Power Ranking the Formula 1 Teams After 2015 Canadian Grand Prix
The 2015 Formula One Canadian Grand Prix didn't quite live up to the standards of its predecessors, but it nonetheless provided us with a very watchable, somewhat entertaining race.
Mercedes strolled to yet another victory, aided in part by Ferrari pressing the self-destruct button. Sebastian Vettel's qualifying gremlins and Kimi Raikkonen's spin saw the team miss out on the podium for the first time all season.
Williams were the grateful beneficiaries of the Scuderia's misfortune.
Further back we saw Red Bull toil, McLaren fall apart and Lotus secure a double points finish for the first time since the 2013 Indian Grand Prix.
All the teams are now heading back to Europe to prepare for the Austrian Grand Prix—another power circuit likely to be dominated by Mercedes-engined teams.
Here's how the constructors currently rank.
Note on Power Rankings
F1 team power rankings ignore the points table and instead present a snapshot of where each team stands in relation to their competitors based on the three key factors of reliability, single-lap and long-run pace.
The rankings are based on how they would perform if racing on an "average" circuit that places equal emphasis on each area of the car.
All position changes are relative to those in the previous set of rankings, created after the Monaco Grand Prix. You can find them here.
Manor again failed to keep up—but did at least get a bit of TV time.
Roberto Merhi led the way in qualifying, beating team-mate Will Stevens by just 24 thousandths of a second. But the gap between them and the slowest healthy rival was a whopping 2.2 seconds.
The Spaniard got away ahead but Stevens stuck with him and overtook on Lap 7—though they quickly fell away from the rest of the field, they could at least have a fight with each other.
Merhi was back ahead after the pit stops and looked set to stay there, but his race was ended by a drive shaft failure.
Stevens made it to the end, even further behind than usual due to a collision with Romain Grosjean. The Lotus man misjudged the distance between his car and the Manor into the braking zone of the final chicane, cutting across and damaging Stevens' front wing.
A bit of TV exposure will have been welcomed by their new sponsor, Airbnb—but Manor remain 10th.
McLaren failed to capitalise on their strong Monaco showing.
Fernando Alonso set a surprisingly good qualifying time, barely three-tenths of a second shy of making it into Q3. He started 14th, but Jenson Button was less fortunate. He failed to set a time in qualifying after suffering an ERS-related issue in third practice.
At the start, Alonso got off the line well and was 11th after the opening lap. But over the course of the first 10 laps, his sluggish McLaren fell victim to two Ferrari-engined cars, a Mercedes-powered Williams and even a Toro Rosso-Renault.
The car just wasn't fast enough on the long straights, and the Spaniard was nowhere near the points when an exhaust failure ended his grand prix.
Button started last, took his drive-through penalty on the first lap and endured a lonely, slow afternoon. The exhaust failure—two in the same race for McLaren—which ended his race was as much merciful as it was disappointing.
McLaren drop a place to ninth.
Sauber opted to keep the old Ferrari power unit for Canada and didn't have a good weekend.
Marcus Ericsson was quickest of the team's two drivers for only the second time in 2015. His Q2 lap of one minute, 16.262 seconds put him in 13th; team-mate Felipe Nasr was almost four-tenths slower after the team, to their credit, repaired his car following his silly practice crash.
When the lights went out, Ericsson held his position before overtaking Fernando Alonso's McLaren as soon as DRS was enabled. He then had a brilliant duel with Felipe Massa, the Williams man eventually taking the place at the inside of Turn 2.
But despite showing decent pace fighting Massa, Ericsson was unable to remain close to the points. He fell away after his only pit stop and came home in 14th.
Nasr never really got going, wasn't as quick as his team-mate and finished a disappointing 16th.
Sauber were poor, but at least they got two cars to the finish. They rise a spot to eighth.
7. Force India
Force India again recorded a good result—this time with a different driver.
Nico Hulkenberg qualified an excellent seventh with a time of 1:15.614. Sergio Perez struggled with his tyres and could only manage 10th place—his best Q3 lap significantly slower than the time he set in Q2.
