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Formula One

2018 Canadian Grand Prix Preview

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Momentum? According to Lewis Hamilton, the Drivers’ Championship is now a three-way race between himself, Daniel Ricciardo, and Sebastian Vettel. Congratulations, Mr. Honey Badger, you have arrived.

Needs A Good Run? Lance Stroll of Montreal deserves a good run in front of the hometown crowd. He has scored the only Williams points this year at a single race.

In Our Last Episode? Ricciardo defended his pole position at Monaco while driving a car with limited capabilities.

Sentimental Favorite?  Lewis Hamilton is one of the most popular F1 drivers in Canada, having won north of the border six times before, including last year.

Challenges? The race will continue contractually through 2024 and remains popular, ranking one year as the third largest sporting event in the world. So, it’s really about continuing to cough up the money Formula One demands to keep it going.

Quotes:

“I think it’s only just really sinking in that I won the Monaco Grand Prix and crossing the line after such a challenging race felt amazing. My name is on the board now and it feels good to win the most iconic F1 race there is. After winning in Monaco it’s awesome to be going straight to another street circuit that I love. It’s definitely one of my favourite races of the year, both because of the track and also the city of Montreal itself. The city is just awesome. I’ve had some mixed results in the race but I did win my first Grand Prix there in 2014 and had a podium last year. We’ve got some new updates coming, it’s the hypersoft tyre again, the chassis is running sweet, so we could be looking alright. Hopefully we can have another strong weekend and start chasing down the championship leaders.” Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Driver

“It’s certainly a different circuit, quite similar to Melbourne in a way, as it’s a mix of a street and a permanent track. The circuit is usually dirty with leaves and even wildlife during the early parts of the weekend and that makes it a bit of a challenge to get up to speed. I quite like the section between Turns 4, 5, 6 and 7. The walls are close and you have to find the rhythm through there to get it right and ride over the kerbs.” Carlos Sainz, Renault driver

“The Montreal circuit is definitely one of my favourite tracks and it’s a fantastic event. The atmosphere in the city is great: the whole of Montreal becomes a giant motorsport festival. You feel the energy and excitement everywhere in the city. I always say I like chicanes and that’s almost all you have in Montreal. It’s a challenging and very technical track and I really enjoy driving on it. My favourite corner is the final chicane, with the Wall of Champions so close to you. It’s a very tricky corner and it’s very easy to get it wrong. Last year we had a really good weekend in Montreal, fighting with the Ferraris and coming away with a good result. We seem to do well on tracks like this so hopefully we can continue to score points and keep our momentum going.” Esteban Ocon, Force India driver

“We’re all looking forward to Canada and to putting some new parts on the car, getting back into our normal shape, and getting back in the fight for points. [Canada’s] kind of a low-speed track with a lot of chicanes and big braking zones. It’s a bit bumpy in places, but there are good opportunities for overtaking… It usually offers up a very interesting race. There’s lots of great places around Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. The most famous one is the last chicane, and it’s a really challenging part of the track… You’ve done almost the whole lap, and if you’re on a good lap, there’s lots of pressure to get this part right, as well. It’s always a corner where if you haven’t got a perfect lap, you can try and make it up in that last chicane. If you’re on a good lap, you might not want to take as much risk in that last chicane. So, it’s a really interesting part of the track. I’m just glad we’re out of [Monaco], and I can’t wait to go to Montreal and get back into the fight.” Kevin Magnussen, Haas driver

“While Monaco was the first appearance for the new hypersoft, we can almost consider Montreal to be the real debut for this tyre, as Monaco is completely atypical. The track surface at Montreal is actually quite smooth, but we should still see more than one pit stop due to the combination of the softest tyre nomination that we have ever brought to Canada, and a more demanding track layout than Monaco In the past, there has been an extremely wide variety of strategies seen at this race, and the arrival of the hypersoft should now open up those possibilities still further. In reality, nobody knows exactly how it will perform in Canada in terms of wear and degradation, so the homework done during free practice will be more important than ever.” Mario Isola, Head of Car Racing, Pirelli

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularOpenWheel.com, its owners, management, or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

Lisa Davidson

Lisa Davidson is a graduate of the University of Arizona and spent her corporate career as a Controller. She is a lifelong writer who has been covering open wheel racing since 2000 and is the author of historical articles and co-author of one book She and her husband, photographer Jeff Davidson, have two daughters and make their home in Murrieta, CA.

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