Grand Prix 2011 Canadian Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.

With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!

From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

Thought this might be useful if you wanted to sing along to the Canadian National Anthem before the start of the race.

Anyway, on to the Grand Prix, after all that’s what we’re here for. Last year Bridgestone provided tyres, which didn’t like the surface at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve too much, and the powers that be in F1 thought “ah, ha here’s an idea to spice up the racing. Why don’t we ask those blokes at Pirelli if they can make sets of boots for F1 cars that fall apart on the warm up lap”, and they did.

In 2010 Hamilton put his car on pole (you may recall him pushing his car back to the pits, so light was it on fuel) and then went on to win an exciting race with teammate Jenson Button standing on the 2nd step.

So what for Canada 2011? Red Bull, at least car No.1, has been a tad difficult to beat but McLaren and Ferrari are getting closer during the race. With 5 wins out of 6 races Vettel has a healthy lead in the Championship and some bookmakers are already paying out on the title being his. Vettel was 3rd on the grid last year, behind teammate Webber, and finished 4th with unspecified gearbox problems, still ahead of Webber who had led for many laps but got caught out by the high tyre wear rate.

Fernando Alonso was 3rd last time out in Canada after getting mugged by a hard charging Jenson Button. Mercedes had a mixed race, Rosberg was “best of the rest” behind the McLaren’s, Alonso’s Ferrari and the Red Bull’s whilst Michael Schumacher treated the race like a destruction derby, straight lining chicanes and bouncing off other cars with gay abandon. What of Felipe Massa I hear you ask; well, he was one of Schumacher’s victims and lost time pitting for a new nose cone.

This is very nearly the last Hurrah for the exhaust blown diffuser and we have two, yes 2, DRS zones. So expect cars breezing past another before and after the pits, when they’re not in their getting new tyres of course.

Will it be another Red Bull walk over or can the McLaren’s and Ferrari’s tame the charging Bull? How will the Pirelli tyres hold up dusty and bumpy Ille Notre-Dame Circuit? Will it rain? Who will win? Can one of the minor teams struggle up into the points? I don’t know but I get the feeling there will be lots of speculation.

And we have our own track side reporter this year - take a bow Ray in Toronto and make sure you post some good photos

For Galahad’s excellent circuit write up, track history and all the stats a boy or girl could want click here
With two DRS zones...I think anyone that gets within in a second on the Red Bull in one of these straights then Red Bull dudes will be goners.

I for one hope there isn't 4 pitstops or more, but I think it may be the case due to the track nature.

I also hope cars don't breeze past each other like we saw in Malaysia, China and Turkey.
Hamilton for pole. If we don't get this I'll be sorely dissapointed as I find Q3 on Saturday a bit dull now, just seeing if Alonso or Hamilton/Button can beat Webber and snatch P2. I predict Vettel will have an engine failure due to the high stress on engines/brake failure due to the long straights. Not sure on how the 2 DRS zones will go down but hopefully it won't be too easy to pass. Do we know if any teams are taking large upgrades to Canada?
Yes! My home Grand Prix!

I've been to the race many times. I was there last year...and lost my voice. I clearly recall Kubica blasting by me in an effort to pass Schumacher and raising the grass when the German leaned hard on the Pole...but i'd already lost my voice by then!

I'll be there again. On the Saturday morning...straight to Gilles Villeneuve on the Ile Notre Dame - a circuit i've driven on the Monday of the 1994 GP - from my 1h 10m airplane ride from Toronto! Can't wait! This year there's little chance of a Vettel win. The RBR is best on high speed sweeping bends and there's virtually none here. It's all high-speed straights - which should be loved by McLaren's Mercedes engines - and tight hairpins and medium speed corners.

The Mercedes cars will be in tyre trouble with the Super-Softs (see my article from earlier here: ... ...but Kobayashi and Perez might get lots of lower-to-mid end points as Sauber likely try to 1-Stop like Perez did in Australia and Koba-san the other day at Monaco.

In theory, this race should be a fight between McLaren and Ferrari with Vettel probably being happy with 3rd or 4th or even 5th (if McLarens and Ferraris take the top 4 places.) But in theory Hamilton should have won in Spain and Button or Alonso should have won in Monaco.

Vettel has turned out to be the most complete driver on the grid and is extracting wins where Webber couldn't imagine. Vettel's got blinding speed, doesn't make mistakes (any more), is the BEST tyre manager in F1 and is now even chosing to dictate his own strategy. Awsome! COMPLETE package at ONLY 23!

Hamilton, however, usually bounces back very hard after a bad race for him (note Malaysia > China) so I expect him to be fighting for the win along with Button and the Ferraris of Alonso and, even, Massa.

As I said, Mercedes doesn't have a chance. If Vettel comes away with 3rd, he'll be unbeatable in the WDC because this is RBR's Achilles Heel track until Spa/Monza.

Cheers all!
Yeah I am officially so for Canada.....Partly because the Canucks stiffed the Sharks:cheer:.

I think Canada is more a Ferrari/McLaren/Renault suited race.
The big thing at Canada last year was the surface of the track and how it affected the tyres. Has it been resurfaced at all and are we going to expect 20 stops each due to the coarseness of the tarmac?
Blimey - I agree with nearly everything Ray wrote - that has to be a first!

