Tire strategy key to Canada Grand Prix success
ERJ staff report (TP)
Montreal, Canada – Pirelli said high temperatures and a lengthy safety car period right at the beginning of the race, meant that tire strategy formed a central part of the Formula One Canadian Grand Prix, with the teams having to assimilate to a new set of tire characteristics compared to the cooler conditions of free practice and qualifying.
The race was won by Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo, with the top five separated by just five seconds in the closing stages of the race. Tire strategy was central, with drivers on younger and fresher tires using them to gain an advantage as the grand prix drew to a close. Ricciardo took the lead with just two laps to go, from Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg, while Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel completed the podium. All three adopted a two-stop strategy.
The highest-placed one-stopper was Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg in fifth, who started on the soft tire and completed a 41-lap stint before his single stop from the soft to the supersoft.
A safety car period, lasting eight laps right at the beginning of the race, altered the strategy, with tire degradation at “the most critical fuel-heavy period minimised”. Wear on both compounds was generally low, despite track temperatures that "exceeded 45°C and 30°C ambient".
Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “Once again, Canada delivered a thrilling grand prix: this time in hot conditions, which led to plenty of interesting tire strategies. With such an action-packed race, we saw plenty of improvisation from several drivers as they attempted to use tire strategy to their best advantage.”