2022 Canadian Grand Prix - Preview

Jun 15, 2022
Brackley

Formula One returns to Canada for Round 9 of the 2022 season at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montreal

  • Toto Talks Canada
  • Fact File: Canadian Grand Prix
  • Video Feature: What Impact Does the Weather Have on F1?
  • Feature: How the Weather Challenges F1
  • Stat Attack: Canada and Beyond

Toto Talks Canada

Baku was a tricky weekend for us, particularly with the bouncing issues, but we really maximised the opportunities that came our way and left Azerbaijan with a solid collection of points. We benefited from the misfortune of others, but reliability is an important factor in Formula One and there’s no shortage of hard work at Brackley and Brixworth behind getting both cars to the finish line.

We once again found ourselves clear of the midfield in terms of pace, but a chunk behind the top two teams. We’re working flat out to close that gap. But with an underperforming package, I loved seeing the fight in the team to pull together and get us the best result possible with the tools at hand. That spirit will bring us back competing at the front. 

Having not been to Montreal since 2019, we’re all excited to return. It’s a wonderful city and the Canadian fans are very passionate about F1. The track is a unique challenge, with chicanes separated by long straights. We’re looking forward to seeing what the weekend has in store and hope we can take a step forward.

Fact File: Canadian Grand Prix

  • After a three-year absence, the Canadian Grand Prix is back on the F1 calendar for the first time since 2019. This will be the 51st running of the Canadian GP since the inaugural race in 1967.
  • The 4.361km Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is similar in its characteristics to the recent Baku City Circuit. Long before Azerbaijan became part of the F1 itinerary, it was the circuit in Montreal that teams had to develop a special wing for, with teams wanting to have as little drag as possible on the straights but as much downforce as possible in the slow corners - similar to Baku.
  • The 14 corners of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve comprise six left-hand turns and eight right-handers. As in Baku, most of the corners are within a similar speed range, which is at the lower end of the scale compared to the rest of the circuits on the racing calendar. Unlike Baku, however, most corners in Montreal come as a double change of direction (left/right or right left combinations) that require good responsiveness from the car.
  • The Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve is traditionally regarded as very tough on brakes, similar to the Austrian GP. However, there are usually fewer cooling problems in Canada than at Spielberg, because the lap distance is greater and there is more time for the brakes to dissipate temperature.
  • The 404-metre pit lane is among the top third of all circuits this season in terms of length. Even so, the time expended during a pit stop is relatively small, as the drivers are spared the inconvenience of going through the last chicane, instead entering the pit lane directly. Furthermore, the pit exit is in Turn 2, which means they don’t have to negotiate the first corner either.
  • Although the track surface in Montreal is quite smooth, tyre degradation in the race is traditionally high. Combined with the track characteristics, which are of a stop-go nature, this improves the chances of overtaking and generally gives rise to an entertaining race.
  • With the constant cycle of heavy braking and equally heavy acceleration, the track takes its toll on the hybrid components of the powertrain, with many long deployments followed by big charging events. In the course of a single lap, there are three strong braking events that generate forces greater than 4 G for a duration of more than 0.4 seconds.
  • Safety cars are a high risk in Canada due to the proximity of the walls and little runoff area they provide.

Video Feature: What Impact Does the Weather Have on F1?

Ahead of F1’s return to Montreal, our preview feature focuses on how the weather conditions affect the cars, the drivers and the engineers. The video features interviews with Rosie Wait (Head of Race Strategy), Rich Lane (Senior Track Engineer) and George Russell (Driver of Car No. 63).

The video is now on YouTube and is open for embedding on your websites. Details are below.

YouTube video link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUMVZgLFHXU

We are also providing you with two broadcast formats (one is the finished social video but without music, the other features ungraded interviews and no graphics/music) on the below link, for you to use in your broadcasts or on your platforms. This is under embargo until 12:00PM EDT.

Feature: How the Weather Challenges F1

What role do temperatures at the racetrack play?

Formula One drivers must race in a wide range of track and weather conditions over the course of a season no matter whether it’s hot, cold, day, or night, and in all conditions in between. Temperatures both on and around the track also have a particularly important role to play.

“Track temperatures can drastically affect tyres,” says George Russell. “When you’re driving on a track that’s nice and cool, the tyres cool down pretty much every time you race down the straight. But on the other hand, when the track is scorching hot, you are basically driving on top of a saucepan, heating up the tyres, so they don’t afford you as much grip.”

Sunlight has a direct influence. Track temperatures dip when the sky is cloudy even if it’s still quite hot, and as you would expect, temperatures tend to be much lower during night races than in the daytime. The colour of the tarmac also plays an important role.

“You can see that some tracks are a bit greyer than others that are literally black,” says George. “And of course, that attracts the heat and sends temperatures climbing, which then always makes things a bit harder on tyres. So there’s a direct correlation between track and tyre temperatures, but ambient temperatures can also affect a whole lot of other things.”

Of course, it’s not just the tyres that are impacted by heat. The drivers have to race, whatever the temperature, and the car components are also impacted when temperatures change.

How great an effect do temperatures have on performance and setup?

Ambient temperatures can majorly impact a car’s performance. Ideally, the temperatures of individual components should be just on the limit when drivers are pushing and getting the maximum out of the car. However, achieving that is no easy task.

The unproblematic way would be to simply maximize the car’s cooling and make its ducts as big as possible. That would reduce stresses on vehicle components, but at the same time, would also have a harmful effect on aerodynamic performance, since airflow is not only used for cooling, but also to generate downforce efficiently.