I love Canada - best GP of the year AND it has a brilliant Tea-Time start over here which is also awesome. Bernie take note before you make it an early morning start or something.

I expect Vettel to be really up against it here. In fact I expect him to lose out here and in Valencia and all of us to think the title is back on again - before he wins the British GP by about a lap.

If you go by Quali pace it really should be the Mclaren's that jump the Red Bulls here but Ferrari seem to find race pace from somewhere and Alonso looks hungry - In reality it should be between him and Hamilton however Vettel has been so on it this season if he did pull a result off I would not be shocked.

The other option to think about is that Canada always seems to throw up a bit of a strange result sometimes with various safety cars, DQ's(Montoya and Massa), crashes (Kubica. Hamilton, Villneurve etc etc) and mechanical failures (Mansell etc) contributing to that. What price a Kobi win?
Just as I've caught my breath after Monaco, I'm already hyper-ventilating at the prospect of next weeks Canadian GP. I love the races this circuit produces and I suspect we are in for another fantastic weekend.

With regards to the two DRS zone, I think it's safe to say most of us don't like this tech, but it will deliver a great race with some fantastic battles. Unlike Turkey where I agree it was too easy (for a F1 driver, not us mere mortals), I don't for one second believe that will be the case in Canada. Going off-line here is so much more compromising than Turkey due to the incredibly high levels of dirt (and no doubt marbles) and the very heavy braking required at the end of the straights, couple this with the low downforce levels and I suspect using DRS will have them bouncing off the limiter and having to complete the move all the way up to the apex and beyond.

Very envious of you Ray, it one of the GP's I've got on my list of 'must visit' and I also hear the nightlife is not too shabby either, so I'm sure you'll have a great time ;)
Interesting race this one.My tip for the dark horse in this race is the Lotus Renault R31.
Its one of the fastest cars for top speed on the present grid, that coupled with Hiedfeld being fired up to prove something and Petrov is no slouch they could well "spoil the party" for the current front runners.
Interesting race this one.My tip for the dark horse in this race is the Lotus Renault R31.
Its one of the fastest cars for top speed on the present grid, that coupled with Hiedfeld being fired up to prove something and Petrov is no slouch they could well "spoil the party" for the current front runners.

Dreamer, nothing but a Dreamer...
I was surprised to see that Pirelli are taking the Soft and Supersoft tyres with the wear rates being so high at Montreal. Seems like a brave move to me but I don't really have the technical know-how about these things.

Montreal is usually one of the best races of the season and a circuit where Hamilton excels so I'm hoping for a great race and a McLaren revival, and a Vettel retirement LOL.
Hey, don't blame me it was just a cut and paste ;) Ray? Guidance from a native?
I think Hamilton has the best chance of winning this race. He goes very well here historically, the McLaren should be perfect for this track as well. There aren't too many high speed corners, like at Barcelona, so the Red Bull's wings could be clipped in that respect. (see what I did there :D) The only factor for me is Lewis' mindset going into the race. If he can channel his totally understandable frustration from Monaco in the right way then he could easily win this one. But this season, who knows?
Interesting race this one.My tip for the dark horse in this race is the Lotus Renault R31.
Its one of the fastest cars for top speed on the present grid, that coupled with Hiedfeld being fired up to prove something and Petrov is no slouch they could well "spoil the party" for the current front runners.

I have the same suspicion and sentiments, I see the highspeed tracks as Renault suited, that said I guess then Force India should be amazing what with their "biggest baddest engine." ....Last year Kubica was in good shape until the wheels came off.:whistle:
Hey, don't blame me it was just a cut and paste ;) Ray? Guidance from a native?

"Our home and native land."

"On" would imply the lands which are set aside for our indigenous peoples/'First Nations peoples.

My tip for the dark horse in this race is the Lotus Renault R31.
Its one of the fastest cars for top speed on the present grid...

We need to be somewhat realistic. Had an in form Kubica been going to Canada, it might be a slightly different story...but not by much.

McLaren Mercedes aren't too shabby on straigh-line speed either but the Woking cars have superior over-all pace...indeed "race-winning pace" at circuits like Spain and Monaco. Renault were no where close to the leading McLarens in Spain or Monaco. McLaren ought to be winning Grands Prix right now. Period!

Renault don't have a chance even in relation to Ferrari. They might luck out and beat one of the RBRs but Vettel is now the TOP tyre manager in F1 so it'll be tough. Webber is having a tougher time adjusting to the degradation rate of this year's Pirellis but I don't think he's in any mood of being beaten by an R31.

I do, however, feel that Petrov and Heidfeld might have the measure of Mercedes. Mercedes used up the Super-Softs at an alarming rate on they'll have their work cut out to fix that in time for Canada.
FB - When I lived there we used to sing "Our homes ON Native land!"

I suspect that that gag (nay statement of fact) may have been too subtle for some. Nice one Axle.:thumbsup:

Looking forward to the race. I was incensed when BE and his boys took it off the calendar. It's one of the classic GP circuits and really glad it's back.
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