Preview GP Canada 2019: Ferrari's best chance

Preview GP Canada 2019
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V Twelve months ago, Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull traveled to Montreal with two wins each. This year the balance of power at the top looks a little different. The Silver Arrows have so far won all six trophies, which has not exactly caused enthusiasm among the neutral fans. But there is still no reason to give up hope. In Canada, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas have to prepare for more resistance.

On the long straights of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Ferrari should be able to exploit its power advantage significantly better than last time. The layout is somewhat reminiscent of Bahrain, where Charles Leclerc almost had his first win if the technology hadn't let him down shortly before the end. The question is how big the top speed advantage of the red car will be when the silver competition unpacks the planned engine update.

Red Bull does not think so much about the Honda deficit . Even the desire for rain will probably not come true for Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly. The weather forecast assumes dry conditions throughout the weekend. At moderate maximum temperatures just above 20 ° C, however, the subject of 'warming up the tires' could become a problem again for some pilots.

The track - Circuit Gilles Villeneuve

After the classic in Monaco is the next street circuit in Montreal. In terms of layout, the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on the Ile Notre Dame in the middle of the St. Lawrence River cannot be compared with the narrow muddle in the Principality. The cars accelerate six times on the 4.361 kilometer lap to more than 250 km /h. And just as often, the drivers have to step into their irons as hard as they can.

In order to achieve fast lap times, the cars have to aggressively over the curbs in the chicanes. The carbon racers are particularly at risk from the narrow walls at the corner exit. The gang in the finish chicane in particular has already become the undoing of many big names, which earned them the nickname “Wall of Champions”. Overtaking is usually no problem in Canada thanks to the long straights and the three DRS zones.

Fast facts about the GP Canada

  • Track length: 4.361 kilometers
  • Number of laps: 70
  • Race distance: 305.270 km
  • Record lap in the race: 1: 13.622 minutes (Rubens Barrichello, 2004)
  • Curves : 14 (6 left, 8 right)
  • Full throttle (lap time): 60 percent
  • Gear changes per lap: 50
  • Distance from pole position to apexTurn 1: 362.1 meters
  • Length of the pit lane: 401.1 meters
  • Time in the pit lane at speed limit: 18.0 s
  • Tires: C3 /C4 /C5
  • Tire wear: low
  • Braking load: high
  • Fuel consumption: high
  • Safety car probability: 60 percent
  • DRS zones: 3 - home straight, straight before the finish chicane, straight between T7 & T8
Like in Monaco, Pirelli is launching the three softest blends C5, C4 and C3.


The long straights require good top speed. The drivers drive 60 percent of a lap at full load. With too much air resistance you lose lap time and become easy prey for the competition in a duel. The wings are therefore much flatter than in Monaco. The engineers have to find a good compromise when it comes to contact pressure so as not to lose too much time in the winding sections.

Because of the stop - & - go nature of the track, braking stability and the drivability of the engine are also two factors particularly important factors. The braking load is high. The driver is on the left pedal for 19 percent of a lap. Values ​​of over 5 g are measured as the delay. The many hard braking processes put a strain on people and equipment. The teams have to ensure adequate cooling.

From the tight corners, good traction counts above all. Somewhat softer springs should therefore be installed on the rear axle. When it comes to ground clearance, you also have to pay attention to the curbs and some waves in the asphalt. In addition, when choosing the set-up, the engineers should take into account that the grip on the non-permanent race track traditionally increases significantly over the weekend. The changing wind is also a factor that should not be underestimated.

Tire wear is usually not a big problem because of the slippery asphalt. Although Pirelli sent the three softest mixtures across the pond, as last year, we don't expect more than one pit stop from most of the drivers. It will be interesting to see whether graining is an issue again on the green track and at low temperatures.


Usually the teams always come to Montreal with low downforce packages. However, the experience of this season has shown that recently you can no longer afford to drive with very small wings because the new Pirelli tires then do not come into the work window. Therefore, most cars will probably be equipped with familiar parts.

We only expect a larger aero package from Haas. The US racer will also drive with a hydraulically controlled rear suspension for the first time. However, the parts that come from Ferrari are brand new. Most other cars have had this technology for some time.

Most of the tension on the upgrade front in Montreal is provided by Mercedes. While Renault, Honda and Ferrari have already presented in the last races, the power upgrade on the Silver Arrow is now also coming. The customer teams Racing Point and Williams will also benefit from the Spec2 engine. We also heard from Racing Point that new coolers are to be installed for the Stroll home game.

The favorites:

As already mentioned, the Mercedes dominance in Montreal should not be quite so turn out big like in the last races. But we wouldn't bet against a win by Mercedes. The question is also whether Valtteri Bottas can counter Lewis Hamilton again after two defeats. Last season the Finn was much better than the world champion in Montreal. But with six Canadian victories, one can certainly not say that Hamilton is not on the track.

How close Ferrari will be also depends on the engine upgrade at Mercedes. If things go normally, at least the pressure from pursuers Red Bull on Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc should not be that great. But with Max Verstappen you never know. In the last 11 races, the Dutchman has always left at least one of the two Ferrari drivers behind.

In the midfield, engine performance naturally also plays an important role. In connection with the technology upgrades, this would actually speak in favor of Haas as the first point candidate. But the US racers have not always been able to cope with the tires recently. In theory, Alfa Romeo and Racing Point should also present themselves in improved form. We don't expect Renault and McLaren to be quite as strong.

This is how the race went last year:

12 months ago, the beaming winner from Montreal was still Sebastian Vettel. The Heppenheimer won the start and then left nothing to burn in an uneventful race. From the front, the Ferrari driver correctly controlled the gap to Valtteri Bottas, who crossed the line 7.3 seconds behind in second place. Incidentally, it was the 50th success for Vettel in his Formula 1 career.

In 3rd place, Max Verstappen completed the mixed podium. The Dutchman started an attack on Bottas in the first corners, but pulledback to be on the safe side. Directly behind, Daniel Ricciardo, a Red Bull driver crossed the finish line in fourth place. The Australian grabbed Kimi Raikkonen in the first few meters. During the first pit stops, he pushed past Lewis Hamilton.

Lance Stroll and Brendon Hartley provided the most spectacular scene of the race on the starting lap. Stroll pushed his competitor into the gang, knocking the Toro Rosso into the air. Both slipped into the run-off zone with their damaged racing cars. The pilots then had to go to the medical center for an examination. Hartley was even sent to the Montreal hospital for further scans.

In our gallery we show the highlights from the GP Canada 2018 again to get you in the mood.


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