2013 Canadian Grand Prix: Pirelli Report
Sebastian Vettel has taken his 29th career victory at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Canada, and the first at the circuit for Red Bull Racing. Vettel used a two-stop strategy to win the race and extend his championship lead, starting on the P Zero Red supersoft tyre, before switching to the P Zero White medium and completing the race with a final stint on this tyre.
Following wet conditions in qualifying, the race was entirely dry today. Even though they had a free choice of slick tyres with which to start the race, the top 10 all chose to begin on the supersoft. The softest tyre in Pirelli’s Formula One range proved to be up to a second faster than the medium with a rapid warm-up time, making it a key element of Vettel’s sprint strategy.
Force India’s Paul Di Resta was the highest-placed driver to try something different, having started from 17th on the grid with the medium tyre. The Englishman stopped just once after 56 laps on the medium compound to finish seventh. The Lotus of Romain Grosjean and the two Marussias were the only other cars to begin the race on the harder compound.
Having gathered very little experience of running on the slick compounds up to the race due to the wet weather, the teams had to adopt a flexible approach to their strategy today, with little information on relevant wear and degradation rates. As expected, both wear and degradation rates remained low.
Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “The Canadian Grand Prix was a slight step into the unknown for everybody, with track temperatures considerably higher than they had been in qualifying yesterday. Canada is one of the most challenging circuits for the rear tyres due to high traction demands– particularly after it has rained previously in the weekend, because the moisture has the effect of washing away all the rubber that has been laid down before, which decreases grip levels further. Despite that, wear and degradation was under control for all the frontrunners and there was little of the graining that is a common feature of this race as well. Mercedes still seems to be suffering from high levels of degradation with Nico Rosberg being the only driver in the top 10 having to use a three-stop strategy. While two stops was clearly the way to go, Paul Di Resta drove an excellent race to show what was possible with a one-stopper, completing 56 laps on his first set of medium tyres.
We predicted a two-stopper: starting on the supersoft, changing to the supersoft again on lap 20 and then finally to the medium on lap 40. This was not quite the strategy that Vettel followed today, with his first stop for the medium on lap 16 and his second on lap 49.