the fact Torro Rosso were pretty strong with Kyvat scoring a few points early in the season.

      1. Ahmed says:

        Or it may all just get brushed under the carpet..

      2. NickH says:

        Could well do. Would cause quite a stir if there’s some truth to it though.

  43. Krischar says:

    1. Lewis
    2. Rosberg
    3. Alonso

  44. Krischar says:

    Lewis have ruled the roost at canada when it comes to performance. Lewis will dish out another ignominy for rosberg this weekend. Lewis for the win by quite a margin. I do not despise rosberg at all yet when it comes to the ultimate speed he is still behind lewis and few others in the grid

    Alonso for P3, also expect another decent drive from Bianchi

  45. Kit says:

    Sato’s Super Aguri taking on Alonso’s McLaren in 007. That was epic!

  46. gpfan says:

    Shout out to my fellow Canucks!
    East end of Toronto, here.

    You?

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