Haas F1 Team Heads North Of The Border For Canadian Grand Prix
After racing along the French Riviera in Monaco, Haas F1 Team and the rest of its counterparts in the FIA Formula One World Championship head to Montreal, home to the Canadian Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve within Parc Jean-Drapeau on the St. Lawrence River.
The 4.361-kilometer (2.710-mile), 14-turn circuit has hosted Formula One since 1978, and in its 37th grand prix to be contested June 12, it hosts 11 organizations including Haas F1 Team, the first American Formula One team in 30 years.
Haas F1 Team comes into Round 7 of the 21-race Formula One schedule eighth in the constructor standings, two points behind seventh-place McLaren and 16 points ahead of ninth-place Renault. Twenty-two points have been earned by Haas F1 Team via three point-paying finishes, the most of any new team in this millennium. When Jaguar debuted in 2000 and when Toyota came on the scene in 2002, each entity managed only two point-paying finishes in their entire first seasons for a combined total of six points.
Romain Grosjean has earned all 22 points for Haas F1 Team, but teammate Esteban Gutiérrez is poised to add to that tally. With back-to-back 11th-place finishes in Barcelona and Monaco, Gutiérrez is knocking on the door of a point-paying result.
In two career Formula One starts at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Gutiérrez has a best finish of 14th, earned in the 2014 Canadian Grand Prix. Grosjean has four career starts in the Canadian Grand Prix, and his first was his best – a second-place run in 2012. As the duo return to the most populous city in the province of Quebec, they look to return to the front-running form shown when Grosjean finished sixth in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix and fifth in Round 2 at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
An in-season test following the fifth race of the season in Barcelona allowed Haas F1 Team to further develop its racecar and come to grip, literally, with the Pirelli P Zero Purple ultrasoft tire, which made its racing debut in the Monaco Grand Prix. The ultrasoft compound is the softest tire in Pirelli’s range, with rapid warming and massive performance. It is best used on tight and twisting circuits where mechanical grip is at a premium.
Haas F1 Team is employing an aggressive tire strategy at Montreal, choosing to use just two of the three tire compounds provided by Pirelli. Only three sets of the P Zero Yellow softs have been selected for each driver, with the remaining 10 sets to each driver consisting of ultrasofts. The P Zero Red supersofts have been totally eschewed by Haas F1 Team.
The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is a semi-street circuit with long straights and tricky hairpins. It’s a low downforce track, notorious for hard-braking zones and the Wall of Champions – an unforgiving barrier on the track’s final chicane that can make world champions feel like world chumps.
It’s a challenging layout offset by Montreal’s charm, a juxtaposition highlighted by the wheel-to-wheel racing amid the remnants of Expo 67 and the 1976 Summer Olympics. And where medals were earned by Olympians from around the globe 40 years ago, Grosjean and Gutiérrez will put the pedal to the metal in pursuit of points and, potentially, a podium of their own.