Welcome to the seventh round of the 2013 Formula One World Championship season, at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. After a two week hiatus, the teams return to racing – this time in North America – to fight for glory on the circuit that runs around the Ile Notre-Dame island. Despite failing to secure victory in Monaco, Sebastian Vettel enters the seventh round with an increased lead over closest championship challenger Kimi Raikkonen. The Finn and third-place driver Fernando Alonso sit 21 and 29 points adrift respectively.
Previous winners of the Canadian Grand Prix include Lewis Hamilton (2012, 2010 and 2007), Jenson Button (2011), Fernando Alonso (2006) and Kimi Raikkonen (2005).
Monaco Grand Prix Recap
Nico Rosberg secured Mercedes’s first victory of 2013 ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber. After running second for much of the early part of the race, Lewis Hamilton lost out during the first safety car period and was relegated to fourth.
Adrian Sutil delivered the goods for Force India, ahead of McLaren’s Jenson Button.
Fernando Alonso struggled for pace throughout the event, eventually drifting back through the field and finishing a distant seventh.
Jean-Eric Vergne managed his best result of 2013, making it into Q3 for the first time this season and coming home on Sunday with four points.
After a disappointing Saturday, Paul di Resta recovered to finish ninth after two safety car periods and a red flag.
A late-race altercation with Sergio Perez sent Kimi Raikkonen to the pits to replace a puncture, but three audacious overtakes on the final lap scored the Lotus driver the final points position.
For the second time in 2013, Pirelli will be supplying teams with the Super Soft and Medium compound for the weekend. This combination was last seen at the Australian Grand Prix, six races ago. Degradation around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve should be expected to be much greater than was seen in Monaco, so expect strategies to be more varied than were seen two weeks ago.
Due to the number of low-speed corners, rear tyre wear is often greater than usual in Canada. Teams will demand more of the tyres than usual this weekend – the low downforce packages generally run on the cars each year result in all direction changes being mostly reliant on the tyres rather than aerodynamics.
Paul Hembery, Motorsport Director at Pirelli, said of this weekend’s outlook,
“We’d expect two to three pit stops per car, but we’ll only be able to make a precise forecast after Friday,” He said.
“Because of the high degree of tyre wear and degradation, we would expect to see a number of different strategies at work, as was the case last year.”
Drag Reduction System
The Drag Reduction System will be available to drivers between the corners 10 and 12, as well as between 13 and one. As with previous years, there will be two individual detection points.
Heavy cloud cover is expected all weekend, with rain most likely earlier in the weekend. With degradation levels expected to be higher than in Monaco, rain might yet allow Mercedes the opportunity to shine in Montreal.