In the middle of the huge tyre testing fiasco concerning Pirelli and Mercedes, there is actually a Grand Prix this weekend as F1 shoots over to Canada before heading back to complete the European races. Let’s take a look back at Monaco, talk about the testing argument and put some predictions down for Canada.

F1: Canadian Grand Prix Preview

Monaco F1 Recap

I’m not sure about everyone else but I found the race extremely hard to get into. It felt like it lasted for days with all the safety cars and the red flag. In the middle of that is was pretty much as expected, a procession around the streets of Monaco with the odd risky overtake thrown in. In fact, possibly the best bit about Sunday was Martin Brundle asking a random woman on the grid walk how you get to be on the Monaco Grid.

The closing stages of the race typified Monaco for me really, a collision between Raikkonen and Perez saw the Finn with a rear puncture and Perez with severe wing damage. Despite dropping over ten seconds behind the car in front in less than a lap, still no-one behind these two could actually conjure up an overtake so what chance did the front runners have of overtaking each other without huge risk with only a tenth or two between their lap times?

Monaco came at a perfect time for Mercedes, they knew they could put at least one car on the front row in qualifying and even with their previous tyre degradation issues, it was unlikely that anyone could pass them without serious driver error. This was indeed the case for Nico Rosberg who produced the first win of the season for Mercedes and what would have been a one-two finish had Hamilton not been jumped by Vettel and Webber under the safety car (does anyone actually know why/how this happened!?). Speaking of timing, news of the “secret” tyre test that Mercedes had performed for Pirelli surfaced on the race weekend and official complaints were made before the race started. This coinciding with Mercedes’ first win would have looked even worse had it not been Monaco and the fact that you could not really tell if their degradation had improved or not.

mercedes-pirelli-tyre-row

Canadian Grand Prix Preview

All eyes will be on Mercedes this weekend as the tyre test complaint has been passed onto the independent international tribunal and if Mercedes have improved tyre degradation on Sunday, it will raise big question marks regardless of whether it has anything to do with the test. Hamilton is the favourite here for me, he has an outstanding record at this track and has already said that Mercedes should be in good shape which differs from his cautious approach in the previous races. Lewis is writing a blog for the BBC on the Friday of every race day which I would urge checking out and has said that his current problem is getting acquainted with the Mercedes so he feels comfortable with his late breaking style. It is clear that Lewis feels he has much more pace to get out of the car and if he can find some this weekend, he may be unstoppable. After the win in Monaco, Rosberg will also be looking for another solid performance and a front row lock out could be possible again in qualifying.

Fernando Alonso was mysteriously off the pace in Monaco and it will be very interesting to see what Ferrari come up with in Canada; was Monaco just a blip or have the other teams found some serious gains in performance and left Ferrari standing? With a strong second and third place finish for Red Bull last time out, we will hopefully see whether improvements have been made in tyre degradation so the Red Bull can unleash the race pace they believe they have.

The weather isn’t looking great for the weekend with a cold and wet track for practice on Friday, the forecast should be dry for race day but there may still be a damp track with a spot or two of rain for qualifying which could really shake up the grid.

Race Predictions

  1. Lewis Hamilton
  2. Sebastian Vettel
  3. Kimi Raikkonen
  4. Nico Rosberg
  5. Fernando Alonso

Despite the Finn behind me at work being convinced that Kimi will win this weekend, I have only got him down for the final spot on the podium. A wet qualifying could really derail the Mercedes qualifying train and we aren’t sure what race pace and tyre wear the Mercedes and Red Bulls will have on Sunday. The pace of the Ferrari is also an unknown at this stage which should make for an interesting race.

The Canadian Grand Prix is live on the BBC and Sky, here are the times:
Qualifying – Green light – 18:00
BBC 1 – 17:00 – 19:10
Sky F1 – 17:00 – 19:45

Race – Lights out – 19:00
BBC 1 – 16:15 – 21:10
Sky F1 – 17:30 – 22:00

Agree, don’t agree? Let me know below!


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