2018 Canadian Grand Prix.

Discussion in 'Sports' started by Swami, Jun 7, 2018.

  1. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Warrior

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    F1 heads to Montreal this weekend for what invariably proves one of the best races of the season, tough circuit on tyres and brakes, unpredictable weather - should be good!

    Swami
     
  2. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Warrior

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    Canadian Grand Prix: Max Verstappen fastest in first practice
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    By Andrew Benson

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    Live text & audio of second practice is live on the BBC Sport website from 18:30 BST
    Red Bull's Max Verstappen pipped Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes in first practice at the Canadian Grand Prix.

    The Dutchman was 0.088 seconds quicker but was using softer tyres which account for the gap between the two.

    Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo was third from Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, both on the same hyper-soft tyres as Verstappen.


    Hamilton was on the ultra-soft tyres as was team-mate Valtteri Bottas in fifth, ahead of Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen.

    Fernando Alonso was impressive in seventh place for McLaren, just 0.598 seconds off the pace and on the same ultra-soft tyres as Mercedes were using.

    The Spaniard, celebrating his 300th grand prix this weekend, was fastest early on before a brief red-flag period when Nico Hulkenberg's Renault stopped on track with gearbox issues, and continued to appear close to the sharp end throughout the 90 minutes.

    Alonso headed Renault's Carlos Sainz, with the second McLaren of Stoffel Vandoorne and Toro Rosso Pierre Gasly completing the top 10.

    Hamilton will probably end the session happiest as the ultra-soft is reckoned to be in the region of 0.7secs slower than the hyper-soft.

    But Ferrari often start weekends slowly only to leap up the timing sheets on Saturday when it matters, and Vettel was only 0.272secs behind Verstappen's pace-setting lap.

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    Max Verstappen was fastest, just one day after suggesting he might "headbutt" somebody if he was continually asked about the mistakes he has made this year
    Hamilton is concerned about the fact that Mercedes are the only engine manufacturer who have not brought an upgrade to Canada, where engine power is more important in overall lap time than at many other tracks.

    Mercedes found a "quality issue" with their upgraded engine, believed to be a tolerance that would have made the engine unlikely to last the seven races engines need to run this season.

    It is now slated for introduction at the next race in France, but Ferrari, Renault and Honda all have upgrades in Canada.

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    Hamilton has said women are not being paid enough in sport after he was classified as the 12th richest sportsperson in the Forbes 100 list
    Hamilton is concerned that doing this race with an old engine that will have lost a small amount of power over its life could be enough to make it difficult to contend for victory at a track where he has won six times in 10 races.

    Hamilton leads Vettel by 14 points in the championship heading into the weekend, with Ricciardo third, 38 points off the lead.

    Canada is a tricky track where mistakes are often plentiful because of the proximity of concrete walls to fast and demanding chicanes.

    But although there were a number of wobbles from drivers, only the two Williams drivers actually hit the wall.

    Lance Stroll suffered a puncture when he brushed the 'wall of champions' at the final chicane and team-mate Sergey Sirotkin spun and touched the wall at Turn Seven late in the session.

    The Williams looked a handful out on track, as ever, and Sirotkin finished the session 17th, 0.491secs ahead of Stroll in 18th.

    Only Force India reserve Nicolas Latifi, in his first F1 practice session, and Hulkenberg, who did not set a time, were behind the Williams on the time sheets.


    Swami
     
  3. Swami

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    Max Verstappen quickest in Canadian GP second practice
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    By Andrew Benson

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    Live text and audio commentary of Saturday's final practice and qualifying is on the BBC Sport website
    Red Bull's Max Verstappen headed Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen in second practice at the Canadian Grand Prix.

    Verstappen's team-mate Daniel Ricciardo leapt up to third place late on after electrical problems delayed him.

    But Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes appeared to be quickest, fourth and 0.579 seconds off the pace on a slower tyre.


    The session was characterised by teams juggling tyres to work out their best strategy for qualifying and race with the awkward hyper-soft rubber.

