Jun 05

Formula One teams Canadian Grand Prix preview (updated²)

Canadian Grand Prix Formula One preview

Today’s report from Formula One teams & drivers in Montréal.




Related post : The Gilles Villeneuve Circuit is getting a makeover.


Red Bull Racing

Red Bull Racing


Sebastian Vettel

Tell us why you like the Canadian Grand Prix:

The circuit has a nice rhythm and it’s one of the best races we have all year. The atmosphere and fans are great, the whole city lives F1 for the whole week and that makes us feel very special. I like it.

What’s your best memory from there (any era)?

Obviously one of the craziest moments was in 2011. There was so much rain; I haven’t seen that much rain carry on for so long since! During the race we had a big break and were in the lead. The race was difficult and with half a lap to go, I made my first mistake of the race which cost us the win. But that’s racing and it’s probably great for the fans to watch when they don’t know who is going to win until the last moment.

Mark Webber

Tell us why you like the Canadian Grand Prix:

Canada is a really good race. It’s a popular Grand Prix for fans and drivers; the fans are very passionate and it’s always an interesting Grand Prix because it’s another street circuit. There are some very good restaurants in Montreal, the whole city stops for the race and the atmosphere is a bit more traditional I would say.

What’s your best memory from there (any era)?

I haven’t been on the podium there yet, so I need to sort that out. It’s not a favourite memory, but I remember when (Nigel) Mansell retired on the last lap when he was in the lead. Also when Jean Alesi won his only race there, that was good.  

source: Red Bull Racing, redbullracing.com

Scuderia Ferrari

Scuderia Ferrari

coming soon

source: Scuderia Ferrari, ferrari.com

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

2013 Canadian Grand Prix preview

Circuit Gilles Villeneuve facts & stats

With an average speed of 215km/h, the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is the first truly high-speed track of the 2013 season. The layout is an eclectic mix of chicanes and slow corners linked by four long straights, along which the cars exceed 300km/h. Braking stability and good traction are crucial to a fast lap time.

The asphalt is very smooth and the lack of fast corners allows Pirelli to take its Supersoft and Medium tyre compounds, as it did in Australia for the season-opener. With several overtaking opportunities around the lap, and not only in the two DRS zones, strategy is likely to play a significant role in the race, with anything between one and three pitstops possible.

The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is situated on the Ile Notre Dame, a man-made island in the St Lawrence River that was built using rock excavated for Montreal’s metro. It has witnessed many great races since it first appeared on the Formula 1 calendar in 1978, including the longest race in F1 history when Jenson took 4hrs and 4mins to win the rain-interrupted 2011 race.

Race distance 70 laps (305.270km/189.694 miles)

Start time 14:00 (local)/18:00 (GMT)

Circuit length 4.361km/2.709 miles

2012 winner Lewis Hamilton (McLaren-Mercedes MP4-27) 70 laps in 1hr32m29.586s (198.028km/h)

2012 pole Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull RB8) 1m13.784s (212.778km/h)

Lap record Rubens Barrichello (Ferrari F2004) 1m13.622s (213.246km/h)


McLaren at the Canadian Grand Prix

Wins 13 (1968, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1999, 2005, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012)

Poles 11 (1972, 1974, 1976, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1998, 2007, 2008, 2010)

Fastest laps 11 (1971, 1981, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1997, 2000, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2011)

Car 5: Jenson Button

  • Age 33 (January 19 1980)
  • GPs 234
  • Wins 15
  • Poles 8
  • FLs 8

“I’ve always enjoyed the Canadian Grand Prix – Montreal is one of the nicest cities on the calendar, we’re always made to feel welcome by the Quebecois, and it’s a race that everyone in Formula 1 looks forward to.

“Like Monaco, the Canadian Grand Prix can be something of an enjoyable lottery – but whereas Monaco is a low-speed, high-grip place, the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is the opposite: high-speed and low-grip. It’s a mix that always comes together to provide the fans with great racing, which is another reason why it’s become one of the most popular races of the year.

“Going back to Canada always brings back happy memories of my race there in 2011. Coming through from last to first really does show that anything’s possible in Formula 1. While we won’t be heading to Montreal with a winning package, we’re making steady progress, and there’s always that added motivation that you can pull off a surprising result at this race.

“I’m looking forward to a great weekend in Canada.”

Car 6: Sergio Perez

  • Age 23 (January 26 1990)
  • GPs 43
  • Wins 0
  • Poles 0
  • FLs 2

“There may not be much to show from Monaco, but it was another positive race for me – we had stronger pace throughout the weekend, and I felt that I raced hard and fairly, earning my positions the hard way – by competing for, and winning, them on the track.

“There are plenty of positives to take forward to Canada. It’s a race I enjoy – I finished on the podium there last year; and I feel like the team is bringing performance to the car at every race. Although we’re still not where we need to be, I hope the Montreal weekend will be another step. At the very least, I think we can have a good weekend – it’s a race that can reward a fighter because it’s often so unpredictable.

“For me, racing in Canada is always special because it’s one of the three races closest to my home in Mexico. As in Austin last year, I hope there’ll be plenty of Mexican fans travelling up to Montreal to support me during my first Canadian Grand Prix for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes.”

Martin Whitmarsh – Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

“McLaren has always gone well in Canada – we’ve won 13 Canadian Grands Prix – and while we’re not heading to Montreal next week with a realistic shot at victory, we well know that this is a race where an unexpected result is always possible.

“The Canadian Grand Prix is one of the highlights of the Formula 1 calendar, and a race that the whole paddock enjoys. It’s a showcase for F1 at its best – the track has a natural flow that encourages bold driving, but which punishes mistakes with narrow run-offs and uncompromising concrete walls. The track surface is abrasive and relatively gripless, and the long back straight is perfect for lengthy slipstreaming battles and overtaking.

“In addition, the Canadian and North American fans are passionate and knowledgeable about the sport – it’s one of those races that’s packed-out from Thursday to Sunday, and filled with a varied and exciting support race timetable.

“It’s one of the best races of the year.”

A McLaren 50 classic moment

Canadian Grand Prix, 12 June 1988

McLaren has an enviable record in the Canadian Grand Prix. The team scored its first ever one-two finish at Mont Tremblant in 1968, Denny Hulme coming home ahead of Bruce McLaren, and it has taken a total of 13 victories – nine of them at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Few of those wins have been more dominant than the one-two achieved by Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost in 1988.

The MP4-4 was the dominant car of ’88 and McLaren-Honda arrived in Canada, round five of 16, unbeaten and with Alain leading the world championship. Ayrton took pole position by 0.1s ahead of his team-mate, but it was Alain who made the better start – much to Ayrton’s dismay. He’d asked for pole position to be moved to the outside of the track after qualifying, but his request was turned down by the race stewards.

Alain led Ayrton for the opening 19 laps, but the Brazilian snuck past at the hairpin while Alain negotiated traffic. The pair then disappeared into the distance while their main rivals faltered and Ayrton led Alain by 5.9s at the chequered flag. Benetton’s Thierry Boutsen was the only other driver on the lead lap, 45s further adrift in third place.

