Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Montreal, 2011

Chance of rain promises classic race in Canada

2011 Canadian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Montreal, 2011
Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Montreal, 2011

Sebastian Vettel starts from his sixth pole position of the year in Montreal.

But several of his rivals are well-equipped to keep him from his sixth win of the year.

Not least of which the Ferraris, who had their best qualifying performance of the year.

The McLaren’s race pace is not to be underestimated either, and they look well-prepared for wet conditions.

Rain

The prospect of rain has dominated the teams’ preparations for the Canadian Grand Prix. Showers are expected throughout today at the circuit.

The drivers have had no running in the wet at Montreal so far. Nor have they had much experience of Pirelli’s wet and intermediate tyres, which are identified by orange and blue lettering respectively.

That does at least mean they have a full stock of fresh wet weather tyres available. This could prove important as the limited running they have done on them so far has indicated they wear out quite quickly.

As is always the case when a wet race is in prospect, there is much speculation over which teams and drivers have made the greatest concessions to a wet weather set-up.

The two McLarens and Nick Heidfeld are among those who appear to be running more wing. In wet conditions this could pay off with improved performance and better tyre life.

The start

The fast-starting Ferraris could pose a threat to Vettel at the start.

Fernando Alonso leapt from fourth on the grid to lead in Spain two races ago. He also gained one place at the start in Monaco despite the very short run to the first corner.

It’s a fairly short run to turn one at Montreal – just 200m, roughly the same as Melbourne. See below for more data on the drivers’ starts this year.

The first corners at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve also present a high risk of incident – remember Felipe Massa’s collision with Vitantonio Liuzzi last year.

Depending on the conditions, Race Control may order a single-file rolling start behind the safety car.

Strategy

If the race is dry, the top ten drivers will start on the super-soft tyres they qualified on.

Drivers were able to lap strongly on both compounds during practice with little sign of the problems they encountered last year.

But even without rain today’s race is expected to see much cooler conditions, which could also affect how well the tyres last.

Brake wear is always a consideration at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in dry races. They take the greatest punishment at the start of the race, on high fuel loads running in the hot slipstream of other cars.

Position change on lap one

Average Total 1 2 3 4 5 6
Sebastian Vettel -0.33 -2 0 0 -2 0 0 0
Mark Webber -1.5 -9 0 -6 1 -1 -2 -1
Lewis Hamilton -0.67 -4 0 -1 1 -2 -1 -1
Jenson Button -0.83 -5 -2 0 1 1 -5 0
Fernando Alonso -0.33 -2 -4 -2 -1 1 3 1
Felipe Massa 0.83 5 3 1 1 0 0 0
Michael Schumacher -0.33 -2 -11 3 5 1 4 -4
Nico Rosberg -0.17 -1 0 -4 0 1 0 2
Nick Heidfeld 3 18 5 4 2 0 7 0
Vitaly Petrov 0.83 5 2 3 -2 -1 1 2
Rubens Barrichello -0.67 -4 -3 0 0 0 -1 0
Pastor Maldonado -1.17 -7 -1 0 -3 0 -4 1
Adrian Sutil 1.17 7 4 1 3 0 -1 0
Paul di Resta 1.33 8 4 0 1 0 2 1
Kamui Kobayashi -0.5 -3 1 0 2 5 -10 -1
Sergio Perez -2.6 -13 -1 -1 -4 -8 1
Sebastien Buemi -0.5 -3 -1 0 -4 0 2 0
Jaime Alguersuari -1.83 -11 -9 2 -3 -3 1 1
Heikki Kovalainen 0.83 5 4 0 1 3 -1 -2
Jarno Trulli 1.5 9 3 -1 1 2 3 1
Narain Karthikeyan 0.2 1 0 0 1 0 0
Vitantonio Liuzzi 1 5 0 2 1 2 0
Timo Glock 0.4 2 2 1 0 -1 0
Jerome d’Ambrosio 0.67 4 4 0 -2 2 0 0

2011 Canadian Grand Prix

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Image ?? Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo