Canadian Grand Prix Preview: Engine Woes for Mercedes7 min read
The Monaco Grand Prix saw a dominant weekend for Red Bull, culminating in fantastic win for Daniel Ricciardo. Will Red Bull fare so well this weekend at the power dependent Canadian Grand Prix?
Many of the teams will be bringing power unit upgrades this weekend, but it’s hard to see the Renault making up enough of their power deficit up to be truly competitive at the front. Monaco Grand Prix victor, Daniel Ricciardo, will have his own woes in Canada as he looks set to be taking grid penalties due to the failure of his MGU-K in Monte Carlo.
Are we in for any surprises at the Canadian Grand Prix?
Mercedes will not be bringing their major power unit upgrade to Canada . “A quality issue” means that all Mercedes powered will be using the same engines that they have used for the past six races.
Lewis Hamilton is a bit of a master at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, having won the last three Canadian Grand Prix from pole position. However, past performance is no guarantee of success and the fight will be hard at the front of the grid this weekend. Having to use an old engine will mean that Mercedes will need to turn the power down, is that advantage Sebastian Vettel?
Back in the mid-field, Honda are expecting to make a considerable step forward at this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix. The rumours around the paddock suggest that the Toro Rosso Honda may see as much as a 40 hp boost. Hopefully for the Faenza based team this doesn’t come at the expense of reliability.
Practice is always a bit of a minefield when it comes to betting, however, I’m always a fan of a speculative bet to get the weekend off to a flying start. Despite the problems that Mercedes encountered with the hypersoft tyres in Monaco, they have had time to analyse the data and I hope they’ve got to the bottom of the issues. Lewis Hamilton has topped the timing in FP1 for the last three years, but the old engine will make it difficult for Lewis to light up the timing sheets.
Ferrari haven’t been fastest in FP1 at all so far this season, for this reason, I’m backing Max Verstappen to be fastest in FP1. It’s also worth noting that Vettel has topped FP3 timings for the previous two years. The Ferraris have been fastest in FP3 in four of the six races this season, so I’ll be monitoring the Ferrari’s one-lap pace in FP1 and FP2 and taking a second look at the FP3 prices when they become available.
Back Max Verstappen to be quickest in practice 1 at
Qualifying, as previously noted, has been an all Hamilton affair for the last three years. However, with the lack of an engine upgrade it’s difficult to see why Hamilton is the 11/8 favourite.
Canada is a power reliant circuit, so using six race old engines will be a sever disadvantage. Sebastian Vettel should be the favourite in my eyes. Having out qualified teammate Kimi Räikkönen in five of the six races so far this season, it is impossible to look past the four-time World Champion.
Back Sebastian Vettel to be fastest qualifier at
Ferrari look to have everything aligned for a great weekend, so there’s no reinventing the wheel going on this week. Sebastian Vettel is their number one driver so, if Räikkönen is directly ahead near the end of the race I would expect the team to ask him to let Vettel past. Vettel to win the race at 6/4 seems like the obvious choice here.
I’d be very surprised if Ferrari don’t get a 1-2 finish this weekend, so at 11/8 for a podium finish, Kimi Räikkönen may well be the bet of the weekend.
Looking further down the field could well be the key for race day. Toro Rosso have a reported 40 hp boost coming from Honda this weekend and so you could be tempted in backing them to reach the points. Brendon Hartley at 5/1 for a top 10 finish is certainly an eye-opener, but he’s been struggling this season, amassing just one of Toro Rosso’s 19 points. With this in mind, and the fact that Honda adding performance has previously meant losing what little reliability they have had, I’m going to swerve this temptation.
With Daniel Ricciardo looking set to be starting from towards the back of the grid, he may struggle to challenge for the major placings this weekend. He will be pushing hard though and is almost guaranteed to be putting in some audacious overtakes. His never say die attitude has led him to take the fastest lap in 508c50f0e39ac2a} of the races so far this season, so I’m taking a speculative stab at him doing again in Canada.
Back Sebastian Vettel to win the Canadian Grand Prix at
Back Kimi Räikkönen to finish on the podium at (NAP)
Back Daniel Ricciardo to get the fastest lap at