    The hyper-soft is much faster over one lap than the ultra-soft, the medium of three compounds this weekend, but it degrades much faster than other two, and at least some of the top three teams are likely to try to avoid starting the race on it.

    All three potentially have the pace to make it through the second qualifying elimination session on the ultra-soft, which would mean they could start the race on that tyre and avoid the hyper-soft, using it only for the top 10 shoot-out at the end of qualifying.

    But that will not be known for sure until qualifying on Saturday.

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    The Montreal marmots (or groundhogs) were getting very close to the action
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    Too close, in fact
    So who looks fastest for the race?
    The mix of tyres made it difficult to get an accurate read on overall pace but Hamilton, who is always stunning around the demanding Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on the picturesque Ile Notre-Dame in the St Lawrence Seaway, looked imperious.

    His lap time of one minute 12.777 seconds was 0.579secs off Verstappen's fastest but set on the hardest and slowest tyre, the super-soft, which is reckoned to be at least a second slower than the hyper-soft used by Red Bull and Ferrari.

    Mercedes did not run the hyper-soft tyre at all on Friday, preferring to save it for Saturday because they have chosen to bring only five sets for each driver - the fewest of any team.

    By contrast, Verstappen - who was also fastest in first practice - Raikkonen, Ricciardo and Vettel all used the hyper-soft to set their times, the Dutchman 0.13secs ahead of the Finn and 0.405secs clear of the Australian.

    But Ricciardo's session was hampered by an electrical problem which cost him the best part of an hour of track time, and when he did get back on track he had to negotiate the rest of the cars doing race-simulations runs on full tanks up to six seconds a lap slower than him.

    Vettel's day was also difficult. He missed the start of the session as the Ferrari mechanics worked on an issue the team have not revealed and appeared to lack pace when he was running. The German was 0.787secs off Verstappen while also running the hyper-soft tyres.

    Best of the rest was Haas driver Romain Grosjean, who pipped the Force Indias of Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez, all three running the hyper-soft tyre.

    McLaren's Fernando Alonso was only 0.246secs behind Grosjean in 10th place, despite only running the ultra-soft, capping a strong day for the team, who have new aerodynamic parts, including a new front wing, in addition to an upgrade enjoyed by all Renault-engined cars.

    The factory Ferraris and Toro Rosso-Hondas also have engine upgrades this weekend. Mercedes are not using theirs after discovering a "quality issue" that would have risked the engine's reliability over the seven races it has to complete.

    What they said
    Hamilton: "Beautiful day, weather is fantastic and the track feels amazing. It feels great. We enjoyed it. Didn't have any problems, such a fun track to drive.

    "We don't have as many hyper-softs as everyone else. You have to select them quite far ahead. Hindsight is a great thing. It would have been great to try the hyper today but others have and seen some that degraded a lot and some maybe haven't but in P3 we will take it for a spin and have a look at it."

    Vettel: "Not entirely happy yet. For us it is not quite there. We still have some work to do."

    Swami
     
  4. Swami

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    Canadian Grand Prix: Sebastian Vettel on pole, Lewis Hamilton fourth
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    By Andrew Benson

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    Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel won an intense battle to take pole position for the Canadian Grand Prix, with title rival Lewis Hamilton only fourth.

    Vettel edged Hamilton's Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas by 0.093 seconds as Red Bull's Max Verstappen sneaked ahead of Hamilton with his final lap.

    Hamilton was unusually out of sorts on a track at which he has excelled so many times, and a series of mistakes left him struggling to keep up.


    He was 0.232secs off the pace.

    Vettel's team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was fifth, slipping down from third on the first runs after blowing his final lap with an error in running wide on the exit of Turn Two. The second Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo was sixth.

    Vettel, who is 14 points behind Hamilton in the championship and has a great chance to make up ground, said: "Yesterday we were a bit in trouble and I just couldn't get the rhythm, but today it switched on and what a day.