McLaren went on to win 15 of the 16 Grands Prix in 1988, making it the most successful season in the team’s history.

source: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, mclaren.com

05 - Lotus F1 Team

Lotus F1 Team

Kimi Räikkönen: “Monaco is just a distant memory and I’m all ready for Canada”

After a frustrating Monaco Grand Prix where his gap to the Drivers’ Championship lead increased from four to twenty-one points, Kimi heads to Montréal focused on getting right back in the fight

What are your feelings after Monaco?

We had a bad result on Sunday in Monaco; that was clear for anyone to see. It could have been even worse, but it could have been much better as well. We came out with one point so at least we got something back after losing the solid fifth place, but that’s not much consolation. The car felt good for qualifying and the race which is a positive as it was another circuit – and a difficult circuit – where we’ve been able to have the car pretty much as we wanted. We still lack just a little bit of speed in qualifying sometimes, but our race pace was good again; not that you can show that when you’re stuck behind slower cars like we saw in Monaco. We don’t know how the car will be in Montréal – we will have the answer to that question soon – but there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be competitive again.

It was quite some fightback you made at the end of the race…

Well, that was a bit different as I had fresh tyres and we should never have been in that position in the first place, but it was good to at least get a point at the end. In a way, it almost makes it more frustrating as when we had the clean air after the pit stop it was probably the first time you saw how quick our car really was.

You were pretty frustrated after the race?

No-one wants to lose so many points thanks to the actions of another driver, but that race is over; Monaco is just a distant memory and I’m all ready for Canada.

What’s your opinion of Canada?

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. As for the place itself, I’ve always liked Montréal. It is one of the nicest cities we visit all year.

What do you need for a good result in Canada?

A good car. Like at every circuit you need to get the set-up exactly right. You need a well-balanced chassis in the medium downforce configuration and you don’t want to be too hard on brakes as there’s a lot of aggressive braking there. It’s something I quite enjoy, the stop and go style of the circuit.

Is Montréal another circuit where qualifying is crucial?

Qualifying is important at every circuit, but not as essential as it was in Monaco to get a good result. It’s not easy to get past, but there are one or two places to overtake.

What are your thoughts on the Championship after losing ground to Sebastian Vettel?

For sure we lost ground on the lead in Monaco, but it’s not over yet. It’s still early in the season and twenty-one points behind is not too much to catch up; especially if Sebastian has a bad weekend too at some point. The most important thing is that we return to our race level before Monaco to get things going our way as soon as possible.

Romain Grosjean: “We’ll take the challenge and do the very best we can”

After a weekend to forget in Monaco, our Frenchman heads to another French-speaking nation hopeful of very different fortunes

It was an eventful weekend for you in Monaco… what are your thoughts now you’ve been able to reflect?

It was certainly a rollercoaster, and one where we could have achieved a lot more with the pace of the car. No-one wants to make contact with the barriers at Monaco and it’s a fine balance between going fast and going too fast; there’s such a tiny margin for error as I found out. The positives are that we significantly improved the car again to make it more predictable over the weekend and that helped me a lot. I think we had the pace to be in the top three, but unfortunately we didn’t get the qualifying position we wanted and it’s almost impossible to move up the order in Monaco. I got caught out behind Daniel [Ricciardo] and will have to suffer quite a harsh penalty of ten places on the Montréal grid, but we’ll be working hard to devise the best strategy to work back up the order.

You said you’d buy your crew some drinks for all the work they put in over the Monaco weekend; have you had a chance to do this yet?

Not yet, but I’ll treat them to a special dinner later in the year; hopefully when we’ve got something good to celebrate.

Last year you went from seventh to second in Montréal; can you repeat that kind of performance in 2013?

Yes, last year we had a fantastic result at this race and we’ll certainly be trying for a fantastic result once more. For sure it will be a bit more difficult with the penalty, but we’ll take the challenge and do the very best we can.

2012 was your first time racing in Montréal, but you learnt the track pretty well?

The track is interesting; not an easy one to learn, but as we say most of the time if you have a good result then you like the track! I’d certainly like to finish this year’s race on the podium again; that would be a good record to maintain. The city’s great too. People speak French, the place is lively, there are some great restaurants and everybody is really welcoming.

Have you raced the circuit in any other form?

It’s true that it’s my favourite circuit on the Xbox, though it’s certainly bumpier in real life than sat at home on your sofa!

You like street circuits and were quick in Monaco; can we expect more of the same pace at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve?

I enjoy the sensation of being close to the walls; although as I learnt this year in Monaco… I don’t enjoy the sensation of being too close to the walls! Montréal is different from Monaco as there are some long straights and big braking moments. The track surface can also present challenges as we’ve seen in past seasons, so it will be interesting to see what the grip level is like this year. Finally, the weather in Montréal can be quite changeable as we’ve seen many times. I’m sure it’ll be a challenging and exciting Grand Prix.

Does the Canadian event present any particular challenges, being a long haul amidst the European season?

I arrive a little earlier to help beat the jet lag. Sometimes the challenge of beating the jet lag and getting a decent sleep can be as hard to solve as finding the right setup for the car! I’ll be getting plenty of exercise and hopefully getting some good sleep at the right time too!

It’s been a mixed season for you so far; how would you assess it?

On paper it’s not as good as we would have wanted it to be, but I’m happy with all my performances so far except for Monaco. I have been doing my best every time, the pace is there and every time we manage to improve the car. I just have to keep doing my best and see where we go from there.

Eric Boullier: “We’ll be disappointed if both cars aren’t close to – or on – the podium

Team Principal Eric Boullier tackles the topics on everyone’s mind after a rather busy week in the world of Formula 1…

Monaco wasn’t a great weekend…

Yes, we don’t want another sporting weekend like that. Despite the negatives of the result however, there are positives. Once more our car was competitive at a very different venue and we have now shown we can compete on all types of circuit. We have also maintained a good rate of development with the E21 relative to our opposition which bodes well for the rest of the season. As a weekend it was very frustrating, yes, but Monaco is often like that.

How would you rate the driver’s performances in Monte Carlo?

Kimi had a strong drive on Sunday and was in an easy fifth position until the incident with Sergio [Perez]. Although we were better in terms of race pace than those ahead, it’s almost impossible to overtake in Monaco and there were no mistakes or issues from the cars in front, so he became stuck in a train for most of the race. When forced to make a final pit stop towards the end, he was able to show some of the potential in the car; passing others at ease. I think this demonstrates just how talented he is – to have made up those places around Monaco without any drama – and perhaps also a little bit of how angry he was at losing fifth place and the points he would have otherwise scored.

Romain had great pace all weekend, but got frustrated in the race as he wasn’t able to fight for the kind of positions he ought to have after getting caught out behind a slower driver in the drying qualifying session and ending up thirteenth on the grid. He drove strongly to finish on the podium in Bahrain and should – according to our simulations – have finished in third position before his suspension failed in Barcelona, but Monaco was a frustrating weekend for him. Despite this, we’re sure he’ll be able to press the reset button and go to Montréal ready to focus on getting another good result.