“It depends on the situation you find yourself in,” says George. “Sometimes, in a perfect scenario, everything is on the limit. There’s nothing to manage and you can drive at full throttle, but when you’ve got too big a cooling effect, then quite often, you’re not optimising aerodynamic performance. You just can’t have maximum cooling for the brakes and Power Unit, because that then means you need plenty of big, fat bodywork to really cool things down, which costs performance. You have to find the right balance.”

What effect do temperatures have on car technology?

At Montreal’s Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, keeping the car cool plays a vitally important role. It gets quite hot there sometimes, which can be a significant challenge as far as engines are concerned, but this track has always been a real test of brakes and braking systems ever since its inception.

Teams try not to let brakes cool down too much, as that can affect the car’s aerodynamics, meaning it loses performance. And at the same time, the many long straights where cars reach extremely high top speeds combined with the slow corners mean that brakes can get heavily stressed.

What effect do temperatures have on the driver in his cockpit?

Another aspect of cooling has to do with the driver himself. These days, drivers have to endure incredibly cramped conditions in their cockpits due to the limited space around them, and they also have a huge number of heat-emitting boxes of electronics and pipes to contend with.

Once again, teams don’t want to use too much airflow for cooling as that might affect other aspects of performance, but of course, they also have to consider the limits of human endurance at certain races. The intense heat during some races can become a major source of distraction for drivers in the cockpit as they push themselves to the limit both mentally and physically. Obviously, if they get too hot, they can’t concentrate fully on getting the best out of the car.

What changes for drivers in the wet?

Rain-affected races pose another big challenge for drivers. Visibility is much poorer, and you can get standing water at certain parts of the circuit or may even find water running in rivulets down the track, making it incredibly slippery and unpredictable. “It’s very easy to make a mistake in the wet,” says George.

However, that’s not the only difficulty that drivers face, as rain seldom falls in the course of a Formula One season. “You don’t get that many laps and that much experience in the wet,” says George. “We probably do 95 percent of the season in the dry and only 5 percent in the wet when conditions are always variable. It might rain a little more or a little less, while in the dry, things remain pretty much the same. So, you have to be on your toes and be very dynamic and adaptable in the rain.”

Some drivers like wet conditions more than others, but every driver has his preferred set of conditions. As George goes on to tell us: “The perfect weather conditions don’t exist as far as drivers are concerned. The conditions that exist on the day when you are fastest are the perfect ones, whether it’s hot and sunny, or dry and cold with a bit of fog thrown in. Ultimately, conditions are only perfect when you win.”

How does the team decide when is the perfect time to switch from intermediates to slicks?

One of the questions that most frequently arises on a rain-hit race day is when is the right time to switch from Intermediates to slicks. It’s one of the tensest moments for the team, but also incredibly exciting, and can be the difference between victory or defeat. So it’s vital the strategists, engineers and drivers all work closely together.

“When it’s inter conditions going to slicks, i.e. onto a dry tyre,” says George. “We racing drivers tend to take the same line and that’s when the track dries up. It may be dry on 75 percent of the track, but if a quarter of the circuit is still very, very wet and you are on dry tyres, you probably won’t even be able to make the turn. So it’s very tricky, you may need slicks on half of the track or three quarters of it, but it’s the wettest point on the circuit that dictates when to switch.”

And who gets to decide at what point to change from Intermediates to slicks? Well, that depends entirely on how the race is going. When a team has nothing to lose, they will try to be very aggressive in making the call to change over, but the driver knows how it feels out on track and when it is safe to make the switch.  

And on the other hand, if there is something to lose, like the race lead, you’re less likely to be the first to take the risk. This is when the strategy team can have more input, because they often have much more information at their fingertips, such as GPS and lap time data, compared to the driver, which is why they are there to guide him at such tricky moments in time.

Stat Attack: Canada and Beyond

2022 Canadian Grand Prix Timetable

Session

Local Time

(EDT)

Brackley

(BST)

Stuttgart

(CEST)

Practice 1 – Friday

14:00-15:00

19:00-20:00

20:00-21:00

Practice 2 - Friday

17:00-18:00

22:00-23:00

23:00-00:00

Practice 3 - Saturday

13:00-14:00

18:00-19:00

19:00-20:00

Qualifying - Saturday

16:00-17:00

21:00-22:00

22:00-23:00

Race - Sunday

14:00-16:00

19:00-21:00

20:00-22:00

 

Race Records – Mercedes F1 at the Canadian Grand Prix

 

Starts

Wins

Podium

Places

Pole

Positions

Front Row

Places

Fastest

Laps

DNF

Mercedes

10

4

9

4

10

3

2

Lewis

Hamilton

12

7

8

6

10

1

3

George
Russell

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

MB Power

25

10

21

8

19

10

18

 

 

 

 

Technical Stats – Season to Date (Barcelona Pre-Season Track Session to Present)

 

Laps

Completed

Distance

Covered (km)

Corners

Taken

Gear

Changes

PETRONAS

Fuel Injections

Mercedes

3,113

15,548

53,065

152,456

124,520,000

Lewis

Hamilton

1,525

7,618

26,031

74,646

61,000,000

George
Russell

1,588

7,930

27,034

77,810

63,520,000

MB Power

11,305

56,362

193,340

550,628

452,200,000

 

Mercedes-Benz in Formula One

 

Starts

Wins

Podium

Places

Pole

Positions

Front Row

Places

Fastest

Laps

1-2

Finishes

Front Row

Lockouts

Mercedes

(All Time)

257

124

268

135

250

94

58

80

Mercedes (Since 2010)

245

115

251

127

230

85

53

78

Lewis

Hamilton

296

103

183

103

173

59

N/A

N/A

George
Russell

68

0

4

0

2

1

N/A

N/A

MB Power

527

212

548

220

435

191

90

117

Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, 2022 Azerbaijan GP. George Russell
M318207
220601_CANADA


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