    "The car was incredible."

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    Romain Grosjean's Haas suffered spectacular engine failure right at the beginning of qualifying
    Hamilton not his usual self
    Hamilton was struggling throughout qualifying, despite looking strong through most of the weekend, but he surely will not have expected to end up down in fourth on a circuit at which he has taken six wins and six poles in 10 events, nor to be beaten by a team-mate for only the second time in his career here.

    The world champion was third in first qualifying, fifth in second qualifying, and fourth after the first runs in the top 10 shootout.

    He locked his brakes at the hairpin on both his laps in the final session, and on his first could be seen struggling for traction out of it as well, and he ended up 0.139secs slower than Bottas.

    Mercedes' decision to choose the fewest number of hyper-soft tyres for this weekend out of all the teams may have contributed as neither driver had tried them until Saturday morning, but Hamilton cannot blame only that as Bottas ended up on the front row.

    "We had a car today that probably could have been on pole and I didn't put it on pole. I'm not frustrated. Maybe disappointed in myself. But these things happen. You can't always get it perfect."

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    Pole would have made Hamilton the most successful qualifier of all time in Canada, but he is still tied with Michael Schumacher on six
    Sunday could be a belter
    The race looks finely poised, with differing strategies among the top three teams.

    Red Bull have chosen to start the race on the fastest but most fragile 'hyper-soft' tyre, while both Mercedes and Ferrari chose to go through second qualifying, which defines the race-start tyre, on the more durable ultra-soft.

    Mercedes asked for so few hyper-softs because they believe it will be a poor race tyre, but Red Bull proved at the last race in Monaco that they can run it longer and more competitively than other teams, and Verstappen is confident he can challenge the Ferraris and Mercedes in the race.

    The Dutchman, who has had a difficult start to the season with a series of crashes and errors, said: "I am really happy with this weekend so far. We know in qualifying we are missing top speed. Starting on the softer tyres is also a benefit here and during the race we are competitive."

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    Dismal day for Alonso on anniversary
    McLaren have battled to be among the best of the rest in the past few races but they had a dismal time, the characteristics of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve exposing the specific biggest weaknesses of their car - a lack of straight-line speed and poor slow-corner performance.

    Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne have ended up 14th and 15th, separated by only 0.009secs - a good result for the Belgian, if not for his team.

    It was no way for Alonso to celebrate the 300th grand prix of an illustrious career as questions swirl about his future in the sport this year.

    The McLarens were out-qualified by the Sauber of the increasingly impressive Charles Leclerc in 13th and the Toro Rosso of under-pressure Brendon Hartley.

    The New Zealander has had to deal with questions about his future this weekend after it emerged Red Bull wanted to replace him with McLaren reserve driver Lando Norris from the Austrian Grand Prix.

    But the two-time world endurance champion qualified 12th, benefiting from an upgraded Honda engine.

    Team-mate Pierre Gasly was 16th, forced to use the older-spec engine after a problem was discovered after final practice. But the difference in the engines does not explain the 0.5-second gap in their times in first qualifying.

    Renault's Nico Hulkenberg ended up seventh, ahead of Force India's Esteban Ocon, Renault's Carlos Sainz and Ocon's team-mate Sergio Perez.

    Swami
     
  5. Swami

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    Sebastian Vettel takes F1 title lead with Canada win
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    By Andrew Benson

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    Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel dominated the Canadian Grand Prix to retake the championship lead as Lewis Hamilton could finish only fifth for Mercedes.

    Vettel converted pole position into a lead at the first corner and was never headed as he kept Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas at arm's length throughout the race.

    Red Bull's Max Verstappen took third after a valiant but unsuccessful attempt to pass Bottas through the first two corners.


    Hamilton started fourth but dropped back to finish fifth and is a point behind Vettel at the one-third point of the season.

    In a bizarre end, the chequered flag was waved a lap too early by model Winnie Harlow, only for Vettel to say over team radio: "Tell them not to wave the flag when it's not done." He continued on his way to take it again after the correct 70 laps in the end.