Montréal was a good weekend for the team last year; does that help with the mindset?

Yes we did well there last year and yes it’s good in terms of the memories, but that doesn’t mean we’ll necessarily do well there this year. What we do know is that this year’s car is strong and has performed well on all different types of track layout, so it’s reasonable to expect a good weekend in Canada. I don’t think it will be an easy weekend, but we’ll be disappointed if both cars aren’t close to – or on – the podium.

Tyres are a hot topic once again; for many reasons?

To have one team running this season’s car in a private test with the sport’s sole tyre supplier is unusual to say the least; especially if no-one is told about it in advance, or even afterwards. Had we been offered the same opportunity in a legitimate and transparent fashion – where all teams agreed – we would have welcomed it. Certainly what has happened appears to be against the Sporting Regulations and the teams’ testing agreement, so it will be interesting to hear the outcome of the on-going activity regarding this matter.

The team has slipped a little in both Championships after Monaco; can we fight back?

As long as Monaco was just a minor blip – and there’s nothing to suggest that it wasn’t – there’s no evidence to suggest we can’t return to consistently strong performances and be back in the reckoning for big points. One bad race in nineteen doesn’t define your Championship; we just need to ensure that we don’t have another weekend like Monaco.

Alan Permane: “There’s nothing to suggest we shouldn’t go well in Montréal”

The Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve was the setting for Lotus F1 Team’s fourth podium of last season, and there’s no reason why that shouldn’t be the objective again in 2013, explains Trackside Operations Director Alan Permane

Now we’ve had some time to digest, what’s the feeling after Monaco?

Kimi qualified and raced where we expected him to at a circuit where it is virtually impossible to overtake, although some drivers were a little bit – shall we say – ambitious in their passing attempts. He would have finished fifth were it not for Sergio [Perez] being too aggressive. Romain had a weekend he’d rather forget, but now heads to a circuit where he performed excellently last year with his second place. There’s no reason why he shouldn’t put in another excellent performance this year, albeit with the added challenge of his ten place grid penalty.

What are the considerations for Montréal?

It’s the first circuit we run at with a medium downforce level. Monaco is super high and everywhere else we’ve visited so far is high, so it will be interesting to validate our performance with lower downforce levels on the car. There are similarities to Monaco; no real high speed corners, with most turns taken in first or second gear and the kerbs used for the majority of them. As most of the corners are chicanes, you have a set-up trade-off between sufficient roll stiffness to allow the driver to have a sharp car for change of direction, but with suspension soft enough to ride over the kerbs. The track used to be very bumpy – especially under braking – but recent resurfacing has improved this enormously.

Talking of brakes, they’re used rather a lot around Montréal?

It’s the highest brake energy circuit of the year, but this won’t pose any significant problems. In years gone by we would have spent a lot of the weekend focusing on brake wear and ensuring we weren’t running too hot. Brake disc development over the past five years means this isn’t an issue or concern anymore. Our focus will be ensuring the brake temperatures are in the optimal range for operation and ensuring the brakes are matched at both front and rear for stability.

Let’s talk about tyres…

Traditionally this circuit is fairly easy on tyres thanks to a smooth track surface. We’ll use Pirelli’s super soft and medium compounds to the original, non-revised 2013 constructions for the race. In the practice sessions we will have an opportunity to sample some development tyres; two sets per driver with a new rear construction.

What about race strategy?

Last year was a mixture of one and two stop strategies and it’s reasonable to expect a similar approach this year; depending on the conditions experienced in the race of course. For Romain we will be looking at all the options and seeing if there’s anything different we can do to help vault him up the order, as he will be starting out of position thanks to his penalty. We went well with both cars last year and there’s nothing to suggest we shouldn’t go well this year.

It’s fair to say the weather can sometimes throw a curve ball in Canada?

The weather can be pretty variable and it’s not unlike Melbourne in this regard; it can be really hot one day, then freezing cold the next day. Average temperatures would be in the mid 20s, but you can have 15°C or 30°C.

What about the groundhogs?

Fortunately we don’t see too much wildlife on track, but it is a circuit where we tend to pick up a lot of debris – whether from the long straights or the park location – and this is something we factor in when setting cooling levels, as car temperatures will increase during the race through radiator blockage from rubber, leaves and other assorted debris.

Anything new to bolt on the car?

We have a revised aero package, with track specific front and rear wings as well as an update to the floor. There aren’t too many changes for this race, but looking ahead to the subsequent Grand Prix we have a revised bodywork package for Silverstone.

Conquering Canada: An Engineer’s Guide to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve

The Circuit

Turns 1 & 2:

Braking from over 300km/h into the slow combination of turns 1 and 2 has seen some great wheel to wheel action over the years. A crucial corner, especially on the opening lap.

Turns 3 & 4:

A fast right-left chicane, where the drivers need to ride the kerbs for the quickest line.

Turns 6 & 7:

Another chicane; this time left-right and much lower speed than the first, with the drivers needing to ride the kerbs once again for the fastest route.

Turn 8:

A 300km/h+ straight leads into a third chicane – right-left once more – which requires quick direction change and good kerb riding capabilities from the car.

Turn 10:

Famous for brave moves – in some cases too brave – turn 10 provides another heavy braking area from in excess of 300km/h to around 100km/h.

Turn 13:

The fastest section of the track, with maximum speeds of around 330km/h followed by heavy braking and a need to ride the kerbs heavily through the chicane. The exit of the second part of the chicane is bordered by the famous ‘Wall of Champions’ which has caught out many championship winning drivers over the years.

The Car

Rear Wing:

A different family of rear wing is unleashed for Montréal as the layout requires a low to medium downforce package; somewhat removed from the higher downforce configurations of previous circuits so far this year.

Front Wing:

As with the rear wing, lower downforce is required than at previous venues as part of the low to medium downforce package.


The track layout requires a compromise between running the car as soft as you dare to be able to ride the kerbs, whilst maintaining quick change of direction through the many chicanes.


The demands on brakes are far higher here than at any other track, and a lot of Friday running will be dedicated to monitoring brake temperatures in order to evaluate and simulate race performance.


It’s quite a harsh circuit for the engine, with long periods spent at full throttle accelerating out of the slow corners and along the straights. It is not a particularly severe layout for the gearbox however.


This will be the second race where we see the combination of medium and super soft Pirelli compounds; Australia being the first. The original, non-revised 2013 constructions will be used for the race while in the practice sessions we will have an opportunity to sample some development tyres; two sets per driver with a new rear construction. The track surface is smooth, though not as smooth as Monaco. There are relatively low energies going through the tyres, although the potential ambient temperature can range from 15°C to 35°C which affects performance.

The Optimal Solution – Partner Perspective: Optimal Payments

Lotus F1 Team’s Enstone headquarters provided the backdrop for Official Team Partner Optimal Payments to host an industry thought-leadership event.

