|Gilles Villeneuve – Montreal
|305,270 km / 189,727 miles
Maurizio Arrivabene: “Unfortunately, our race was compromised right from the start, when Seb’s car was damaged so he was no longer able to give it his best shot. Initially, our data showed the damage was not too serious. It was only in the following laps that the wing broke, causing further damage to the turning vanes and the floor. As for Kimi, towards the end he had a problem with the braking system. Right from tomorrow in Maranello we will carry out a detailed analysis of the race, making the most of the data gathered as we prepare as well as possible for the next round in Baku.”
Kimi Raikkonen: “At the start I got wheelspin off the line and obviously we lost quite a few places. From that moment it was not an easy race: I struggled in the first few laps, it was difficult to get past . We decided to switch our tactics to two stops to create a speed difference with fresh tires. We had a very good pace again and we were nicely going back close to the guys in front. Unfortunately, we had the issue with the brakes and we could not really use our speed. In the last ten laps I had hardly no brakes; it’s a pity but at least we could bring the car back and get some points. It was not an easy day for the team but this is how it goes sometimes. If this is our bad day, then we have to take it and go forward.”
Sebastian Vettel: “I think my start was not particularly good but at the same time not that bad either. The car was good, I think it was clear that today we could have been better than fourth, but that’s how we finished and what is done is done. Overall, we know we have a strong car. Looking back at the start, Bottas and I were trying to go from the inside when Max came around but these things can happen. Then, with the safety car on track I did not realize that the damage to the front wing was as bad as it actually was, we only noticed it at full speed. There was also some additional damage to other parts of the bodywork, hard to say what they cost me in terms of laptime, but the car did not feel as the one I had driven in the past two days. Yet the pace was there and I would have liked some more laps to finish on the podium, the trophy here looked nice… That was my target and I missed it. But we are growing up as a team.”
A long fight back for Seb to finish fourth and Kimi seventh
Montreal, 11 June – The toughest Grand Prix of the year ended with Seb in fourth place and Kimi in seventh. Given how things went on the opening lap, with both cars damaged and a front wing to change, a strategy to rejig, overtaking moves to make, it was a demonstration of courage and determination from drivers and team. Sebastian still leads the Drivers’ championship on 141 points, 13 more than Hamilton.
Gusty conditions, dust flying around the track and even a few black but harmless clouds all served to ramp up the tension before the start. Verstappen’s blistering start meant that Seb, who had got off the line well, had to lift off. He thus found himself back in fourth, but further back, a collision between Massa and Sainz immediately brought out the Safety Car. Max’s move had damaged the right front wing end plate on Sebastian’s car. Rather than risk further problems, he pitted for a new nose and a change to Supersofts. Unfortunately, the SF70H had additional damage to the floor. Meanwhile, Kimi lost ground in the duel with Ricciardo and found himself sixth and a trip across the grass also caused him some damage.
Verstappen’s race ended at the side of the track at Turn 3 and out came the safety car again, albeit this time a virtual one. The race resumed on lap 14 and that number also represented Seb’s position, but he soon dispensed with Grosjean. On lap 18, Kimi, who was having a tricky time of it, pitted and fitted the red-banded tyres and by this point Seb was already up to eleventh. He then passed Hulkenberg to move into the points before pulling off a passing move on Stroll at the chicane. Kimi got ahead of Alonso to go sixth, with Sebastian now just two places further back having come out on top of duels with Magnussen and Fernando.
Life wasn’t easy with two damaged cars: on lap 42, Kimi pitted for fresh rubber, the super-quick Ultrasofts. Seb stayed out until lap 50, dealing with traffic ahead of him, but he would also have to rescue his race with the purple tyres, with which Kimi was now flying. Seb started to demolish the lap times, getting under the 1’15” mark with 10 laps to go. He passed Kimi who had a brake control issue. At the start of lap 66, Seb pulled off a miracle, risking everything to pass Ocon who was also using the DRS. Perez was now in his sights and he slipped by at the start of the penultimate lap, so that his race ended just off the podium. KImi brought his wounded No 7 car home in seventh spot. “Thanks guys” was the immediate message from Maurizio. That said it all.
Both Ferrari drivers convinced race can go better
Montreal, June 10th – After qualifying on the first and second rows of the grid for tomorrow’s Canadian Grand Prix, Scuderia Ferrari drivers reflect on their performance. “I was not so happy with my job in the last run of Q3” says Seb, who will start from second slot on the grid. It is true that we faced tough competition, but we could have been closer. We could even have been ahead, but Lewis did a very good job today. As for me, I lost the car in Turn 2 and from there I knew I had to catch up. The car was very good and I had been happy in the morning session. To be on the front row gives you the chance to make a good start. I am looking forward to tomorrow, I am sure we’re going to have a very close race. This is a nice track and we had a good run here also last year”. Kimi makes no secret of not having got everything right: “Today it was a bit tricky: for whatever reason yesterday we had been a bit more comfortable. The car felt pretty OK, but we struggled to make the tires work as we wanted. There was a lot of potential in the car, but I was not driving very well, and did not manage to put a good lap together. My last run was very poor, I made mistakes in the first and second corner and I paid the price for it. Tomorrow it should be a different story. It’s going to be a long race and obviously a lot can happen; you never know here, it’s one of those places where things can change very quickly. We’ll try to make the best choices; we should have the speed, let’s see”.
Seb second fastest, Kimi fourth
Montreal, 10 June – Come the end of qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, Sebastian Vettel and his Ferrari secured a spot on the front row of the grid for tomorrow’s race. He was second quickest, just 0.330 seconds slower than the pole time of 1:11.459 set by Lewis Hamilton. Kimi Raikkonen was fourth with a lap in 1:12.252.
