Ferrari and Lotus still threats despite poor qualifying

2013 Canadian Grand Prix pre-race analysis

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal, 2013After two days of rain-affected running the forecast for the Canadian Grand Prix is for drier and warmer weather.

This will be welcomed by some teams more than others. After a wet qualifying session the teams have all the fresh slick tyres they could want, but not much data on how they perform.

But Friday showed Ferrari and Lotus should have the long-run pace to help them make up ground during the race.

The start

Sebastian Vettel is on pole position for the third year in a row. But that’s not the strong indicator of likely victory that it was in Monaco, as demonstrated by the fact Vettel was unable to convert either of his previous pole positions into victories.

In recent races we’ve seen Vettel make good starts and attack the cars in front of him. That plus the short run into turn one means it may be tricky for Lewis Hamilton to mount an attack from second on the grid.

Third-placed Valtteri Bottas is likely to struggle to remain that high unless the conditions are wet. Expect him to be a soft target for his pursuers. The double DRS zone with a single activation point is likely to make it very difficult for him to defend.

Fernando Alonso has made consistently strong starts so far this year and needs another if he’s to be able to challenge Vettel for victory. “Starting from sixth here isn?t bad, because you can overtake at this circuit,” said Alonso. “I’m definitely hoping for a race with no rain, because in the dry, looking at [Friday's] long runs, we can be more competitive and quicker than some of the cars that start in front of us tomorrow.”

Strategy

Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal, 2013Pirelli expect to see drivers make two pit stops during the race. However the track will be low on grip, particularly in the early stages of the race, and managing graining will be a major challenge.

The race will provide a telling sign of how much progress Mercedes have made with their car following their controversial test at the Circuit de Catalunya. Prior to that test both drivers dropped back during the races in Spain and Bahrain.

Further back in the pack there are several drivers who should be able to make gains in the race: Felipe Massa in 16th and the Lotuses in 10th (Kimi Raikkonen) and 22nd (Romain Grosjean), all of which should thrive in the expected warmer conditions.

Another is Paul di Resta, who was fastest in the first practice session and looked quick in the afternoon as well. Another qualifying blunder saw him fail to reach Q2 and he starts 17th.

The lack of representative data makes it tricky to foresee who will be competitive when the lights go out on race day. Hopefully that means we will enjoy an exciting and unpredictable Canadian Grand Prix. Here’s what information could be gleaned from qualifying today:

Qualifying times in full

Driver Car Q1 Q2 (vs Q1) Q3 (vs Q2)
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1’22.318 1’28.166 (+5.848) 1’25.425 (-2.741)
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’23.801 1’27.649 (+3.848) 1’25.512 (-2.137)
3 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1’23.446 1’28.419 (+4.973) 1’25.897 (-2.522)
4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’23.840 1’28.420 (+4.580) 1’26.008 (-2.412)
5 Mark Webber Red Bull 1’23.247 1’28.145 (+4.898) 1’26.208 (-1.937)
6 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’23.224 1’28.788 (+5.564) 1’26.504 (-2.284)
7 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1’24.159 1’28.527 (+4.368) 1’26.543 (-1.984)
8 Adrian Sutil Force India 1’24.551 1’28.799 (+4.248) 1’27.348 (-1.451)
9 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1’24.451 1’28.667 (+4.216) 1’27.432 (-1.235)
10 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1’24.770 1’29.359 (+4.589) 1’27.946 (-1.413)
11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber 1’23.899 1’29.435 (+5.536)
12 Sergio Perez McLaren 1’24.176 1’29.761 (+5.585)
13 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1’24.776 1’29.917 (+5.141)
14 Jenson Button McLaren 1’24.021 1’30.068 (+6.047)
15 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1’24.408 1’30.315 (+5.907)
16 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’23.735 1’30.354 (+6.619)
17 Paul di Resta Force India 1’24.908
18 Charles Pic Caterham 1’25.626
19 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1’25.716
20 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1’26.508
21 Max Chilton Marussia 1’27.062
22 Giedo van der Garde Caterham 1’27.110

