Can Daniel Ricciardo fight back? Is Lewis Hamilton’s championship charge on? Can Ferrari turn around a disappointing first 6 races with a win at Canada? How will McLaren Honda fare this year at Canada?
History of the Canada GP
The circuit Gilles-Villeneuve is one of my favourite races on the F1 calendar. The track held its first race in 1978 and it was by Gilles Villeneuve, the only Canadian to win the Canadian GP to date. The circuit is narrow and is protected by concrete walls. Mistakes are often so the Safety car make a regular appearance. The circuit has played host to some incredible and unpredictable races.
One key corner on the track is the final chicane which features the notorious “Wall of Champions” on its exit.The “Wall of Champions” was named this after the race in 1999 where Damon Hill, Michael Schumacher and Jacques Villeneuve all crashed during the race. Since then, the wall has also claimed other driver including Nico Rosberg, Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel.
Maiden wins at Canada
- Gilles Villeneuve (1978)
- Lewis Hamilton (2007)
- Robert Kubica (2008)
- Daniel Ricciardo (2014)
- Laps: 70
- Circuit length:
- Race distance: 305.27 km
- Lap record: 1:13:622, Rubens Barrichello, 2004
- Corners: 14
Michael Schumacher has the most wins round here win 7 spanning from 1994 to 2004. Lewis Hamilton has 4 wins round here including his maiden win in 2007. He also won in 2010, 2012 and in 2015. Out of the current grid, except Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo have also won here won here once each.
Ferrari and McLaren are tied with 13 wins each here with Ferrari’s last win in 2004 and McLaren’s last win in 2012. Williams are next on 7 wins with their last win back in 2001. Red Bull have only 2 wins here with both in 2013 and in 2014.
Ricciardo on a mission!
The last two grand prixs have not gone Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo way. Ricciardo qualified 3rd in Spain and when both Mercedes cars of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton crashed out, he took the lead. Red Bull split strategies on both Ricciardo and Max Verstappen which saw Verstappen eventually winning the race. Ricciardo ended up a distant 4th place after a puncture only a couple of laps before the end. Ricciardo came into Monaco with the B-spec Renault power unit and fastest in practice 2. He took pole position ahead of Hamilton and Rosberg. Hamilton and Ricciardo battled but when Ricciardo came into the pits, his tyres were not ready. He was left there until his mechanics brought out and fitted his tyres. He finished 2nd behind Hamilton. Ricciardo took his maiden win here in 2014, can he win here on Sunday?
Ferrari have to step up!
So far this season, Ferrari have been so far disappointing. If its their fault or not, it has been a bad start to the season. We were given so much hope during and after pre season testing that the Italian squad would be able to challenge Mercedes nearly all the time. So far that has not worked. Ferrari have only gotten both cars of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen twice to the finish out of 6 races. Ferrari were heavily criticised after the Spanish GP where Raikkonen finished 2nd and Vettel 3rd. They really should have done better considering that both Mercedes cars collided on the first lap. But they didn’t and Raikkonen ended up behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. Can Ferrari turn around their form and win at Canada?
Change in form for McLaren?
McLaren Honda endured one of their worst performances of the year here at Canada last year. Both cars of Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button retired and both were told to save fuel frequently during the race. So far this year, results have improved including Alonso’s 5th place at the last race in Monaco. For Canada, Button and Alonso will run an updated Turbo charger. Honda have spent two development tokens this weekend and have 12 tokens remaining to use for the rest of the season.
Qualifying is on Saturday the 11th of June with the Race on Sunday the 12th of June.