Sebastian faster than Kimi by 292 thousandths
Montreal, 10 June –The sun was out and the temperature was already high for the final hour of free practice prior to qualifying, although the track surface was still dirty at the start of the 60 minutes. Scuderia Ferrari were first and second, with Sebastian Vettel (1:12.572) and Kimi Raikkonen (+0.292) respectively. The two SF70 Hs ran with the Soft and Ultrasoft tyres and are now all set for qualifying which takes place at 13h00 (19h00 CET.)
Kimi happy so far, Seb finds the right direction
Montreal, June 9th – Warm weather and a ‘green’ track were the conditions in which the first two practice sessions took place at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. As usual, we can expect a lot of track improvement over the next two days but, for the moment, Kimi Raikkonen’s lap time at the end of the afternoon was the best overall (1’12”935 on Ultrasoft tires), while team-mate Sebastian Vettel was in third spot with a best lap time of 1’13”200.
“It was a good day”, says Kimi. “Things worked out smoothly and the car felt ok both on high and low fuel; that’s the main thing. So far so good, but it’s still Friday and obviously there’s always things to improve. The nature of the circuit is quite tricky because of the low downforce configuration; in some corners, like in the chicanes, you have to use the kerbs a lot to go fast, but because of the low downforce the car is bouncing and it always feels very slippery. But at this track, given the long straights, to achieve pure lap time you have to drive in that configuration. Today we started pretty well, we keep on doing our usual work, trying to improve for tomorrow”.
Seb was slightly less happy than his team-mate, but saw a substantial improvement over the day: “Today I was fighting with the car at the beginning, but in the end I understood what we needed and what we had to do. Tomorrow should be a better day. It was an interesting session. The track was slippery and very dirty this morning. We try to do our best, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. But in the end we found the right direction. So we’ll see what tomorrow brings, but I am confident it will be better. We focus on what we have to do. We could have had a better session today, but hopefully we’ll have it tomorrow”.
Kimi ahead of Seb in Montreal. Supersofts and Ultra Softs on the agenda
Montreal, 9 June – Kimi Raikkonen was fastest for Ferrari in the second free practice session of the Canadian Grand Prix with a lap in 1:12.935. Sebastian Vettel was third fastest just 0.265s slower than his team-mate. Both Scuderia Ferrari drivers used two sets of Supersoft and Ultrasoft tyres. Towards the end of today’s last session, Scuderia Ferrari concentrated on running in race trim. Next up, the final hour of free practice at 10h00 (local time) tomorrow.
Seb 2nd and Kimi 4th for Ferrari
Montreal, 9 June –Sebastian Vettel was second fastest come the end of the first free practice session for the Canadian Grand Prix. He took the number 5 Ferrari round in a time of 1:14.007, running the Ultrasoft tyres. Team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was fourth, using the same compound on his way to a lap in 1:14.230. During the first free practice session on the Canadian track, Scuderia Ferrari concentrated on comparative aero tests, as well as some long runs at the end of the session.
Seb, Kimi ahead of Canada: “We’ve done well so far but there are no guarantees”
Montreal, June 8th – Sunny conditions and very agreeable temperatures welcomed Scuderia Ferrari at Montreal. As usual, the team’s hospitality is filled with guests. After the Monaco double win, both Sebastian and Kimi have been asked about the team’s strong points and their expectations for the Canadian weekend.
“I think our strength comes from the team effort”, Seb says. “We are working very hard together to extract the maximum. People see what I do on track, but you don’t see all the work in Maranello. Obviously, looking back we can say that we have done very well so far, but there is no guarantee that just because the last race was good, then the next one will be good as well. So, we have to sit down again and go through everything, paying attention to details. I like this place and I am looking forward to driving here. The car has been very good so far, it should be good here as well, but as I’ve just said there is no guarantee”.
Kimi says nothing’s for granted, either: “We have to face this weekend like any other one; we’ll try to maximize everything, go from the practice and see what it brings on Saturday and then on Sunday. Every track is different and it’s never going to be easy. It’s not an easy circuit even if there are not many corners. Also because, in the race like this, usually quite a lot of things can happen”.
Montreal – an altogether special track and not just because of its history
Three famous circuits have hosted the Canadian F1 Grand Prix, with the first race dating back fifty years. The “Gilles Villeneuve Circuit” might be the most recent venue, following on from Mosport and Mont-Tremblant, but it is also the best known. It was built on the Ile Notre-Dame, with the paddock running alongside the rowing basin used in the 1976 Olympics and the first GP was held here two years later. Gilles Villeneuve won for Ferrari and a few years later the facility was named in his honour. Gilles used to own a house nearby, a small wooden cottage, painted white and he would also live in a caravan near the track.
Scuderia Ferrari feels very much at home in Montreal. The trip across the ocean that splits the European season is much liked by everyone in the team, as the capital of Quebec is always welcoming and is home to an Italian community of around 200,000 people. From Monaco to the Gilles Villeneuve circuit is a long way and not just geographically: the 4.361 kilometre track is one of the shortest on the calendar, but it is also very fast. It has several straights split by hairpins and chicanes.
Fuel consumption and engine power, as well as good traction out of the slow corners are the technical themes of a pretty special race. The nature of the track surface leans towards the use of the softest compounds in the range. Seb Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen will each have just one set of Softs, three of Supersoft and nine of Ultrasoft. Dry conditions are forecast for qualifying and the race with temperatures no higher than 24 degrees.