Guests to the factory spent the day experiencing behind-the-scenes action with the team and participating in online payments information sharing sessions with Optimal’s senior executives, partners, merchants, and various industry experts.

“With online payments being a key component for ecommerce businesses, we were pleased to be able to give our merchants access to respected industry experts; sharing their knowledge on emerging trends,” said Chantal Willis, VP Sales, Optimal Payments.

The day also revealed that many of the key success factors driving Lotus F1 Team to victory are also what keep Optimal and its merchants ahead of the competition:

Delivering Results through Efficiency and Team Work

When Lotus F1 Team hits the track, it’s the culmination of thousands of hours of teamwork allocated to designing, building, testing, maintaining, and perfecting each aspect of the car. In the world of online payments, the same is also true; no company makes it to pole position alone. Optimal not only works with a wide range of partners – including leading-edge technology providers, financial institutions, fraud and risk management services – to deliver comprehensive online payment solutions, but also believes it is important to continuously share knowledge that can help merchants increase revenues, reduce costs, and mitigate fraud risks.

Key speaker Amanda Faul, Programme Director from Vendorcom noted:

“Continuously sharing information is vital. It is only through direct engagement with merchants that we can ensure that innovation will truly bring value to their businesses.”

Staying Ahead of the Competition through Speed and Pace

As part of the day’s events, Optimal challenged its merchants and partners to a race in the state-of-the art Lotus F1 Team simulator machines; a true test of stamina, skill, speed, and pace. These are all qualities which are just as important for companies in the payments industry as they are for Lotus F1 Team. What sets Optimal apart from the competition is not just how quickly they respond to market demand, but how they respond; making sure they set the right pace with the right product at the right time.

James McDonald – Head of Strategic Initiatives and Innovation, Barclaycard (part of Barclays Bank PLC) and an Optimal partner – shared a similar outlook with attendees; using the emerging convergence of consumer payment channels as an example: “There is now a proliferation of digital wallets in the market, creating a convergence of ecommerce and proximity payments. To succeed in this space, payment providers and merchants have to adapt to changing consumer requirements.”

Evolution and Adaptation Key to Long-term Success in Online Payments

Optimal believe the key to successful innovation is implementing a business strategy based on evolution and adaptation. David Jokinen, VP Product, Optimal Payments commented: “Your payments provider should work with you as a long term partner, offering multiple payment options into a single service, providing access via new channels, and offering customisation to suit your business and customers.

“In this fast-changing marketplace, it is important to choose a payments provider whose interests are aligned with your own, and who can support you in delivering and continually evolving a custom solution to meet the needs of your business and your customers.”

Looks Who’s Talking: Social Media in Action

It won’t have escaped the attention of many that the Monaco Grand Prix proved something of a landmark event in Lotus F1 Team’s digital calendar; the appearance of global superstars Daft Punk sending engagement levels into orbit throughout the weekend and across each and every social media platform.

Kicking off with YouTube, a series of eleven short ‘teaser’ clips and one spectacular trailer released in the build-up to the race generated quite a stir amongst music and racing fans alike; generating over 500,000 combined views to date and a great deal of debate as to what would occur during the weekend itself.

Complimenting the usual live session updates and outrageous banter, Twitter provided the most immediate outlet for each phase of the Daft Punk activation; giving fans instant notification each time a video teaser was released in addition to world-first, exclusive images of the band as they burst onto the Monte Carlo scene [the most popular of which generated just shy of 2,000 ‘re-tweets’]

Facebook and Google+ generated an equally impressive rate of engagement around the entrance of our robotic crew members; more than 12,000 ‘likes’ emanating from the initial shot of the pair arriving in pit lane, topped off with a real conversational buzz as fans soaked up what was only the third public appearance by the band in their twenty-year history.

Each of the aforementioned platforms heralded the arrival of another Lotus F1 Team original creation – the rapturously received ‘Origami Kimi’ – giving fans of the Finnish maestro an opportunity to create their very own pint-sized Iceman. Results ranged from the brilliant to the hilarious; a sample of which can be found here:


Last but by no means least, Pinterest and Instagram were bolstered by a raft of superb images collated throughout the weekend; spectacular shots ranging from world-renowned musicians to specially designed helmets, stunning harbour side views and everything in between.

It’ll be hard to top the Monaco Grand Prix week but rest assured; we’re on the case…

Inside Line: The Latest News from Enstone


Everyone knows we love to mix things up a bit, but thanks to our friends at Columbia Records the team took things to a whole new level in Monte Carlo…

Daft Punk – quite possibly the most talked about, stylish and downright awesome band on the planet right now – joined the Lotus F1 Team crew in the pit lane during the Monaco Grand Prix, with the band’s iconic logo and ‘split helmet’ imagery featuring on the E21, driver overalls and garage panels throughout the weekend.

And that’s not all… click here for images, video and all the juicy details:


Cloud Nine

Lotus F1 Team is pleased to announce that EMC will accelerate the team’s move to a cloud-based IT infrastructure in conjunction with the development programme for its 2014 car.

The team has partnered with EMC – the global leader in enabling businesses and service providers – to transform their operations and deliver information technology as a service (ITaaS).

The new partnership is being implemented as part of the development programme for the team’s 2014 car and sees a complete refresh of the Enstone and trackside IT infrastructure, with the adoption of Private Cloud Technology. Click here to find out more:  


Tight Turnaround

The Monaco Grand Prix proved to be a rather busy one in the Lotus F1 Team garage, made all the more challenging by the compact Monte Carlo paddock.

We caught up with Race Team Manager Paul Seaby to get the lowdown on what it takes to get the job done under the intense pressure of a race weekend. Click here to read more:


source: Lotus F1 Team, lotusrenaultgp.com

Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team

Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team


After the first two European races, Formula One’s mid-season flyaway takes the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS team to Montreal for the Canadian Grand Prix, Round Seven of the 2013 World Championship.

  • Eleven of the 14 corners at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve are taken at below 160 kph
  • Two of the past three Canadian Grands Prix have not featured Safety Car periods
  • Brake wear is high, with the drivers braking from over 250 kph six times every lap
  • Lewis has won the Canadian Grand Prix every time he has reached the finish line (three times in total)
  • At the Monaco Grand Prix, Nico became the first driver to lead every lap of a race this season

Nico Rosberg

The Canadian Grand Prix is always a great event as the fans in Montreal are so enthusiastic. The whole city really loves the race and it’s such a lively place to be over the weekend. We receive so much support out in Montreal and it’s great to see that enthusiasm. The circuit itself is one of my favourite tracks on the calendar and I love the challenge of driving there. It’s a very difficult layout to drive because of the low downforce levels required for the long straights and it will be tough on the tyres. Monaco was a fantastic weekend for the team and I’m so proud of the victory that we achieved there. We’ll be hoping to maintain that momentum in Canada this weekend and will be going all out for another strong performance.

