This F1 season is currently in uncharted territory with different winners for all 6 races. Will the season continue to have different winners with Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen and Michael Schumacher possible to become the 7th winner in 2012?
The 2012 Canadian Grand Prix will be held on 8, 9 and 10 June 2012 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal. The circuit length is 4.361 km with a total number of 70 laps which make a race distance of 305.27 km. The circuit was renamed after Canadian racing driver Gilles Villeneuve who died in 1982 after an accident during the final qualifying session of Belgian Grand Prix. One of the famous part of the circuit is the final corner (Turn 13) known as the “Wall of Champions” where many former World Champions had crashed here. The circuit is a stop-start, temporary circuit with long straights and some slow corners which depend a lot on brakes and tyres traction. P Zero Yellow soft and P Zero Red super-soft tyres had been allocated for this circuit and they are the same tyre compounds used in Monaco last month.
As of the technical aspects, the circuit can be considered to have no high speed corners. The main focus is to gain a high straight line speed by reducing aerodynamic drag. So, a low downforce set up will be suitable here. However, given that it is one of the most demanding circuit in terms of braking, a low downforce car will be less stable under heavy braking. Besides, the braking energies are very high due to braking events from about 300 km/h causing the brake wear to be very high in this circuit. The circuit is also very bumpy and is difficult for the cars to find traction, stressing the rear tyres the most, easily causing wheelspin which is a main factor of tyre wear. At the final corner, tyres take serious punishment due to the impact with the kerbs at about 130 km/h. Engines are running at full throttle for 60% of the circuit with the longest full throttle section for 14 seconds. This will put a lot of stress on the engines’ reliability.
Mercedes primary priority is to give Michael Schumacher a problem-free weekend in Montreal. Mercedes car is expected to suit the nature of the circuit. McLaren is going for a win on the race weekend. Button will be focusing to fix his qualifying problems while Hamilton will be focusing on another clean weekend to score more consistent world championship points. Sauber will bring in a new rear wing for the medium downforce requirement and some minor modifications on the cars. Kimi Raikkonen believes Lotus car is competitive and is confident that he will have a good weekend in Montreal. Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery says : “Tyres have traditionally played a very important role in this race, especially if it rains. We saw how being on the right tyre at the right time enabled Jenson Button to win the Canadian Grand Prix last year even after six visits to the pit lane. We’ve not yet had experience of running the supersoft in Canada under normal conditions. The practice sessions will be vital for the teams to understand how exactly it works on full tanks in particular. We think we will see several different strategies at work, with teams likely to split their strategies in order to cover every possibility.”
Lap Record : 1:13.622 – Rubens Barrichello (2004)
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