After the first two European races of the year, Formula One’s mid-season flyaway takes teams to Montreal for race number seven, the Canadian Grand Prix.
The race once again takes place at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuv, which is built on a man-made island in the St Lawrence River and has been the home of the Canadian GP since 1978.
The 2.71-mile track is quite challenging for drivers, due to its four long straights and tight slow corners. This makes it particularly hard on the brakes. Eleven of the 14 corners at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve are taken at below 100 mph.
It’s similar to the last race in Monaco in some respects, being a street circuit with a number of the corners and straights very close to the walls. However, the surface lacks grip at the start of the weekend because it's not used much throughout the year.
Weather is also a factor here as the low temperatures can cause trouble for the tires due to the circuit layout, and rain and high winds are always a threat. The current weather prediction for the weekend is for mild temperatures and partially cloudy skies.
Pirelli will be bringing the P Zero White medium and P Zero Red supersoft tires to Canada. On top of that, the sole tire supplier will also be bringing two sets per car of a prototype medium compound that will be used during Friday’s practice session. Of course, the Cinturato Green intermediate and Cinturato Blue wet tires will be on hand should the weather turn sour.
Heading into the first North American race of the season, Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel remains at the top of the Drivers’ Championship with 107 points, followed by Lotus’ Kimi Räikkönen in second with 86 points and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso in third with 78 points.
In the Constructors’ Championship, Red Bull Racing remains the clear leader with 164 points, followed by Ferrari in second with 123 points and Lotus not far behind with 112 points.
Also heading into this weekend’s action, it has been revealed that the FIA is investigating whether a Pirelli tire test in May was done using a current 2013-spec Mercedes AMG F1 car. In-season testing with a current car is illegal under current regulations. Complaints were raised by both Ferrari and Red Bull Racing.