Monaco marked the first appearance of the purple marked ultrasoft Pirelli tyre at a race weekend. Introduced at the start of this season and initially billed as a qualifying tyre, the compound seems decidedly similar to a supersoft in both pace and longevity. An assertion supported by Haas and Renault’s decision to take just soft and ultrasoft tyres to the Canadian Grand Prix, avoiding the supersoft completely.
After the disappointment of having victory snatched from his grasp in Monaco, Lewis Hamilton responded in fine fashion, taking victory in a tense game of cat and mouse at the head of the field with teammate Nico Rosberg. The gap may have fluctuated but ultimately, it seemed as though the championship leader was in control of proceedings. Elsewhere, Valtteri Bottas claimed his first podium of the season, demoting Ferrari off of the rostrum for the first time this season. While some commentators suggested that the race lacked the typical Canadian sparkle, I beg to differ.
After finishing at the bottom of the pile in FP3, Lewis Hamilton reversed his fortunes in fine style this afternoon, claiming his 44th career pole and his 4th in Montreal. The Briton took the spoils by a substantial margin of three tenths over teammate Nico Rosberg, who, despite looking strong throughout the day, grappled with a lack of rear grip in the final segment and was unable to challenge his teammate’s supremacy. Some of the leading stories of the day, however, played out in the opening eighteen minutes of qualifying, as power problems for Felipe Massa and Sebastian Vettel saw them both fall at the Q1 stage.
A fortnight on from the Monaco debacle which cost him a race victory, Lewis Hamilton has arrived in Canada with intent. The Briton attacked the circuit today, topping the timesheet in both sessions and experiencing a handful of excursions along the way. In what was a truncated FP2 session – rain effected for the second race weekend in succession – Mercedes were the only team to take a gamble on the wet track and with Hamilton’s day ending in the Turn Eight barriers, their rivals decision to remain in the garage was somewhat vindicated.
The F1 tour bus parks in Montreal this weekend, as the Circuit de Gilles Villeneuve prepares to host the Canadian Grand Prix for the 32nd time. The track, encapsulated in the picturesque setting of a man-made island, has certainly delivered some spectacular action over the years, with its characteristics conducive of excellent racing – long straights, followed by slow corners and kerbs which reward bravery – it is a formula which almost invariably delivers.