1st – S as starting grid
Sebastian Vettel scored in qualifying for the Canadian GP 2018 his 54th pole position in Formula 1. But it was close – by no tenth beat the Ferrari driver Valtteri Bottas, who shares with Vettel the first row. Only in the second row starts Lewis Hamilton the place. The Mercedes star starts after a patched by carvers qualification even a place behind Max Verstappen, who proved his talent with P3 again this time.
Kimi Raikkonen and Daniel Ricciardo start the race in Montreal today from row three. With Nico Hulkenberg, Esteban Ocon, Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez complete only Renault and Force India in a nice change the top-10 while Charles Leclerc the clean sensational for the fourth time in a row in Q2 brought there 13th section and thus before the disastrous McLaren starts.
The weakest force in Canada, however, is once again Williams. However, Local Hero Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin will not start from the last row just because Marcus Ericsson crashed before he had a good lap time and this time Romain Grosjean nasty defect devil instead of groundhog the day.
2nd – S as start
The start at the Canadian GP is under an extreme point in Formula One racing calendar: the way to the braking point for the first corner is as short on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve as on any other track, just 155 meters. Accordingly, unlike in Spain or Russia, for example, it’s not wind chill, but more like the last time in Monaco, that it’s a perfect launch from the start box.
Advantage Red Bull? Unlike Mercedes and Ferrari, the Bulls start with the softer Hypersoft because they came with them in Q3. “We have softer tires at the start, so we can be competitive,” says Max Verstappen. “If the start is good, we can make up one or two positions,” Ricciardo says Motorsport-Magazin.com , “It’s hard to judge,” Kimi Raikkonen replies. Compatriot Bottas spoke of the different tires in the grid of possible “interesting” effects.
But it could also be in the front because of Max Verstappen alone. “Ferrari have consistently been the best starters this year, Red Bull has not been so good, but it’s always an advantage to start with softer tires and I think he’ll give it everything I hope (Verstappen, ed.) that he does, “says Hamilton meaningly.
Because of the short path to turn one could now think that the pole is therefore elementary in Canada. In fact, however, since the last layout change in 2002, only in eight of 15 cases, the Polesetter won – last but three times in a row by Lewis Hamilton. Daniel Ricciardo hopes that, with sixth place, the Monaco Dominator is the worst-placed top rider. But the Australian sees this with a wink: “I expect chaos tomorrow at the start in the Top 5, so I’m qualified to P6!”
3. – S like strategy
The much bigger topic than the start, however, is the strategy at the Canada GP. “All in all, the gaps between the top three teams seem to be very small, so strategy could be the key to success,” says Valtteri Bottas. And there is a lot of voltage potential here.
Background: In qualifying we once again saw different tactics. Ferrari and Mercedes arrived with Ultrasoft in Q3, Red Bull with Hypersoft, so Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen start the race with the softer and about one second per lap faster mixture. However, this breaks down faster.
However, Red Bull is the only top team to meet the Pirelli target of the theoretically fastest strategy to tackle the 70 laps on the Ile Notre Dame. This provides for a start on Hypersoft with a single tire change on Supersoft after 15 laps. However, Pirelli estimates almost as quickly the Einstopper, the Mercedes and Ferrari should plan. The tire manufacturer recommends replacing Ultrasoft with Supersoft after 25 laps.
If the tire degradation is to increase, according to Pirelli also a second stop strategy to get over in Canada because of only 18 seconds of boxing also to come into play. However, this is hardly to be expected in view of ever better grip conditions. Already in qualifying, the Hypersoft made a more stable impression than in practice, so it should not even come in as a racing tire after three laps.
In addition, the Red Bull RB14 is very gentle with the black gold anyway. Is really a Einstopper possible. Anyway, try the Milton Keynes troupe. “That’s the plan,” says Daniel Ricciardo. Max Verstappen confirms: “I think that’s a good tire for us, I felt good on the long run.” “Unless we stop in lap ten, we probably will not,” jokes Ricciardo. “But we will try a bit longer than that, we feel we are better on this tire than the others.”
