F1 Power Rankings: Canadian Grand Prix

And so the Formula One World Championship makes its annual summer pilgrimage to North America for the best event on the calendar. The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve may not be the most impressive looking track on the calendar but it does provide some of the most impressive racing on the calendar. And Montreal might not be an internationally renowned cultural mecca but that doesn’t stop the teams from claiming this race weekend has the best atmosphere this side of Monza.

So who wants to let the two Mercedes boys loose on F1’s most exciting track?

f1-lewis-hamilton-helmet-2014#1 Lewis Hamilton
Old Louise Hamilton goes passive-aggressive on Nico in his pre-race quotage: “Monaco was another great weekend for the team and I’m so proud of all the hard work the guys put in to make it happen. Of course, from a personal perspective it wasn’t what I was aiming for. I race to win every time and unfortunately it just wasn’t my weekend. But I drove with all my heart and gave it all I could, so I head to the next race with even more energy and determination.”

f1-nico-rosberg-helmet-2014#2 Nico Rosberg
Keke’s kid won the battle last week but his focus is solely on the war for the World Drivers’ Championship: “Lewis drove really, really well and pushed me massively hard but I kept it cool and was able to take the win. He has been on top of his game so it was important for me to break his momentum last weekend. I now have the lead again in the World Championship which is great. But it’s still very early days and it’s going to continue to be an extremely tight battle between us this year.”

#3 Daniel Ricciardo

#4 Fernando Alonso

#5 Sebastian Vettel

#6 Nico Hulkenberg
The Hulk talks about his best run of results in his F1 career: “It’s my best run of results in Formula One and I’m really enjoying the racing. I’ve said many times that consistency is our strength and we showed that again in Monaco with another fifth place. Monaco was not our strongest track, or our weakest track, but we still brought the car home for a great result.”

f1-valtteri-helmet-helmet-2014#7 Valtteri Bottas
#BO77AS doesn’t mind not having to do Monaco over again. He probably doesn’t mind that it’s also colder in Canada than the Mediterranean coast so it’s more Finnish that way: “The track is such a contrast from the last race in Monaco, and I think it plays to the strengths of the car, such as good straight line speed… It’s a special track not only in the fact that it’s technically a street circuit, but that there are a lot of big braking zones and few fast corners.”

#8 Kimi Raikkonen

#9 Sergio Perez
Checo thinks CGV is a hard track to pass on. Has he ever raced here? There’s nothing but passing: “It’s another track where you need good top speed and traction from the slow corners. You also have to maximise the limits of the track to be quick and get really close to the walls, so it’s easy to make a mistake. It’s hard to overtake there, but the final chicane is definitely the best opportunity. As a track, it should be suited to the strengths of our car so we have to maximise this opportunity.”

#10 Romain Grosjean

f1-felipe-massa-helmet-2014#11 Felipe Massa
Old Phil Massa is still spouting that top speed stuff about the Williams. It certainly hasn’t helped him over the course of the season. Val, on the other hand… “We aim to be more competitive in Canada and hopefully we can have a good performance. The top speed of the car is good and this will be our main strength.”

f1-jenson-button-helmet-2014#12 Jenson Button
Jenson’s not happy with how this year is going for McLaren. Has he ever had a good car at Macca? “We’re obviously still far away from where we want to be, but it’s important that we maintain our aim of continuous development throughout the whole season. Although we’re still a long way from the leaders, we’ve matched the general rate of development since the start of the season, which is a positive.”

f1-kevin-magnussen-helmet-2014#13 Kevin Magnussen
Jan’s boy looks like he knows what’s going on with the Canadian Grand Prix: “The Canadian Grand Prix is one of those races I’m really looking forward to: I’ve always watched it on TV, and it’s always looked like one of the very best, most enjoyable, and most dramatic events of the season.”

#14 Daniil Kvyat
Daniil Boy is looking for the rhythm of the track. If he doesn’t find it on Ile Notre-Dame, he can find it at one of the many clubs in town: “The track has a lot of stop and go sections, as well as the hairpin and chicanes. It’s going to be challenging and as always, it’s going to be about finding the right rhythm and putting the lap together. It’s a bit like Monaco, as there is not much run-off area, but after my first experience of Monaco nothing seems difficult now! ”

#15 Jean-Eric Vergne
JEV doesn’t like your giant runoff areas. He’d much rather be properly punished for a mistake. The Wall awaits: ” People say the track is dangerous and maybe that’s part of its appeal. I find the circuits where the barriers are a hundred metres away from the track a bit dull. Taking a corner flat out, right on a knife edge, with walls to your left and right is a completely different feeling to going flat out where you know that if you go off you have several hundred metres of run-off.”

#16 Jules Bianchi
I think Jules may have been happy with the outcome of the last race: “The car seems so good at the moment that it feels we can go to every race feeling optimistic for a positive outcome. It has been such a fantastic week or so since Monaco and it has been nice to celebrate with the Team after all the hard work it has taken to get this far.”

#17 Pastor Maldonado

#18 Esteban Gutierrez
Steve talks about the trickiness of keeping your tyres warm in Montreal: “The track in Montreal requires a high top speed as well as good mechanical grip. The surface is quite slippery there, so the tyre compound will be important. The way the tyres warm up is especially significant, because we have to keep in mind that they have a lot of time to cool down on the long straights.”

#19 Adrian Sutil
Sutil loves coming to Montreal for the night is dark and full of clubs: “Because of the many long straights, you can easily overtake. That’s why the races there are mostly quite exciting. On the other hand there quite a few chicanes as well. That requires a relatively smooth car set-up, as you need to ride the kerbs. Generally the engine power and brake balance are important.”

f1-kamui-kobayashi-helmet-2014#20 Kamui Kobayashi
Kobayashi Maru loves the local fans in Montreal. Mind you, I’d imagine that one random bloke calling himself Fake Charlie Whiting confuses him: “On track Canada is a good place to go racing. The local fans are very passionate and knowledgeable – seeing the whole track full on a Thursday with people really excited about F1 being back is great as it shows just what it means to them to have us race in their home town, and that’s good for everyone in the sport.”

#21 Max Chilton
#M4X wants to continue the team’s success and score more points this weekend. If everyone hits the Wall of Champions, he’s in with a chance: “After such a positive test in Barcelona, and a very positive qualifying in Monaco off the back of that, I am hoping that we can piece together all of the positives into a more competitive result in Montreal. I am really encouraged by the work we have done and the obvious progress that we are making with the car.”

f1-marcus-ericsson-helmet-2014#22 Marcus Ericsson
Marcus almost sounds scared of what he’ll encounter in Montreal: “The actual Canada circuit looks like it’ll be a good challenge. It’s quick, especially for what is almost a street circuit, we run pretty low downforce as there are several high speed sections and one of the main things we’ll be working on in the free practice sessions is braking – we need to make sure the brake cooling is optimised throughout the weekend, and watch brake wear, especially in preparing for the race itself.”

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