Canadian GP: Preview - Mercedes


Toto Wolff: The result in Spain was a well-deserved reward for everyone's efforts at Brackley and Brixworth to bring our update package to the track. We were pleased with how it performed, and it will provide a new baseline for us to build from.

But we must also manage our expectations. It was a circuit that suited our car, and we should expect our direct competitors to be stronger in the next races. The gap to Red Bull is large and it will take lots of hard work to close that down. Nevertheless, we're up for the challenge.

Following the Grand Prix in Spain, Mick got his first opportunity to drive the W14. He settled in well during the Pirelli tyre test and enjoyed the experience. Mick has become a valuable member of the Team already and his work in the simulator has proved useful in finding lap time, as we saw in Barcelona.

We now move on to Montreal. With its long straights and low-speed corners, it's not a track that we expect to suit our car as well as Barcelona did. No matter where the true pace of the car is this weekend, we will aim to maximise our result. The characteristics of the circuit will also provide further opportunity to learn about the W14 and feed into our development path.

Fact File: Canadian Grand Prix

• The 4.361 km Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is similar in its characteristics to that of the Baku City Circuit in Azerbaijan. Long straights requiring lower drag are punctuated by slower speed corners such as chicanes and hairpins that require higher downforce.

• The 14 corners of the circuit comprise six left-hand and eight right-hand turns. Most of the corners are in a similar speed range, which is at the lower end of the scale compared to the rest of the circuits on the 2023 calendar.

• Several corners come as a double change of direction (left/right or right/left combinations) that require good responsiveness from the car. These include the combinations that comprise turns one and two, turns three and four, turns six and seven, turns eight and nine, and the final chicane at turns 13 and 14.

• The 405-metre pit lane ranks eighth in terms of length across all the circuits we race at. However, time expended during a pit stop is not especially high, as drivers are spared the inconvenience of going through the last chicane, instead entering the pit lane directly. Additionally, the pit exit feeds in at Turn two, thus drivers avoid having to negotiate the first corner too.

• The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is traditionally regarded as tough on brakes, similar to the Austrian GP. However, there are usually fewer cooling problems in Canada than in Spielberg because the lap distance is greater and there is more time for the brakes to dissipate temperature.

• Although the track surface in Montreal is quite smooth, tyre degradation is traditionally high. Combined with the track characteristics, which are of a stop-go nature, this improves the chances of overtaking and generally provides an entertaining race.

• In the past five editions of the Canadian Grand Prix, the safety car has been deployed three times. Whilst not especially prevalent, due to the proximity of the walls and little run-off area, even relatively minor accidents can pose a threat of the safety car being deployed.

• Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher share the record for the most wins at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve with seven.

• The circuit is located on the Īle Notre-Dame, an island that hosted the World Expo in 1967. The Expo 67 American Pavilion, which became the Montreal Biosphere and is now an environmental museum, is a visible reminder of this.

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Published: 12/06/2023
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