Saturday, 8 June 2013

Canada: pre-qualifying

The tyres for this weekend are the supersoft and medium, the same as in Monaco. However, although both street circuits, Canada is very different to the principality. As well as being far more entertaining, the circuit has numerous straights and a number of slow corners/chicanes. Overtaking is eminently possible even without DRS zones (the circuit goes back to having two this year) and less than half the last 10 races have been won from pole.

On Friday (P1 and P2) the test tyres were used. These are intended to be used in the race and qualifying of Silverstone, but the old tyres will continue to be used in Montreal.

P1 was a bit soggy, and the drying track meant that the usefulness of the session was limited and the gaps between the cars exaggerated. Di Resta finished top, ahead of Button, Grosjean, Alonso, Raikkonen, Ricciardo, Rosberg, Perez, Vettel and Webber.

P2 was drier. Alonso was a tiny margin ahead of Hamilton, who was a quarter of a second ahead of Grosjean. A bit further back was Webber, then Rosberg, Massa, Vettel, Sutil, Button and Ricciardo. Sauber had a shocker, ahead only of the pointless teams.

It seems that rain is possible for qualifying and the race, but I’ll check the forecasts nearer the time. Right now I suspect the pole will be a Mercedes/Vettel affair, possibly with Alonso up there too. On race pace Lotus and Ferrari will be stronger (which Grosjean needs because he has a 10 place grid penalty for playing dodgems in Monaco).

P3 was curtailed, just half an hour long, because of barrier damage. It was also cold and wet, diminishing its value for predicting qualifying. The weather was suitable for intermediates, but with rain possible for both qualifying and the race many teams had limited or no running on that tyre to preserve their stocks of it. At the end, the track was drying and the teams went out on the supersoft tyres. As per P1, this meant that the gaps between the cars were exaggerated and the running order was something of a lottery.

Webber was fastest, followed by Sutil, Hamilton, Alonso, Vettel, Rosberg, Di Resta, Massa, Button and Raikkonen.

Brawn expected dry qualifying and a showery (intermediate) race, and suggested Ferrari were looking very/extremely strong. Gary Anderson reckons there’s little difference between a 1 and 2 stop strategy.

I’ve decided to back Hamilton for pole at 3.2, hedged at 1.4. He’s had numerous poles here in the past, looked a bit faster than Rosberg this weekend and the Mercedes appears to be fast in both dry and slightly wetter conditions.

Incidentally, my computer’s been a bit hit and miss in the last day or two. I’ll try and get the pre-race piece up as per usual, but if it doesn’t appear then it’s likely that it’s a technical issue rather than anything dramatic.

Morris Dancer

1 comment:

  1. I'd planned on putting up the post-race piece this evening, but I'm going to do it tomorrow. Nearer the time I'll hopefully have a better idea of the weather, and the markets will have got going a bit more.