Lewis Hamilton

The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve has been a strong circuit for me and I’ve been lucky enough to win there three times in my career, including last season. It’s always a great weekend in Montreal with a fun atmosphere in the city and at the track. The circuit itself is really special; it’s very high-speed, great fun to drive and it’s definitely a track where late braking helps. It’s not too far off a Monaco-style circuit where you need a similar set-up to bounce off the kerbs so we should be quite competitive, although looking after the tyres will be our main challenge. There’s a really good feeling in the team at the moment following Nico’s win in Monaco and we’re continuing to work hard to make sure we have the potential for more victories this season.

Ross Brawn

The Canadian Grand Prix is always one of the most atmospheric races of the year and everyone looks forward to our annual visit to Montreal. The high-speed characteristics of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve make for a real set-up challenge where engine power, brakes and good tyre management are the key to having a successful weekend. The last race in Monaco was a very special weekend for our team, and moved us substantially closer to the top three in the Constructors’ Championship, but we know the hard work that lies ahead. Both Lewis and Nico have spent time in the factory with us since Monaco and with Paddy Lowe starting at Brackley today, I’m confident that all efforts are being made to sustain that level of performance.

Toto Wolff

We enjoyed a fantastic weekend in Monaco but, as I have said before, yesterday’s home runs don’t win tomorrow’s games. We will be heading to Montreal this week with realistic expectations about what we can achieve. The high-speed circuit will definitely suit our Mercedes-Benz engine. Our car has been on pole position for the last four races, which shows our basic speed, so the focus in that time has been on improving our performance on Sunday afternoons. We managed this in Monaco, partly thanks to the unique characteristics of the circuit. This weekend will give us a more representative indication of how much progress we have made.

source: Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team, mercedes-gp.com

Sauber F1 Team logo

Sauber F1 Team

Preview – 2013 Canadian Grand Prix

7th Round of the FIA Formula One World Championship, 7th to 9th June 2013

After the start of the European season in Barcelona and Monte Carlo, the Sauber F1 Team travels to Montréal, where the Canadian Grand Prix will take place from 7th to 9th of June. The team has fond memories of Île Notre-Dame, as this was the place where former drivers Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld claimed a one-two in 2008. After closely missing scoring a point in Monaco, the Sauber F1 Team wants to claim a positive result in Canada.

Nico Hülkenberg (car number 11):

“The Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve is one of my favourites. It’s a challenging track with a mixture of a permanent racetrack and a street circuit. It has some tight sections that don’t allow for any mistakes. I like the whole layout and, in particular, the kerbs. The atmosphere on Île Notre-Dame is always great and the whole city of Montréal welcomes Formula One. It’s a very nice Grand Prix, and I’m looking forward to it.”

Esteban Gutiérrez (car number 12):

“So far I have driven once at the track on Île Notre-Dame, and that was in 2007 in Formula BMW. It went quite well with one podium finish and a fourth place. It’s a really nice circuit and I like it a lot. The track is slippery and tyre management will yet again be very important, which gives us an opportunity to put a good strategy together. Obviously overtaking will be easier than in Monaco, which can benefit us. It’s hard to judge how competitive we will be, as it will also depend on the weather. Hopefully with better conditions we can have a more consistent weekend, which will help us to progress and make the most of our potential.”

Tom McCullough, Head of Track Engineering:

“The Montréal circuit is very narrow and has walls very close to the track. It typically produces one of the most exciting races of the season and a Safety Car is highly likely. The circuit is comprised of long straights and slow speed corners, which encourage overtaking, and also contribute to it being one of the hardest for the brakes. The circuit efficiency requires a lower drag level rear wing compared to Monaco, but you still need a strong car in low speed corners. This year the medium compound replaces the soft as the prime tyre, while the option remains as the super soft. Pirelli has also announced we will have a new rear construction to evaluate on Friday before its planned race introduction at Silverstone.”

source: Sauber F1 Team, sauberf1team.com

Sahara Force India F1 Team

Sahara Force India F1 Team

Formula 1 Grand Prix Du Canada 2013 Preview

Sahara Force India looks forward to the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal.

Vijay’s Vision

Team Principal, Dr Vijay Mallya, hopes the team can carry its form into the Canadian Grand Prix.

The emotions of Monaco are still fresh in our memory as our attention turns to Montreal for the Canadian Grand Prix. Both our drivers and the team performed superbly on the streets of Monte Carlo and it is very satisfying to see us fifth in the Championship after a third of the season.

The race in Monaco showed the sheer class of our two drivers, and probably helped silence some critics of the team. Adrian’s moves on two former World Champions will stay in our memories for a long time, and so will Paul’s determined performance as he went from 17th to ninth.

I think we are now knocking on the door of our first podium finish since 2009, and it’s time to do that all-important step. Montreal would be a great place to do so – it is a track that favours overtaking and our car has shown the race pace to finish among the leaders, so everything is possible.

I am proud of everyone in the team because we have achieved good results – and claimed 44 points – despite some very unfortunate occurrences. With a bit more luck, we would be even further ahead of McLaren: but the focus is on the future. We know our rivals will be more competitive in the next few rounds, but we have shown we can mix with the big teams and we intend to do so for the coming races too. 

The Canadian Grand Prix also marks the 100th Grand Prix for Sahara Force India. When we started back in 2008 we simply had the ambition to break out of Q1 and we dreamed of scoring points. Seeing where we stand today is therefore extremely rewarding and motivates us all to continue working just as hard for the next 100 races.

Dr Vijay Mallya

Team Principal and Managing Director


Paul on Canada

Paul, Monaco was a mixture of emotions for you, but you picked up points in the end with an impressive recovery drive…

I think it’s a sign of our competitiveness that we were a bit disappointed with ninth. I definitely felt we had the performance to be higher up the points, but the issues in qualifying put us on the back foot. That’s the thing with Monaco, it’s all about track position, but I did enjoy a few overtaking moves into turn one. Although more was possible I’m still happy to continue my run of points finishes.

Canada will be the team’s 100th race – do you think you can give the team something to celebrate?

We’ve been competitive on every track this year and that’s a credit to the team, so we expect to be at our usual level once again. It’s traditionally a track that has suited us, so we go there confident that we can fight towards the front once again. 100 races is a significant achievement and it’s great to see how much the team has grown during that time. It’s a credit to the commitment of the shareholders and hopefully we can give them something to smile about come Sunday evening.

Tell us about the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve?

It’s an unusual track but tends to produce exciting racing with some really good overtaking opportunities. It’s tight, because it’s a street course, so it’s another track where there is no margin for error. Straight-line speed is important, as is a car that’s stable under braking and capable of riding the curbs well.


Adrian on Canada

Adrian, how good did it feel to finish fifth in Monaco – your best result in the principality…

It felt very nice. After four difficult races I was ready to get this result. We had several missed opportunities, but I tried my best to stay positive because I could see the potential of the car. So it felt very good to have a race where I could deliver a strong result. But it was not the easiest of weekends for me because I lost track time on Saturday and I damaged my front wing on the first lap of the race. So, all things considered, it was very satisfying to come away with fifth place.

