After two events in Europe, Formula 1 is now ready of the 2017 Canadian Grand Prix, widely acknowledged as one of the most unpredictable races of the year, as confirmed by Pirelli racing manager, Mario Isola. Just like Monaco two weeks ago, the three softest compounds in the P Zero Formula 1 range will be available for the teams: soft, supersoft and ultrasoft. But this semi-permanent track is much quicker, with top speeds exceeding 300kph, which means that it poses a bigger challenge for both cars and tyres. With a slippery surface, changeable weather and a relatively high incidence of safety cars – thanks mainly to the famous “wall of champions” – a wide variety of race strategies has been seen in the past. But this year, we have a brand-new range of tyres and different characteristics.
“Montreal has many unique features, but with its smooth surface, it actually contains some similarities to Sochi. Last year the winner did one stop, while the second-placed driver made two stops using all three compounds, which just goes to show the very wide variety of strategies that are possible. Finding the right set-up, with the correct aerodynamic and mechanical balance, is never easy in Montreal: this is one of the key factors to making the tyres work effectively there. It is also very important to take an open-minded approach to strategy, given the variable weather and safety cars that are historically possible.” – Pirelli’s Head of Car Racing Mario Isola said, as recently reported by Italian national sports newspaper based in Rome Corriere dello Sport.
THE CIRCUIT FROM A TYRE POINT OF VIEW
– the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal is all about traction and braking: longitudinal rather than lateral forces, which affects tyres and especially brakes.
– Warming up the front tyres effectively is one of the most important aspects in order to post a quick lap time on this track.
– Being a rarely-used semi-permanent track, the surface tends to evolve rapidly.
– Some graining has been seen in the past: this is now less likely with the new family of 2017 tyres, based on previous experience.
– Weather can range from heat to full rain and the weather forecast for next weekend predicts showers on each of the three racing days.