Canadian Grand Prix 2014 Preview: Start Time, TV Info, Weather, Schedule, Odds
The 2014 Formula One Canadian Grand Prix takes place on Sunday 8 June. As has been the case since 1978, the venue will be the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal.
This will be the 34th time the event has been held here.
Nico Rosberg's victory in Monaco put him back into the championship lead, with Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton four points behind.
It's highly likely one of the two men will take the chequered flag this weekend, too, but whoever is second shouldn't despair. Only 13 Canadian Grands Prix at Montreal have been won by the eventual world champion.
Read on for a full circuit guide, tyre and DRS information, current standings, session and TV times, weather forecast and odds.
Nico Rosberg leads team-mate Lewis Hamilton by just four points after six races.
The rest of the field are a long way back. The current top 10 are (data from Formula1.com):
|4||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing-Renault||54|
|5||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||47|
|6||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||45|
|10||Sergio Perez||Force India-Mercedes||20|
In the constructors' championship standings, Mercedes have a commanding lead over second-placed Red Bull.
But the big news is down in ninth. Marussia have their first-ever F1 points. The current standings are:
Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Ile Notre Dame, Montreal
Constructed on the man-made Ile Notre Dame in the St. Lawrence River and named after Canada's greatest racing driver, the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is truly a thing of beauty.
It consists of two hairpins and four chicanes with a couple of extra corners thrown in, and many corners have no run-off at all. A mistake at one of these places will almost certainly result in a trip into the wall.
The track couldn't be more different to the ultra-modern, corner-heavy Hermann Tilke circuits which now dominate the F1 calendar—and for that, we're ever thankful.
Because come rain or shine, Montreal always delivers the goods. No circuit is as likely to produce a great race as this one.
Turns 1 and 2
A lap begins on the pit straight. It immediately curves slightly to the right before braking for Turn 1, a low- to medium-speed left-hander.
This corner ruins many a lap, as drivers occasionally try to take too much speed into the turn and run wide at the exit.
Assuming they got through safely, the drivers swerve back across the track ready for the slow right-hand hairpin of Turn 2. As hairpins go, this one is quite long—nothing like the ultra-sharp sort we see at the end of long straights on modern circuits.
A short straight follows.
Turns 3, 4 and 5
At the end of the straight comes braking for the first chicane of the lap, which consists of Turns 3 and 4.
The drivers brake before they can really see the corner, thanks to the presence on the inside of a wall very close to the track. It's first right, then left.
At the exit, the wall is right next to the circuit. The most committed drivers may brush the wall in a bid to get through the chicane as quickly as possible, but there is zero margin for error.
The right-hand Turn 5 is a rare quick corner, taken at full-throttle in the dry. It's little more than a curved straight, but drivers have crashed here in the past—most notably Olivier Panis in 1997.
Turns 6 and 7
Immediately after the exit of Turn 5 comes braking for the left-hand Turn 6. This is the first and slowest half of the second chicane at Montreal.
The second part is a much longer right-hander, which gradually opens out as it feeds the cars onto a medium-length straight.
Turns 8 and 9
The cars reach speeds of close to 300 kilometres-an-hour before another quite heavy braking zone. Turns 8 and 9 make up the lap's third chicane.
As in the previous two corners, the first half is tighter and slower, but this time it's a right-hander. Its partner, the left, is more open and the drivers aim to come within inches of the wall on the outside as they head off down another medium-length straight.
Turns 10, 11 and 12
The straight curves gently to the left, and again the cars will be touching close to 300 kilometres-an-hour before the drivers hit the brakes hard for the hairpin right of Turn 10. Overtaking is possible here, but it is unlikely to be common in the race because a much easier opportunity is around the corner.
Like the first, it's quite long for a hairpin, and the drivers have to wait before applying the throttle. A good exit out of here is critical, as it leads out onto the circuit's longest straight.
Turn 11 is the left-hand kink at the start of the straight, and Turn 12 is the less-noticeable right.
Turns 13 and 14
Expect some of the 2014 cars to hit speeds in excess of 330 kilometres-an-hour down the straight, before braking hard for the final chicane. This is the best overtaking opportunity of the lap.
The chicane is a tight right-left, and it's incredible to watch in-car cameras of the drivers hurling their cars over the kerbs in qualifying. The aim is to get as close to the outside barrier as possible without touching it.
