Canadian Grand Prix Preview

Oh Canada. Yes, F1 is hitting the streets of Montreal, Canada as we take a short break from the European stretch of the season and head into the seventh round of the Formula One World Championship.

The 4.361 km Circuit is named after the Canadian racing drier,Gilles Villeneuve and is a fast paced street circuit, with close barriers, a heavy threat of rain and plenty of overtaking opportunities.

Track guide for the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2014

Track guide for the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2014. Property of formula1.com

The track is made up of three sectors, all with their own elements. The first sector starts with a heavy breaking zone, lock up here and you can escape over the run off but if you’re not lucky enough to make it out here, there are two inevitable outcomes. One is the wall before turn 2, which can take your race away in a second. Outcome 2 is the more favourable, as a quick flick and a spin should keep you out of the wall.

Moving on to the turn 3, 4 chicane. Here a good entrance is needed to ensure you have the cleanest line through the chicane. If your fighting for position, it is possible to squeeze past here, but in the famous 2011 Canadian Grand Prix, Button attempted to get the inside line but Alonso chose to turn in, to try to keep the position but a spin over the wall here saw his race end. This corner can also eat your car in the wall if you try to take too much speed in and run wide.

Turn eight is the first of the major overtaking opportunities. Down the straight, cars can either get the slipstream and try to make a move before breaking. But with a heavy breaking zone into the chicane, a lung down the inside here is usually the better option to gain a position.

Moving on down to the hairpin drivers will tend to go for different lines. Either keeping the inside to prevent loosing a position, or running wide to straighten the car up earlier for the long, DRS aided straight. Sometimes into the chicane, with DRS about to follow, drivers will stay behind the car in front before getting the move down the straight but if they opt to lung, DRS aid can see them saw away into the final chicane.

Now at the final chicane, which is also the pit lane entrance, you can see drivers getting slightly mixed up. If the car ahead is about to pit, their speed difference might not register in your mind and you could follow them in. But if you make the chicane, right in front of you is the wall of champions. The wall that has ended many of champions’ races over the years. Will the wall of champions claim a victim in 2014?

Going into this weekend it is hard to look past Mercedes claiming yet another win in 2014 as their power unit is far more superior than their competitors and have a generally all-round better car. Back in Monaco, the Mercedes power was clear to see with Lewis Hamilton struggling with eye-sight but was still able to keep Ricciardo behind.

Talking of Hamilton, the Canadian Grand Prix is a race which Lewis has historically done well at. Currently he has won the second most Canadian GP’s with three victories at the track since his debut in 2007. In fact it was at Montreal in 2007 where he won his maiden F1 victory. So will it be Hamilton who wins the race on Sunday, and regains the lead in the championship?

I’m sure Nico Rosberg will want to have a say on that and aim to extend his lead in the championship. But we now have to wait until 7pm Sunday (UK) to see the red lights go out, but for those in the UK, they can watch Sunday evenings entertainment live on SkySportsF1 and the BBC.

For SkySportsF1 fans, their tv scheduling is as follows:

Thursday 5th June

16:00 – Drivers’ Press Conference – Live
20:00 – Drivers’ Press Conference – Replay

Friday 6th June

14:45 – Canadian GP Practice One – Live
18:45 – Canadian GP Practice Two – Live
21:00 – Team Principals’ Press Conference – Live
23:00 – The F1 Show.

Saturday 7th June

13:30 – The F1 Show – Replay
14:45 – Canadian GP Practice Three – Live
17:00 – Canadian GP Qualifying – Live

Sunday 8th June

17:30 – The 2014 Canadian GP – Track Parade – Live
18:00 – The 2014 Canadian GP – Live
21:30 – The 2014 Canadian GP – Paddock Live

For BBC F1 fans, the BBC’s tv times are as follows:

Friday 6th June

14:55 – Canadian GP Practice One – Live – BBC2
13:20 – Canadian GP Practice Two – Live – BBC3

Saturday 7th June

14:55 – Canadian GP Practice Three – Live – BBC2
17:00 – Canadian GP Qualifying – Live – BBC1

Sunday 8th June

18:00: – Canadian GP Race – Live – BBC Radio 5 live
18:20 – The 2014 Canadian GP – Live – BBC1