While we wait for the lights to go out, it’s a good chance to have a little prixview of today’s race – as Jonathan Noble of Autosport correctly said “there’s a lot of excitement ahead of the race today, it’s going to a thriller and unpredictable”
So qualifying, now that was exciting in itself, by far the most exciting of the season so far with a proper battle for pole position, a bit of politics over Lewis Hamilton pushing his car to the pitlane and even the second round was close, with Force India getting both cars into the top 10 shoot out and Michael Schumacher having the lowest of his low points with 12th on the grid. Talking of the grid, here’s how they line up for today:
What next for Vettel?
Sebastian Vettel was the only driver of the top three without a smile on his face yesterday. He started off the season looking like the champion but reliability let him down when he could have had two wins. He’s been on pole position plenty of times this year, but with Webber’s stunning return to form he’s looked under pressure and last weekend’s incident in Turkey didn’t help matters at all.
Is the pressure getting to him, can he finally he answer his critics and actually overtake cars and race to victory in Montreal? That’s just one of many questions that will be answered today.
Highs and lows
Looking beyond the top three; Chandhok didn’t look too happy on Saturday – he’s at the back once again in the Hispania and had a five place penalty for changing his gearbox – coupled with limited running at the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit, he’s far from chuffed so far this weekend. If he can make it to the finish line today, at least he’ll have something to smile about.
On the other end of the spectrum, Tonio Liuzzi was rightly super chuffed with his career best 6th on the grid in the Force India, no doubt helped by the Mercedes power in the back at a circuit which rewards high top speed down it’s many straights.
Thankfully, with the loss of re-fueling and the sprint style races of 2009 and before, today’s Canadian Grand Prix will no doubt highlight the benefits of tyre-dependent strategy. The soft tyres degrade rapidly on the greasy tarmac and the hard tyres won’t last the entire race according to Bridgestone, so for the first time this season we are likely to see more than one pit stop and some drivers dashing for soft tyres towards the end of the race – it’s back to the Mansell/Piquet/Senna says – hurrah!
Canada is famous for it’s safety cars with an average of two per grand prix there – with the concrete walls and lack of run off areas, it’s nothing but certain that the rather smart Mercedes car will be out today. This will no doubt have and effect on pit stop strategy and give some teams an advantage if the timing’s right – on the flipside, it could destroy someone’s strategy if they call it wrong.
There have been plenty of incidents off the line in Montreal – the start runs quickly in to a sharp left and then a long right hander – with all the cars creating concertina effect when braking – we’re likely to see a few broken front or rear wings after the lights go out. This could definitely help Chandhok if he stays calm off the line and lets the others slip up ahead.
So, who are you looking at for the in today? Let us know what you think ahead of the start in the comments below…