F1 Power Rankings: Canadian Grand Prix

It’s time for the best race of the Formula One World Championship season! I might be a little biased but the Canadian Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve always proves to be one of the more interesting Grands Prix that we see each season. Either we get some great battles or something incredibly weird happens or there’s a highlight reel crash. The teams love the party atmosphere in Montreal and the fans love the racing action in Montreal. This race is a win-win for everyone involved.

f1-lewis-hamilton-helmet-2015#1 Lewis Hamilton (Last Race #1)
Let’s hear from Lewis about the last race, shall we? “I think everything that needs to be said about Monaco has already been said. Obviously, it was a huge disappointment for me and also for the team. But we’ll learn from it and move forwards together like we always do. I just want to get back out there and bounce back.”

f1-nico-rosberg-helmet-2015#2 Nico Rosberg (LR #2)
And here’s Nico’s reaction to his win in Monaco: “I still can’t quite believe I was standing on the top step in Monaco for the third time the other week. It was all very surreal and I don’t think I’ve ever been so lucky. However, that weekend also showed that I need to raise my game even further in the battle this year. I’ve got the boost of two wins behind me now, there is a long way to go this season and I know there is more to come from me personally, so it’s all to play for.”

f1-sebastian-vettel-helmet-2015#3 Sebastian Vettel (LR #3)
Pirelli Motorsport boss Paul Hembery is also looking forward to Montreal: “Canada often turns out to be one of the best races of the season, with a set of track characteristics that are not replicated anywhere else throughout the year. As a result it often throws up a few surprises and it’s also possible to win from lower down the grid, especially if you use a clever tyre strategy, or if it rains, or if there is a safety car: all of which are very possible in Montreal.”

#4 Kimi Raikkonen (LR #4)

f1-valtteri-bottas-helmet-2015#5 Valtteri Bottas (LR #5)
#BO77AS doesn’t realize that this track is part street circuit and part permanent race course. It’s kind of like Spa originally was: “The track is a street circuit so improves a lot during practice and qualifying. You need a good power unit and efficient aerodynamics from the car to be quick here, as well as good traction out of the slow chicanes and hairpins. With the improvements to the car that we are taking to Montreal, I think we will be able to fight for a strong points finish.”

f1-daniel-ricciardo-helmet-2015#6 Daniel Ricciardo (LR #7)
Danny Boy talks about his post-race shenanigans after last year’s Canadian Grand Prix: “I was very restrained and in bed by 1:30 AM. There’s a point where the adrenaline wears off and suddenly you’re absolutely exhausted. I remember falling into bed, thinking “wow, crazy day,” and out went the lights. Fortunately the crew are made of sterner stuff and kept the party going. They were not a pretty sight at breakfast the following day.”

f1-felipe-massa-helmet-2015#7 Felipe Massa (LR #6)
Phil points out that CGV is a lot more suited to the FW37 than Monaco: “The Montreal circuit is completely different to the last race and we fully expect our performance levels to be back to where they were at the start of the season. We should be able to start getting closer to Ferrari and have a real battle with them and the other teams around us.”

f1-daniil-kvyat-helmet-2015#8 Daniil Kvyat (LR #9)
I think Daniil Boy wins generic PR quotage of the week: “The straights are long but you have these big braking zones. It has a little bit of the feeling of street circuit because of the walls but it is more of a traditional, classic track. It has a unique feeling though and it’s a great place for racing. It’s great for drivers and the races are usually very exciting, so I’m looking forward to it.”

f1-romain-grosjean-helmet-2015#9 Romain Grosjean (LR #8)
Montreal gets some comparisons to Monaco but Romain explains the differences: “I enjoy the sensation of being close to the walls. Montreal is different from Monaco as there are some long straights and some big braking moments. The track surface can also present challenges as we’ve seen in other seasons, so it will be interesting to see what the grip level is like this year and that will certainly be on your mind as you take to the track for the first time over the weekend.”

#10 Max Verstappen (LR #11)
Renault Sport boss Remi Taffin explains the challenges of engine mapping for CGV: “Montreal is one of the circuits where accurate, smooth power delivery is crucial. The straights are long so the driver needs strong acceleration, ideally reaching top speed towards the end of the straight. The corners are tight and low speed, so the driver needs the power quickly to flick the car in and out of the chicanes, but smoothly through the hairpins. Giving the driver the power when he needs it is one of the key challenges of the weekend and we have worked particularly hard with the teams to develop engine maps and settings to this end.”

#11 Sergio Perez (LR #13)
I have no idea what Checo’s trying to say here. Maybe you can figure it out: “Montreal is a race where anything can happen and it’s quite unpredictable. You need to be brave and keep fighting all the way. I hope this year we can be strong once again.”

#12 Carlos Sainz (LR #10)

#13 Felipe Nasr (LR #12)

#14 Nico Hulkenberg (LR #15)
The Hulk thinks that Montreal suits them but they still have no aero. All the power in the world doesn’t matter if you’re driving a brick: “The track in Montreal should be one that suits us. It’s a power circuit because of the long straights and you need good traction to get out of the low-speed corners. To be quick you need to attack the kerbs and be brave enough to get close to the walls. We will have soft and supersoft tyres again, which worked quite well for us in Monaco, so I think we can target points this weekend.”

#15 Marcus Ericsson (LR #14)

f1-jenson-button-helmet-2015#16 Jenson Button (LR #17)
Old JB talks about Honda’s march to respectability: “Getting points on the board has been really positive and shows that we’re continuing to make big strides, but, if anything, it’s spurred us on even more to keep pushing until we reach where we want to be. Fernando hasn’t had much luck in the last few races so we all need to keep our heads down and keep fighting to make sure we get both cars to the flag.”

f1-fernando-alonso-helmet-2015#17 Fernando Alonso (LR #16)
I’m not the only one that loves F1’s trips to Montreal. Fernando sums it up well: ” Montreal is a great city and the circuit is up there with the most exciting tracks on the calendar. It has so much history and some great battles have happened there between legendary drivers, so it’s always special to get in the car and experience this circuit and all the unpredictable elements that go with it – it’s a really exhilarating place.”

f1-pastor-maldonado-helmet-2015#18 Pastor Maldonado (LR #18)
Poor Pastor, bless his heart, still thinks he can score points. Has he even finished a race this season? “I’m approaching every race wanting to finish in the points. The circuit in Canada has its own challenges but there’s nothing to say we shouldn’t be fast there. This year’s car has felt good so I’ll be pushing for points in the race.”

f1-will-stevens-helmet-2015#19 Will Stevens (LR #19)
Billy is making his first trip to CGV. He sounds a little intimidated: “I’m pleased with the way I acclimatise to new circuits, although this is certainly one to be respected as it’s pretty unique; a lot of fun but with more than its fair share of challenges. It has that street circuit feel like Monaco, because the walls are so close, but the similarity ends there and it’s a track where we really have to look after the brakes. And of course, the right hand side of the car at ‘The Wall of Champions’!”

f1-roberto-merhi-helmet-2014#20 Roberto Merhi (LR #20)
Most weeks, Roberto’s quotage wouldn’t be generic. For Montreal, it sort of is: “I’m looking forward to Canada next, as the track looks pretty challenging but also a lot of fun; a real adrenaline rush. The mix of long straights and really slow sections is interesting and I know the weather can play a big part in mixing things up a bit. I hear great things about Montreal also; plenty of events for the fans and a fantastic city to experience.”

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