Pirelli Canada Grand Prix Preview
Just two weeks after the debut of the new P Zero Purple ultrasoft tyre in Monaco, it appears again as part of exactly the same nomination for Canada: soft, supersoft and ultrasoft.
Canada however will present a number of different challenges to Monaco, with notably higher speeds and higher loads that generate more temperature and put increased energy through the tyres.
THE CIRCUIT FROM A TYRE POINT OF VIEW:
• Like Monaco, Canada is a low-grip circuit with a high degree of weekend track evolution.
• The cars reach speeds in excess of 186 mph, meaning that they tend to run low downforce.
• The track is also famous for high curbs, which provide the tyre structure with a big challenge.
• Weather conditions are variable: a factor that has led to a number of safety cars in the past.
• The hallmarks of Canada are acceleration and braking: longitudinal rather than lateral forces.
• Montreal is a semi-permanent facility, so track surfaces (and grip) can vary during the lap.
THE THREE NOMINATED COMPOUNDS:
• Yellow soft: the hardest compound in the selection, poised to play an important role in the race.
• Red supersoft: two teams have interestingly chosen not to nominate this compound at all.
• Purple ultrasoft: very popular on its Monaco debut and chosen extensively in Canada.
HOW IT WAS A YEAR AGO:
• Winner: Hamilton (one stop: started on supersoft, changed to soft on lap 32 of 70).
• Best-placed alternative strategy: Raikkonen, fourth with two stops. Started and finished the race with the supersoft tyres but did his middle stint on the soft tyre.
• The top-three finishers all used a one-stop strategy, stopping within three laps of each other.
PAUL HEMBERY, PIRELLI MOTORSPORT DIRECTOR:
“In Canada there’s the potential for some quite mixed weather conditions, as we also saw in Monaco, so this could make it a very complex race as has often been the case in the past. The compounds that we have nominated mean that there is plenty of scope for strategy, on a circuit where it’s definitely possible to overtake on the track as well. The ultrasoft made its mark when it first appeared in Monaco but Canada is a very different type of circuit with more demands on tyres. This could lead to a number of different tactics coming into play, as evidenced from the tyre choices made by each team prior to the race.”