That’s why Red Bull also expected the approach of Ferrari and Mercedes. Verstappen: “It was no surprise, we thought you would qualify for Ultrasoft.” But the competition sees itself closed in the advantage, whether you ask Ferrari or Mercedes – accordingly, these camps were surprised by Red Bull.
“I think the Hypersoft is not a good race tire, I’m surprised that both Red Bull pilots have chosen him,” says Sebastian Vettel. “We would not have done it if we did not think it was right,” says Kimi Raikkonen.
“We’re happy to qualify for the ultra-soft tires in Q2 and I think that’s the right choice for our car,” says Bottas. “It’s good that both cars race on the ultra-soft tires, so we hope to be in a strong starting position with plenty of strategic options for the race,” confirms Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff.
4. – S like safety car
However, all strategic considerations about the pile can also be a safety car in Canada, or the virtual variant of it. In 2018, this has already turned many Formula 1 races upside down. In Canada, the odds are even greater. In two of the last five races, the Safety Car was in action in Canada, and shortly before, in 2011, Montreal even set a new F1 record with a 30-lap Safety Car.
Only in the previous year also decided a VSC race in Canada, as Ferrari Sebastian Vettel sent by a catastrophic mistake to ruin. “In this race, incidents and safety-car phases are not uncommon and this will certainly open up some opportunities for us if we can ride in front and put pressure on the cars around us,” says Mercedes performance engineer Andrew Shovlin completely exactly how important functioning computer models are for all eventualities.
5th – S like stress test
And for the brakes. The high speeds at the end of the long straight, especially the second longest of the entire F1 season before the hard braking point at the chicane before start / finish, as well as the overall clear stop & go character of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve claim the brakes of the F1 cars like no other route. The brake discs are heating up more in Canada than anywhere else, causing Montreal to explode multiple times through technology. Households is announced.
6. – S like super weapons
Are there two in Canada? First, the already mentioned Hypersoft. With a one-second delta to the next mix, the Pirelli Super Glue offers an exquisite overtaking opportunity in Canada. After all, in Montreal can also be overtaken, unlike last in Monaco, as the Delta effect in the narrow streets completely fizzled.
“I think we should have an advantage for at least the first three laps, so if the others slip in the Dirty Air, we should be better off, which puts us in a position to be aggressive and attack,” Daniel Ricciardo hopes a storm forward from P6. But as soon as the Hypersoft advantage evaporates, the entire race strategy would be in danger: “Then we’ll probably just fall back,” fears Ricciardo.
Formula 1 2018: Advantage of Engine Upgrades in Canada ?: (07:06 mins) It will also be decisive when Race Director Charlie Whiting releases the DRS. And there are still three long zones in Montreal this year – for the first time since the premiere of the Triple-DRS in Australia. This is the second superweapon.
Anyway, Red Bull does not have such a big power disadvantage in the race trim on the straight as in qualifying. “Things get closer together in the race,” says Max Verstappen with a view to the engine modes of Mercedes and Ferrari. “That’s why we’re generally more competitive.”
7. – S like winner
But who holds the most important trump card in the end? Pace. “I think we have the pace to fight Ferrari and Mercedes,” says Max Verstappen optimistically. “The car works well, in quali we only miss the top speed, so we can do a good job again in the race,” added the Dutchman, previously with three best times in training, as the engines were also not in qualifying mode.
But the competition is not about to surrender to Red Bull. Specially Mercedes delivered on Friday excellent Longruns, also in the best times, the silver arrows were tire-adjusted much better than the result made believe the Hypersoft there after all not even one.
“We are in a good position yesterday, the Longrun yesterday was really good,” Hamilton hopes to be able to reverse his weak Saturday on Sunday. However, nobody closes their eyes to the strong opponents. “Red Bull will also be a threat to us, but it’s cool that three teams can fight for victory again,” said Valtteri Bottas.