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Mercedes are still far and away the top dog in Formula 1

Formula 1 Comes To Canada As The Battle Between Hamilton and Rosberg Heats Up

Drafting the Circuits

Formula 1 Report

Canadian Grand Prix Preview

By Steve Aibel

@steveaibel

With the Monaco Grand Prix now in the rear view mirror, Formula 1 brings the drama of the battle between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg to North American shores. As the paddock gathers in Montreal, Nico Rosberg has inducted a title storm that should make for a great summer of racing as F1 moves through Europe.

Rosberg was essentially gifted a win in Monaco which he acknowledged. But it’s now in the books as his third in a row at the fabled track and his second in a row this season. This places Rosberg just 10 points behind Lewis Hamilton for the Drivers’ Championship and for the first time this season we see just how competitive the battle is at Mercedes.

Canada will bring a challenge vastly different than Monaco. The slow, single-lane freight train will be replaced by long straights and very hard braking zones. The long straights interspersed by chicanes will showcase medium-low downforce trim for this first time this season. In contrast to Monza, where the straights are long, the straights of Montreal are shorter and offer less chance to cool the brakes. This makes the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve perhaps the hardest test of binders throughout the season. Suspension is also a challenge as the cars must be supple enough to handle the curbs, but stiff enough to deal with the many quick, rapid changes of direction.

Grand Prix Week in Montreal

Grand Prix Week in Montreal

So Canada is essentially, brakes, set up and power!

The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is one generally liked by the drivers. Last years winner, Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, describes it as a track where the pilots can be aggressive, especially over the curbs. With barriers, such as the fabled Wall of Champions at turn 15, present to punish over-aggressive racers, Canada puts a premium on controlled aggression and outright power.

Circuit Gilles Villenueve

Circuit Gilles Villenueve

This combination of traits should result in Mercedes, again, being the dominant team in Montreal. Last year, Mercedes experienced brake issues in Canada that seemed to result from a problem with the MGU-K in both cars. Given that brakes might be the only problem that Mercedes will experience this year, Canada could be a circuit where another team has a chance at upsetting the favorites.

 

Ferrari would be that team. The Scuderia had originally entertained using some of its 10 engine development

Mercedes are still far and away the top dog in Formula 1

Mercedes are still far and away the top dog in Formula 1

tokens for the Canada race, but in Monaco, team principal Maurizio Arrivabene ruled against that strategy. Mercedes on the other hand, does plan on bringing an upgraded power unit, which should benefit Mercedes as well as Lotus, Force India and Williams.

Lotus should benefit from the Mercedes upgraded engine in Canada

Lotus should benefit from the Mercedes upgraded engine in Canada

Jenson Button, who scored McLaren’s first points in Monaco, has expressed that in Canada it will not be as easy to secure points. Although the team has made significant progress during each outing, the Honda engine may not be quite up to the power demands of the Canada circuit.

Since Canada is a race close to our home event at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, it is time to start looking at the 2016 American entry of Haas F1 Team and it’s search for a driver. Word is starting to circulate. Haas F1 Team has said they plan to announce their drivers by September.

As a new entry, an experienced driver who can provide detailed feedback is an essentially part of the personnel puzzle for Haas F1. Gene Haas has mentioned that he would love to have an American behind the wheel of 1 of his 2 cars. Gunther Steiner, team principal, at Haas F1 has said they are looking at American drivers but being American does not automatically secure a ride.

Alexander Rossi would seem to be the most likely candidate from the American perspective. He currently is the only American driver to possess the required F1 Superlicense. He also is doing very well in GP2 this season with Racing Engineering, occupying second place in the driver standings. Rossi also has experience in F1 with both Caterham and Marussia so he should certainly be in the equation.

Rossi is the prime candidate for the Haas F1 ride

Rossi is the prime candidate for the Haas F1 ride

Gene Haas has also mentioned that he is looking for an experienced driver and there are many in the paddock that have been linked with the Haas ride. Currently, Esteban Gutierrez, Nico Hulkenberg, Sergio Perez, Jenson Button and Romain Grosjean have all been mentioned as potential candidates to join the Haas F1 entry. We will watch this story like an anxious hawk awaiting his next meal.

Given that Canada is practically a home race for the Haas team, I would expect to hear some questions this week about the Haas F1 entry for 2016.

Drivers’ Championship

  1. Lewis Hamilton 126
  2. Nico Rosberg 116
  3. Sebastian Vettel 98
  4. Kimi Raikkonen 60
  5. Valtteri Bottas 42
  6. Felipe Massa 39
  7. Daniel Ricciardo 35
  8. Daniil Kvyat 17
  9. Romain Grosjean 16
  10. Felipe Nasr 16
  11. Sergio Perez 11
  12. Carlos Sainz Jr. 9
  13. Nico Hulkenberg 6
  14. Max Verstappen 6
  15. Marcus Ericsson 5
  16. Jenson Button 4

 

Constructors’ Championship

  1. Mercedes 242
  2. Ferrari 158
  3. Williams 81
  4. Red Bull 52
  5. Sauber 21
  6. Force India 17
  7. Lotus 16
  8. Toro Rosso 15
  9. McLaren 4
  10. Manor/Marussia 0

One comment

  1. Steve, I enjoyed the article, from start to finish you give us a Complete run down in every article. Thank you & DTC for keeping us informed!

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