Will the race strategy be as surprising as the qualifying results?

Because of the jumbled grid order, some racers may adopt aggressive tactics in try to move close to the front.


Following the dramas of Saturday’s rainy test session, which resulted in an unorthodox order at the front of the field, the forecast for Sunday’s race appears to be much more simple.

The primary concern the racers will have at the beginning is that the racetrack will be deficient in grip relative to where it should have been had Saturday been dry.

This will affect the pace of tyre wear, perhaps allowing drivers to adopt a two-stop strategy if the wear rate is found to be excessive.

Pirelli believes that a one-stop approach will be the fastest, with the best option being to begin on the Medium compound before switching to the Hards halfway through the race. Starting on the Softs is also an option, although starting on the Mediums provides the racers with a larger pit stop window and greater freedom.

This is attributable to the fact that racers who begin on the Softs will need to stop somewhat early and will have a lengthier second stint.

Importantly, in Montreal, a two-stop plan isn’t much slower. Drivers virtually avoid the last and first bends as they combine back in through Turn 2.

Beginning from the back, a sensible option for Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc might be to begin on the Hard tyre and stick with it throughout the race – a Safety Car intervention is a distinct possibility at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, and based on the timing, such an intervention could take him back into play.

Because it’s a circuit where overtaking is quite easy if you’re faster than the racer in front, the two-stop approach is far more enticing than it would be at other places.

Isola reviews qualifying

Pirelli boss Mario Isola reflected on the difficult hour-long qualifying session that took place in the rain on Saturday.

“With the risk of rain identified, the drivers had an extra set of intermediates allocated for FP3 per the regulations,” he said.

“In qualifying, the track was ready for Intermediates at the end of Q1, although the crossover point between full Wets and Intermediates was somewhat higher than we had anticipated.

“While the track dried reasonably quickly, it was inconsistent: with some parts fully wet, some parts damp, and other parts dry – leading to an exciting qualifying that really tested the skills of the drivers.

“As we have just one specification of full Wets and Intermediates homologated for the entire year, these tyres obviously have to be extremely adaptable to a very wide range of circumstances, including the unique conditions we saw here in Canada.

“The Wets and Intermediates did exactly what was required here, with only one driver trying the slicks in Q3, but conditions were still too wet.

“It should be a very different story tomorrow, so now the teams have to make the most of the information obtained on Friday.”

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