This weekend will see the Canadian Grand Prix race as the ninth round of the 2022 Formula 1 World Championships.
The Canadian nation, which houses Montreal’s Circuit Giles Villanuev, has not been on the calendar since 2019 due to the Covid restrictions, but fortunately is now behind us.
The 2.71-mile track is built along the road around Notre-Dame, an artificial island on the St. Lawrence River, and offers action-packed races. Overtaking is relatively easy, speed is high and cars are pushed to their limits.
The layout consists of long straights that are consistently interrupted by smooth and slow angles, which makes it similar to the Baku City Circuit of the previous round. Consequently, finding the right setup involves finding a good compromise that provides stability under braking and excellent traction, without neglecting an important detail of this track, such as the need to be able to ride on relatively long carbs.
Circuit Giles Villeneuve, home of the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix
Vehicles tend to run in low downforce aero configurations in favor of straight-line speeds that can exceed 186 miles per hour at the end of the straight. This lack of downforce leads to some instability in the angle and therefore, the mechanical grip through the tire is more important than usual.
Although the surface of the track has traditionally been quite smooth, the tire erosion tends to be higher due to the constant cycles of heavy braking and heavy acceleration, something that teams need to be aware of. Pirelli has chosen its softest compound in the range: C3 is the white hard, C4 is the yellow medium and C5 is the red soft. In 2019, the winning strategy was One-Stopper: Starting from Medium and Finishing Strictly.
Another reason to pay attention to the weather is that it can be quite variable, with cool temperatures and rainfall very common, even in summer. As a result of the cold weather and track conditions, the tires get some granules, which hurts the grip, especially at the beginning of the weekend. Looking at the forecast, we can see light rain during Saturday’s qualifiers but Sunday’s race should be dry.
Over the weekend, Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstapen leads the 2022 Drivers’ Championship with 150 points. Associate Red Bull driver Sergio Perez is second with 129 points and Ferrari’s Charles Lecler is third with 116 points. In the Constructors Championship, the Red Bulls are 279 points ahead of Ferrari 199 and Mercedes 161 points. The latest winner in Canada was Lewis Hamilton, driving a Mercedes.