Formula 1 | Canada Grand Prix 2017 Preview

By James Malleson

  • The 7th race of the season in Canada
  • Lewis Hamilton looking to bounce back with a win
MONTREAL, CANADA – The race is the 7th of the season as Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel will be favourites to pick up the title.




Lewis Hamilton’s Past Record

 Lewis Hamilton has an outstanding record in Canada where he has collected five titles in total and been on the podium a total of six times due to a 3rd place finish in 2013.

His first Canadian win came in 2007 in his debut season and was his first ever Formula One Grand Prix title. Hamilton started the race from pole position. Here he led the race fending off Fernando Alonso at Turn One. On lap 15 Alonso ran on the grass resulting in a bigger gap between him and the Brit. By lap 22 a safety car had been deployed but Hamilton stayed in a commanding position. He sustained his lead through all the incidents which had occurred and crossed the finish line for his debut title.

His second win came in 2010 after starting from pole position. Hamilton got off to a good start, as he led the rest of the field with Sebastian Vettel close behind. As the race progressed Mark Webber overtook Hamilton. However as the race continued, the Australian’s tyres began to degrade leaving Hamilton to chase down. The Brit took his chance and overtook to regain the lead. From here he fended off any possible chances of being overtaken to eventually cross the line first.

Hamilton will look to add to his already stellar record.


 How Does Sebastian Vettel’s Record Compare?

With just the one title to his name, it is fair to say his record is some way off Hamilton’s.

The win came in 2013 when Vettel was driving for Red Bull at the time. Vettel started from pole position and got off to a good start. After various incidents and battles, Vettel increased his lead of Alonso to claim his only win here in Canada.

His first Canadian Grand Prix came in came in 2008 when he was racing with Scuderia Toro Rosso where he finished in 8th place. This was bettered two years on where he finished in 4th place just shy of a podium place. One year on and his position improved again finishing in 2nd place narrowly missing out on claiming the title.

So while his record is far less stunning when compared with Hamilton, you can be sure he will likely improve if this season is already anything to go by.


 Gilles-Villeneuve: A Unique Circuit

Set in the city of Montreal, a buzzing atmosphere is expected as this unique circuit provides it’s unusual challenges.

So what actually makes it different from the rest? Firstly, it is the first high-speed track of the 2017 campaign. The cars are expected to exceed 186mph on four occasions around a single lap which emphasizes the traction and top speed.

Secondly, it has very few corners compared to other circuits – 14 to be exact. This means that although braking will be essential at times, there will be plenty of straights to overtake.

So who will navigate this unusual track the best?


 Brake Timing is Essential to Navigate This Track

Due to the fact that grip levels are poor due to the track surface, then braking at the right time will be important to be successful. The combined low-grip asphalt and low aerodynamic force mean that the car is much more likely to skid around making braking could be tricky especially when turning around corners.

Drivers will need to be wary of corners One and Two as these are the slowest corners on the track. They will need to brake at the right time in order to not over skid and lose control. Turn One is also the first DRS zone which means overtaking here will need to be dealt with care especially when it comes to braking at the right time.

If you can time the braking correctly then this course will be of ease.


 Minimal Run-Off Could Cause Problems

The walls are close together making life tricky if you’re a driver. This means that there is little run-off, so overtaking may be a cautious manoeuvre. This is all due to a lake on one side and river on the other so to expand the walls is not possible.

The outside of the last chicane has been called the wall of champions because so many drivers have driven into it. However, although there is little space to navigate there are two DRS zones, meaning there are places on the circuit to overtake.

The Canada Grand Prix starts on 11th June 2017 at 19:00 BST