Sector times

Driver Sector 1 Sector 2 Sector 3
Sebastian Vettel 23.153 (1) 27.724 (5) 31.415 (1)
Lewis Hamilton 23.600 (4) 27.761 (6) 31.950 (9)
Valtteri Bottas 23.856 (10) 27.646 (2) 31.944 (8)
Nico Rosberg 23.392 (2) 27.800 (7) 32.053 (14)
Mark Webber 23.473 (3) 27.608 (1) 31.962 (11)
Fernando Alonso 23.648 (5) 27.670 (3) 31.906 (7)
Jean-Eric Vergne 23.973 (14) 28.227 (10) 31.959 (10)
Adrian Sutil 23.881 (11) 28.357 (15) 31.974 (12)
Kimi Raikkonen 24.091 (16) 28.345 (14) 32.011 (13)
Daniel Ricciardo 23.915 (12) 28.012 (8) 32.360 (18)
Nico Hulkenberg 23.672 (6) 28.397 (17) 31.725 (3)
Sergio Perez 23.993 (15) 28.285 (11) 31.898 (6)
Pastor Maldonado 23.791 (8) 28.316 (12) 32.086 (16)
Jenson Button 23.852 (9) 28.048 (9) 31.839 (4)
Esteban Gutierrez 23.678 (7) 28.377 (16) 32.126 (17)
Felipe Massa 24.175 (19) 27.702 (4) 31.858 (5)
Paul di Resta 23.953 (13) 28.497 (18) 31.717 (2)
Charles Pic 24.136 (17) 28.818 (20) 32.375 (19)
Romain Grosjean 24.148 (18) 28.333 (13) 32.058 (15)
Jules Bianchi 24.655 (21) 29.208 (21) 32.461 (20)
Max Chilton 24.443 (20) 29.445 (22) 32.630 (21)
Giedo van der Garde 24.710 (22) 28.796 (19) 32.828 (22)

Speed trap

Pos Driver Car Speed (kph/mph) Gap
1 Sergio Perez McLaren 322.2 (200.2)
2 Max Chilton Marussia 322.0 (200.1) -0.2
3 Paul di Resta Force India 322.0 (200.1) -0.2
4 Adrian Sutil Force India 322.0 (200.1) -0.2
5 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 322.0 (200.1) -0.2
6 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 322.0 (200.1) -0.2
7 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 322.0 (200.1) -0.2
8 Romain Grosjean Lotus 321.4 (199.7) -0.8
9 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber 321.4 (199.7) -0.8
10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 321.0 (199.5) -1.2
11 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 320.9 (199.4) -1.3
12 Jenson Button McLaren 320.8 (199.3) -1.4
13 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 320.7 (199.3) -1.5
14 Felipe Massa Ferrari 320.6 (199.2) -1.6
15 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 320.1 (198.9) -2.1
16 Jules Bianchi Marussia 318.3 (197.8) -3.9
17 Valtteri Bottas Williams 318.2 (197.7) -4.0
18 Pastor Maldonado Williams 317.8 (197.5) -4.4
19 Mark Webber Red Bull 316.7 (196.8) -5.5
20 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 316.1 (196.4) -6.1
21 Charles Pic Caterham 315.4 (196.0) -6.8
22 Giedo van der Garde Caterham 315.2 (195.9) -7.0

Over to you

Will Vettel finally get his first Canadian Grand Prix win – or can Alonso move up from sixth to challenge him? And how will Bottas fare from third on the grid?

Share your views on the Canadian Grand Prix in the comments.

2013 Canadian Grand Prix

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Images ?? Ferrari/Ercole Colombo, Lotus/LAT

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40 comments on Ferrari and Lotus still threats despite poor qualifying

  1. Jon Sandor (@jonsan) said on 9th June 2013, 18:03

    Give the latest weather forecast, I’d say Alonso is the most likely winner. Probably followed by Vettel and one of the Mercs, though Kimi has an outside shot at a podium as well.

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