Some commentators named you driver of the day for your ‘cheeky’ overtaking moves at the hairpin…

I had the feeling from the first lap onwards that there was a possibility to pass cars at this corner. After the restart, when all the cars were bunched up, I saw the gap and went for it. I got ahead of Jenson first and then Fernando as well. Overtaking always feels good, but in Monaco it’s extra special because you have to judge things perfectly.

What about Montreal? Do you think you will go well there?

It’s definitely one my favourite races on the calendar because it’s a great city. It’s also an interesting and unusual track, and it can be a long race with different scenarios and strategy options. I like the circuit, but for some reason I’ve never had good results there. Hopefully we can change that this year.

source: Sahara Force India F1 Team, forceindiaf1.com

09 - Williams F1

Williams F1

Canadian GP Preview

  • When: Friday 7th – Sunday 9th June, 2013
  • Where: Montreal, Canada
  • Round: 7 of 19

Mike Coughlan, Technical Director: The track is quite challenging with high speed straights and tight slow corners, which makes it very hard on brakes. Montreal has the lowest pit loss time of the year, at 15.9 seconds, which typically favours higher stop strategies, however there is a relatively high chance of getting a safety car around here. The track roughness is the lowest of the season and coupled with low tyre energy this can lead to a high tendency towards tyre graining. Weather is also a factor here as the low temperatures can cause trouble for the tyres due to the circuit layout and rain is always a threat. We had a difficult weekend in Monaco, but we did find a good direction for development which we will be carrying through to Canada with a number of new parts. There is still a lot of work to do, but we are confident that everyone in the team is pushing hard to get us back to where we need to be.

Pastor Maldonado: Montreal is definitely one of the most challenging tracks, especially when it rains as the downpours can be quite heavy. Obviously this causes changes to the strategy regarding pit stops and tyres. It also makes life much more challenging on the track because there are certain places where puddles form. In the past there has been a high frequency of safety cars during the race as well which will again affect race strategy. The track itself starts off very dirty on Friday because it’s only used once a year and it isn’t really until the Saturday qualifying session that more grip can be found after we have had a chance to lay down more rubber. It’s interesting to drive on a track that changes so much as the weekend unfolds and the layout feels a bit like a street circuit which gets the adrenaline pumping. The whole city comes alive during the week of the Grand Prix and the atmosphere is one of the best all year so I really enjoy visiting Canada.

Valtteri Bottas: This will be my first time driving at Montreal and I’m looking forward to the challenge. It’s similar to the last race in Monaco in some respects, being a street circuit with a number of the corners and straights very close to the walls. The challenge is therefore to quickly find the cars limit and use as much of the circuit as you can, without taking too many risks. I’m particularly looking forward to the last corner, the wall of champions, which is very iconic. As this is my first time driving the track, Friday morning is going to be important to get the right car setup. There are long straights on this circuit so good traction is needed out of the slow speed chicanes, and you also need really good straight line speed, especially in the race. If you have better straight line speed than your competitors, the racing will be much easier for you to defend and overtake so we need to find a good compromise between downforce and drag.

Rémi Taffin, Renault Sport F1 Head of Track Operations: The circuit Gilles-Villeneuve has the quickest single lap time of the season, taking just 75 seconds on average. This is due in part to the relatively short length, but also to the long straights of the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve. The straights are connected by tight hairpins where the cars brake down to a little under 60kph, so the RS27 must combine good top end power with effective engine braking and pick up on the entry and exits to the corners so acceleration is not compromised down the straights.

Paul Hembery, Pirelli Motorsport Director: We’ll be bringing the P Zero White medium and P Zero Red supersoft tyres to Canada. Both of them have a low working range so they should be well-suited to the likely temperatures and track conditions we will encounter in Montreal. On top of that, we are bringing two sets per car of a prototype medium compound tyre, which the drivers will be able to use in free practice on Friday only. Canada has always been one of the toughest circuits of the year for the tyres as there is a lot of traction and braking, while the cars also tend to run low downforce, meaning that the emphasis is on mechanical rather than aerodynamic grip. Historically there’s often been uncertain weather in Canada too, which means that we might see the Cinturato Green intermediate and Cinturato Blue wet tyres out again. There’s usually a big degree of track evolution over the course of the weekend, as the circuit is not used much outside of the grand prix. This makes a big difference: as more rubber gets put onto the track, there’s more grip, so lap times – along with tyre wear and degradation – come down.

source: Williams F1, williamsf1.com

Scuderia Toro Rosso logo

Scuderia Toro Rosso

coming soon

source: Scuderia Toro Rosso, tororosso.com

Team Caterham logo

Team Caterham


Leafield Technical Centre, UK – 31st May 2013

Race Laps: 70
Circuit Length: 4.361 km
Race Distance: 305.270 km
Lap Record: R Barrichello, 1:13.622 (2004)
2011 Air / Track temp (°c): 21 / 27
Pitlane altitude (m): 8

2012 Timing

P1: VET (1:13.784 Q3)
P2: ALO (1:14.087 Q3)
P3: MAS (1:14.151 Q3)
CF1T best: P18 KOV (1:16.263)
CF1T delta to best Q1 lap: +2.479 (103.2%)

P1: HAM (1:17.020 L69)
P2: GRO (1:17.264 L57)
P3: PER (1:16.414 L67)
CF1T best: P18 KOV (1:18.128, L62)
CF1T delta to best race lap: +1.108 (101.4%)

Quick description
Very high brake energy track, therefore critical in terms of brake wear and cooling
Track surface is very smooth with very low grip which is hard on tyres
High track improvement on Friday
Longitudinal track with several major traction points
Braking stability is critical, particularly in T8 & T10 due to bumps
Ability to ride kerbs and maximise top speed are both important for quick lap times
Track was partly re-surfaced in 2010 but no major difference from 2008 layout

Circuit Particularity
Bumpiness: bumpy
Overtaking chance: T10, T13
Kerbs: medium / high
Ride height setting particularity: none
Engine severity: medium
Gearbox severity: high
Lat/Long grip: longitudinal
Aero eff ratio: high
Safety car history: 2012 – 0; 2011 – 4 (8/12,20/34,37/40,56/60); 2010 – 0
Track grip evo during w/e: medium
Aero settings: medium / low
Brake wear severity: very high
Brake cooling necessity: high

Driver Quotes

Alexander Rossi, driving FP1 at the 2013 Canadian Grand Prix: “After Monaco I was home in the States for the first time since January, preparing for my FP1 session at the Canadian GP, and then for the start of my Le Mans work straight after Montreal! Looking back, Monaco wasn’t a great weekend for us in GP2 with Caterham Racing, but we’ll bounce back at Silverstone. We know the areas that we need to improve the situation.

“Returning to F1 action is obviously another important step in the plan I’ve worked over a decade for and I take all the opportunities I get very seriously. This will be my first outing in the CT03 and on the 2013 Pirelli tyres in F1 and it’s good that my 2013 F1 debut is on North American soil, in front of a crowd who are seriously passionate about F1 and really know what our sport is all about. I’ve raced and won in Montreal back in Formula BMW and I enjoy the circuit a lot – it will be a special feeling to play an active role in the race weekend with the team.

