The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is preparing to host its 39th Canadian Grand Prix on Sunday, a 4.3km-long track that features the infamous Wall of Champions – which has claimed the pride, and carbon fibre, of several drivers over the years, including names such as Damon Hill, Michael Schumacher, Nico Rosberg and 2017 championship points leader Sebastian Vettel.
The 70-lap race often boasts excitement, not only the dramatic encounters as you enter the pit straight, a number of on-lap overtakes and manoeuvres due to the high-speed nature alongside low asphalt grip.
Ultrasoft tyres will be the preferred option in the dry this weekend, with all four title contenders holding at least eight sets of the purple-walled rubber due to the low degradation expected, meaning a split-second mistake on the usual two-stop strategy could make all the difference.
Mercedes and Ferrari will be the ones expected to top the timesheets come Sunday, with the tarmac ribbon situated on the Notre Dame Island in Montreal favouring those with higher-power over aerodynamics. Bad news for the returning Fernando Alonso. At least he won’t have any penalties to walk into this weekend unlike his part-time replacement Jenson Button last time out in Monaco.
However, one target for the rest of the field to aim for will be Rubens Barrichello’s current race lap record around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve of 1:13.662, which the Brazilian set back in 2004.
Whether it be a Silver Arrow or Italian Stallion standing aloft on the podium come the end of Sunday afternoon, it will undoubtedly provide thrills and spills and disperse crucial points in the race for the Drivers’ Championship.
By Joe Owens
Image courtesy of Pirelli Motorsports