But as with so many corners at Montreal, there's no room for error. Lurking on the outside is the most famous wall in F1.
The Wall of Champions got its (unofficial) name in 1999. Michael Schumacher (1994 and 1995 champion), Damon Hill (1996) and Jacques Villeneuve (1997) all crashed into the wall during that year's Canadian Grand Prix.
It hasn't claimed a reigning or former champion in a race since, but the name stuck permanently.
Providing they safely negotiated the chicane, the drivers are now on the pit straight for the run down to the start-finish line and the end of the lap.
In the race, the cars move diagonally across to the left-hand side of the circuit to be ready for the right-hand kink before Turn 1.
But on qualifying laps, many drivers will stay to the right of the track for a shorter run to the line.
The pit lane entrance is straight on at the end of the long straight (avoiding Turns 13 and 14), and the exit is on the outside of Turn 2.
The track map at the top of the screen shows only 13 corners. Formula1.com says 14, so I went with their count. The missing corner on the map is the one I referred to as Turn 11.
Tyres and DRS
The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is a semi-permanent facility. It gets limited use throughout the rest of the year, so the track surface is quite dirty and offers up little grip.
Fortunately, it lacks the quick corners which tend to create certain wear problems, so softer, grippier tyres can be brought.
Pirelli will supply the red-marked supersoft and yellow-marked soft tyres. This is the same combination the teams used in Monaco two weeks ago.
Two stops is likely to be the best strategy, but there's a small chance some drivers may end up making three.
DRS isn't really needed at Canada, but F1 policy is to have two zones at every circuit which allows it.
The first zone will run down the main straight from Turn 12 to the final chicane. The second zone will run the length of the pit straight, immediately after the final chicane.
The zones will operate from a single detection point, located just after the exit of Turn 9. If a car is less than a second behind a rival at this point, he will get DRS in both zones.
So even if a driver makes the pass in the first zone, he will still be able to activate DRS in the second to help him pull away.
Or if he overtakes into the hairpin at Turn 10, he'll get two full zones of DRS use despite having no one to overtake.
Montreal has a humid continental climate, and it's currently the start of meteorological summer. Wet races here are quite common.
Practice on Friday may well be affected by rain, but Saturday and Sunday look set to be very warm and dry.
Temperatures for qualifying and the race will be in the region of 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit).
BBC Weather will have the latest as we get closer to the weekend.
As we'd expect, the two Mercedes drivers are far and away the favourites for the race win. Lewis Hamilton is 6-11, with Nico Rosberg 2-1.
Daniel Ricciardo is next up, at a distant 20-1.
The top 10 favourites are:
In the "without Mercedes" betting, Daniel Ricciardo is 6-4 to win—shorter odds than four-time world champion team-mate Sebastian Vettel (9-4), who won last year's race.
A high number of finishers is expected, with 18 or fewer 11-10 and 19 or more 4-6.
Jules Bianchi is available at 50-1 to add to the two points he scored in Monaco for Marussia. Curiously, team-mate Max Chilton is available at the same odds.
All odds acquired from Oddschecker.com and correct at the time of publication.
Session and TV Times
As always, the Canadian Grand Prix weekend will consist of three free-practice sessions, qualifying and the race.
The session times are as follows:
|Practice One||Friday||10 a.m.|
|Practice Two||Friday||2 p.m.|
|Practice Three||Saturday||10 a.m.|
All are given in Montreal local time (EDT). Formula1.com has a handy one-click tool to convert them to your own timezone.
|Session||Day||Session Start||Sky Start||BBC Start|
|Practice One||Friday||3 p.m.||2:45 p.m.||2:55 p.m. (Two)|
|Practice Two||Friday||7 p.m.||6:45 p.m.||7 p.m. (Three)|
|Practice Three||Saturday||3 p.m.||2:45 p.m.||2:55 p.m. (Two)|
|Qualifying||Saturday||6 p.m.||5 p.m.||5 p.m. (One)|
|Race||Sunday||7 p.m.||5:30 p.m.||6:20 p.m. (One)|
All times in the table above given in BST.
In the United States, NBC and NBCSN will be providing live coverage of second practice (2 p.m. Eastern on Friday, NBCSN), qualifying (1 p.m. Eastern on Saturday, NBCSN) and the race (2 p.m. Eastern on Sunday, NBC).
The NBC schedule page suggests no time will be given to pre-race build-up.
Enjoy the weekend!
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