As Montreal prepares to play host to round seven of the Formula 1 World championship TOM WILKINSON previews the weekend’s action.
AFTER the tight and twisty streets of Monaco, the Formula 1 parade moves to Canada. Will it be seven in seven this weekend? We will find out soon enough.
This fast, tight and very challenging circuit is one that catches out even the greatest drivers. With long straights, fast chicanes and the hairpin, the Gilles-Villeneuve circuit has every possible challenge in one track.
RedBull and Mark Webber will be hoping for more of the same, a controlled victory. It wasn’t the most exciting race, but there was an element of unpredictability as has so often been the case this season. Sebastian Vettel will be hoping for an improved qualifying at least, but the team have had to make changes to the car for this weekend, in order to comply with the technical regulations. More on this story in the news section.
Ferrari had a good race in Monaco, in particular Felipe Massa who made a big improvement on his season so far. Alonso was battling for the lead so a solid performance is again the aim for the Scuderia in Canada. Many believe Massa is fighting for survival in the team, honestly I can believe this is the case. But another good performance will put the Brazilian in good stead with his bosses.
McLaren will once again be hoping for better, after another grey race weekend last time out. Lewis Hamilton had a reasonable race but wasn’t without problems. He will be looking for a smooth race weekend this time out. Team mate Jenson Button however, will be hoping for a smooth weekend in total. After the handling problems in Monaco and the poor results in qualifying, the only way for Jenson this weekend is up. McLaren will be after a solid performance.
Mercedes had a good race in Monaco, Schumacher qualified on pole, before the penalty he took of course, Rosberg had good pace too. On this fast circuit, the Mercedes could be a real contender once again. I expect to see them fighting for the top positions on Sunday afternoon. With the DRS so affective here, the Mercedes should be strong at overtaking into the final chicane.
Lotus looked like a force to be reckoned with in Monaco, until the race at least. A consistent and strong performance is what the team will be focusing on this weekend. Romain Grosjean will want a less dramatic start to the race on Sunday, he will be looking to finish well in the points. Kimi Raikkonen has had a good run of strong races recently, will he be just as strong this time out? The pace of the car will be crucial around here, but I expect Lotus to be strong.
Sauber had a dismal weekend in Monaco, they will certainly be looking to reach their true potential in Montreal. The car seems well balanced and planted on faster circuits. Like Mercedes, I expect a good solid performance from them this weekend.
F1 NEWS UPDATE:
The big news this weekend is that RedBull have been forced to revise the floor design on the car by the FIA. The two holes in the floor close to the rear wheels were closely inspected, and the team was told to amend them for Canada. Protests from rival teams were expected after the race in Monaco, however this didn’t happen. Had a team made a protest and the FIA had investigated immediately, Mark Webber could have been stripped of the victory on the basis that the technical regulations were breached. The revised floor may affect the car’s balance on faster corners.
Ferrari say that Felipe Massa is safe within the team despite a string of poor performances. In Monaco Felipe put in a good performance for the Scuderia throughout the weekend. A stern warning from the Ferrari president looks to have helped the struggling Brazilian. But he will need to keep this form up if he is to remain in the prancing horse outfit. Meanwhile the Ferrari team have rubbished suggestions that Sergio Perez is heading for the second seat alongside Alonso. The Mexican is a Ferrari young driver and surely one day will be in a Ferrari F1 car.
The DRS here in Montreal has been changed for this year. The long straight from the hairpin to the final chicane will be the place to activate the rear wing, However this will be the only DRS zone this year. Last season overtaking was deemed too easy. The length of the activation zone has also been shortened this year to 600 metres.
The race on Sunday will hopefully be another corker, will it be seventh heaven in Montreal? We will find out on Sunday afternoon. Join me on Twitter @TomWilkinson89 #TWF1 for all the latest news and action, I’ll be tweeting live throughout the weekend.
Look out for my race report right here at wheelworldreviews.co.uk/formula1 Enjoy the race.