Canadian Grand Prix Preview

For one race weekend, Formula One breaks away from Europe for the Canadian Grand Prix. Read on for my preview to the race.

After two rounds in Europe, Formula One continues to travel west and touches down in Canada. Another race around public streets provides Lewis Hamilton with the first chance to bounce back from the pit stop calamity that cost him the win in Monaco. The race will also bring back happy memories for Lewis after he claimed his first win in Formula One here back in 2007.

The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve also has played home to two more wins for Lewis over his F1 career so far. Bringing his total amount of wins in Canada up to three, which is the most of any on the current grid. In fact, no other driver on the current grid has claimed anything more than the one victory at the Canadian Grand Prix. But Lewis’ three remains far behind the record of seven wins held by Michael Schumacher.

But to bring his total up to four, Lewis will need to bounce back strongly from a disastrous end to his Monaco Grand Prix weekend where he should have comfortably taken the win. Yet that was snatched away from him when Max Verstappen crashed into the barrier at turn one, brining out the virtual safety car. With this on track Lewis had the gap to Rosberg to pit and remain in the lead but it switched to a full safety car which picked Lewis up and his lead began to be eaten away. Meaning when Hamilton left the pits he found himself in third behind Rosberg and Vettel.

Now the championship momentum sits with Rosberg after he cut Hamilton’s lead down to ten points following back to back victories in Spain and Monaco. However to make it a hat-trick of wins in 2015, Nico will have to win in Canada for the first time. Something that Daniel Ricciardo carried out last year to win his first Formula One Grand Prix.

Ricciardo leads Hamilton at the Canadian GP 2014 - Copyright: Rachel Clarke

But for Nico Rosberg to take his first Canadian Grand Prix victory he will have to see off any challenge from Lewis, as well as the two Ferrari’s and potentially the Williams’ as the circuit’s layout will give Bottas and Massa greater potential to exploit the package Williams give them. As for the Ferrari duo of Vettel and Raikkonen, they have been the closest challengers to the Mercedes team all season and do not look to be slipping away anytime soon. But Ferrari have been unable to win in Canada since 2004 with the record holder, Michael Schumacher.

McLaren on the other hand may and more likely will slip back away from the points this weekend as the Honda power unit is still not up the scratch. But the team should still be in good spirit after claiming their first points of the season last time out on the narrow streets of Monte Carlo. Yet, McLaren (along with Ferrari) have recorded the most Formula One victories in Canada and will surely be wishing for conditions like in 2011 when Jenson Button came from the back of the field, served a drive through and had to pit four times yet still managed to win the race.

Lewis Hamilton challenges Michael Schumacher as Jenson Button watches on - Copyright: Lee & Chantelle McArthur

For this year’s 70 lap race around the 4.361km circuit, Pirelli will be providing the team’s with the supersoft and soft compound tyres as they look to give them as much mechanical grip as possible for the unchanged Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

That means the street circuit stretched around the man-made Ile Notre-Dame island will be familiar territory to almost all of the grid. But the public roads tethered together to make a 14-corner circuit still provide them with a challenge, whilst allowing for great racing.

Circuit Gilles Villeneuve track guide - Copyright: Formula One

If you are a fan of watching the racing live in the UK, you have the option of which broadcaster you use for the Canadian Grand Prix as both the BBC and Sky will have live coverage of the race weekend.

Thursday 4th June (SkySportsF1)
16:00 – Drivers’ Press Conference
20:45 – Paddock Uncut: Canada

Friday 5th June (SkySportsF1)
14:45 – Canadian GP Practice One
18:45 – Canadian GP Practice Two
21:00 – Team Principals’ Press Conference
22:00 – The F1 Show

Friday 5th June (BBC)
14:45 – Canadian GP Practice One (BBC Two)
14:55 – Canadian GP Practice One (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
19:00 – Canadian GP Practice Two (BBC Three)
21:30 – Canadian GP Preview (BBC Radio 5 Live)

Saturday 6th June (SkySportsF1)
14:45 – Canadian GP Practice Three
17:00 – Canadian GP Qualifying
22:45 – Ted’s Qualifying Notebook

Saturday 6th June (BBC)
14:55 – Canadian GP Practice Three (BBC Two)
14:55 – Canadian GP Practice Three (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
17:00 – Canadian GP Qualifying (BBC One)
17:55 – Canadian GP Qualifying (BBC Radio 5 Live)

Sunday 7th June (SkySportsF1)
17:30 – Canadian GP – Track Parade
18:00 – Canadian GP – Pit lane
18:30 – Canadian GP – Race
21:30 – Canadian GP – Paddock Live
23:30 – Canadian GP highlights

Sunday 7th June (BBC)
18:25 – Canadian GP – Race (BBC One)
18:30 – Canadian GP – Race (BBC Radio 5 Live)
21:00 – Canadian GP – Forum (BBC Red Button)

Monday 8th June (SkySportsF1)
00:30 – Ted’s Race Notebook