    The world champion was struggling with engine temperatures in the first part of the race, which forced Mercedes into an earlier than planned pit stop for fresh tyres so they could add more cooling to the car.

    It meant Hamilton lost a place to Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo at his stop, and the Briton had a nervy moment when Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen emerged alongside him after his much later stop.

    Hamilton managed to fend the Finn off, and even pulled away despite having tyres that were 16 laps older than Raikkonen's.

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    Lap one was eventful, as Canadian Lance Stroll lost control of his Williams, sandwiching Toro Rosso's Brendon Hartley between himself and the wall. Hartley subsequently went to hospital for a check-up
    Ferrari unnerved by eventful start
    Vettel had failed to convert his previous two pole positions, in Azerbaijan and China, into wins, after Ferrari were out-foxed on strategy in Shanghai and he made an error in Baku, but there was never any danger of that happening in Montreal.

    The German made a strong start and as Bottas was left to fend off Verstappen's attack, the Ferrari started to sprint clear, only for the race to be put under a safety car following a huge crash between Toro Rosso's Brendon Hartley and Williams' Lance Stroll.

    Hartley was making a move on Stroll through the flat-out Turn Five. The Canadian edged him wide and then the Williams started to slide, collecting Hartley and forcing the Toro Rosso into the barriers.

    It leapt in the air, half-mounted Stroll's Williams, and the two careered together into the run-off area.

    Stroll was unhurt but Hartley, who was seen walking back to the pits, was sent to hospital for a scan. Toro Rosso were unable to give any further detail.

    The race restarted on lap five and Vettel again sprinted clear, pulling an advantage of 1.2 seconds in one lap and 3.4secs by lap 10. The race was effectively over, as Vettel controlled events from then on.

    Bottas drove strongly to take second, despite a late charge from Verstappen as the Finn struggled to manage a lack of fuel, crossing the line just 0.9secs clear of the Dutchman.

    After fending off Raikkonen, Hamilton began to pile pressure on Ricciardo in the last 20 laps.

    With eight laps to go, his engineer gave him the option of turning the engine down and settling for fifth, but Hamilton insisted he keep trying. He was hoping to benefit as they picked their way through the battle between three lapped cars and it led to a tense climax, but in the end Hamilton was unable to pass.

    'Not bothered' about title lead
    Vettel, for whom this was his 50th victory, said: "Perfect is a good way to describe it. I said yesterday how much this place means for Ferrari. To have a race like we have to day is unbelievable."

    He said he was "not too bothered" about the fact that he was back in the lead of the championship, saying the first Ferrari win since 2004 at a track that is synonymous with the team because of the Canadian icon Gilles Villeneuve - a Ferrari driver from 1977-82 before his death at the Belgian Grand Prix - was more important.

    "It is a good side effect, but today at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve we had Jacques driving his father's car earlier, which was very emotional and to have a win with me driving makes me very proud."

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    40 years after Gilles Villeneuve won his home race for Ferrari, his son Jacques drove his car around the Montreal circuit before the race. Father Gilles sadly lost his life in qualifying for the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix
    Woe is McLaren
    Behind the big six, Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz took seventh and eighth for Renault, striking an important blow against McLaren in their battle for fourth place in the constructors' championship.

    Fernando Alonso was on course to score at least a point for 10th place on the weekend in which he has been celebrating his 300th grand prix.

    But he retired with 30 laps to go with a broken exhaust, his second retirement in a row.

    His team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne could finish only 16th after running the entire race on a set of tyres that were fitted at the end of lap one during the safety car period.

    It was a dismal race for McLaren, their worst performance of the season and raising concerns that their claims of making progress with the car are not coming to fruition.

    Behind the Renaults, Force India's Esteban Ocon took ninth and Sauber's Charles Leclerc the final point in another impressive performance by the Monegasque rookie.

    Swami
     

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