- The Canadian Grand Prix is back for the first time since 2019 due to COVID travel restrictions.
- The popular spot on the F1 calendar ended in controversy last time out as Lewis Hamilton finished second but won.
- Porpoising is the big storyline this year, but the rebound shouldn’t be as bad as in Azerbaijan.
The Canadian Grand Prix is back for the first time since 2019, with the 2020 and 2021 races axed due to the country’s COVID immigration restrictions.
Below, we take a look at what you need to know about this year’s Round 9 race in Montreal.
When are the qualifications and the race:
Workout 1 — Friday, 2:00 p.m. ET
Practice 2 — Friday, 5:00 p.m. ET
Workout 3 — Saturday, 1:00 p.m. ET
Qualifying — Saturday, 4:00 p.m. ET
Race — Sunday, 2:00 p.m. ET
How to get tickets:
All grandstand and general admission tickets are sold on GPCanada.ca. However, there are a limited number of tickets available in certain terrace sections.
In the secondary ticket market, Sunday tickets start at $250 and three-day general admission tickets are around $300.
This week’s tires:
Pirelli will bring C3, C4 and C5 tires to Montrealthe mildest compounds in its portfolio.
After the first three races of the season, Max Verstappen fell 46 points behind Charles Leclerc. However, since then the defending champion has won four out of five races and is now 34 points clear of the Ferrari driver. Sergio Perez’s recent form has also propelled him ahead of Leclerc, but still 21 points behind Red Bull team-mate Verstappen.
Meanwhile, George Russell has quietly finished in the top five in every race this season and is just one win away from making it an intriguing four-driver race for the title. Sainz and Hamilton would each need a miracle at this point.
- Max Verstappen, Red Bull, 150 points
- Sergio Perez, Red Bull, 129
- Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, 116
- George Russell, Mercedes, 99
- Carlos Sainz, Ferrari, 83 years old
- Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 62
Since Red Bull resolved its reliability issues at the start of the season, each event has lasted two days.
Charles LeClerc continued to dominate the qualifying sessions, taking pole in six rounds and starting on the front row in all eight. But after winning two of the first three races, he hasn’t won anything since: he had to abandon his car twice and only finished on the podium once (P2 in Miami).
However, on race day it became the Red Bull and Max Verstappen show. Since failing to finish two of the first three races, Verstappen has finished on the podium in five consecutive races, winning four.
As a result, the two Red Bull drivers are betting favorites (via Covers.com):
- Max Verstappen, Red Bull-120
- Sergio Perez, Red Bull +275
- Charles Leclerc, Ferrari +333
- Carlos Sainz, Ferrari +1,400
- George Russell, Mercedes +3,300
- Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes +3,300
To monitor :
1. How will the pilots’ corps react?
In what could be the most grueling part of the 2022 F1 calendar, this year’s Canadian GP takes place just seven days after the Azerbaijan GP, which is 5,500 miles (9,000 km) away and 15 flight hours from Montreal.
To make matters worse, the Baku race was the most grueling of the season as it turned out to be a perfect storm of factors that cause ‘porpoising’ – where Formula 1 cars start bouncing when they reach high speeds. Lewis Hamilton couldn’t get out of his car after the race due to back pain, and Daniel Ricciardo said he couldn’t speak highly enough of it and compared it to being dribbled over the head by a player of the NBA.
Will Montreal get better? Maybe. However, like Baku, Montreal is a bumpy track with long straights. Hopefully the engineers will be able to take the pressure off a bit, but don’t be surprised if riders are still complaining about back pain after the race.
2. What strategies will the teams use?
The Canadian Grand Prix is generally a single-strategy race. However, three years have passed since the last race, the track has undoubtedly changed and the Pirelli tires are new.
So there’s a lot of mystery surrounding this year’s race, as noted by Pirelli motorsport director Mario Isola (via The Checkered Flag).
“Canada will pose a number of question marks for the teams,” Isola said. “The weather is often changeable, all previous data is three years old, and we have a completely different range of tires with new compounds and structures on a track that is hardly ever used, which will lead to a very high degree of devolution.”
Even in 2019, when it was less of a mystery, we saw all three tire compounds early in the race.
3. Will Ferrari regain its dominance on race day?
Since Charles Leclerc finished second in Miami, he has failed to complete two races and a failed pit strategy cost him a chance to win in Monaco.
Ferrari always has the fastest cars. If Leclerc can continue his dominance in qualifying and if he can find his way to the end, the race could be his to lose.
4. Can Mercedes finally strike the right balance and join the hunt?
George Russell has finished every race in the top five despite a season-long car Mercedes hasn’t quite done with.
The team seems stuck in no man’s land: their issues are big enough that they can’t compete with Red Bull and Ferrari, but they’re close enough to think they don’t need a major overhaul of the car.
If Mercedes can finally strike the right balance to tame the car’s rebounds without losing speed, there are still plenty of races for Russell to make a charge in the championship.
- Charles Leclerc
- Max Verstappen
- george russell
What happened the last time F1 was in Montreal:
Even though it was only three years ago, the grid was very different.
The 2019 Canadian Grand Prix was one of the most controversial in recent memory as Lewis Hamilton finished second but took the win.
Then-Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel led late in the race but were handed a 5-second penalty for forcing Hamilton off the track. So all Hamilton had to do was finish within five seconds of Vettel, which he did, and he was awarded P1.
This led to Vettel’s famous moment of post-race rebellion when he changed the first and second place car markers.
—Formula 1 (@F1) June 16, 2022
Lost in controversy was that iconic Guenther Steiner moment when he had to interrupt one of his engineers to berate Kevin Magnussen for complaining too much about the car.
—Cork Gaines (@CorkGaines) June 15, 2022