“Even though FP1 sessions always seem to be over in the blink of an eye, it’ll be good to play an important part in the team’s work on track. I was last in an F1 car in the CT02 2012 car in Abu Dhabi, last November for the young driver test so I’m looking forward to see how far the car has progressed since then. This year for the F1 team I’ve done aero testing, simulation work and I drove at the team’s filming day, so this will be a good session for me to use what I learnt about the car in the sim and the aero tests as a comparison to help the team progress this weekend. It will be all about working to the run plan for the session and helping the team set the car up for the race drivers for the rest of the weekend.

“I leave Montreal on Friday evening, straight after FP2 and head back to Europe for the first Le Mans sessions. That’s another boxed ticked on my list of things for my CV. It’s great to be taking part in one of the great races with a team that’s already been successful in endurance racing, and to help a bunch of Caterham guys I already know well. Like F1, my aim in the first few days with the Le Mans team will be to learn as much I can and build up to the performance, adding value where it counts. It’s a huge honour to be able to take part and it’s something I’ll remember for ever, but first my main priority is F1.”

Charles Pic, car #20: “Straight after Monaco it’s on to another French speaking race as we go to Montreal for the Canadian Grand Prix. Last year was my first time racing in Canada and I have to say it was one of the best races of the year, maybe not so much for the final result but for the atmosphere on track which was really good. We go to a few races where the track is full of fans from Thursday morning, and Montreal is one of those. I guess having Jacques and Gilles Villeneuve as locals to have supported in the past means F1 is very special to fans in Montreal, but whatever the reasons, they love F1!

“On track it’s a very good challenge. It’s a semi-street circuit, with the barriers very close for most of the lap, and it’s a very technical circuit. The track surface is smooth and on Friday morning there’s very little grip. It does evolve over the weekend but it’s still hard on tyres all weekend so managing deg levels is going to be even more important than normal. It’s also very hard on brakes – there’s a couple of very heavy braking zones and you need to be able to really attack those to get the best laptime in, so we’ll also be working a lot in the practice sessions on maximising braking stability and, depending on what the weather does, brake cooling.

“You also need to be able to attack the kerbs, both to maintain speed and to save time, so that’ll be another area we’ll look at in FP1 and FP2, making sure we can really hit the kerbs hard without losing stability and balance. If you get all that right it’s a very satisfying feeling when you get to the end of the lap as it’s quick, a lap that feels really good in an F1 car!”

Giedo van der Garde, car #21: “Next up it’s Canada, a track I’ve never raced at but one I went to last year with Caterham as Reserve Driver. I sat in on all the briefings and debriefs last year so I have quite a bit of information about what it’s going to be like from 2012, and I’ve spent quite a bit of time on my sim at home trying the track, but you obviously don’t really know what it’s like until you drive around it, but it will only take a couple of laps to get used to it.

“What I do remember from last year was how hardcore the fans are in Montreal! We have a couple of big North American sponsors, so the team had a lot of guests in the paddock and in the grandstands, but I remember that from early on Thursday morning the whole place was packed! In the city itself it was the same – there’s one street where the whole place is shut down for the race weekend and we had a team dinner there on the Saturday night. It was a fantastic atmosphere, a lot like it is at home in Holland for big sports events, so I felt really comfortable there and am excited about getting back, this time to race!

“On track I think it’ll be interesting to see where we are after Monaco. I was glad to bring the car home, but after the best Saturday of the year so far we obviously wanted to finish higher up. Even with that, there were some good signs in the race that we are making decent progress. Personally, for me it was another step in the learning curve, and for the team in general we saw that we’d fixed the rear wing issue we’d found in Barcelona, and had enough pace to get the car into Q2 and to record one of the fastest laps in the race in the early stages. Montreal is a medium to low downforce track and with the constant updates we’re making to the package we took to Spain, I think we could be ok.”

source: Team Caterham, caterhamf1.com

Marussia F1 Team logo

Marussia F1 Team


What we’re saying about the Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada 2013

Hot on the heels of Monaco’s universal appeal comes the Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada 2013, an altogether different challenge, but for the teams and drivers, a firm favourite on the calendar. The Marussia F1 Team will be racing in Montreal for the fourth time next weekend, whilst drivers Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton will be making their racing debut at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. 

The 4.361km track is a temporary street circuit close to the centre of the intoxicatingly cosmopolitan city of Montreal. It can be very demanding of the car and requires a careful compromise between the varying low and high-downforce elements. Tyre management and brake wear can also be a challenge. In common with Monaco, the barriers are very close and the drivers need to be wary of the legendary ‘Wall of Champions’.

Jules Bianchi, Driver #22

“I was hoping for better things at my home race last weekend but now I am fully focused on the races ahead, not looking back. Canada is one of the races I have been most looking forward to all season and I have heard a lot of things about the track and the fantastic city of Montreal. Having been in the simulator this week I feel excited for the weekend, although I think we can expect to be challenged by the demands of the circuit characteristics. The last race was the first retirement of the season for myself and the Team, which is disappointing after such a good run of 10 car finishes in 10 races until then. It seems to be an isolated problem, so we look forward to getting back to full reliability and continuing to push forwards.”

Max Chilton, Driver #23

“I’m looking forward to my Canadian Grand Prix debut and returning to the learning experience of an unknown track. From what I know and have seen in the simulator, this is one of those circuits that will keep the drivers and the engineers fully occupied by the engineering challenge, as there is such a careful balance to strike between the low and higher downforce sections of the track, at the same time as managing brakes and tyres. After a good result in Monaco I am hopeful that we can carry that momentum forward and enjoy a positive weekend.”

John Booth, Team Principal, Marussia F1 Team

“Everyone at the Marussia F1 Team thoroughly enjoys the Canadian Grand Prix experience, although the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve has not necessarily favoured our car on our three previous visits. We are hopeful that we can turn that corner in Montreal next weekend. It has been quite a tight turnaround after Monaco to prepare the cars for the freight but they leave this weekend and in the intervening period before we arrive we’ll continue to evaluate a frustrating Monaco and try to get a good head start for the race ahead. Canada always throws up quite a few challenges – a technically demanding track, variable weather and the rather more unusual concern over groundhogs. The one thing we were pleased with in the last race was our result and relative performance, so we’ll be happy to continue building on that next weekend.”

source: Marussia F1 Team, marussiavirginracing.com

Pirelli logo


Canadian Grand Prix Preview: Montreal, 7-9 June 2013


The Gilles Villeneuve circuit in Montreal is an interesting circuit with a mixture of long, fast straights and slow corners. Pirelli will bring the P Zero White medium and P Zero Red supersoft tyres to Montreal: both tyres with a low working range, which makes them perfectly matched to the likely weather conditions at the semi-permanent Canadian track. Temperatures are usually quite cool and there have been a number of wet races in the past, which means that the Cinturato Green intermediates and Cinturato Blue wet tyres might also make an appearance. In addition, Pirelli will also bring two sets per car of a prototype medium tyre, which features a revised rear construction that is likely to be used for the rest of the season, for use on Friday only.

Paul Hembery: “Canada is always one of the most unpredictable races of the year and this is partly because it is so challenging for tyres, mostly due to the heavy braking and traction demands of the circuit. Coupled with a high degree of track evolution over the weekend, effective tyre management has always been a key to success in Montreal, right from when the circuit was inaugurated in the late 1970s. We’d expect two to three pit stops per car, but we’ll only be able to make a precise forecast after Friday once we’ve seen some running out on track. It’s a circuit where weather conditions often play a key role: our very first Canadian Grand Prix in 2011 actually turned out to be the longest race in Formula One history because of heavy rain and a subsequent race stoppage. Last year was dry, but we witnessed a new record with the seventh winner from seven races. Because of the high degree of tyre wear and degradation, we would expect to see a number of different strategies at work, as was the case last year – with teams deciding whether to go for a ‘sprint’ strategy or to do fewer stops and put the accent on endurance. Last year the ‘sprint’ approach won the race, but with so many different parameters at work, the teams will have to analyse the data – not to mention the weather forecast – very carefully before committing to any particular tactics. Often a flexible approach works best in Canada, so we can also expect many teams to be leaving their options open, allowing the drivers to really make the difference when it counts.”

Jean Alesi: “Canada will always be an incredibly special place for me, because of course it’s where I won the race in 1995, driving for Ferrari, with the number of Gilles Villeneuve: number 27. It’s hard to describe the emotion, but it was just an amazing feeling of joy and an incredible atmosphere, with the crowd running onto the track afterwards… Canada is always a place where the fans are absolutely fantastic; it’s a great feeling to go to a country where Formula One is embraced so enthusiastically. For a driver it is a really big challenge too: as so many of the grandstands are close to the track and the walls are very close as well, so it feels a bit like Monaco in some ways. But of course it’s a lot faster than Monaco and this is why it is challenging for the tyres as well. The main characteristic is acceleration and braking: you cover a really wide range of speeds from flat-out on the straight to very slow corners. It’s important to manage the tyres properly and have a good strategy to cope with these demands. I think we’re in for a fantastic race, this is a grand prix I always really look forward to.”

The circuit from a tyre point of view:

Along with Singapore, Korea and Monaco, Canada has a very high safety car probability. This is one of the reasons why a flexible strategy often pays dividends there. A safety car can change the complexion of a race entirely – and while this wasn’t the case in Monaco two weeks ago, in Canada there are many more opportunities for overtaking.

The race winner last year (Lewis Hamilton) stopped twice, while the second and third placed finishers stopped only once. The strategies all the way down the top 10 were half and half: five out of the top 10 stopped twice and the other five stopped once. Last year was a different tyre nomination though: soft and supersoft.

With a semi-permanent track that is not used extensively during the year, there’s a risk of graining. This occurs when a cold tyre that is not up to temperature slides excessively against the track surface instead of finding grip, and causing an unusual pattern of wear. This phenomenon is mostly seen at the start of the weekend when the track is at its most slippery, without any rubber laid down.

Further information on Canada and the demands it places on the tyres, as well as more information about how graining occurs, can be found on a 3D animated video starring Pirelli’s Racing Manager Mario Isola.

Technical tyre notes:

One of the reasons why Canada is so demanding for the tyres is that the cars tend to run low downforce to maximise their speed on the straights. This means that the tyres are doing all the work when it comes to getting the car round the corners, putting the emphasis on mechanical rather than aerodynamic grip.

The rear tyres are particularly challenged at Montreal, due to the heavy traction demands out of slow corners and the hairpin. It’s very easy to produce wheelspin if drivers are too eager on the throttle, which accentuates rear tyre wear. The track is also quite bumpy, which also provokes wheelspin as the rear tyres break traction.

Adding to the punishment for the tyres in Canada are the kerbs: a well-known feature of the track. The kerbs in Canada are high and aggressive, with the cars hitting them at approximately 130kph through the final corner, close to the famous ‘wall of champions’.

The tyre choices so far:

  PZero Red PZero Yellow PZero White PZero Orange
Australia Supersoft   Medium  
Malaysia     Medium Hard
China   Soft Medium  
Bahrain     Medium Hard
Spain     Medium Hard
Monaco Supersoft Soft    
Canada Supersoft   Medium

Meet the Pirelli F1 Team: Anna Playford – Formula One tyre engineer

Anna, from Chichester in the United Kingdom, is one of Pirelli’s 15-strong squad of engineers that travel to every grand prix. This year, the team that she has been assigned to is Williams. During grand prix weekends she acts as the link between the team and Pirelli.

Her job at the track predominately consists of looking after the Pirelli products and making sure that the tyres run within the parameters that have been set. As well as monitoring tyre performance and characteristics in real time, she analyses additional tyre-related data (such as pressures, temperatures and wear). All this information is put into a daily report presented to the team at their evening meetings. This report helps the team make further decisions regarding their race strategy and set-up for the following sessions.

Away from races, Anna is based at Pirelli’s technical hub in the UK, known as the DTC (Didcot Technical Centre). While there, she continues to go through data from the race weekend, producing reports for Pirelli HQ in Milan as well as preparing for the upcoming events. Anna is also involved in some R&D projects there, as well as the development of tools which enables Pirelli to continuously upgrade the service that is provided to the teams.

Currently Anna is the only female engineer in the line-up, having been inspired to get into Formula One through her father. She then studied motorsport engineering at college, joining Pirelli in 2011.

Away from work, Anna enjoys spending time with family and friends – as well as fitting in some essential shopping opportunities…

Other news from Pirelli:

The second round of the Blancpain Endurance Series, which is exclusively equipped by Pirelli for race versions of roadgoing supercars, took place at Silverstone the weekend before the Canadian Grand Prix. Darren Turner, Frederic Makowiecki and Stefan Mucke dominated the race for Aston Martin and clinched the victory in a Aston Martin V12 vantage

The second round of the British Rally Championship – another series exclusively supplied by Pirelli – also took place last weekend at the Jim Clark Rally in Scotland, named after the legendary Formula One World Champion. Last year’s Pirelli UK Star Driver Jukka Korhonen won the event with his co-driver Marko Salminen at the wheel of a Pirelli-equipped Citroen DS3.

Pirelli recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of its close collaboration with the Politecnico di Milano, the largest technical university in Italy, by inviting a number of its students to a driver day at the Vizzola circuit in northern Italy. As well as recruiting several graduates from the university, Pirelli also undertakes some research projects jointly with the Politecnico each year.

The P Zero red supersoft and white medium have been nominated for the 2013 Canadian Grand Prix.

source: Pirelli, pirelli.com

Renault Sport F1 logo

Renault Sport F1

coming soon

source: renault.com

Cosworth logo


coming soon

source: Cosworth, www.cosworth.com/f1