Hulkenberg rose a place at the start with a slick move around Pastor Maldonado into Turn 3. The German fended off the Lotus man's attentions for a number of laps but lost out at the pit-stop round.
He finished in eighth, unable to match the leading four teams but clear of the Renault-powered Red Bulls.
Perez started behind both the Austrian team's cars; though he passed Daniel Ricciardo early, Daniil Kvyat proved a tougher nut to crack. Perez spent most of the race staring at his rear end before slipping back toward the end, losing out on the final points-paying position to Romain Grosjean.
It was a decent weekend for Force India, who were not using the updated Mercedes engine. The Renault-powered teams were uncomfortably close on such a horsepower-reliant circuit—but that may change when the new VJM08 arrives on the scene.
They remain seventh.
6. Toro Rosso
Toro Rosso had one of their worst weekends of the year in Montreal.
Carlos Sainz Jr. maintained his strong qualifying record by beating Max Verstappen for the fifth time in 2015. The Spaniard lined up 11th, his younger team-mate two-tenths and one place back in 12th.
However, Verstappen had 15 grid slots worth of penalties hanging over his head—five for causing a collision in Monaco and 10 for taking another engine. Moved to the back of the grid and unable to drop all 15 positions, he also received a 10-second time penalty.
The Dutchman made some progress in the race, but taking the penalty at his one and only pit stop cost him track position and time. He finished a lap down in 15th.
A poor first lap left Sainz down in 14th, and his progress was slow. Lacking straight-line speed, he later complained of being forced to do a lot of lift-and-coast to ensure he had enough fuel to reach the end.
He ended up 12th, a long way shy of the points—but he did at least overtake Daniel Ricciardo's Red Bull, relegating last year's race winner to 13th.
Per Autosport, Sainz had expected Canada to be Toro Rosso's "toughest race of the season"—and so it proved.
They drop a place to sixth.
5. Red Bull
Last year's Canadian Grand Prix winners endured an awful weekend in Montreal.
Up against it from the word go due to their weak Renault engine, Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo did well to reach Q3. Kvyat was the quicker of the two for the second time in 2015.
Kvyat held his position at the start. Though unable to hold back the charging Felipe Massa, he did at least keep Sergio Perez behind after coming under attack early in the race.
The Russian survived an undercut attempt and more pressure from Perez after the pit stop round. The Force India man eventually dropped back, but Kvyat then came under attack from the recovering Lotus of Romain Grosjean.
Showing good defensive skill, Kvyat held him off too to finish ninth—the best-placed Renault-powered car.
Ricciardo always looked a bit off-colour and later revealed he was "a little confused" by his lack of pace. The man who won the 2014 race trailed home in 13th this time around.
Red Bull fall a spot to fifth.
Lotus put in a very strong showing on a circuit that places power above all else.
Romain Grosjean qualified a season-best fifth on the grid with a lap of 1:15.194, but he could have done even better. The Frenchman didn't improve on his Q2 time—going even a tenth below it would have netted him fourth.
Pastor Maldonado started alongside his team-mate in sixth.
The start saw Grosjean maintain fifth and, though he fell back quickly from the cars ahead, he pulled out a healthy lead over those behind. After making his one and only stop he rejoined and looked set for a comfortable seventh—but he threw it away on Lap 48.
After lapping Will Stevens on the approach to the final chicane, Grosjean cut back across the Manor in the braking zone. The pair collided, Grosjean's left-rear tyre suffering a puncture as it took out half of Stevens' front wing.
He dived straight into the pits but the mechanics weren't ready for him and he rejoined in 11th. Though he passed Sergio Perez, Daniil Kvyat was surprisingly able to resist. Grosjean finished 10th.
Maldonado had an uneventful race for the first time all year. The Venezuelan fell behind Nico Hulkenberg at the start and lost time to Grosjean, but he got past with an aggressive undercut.
The early stop left him with a mammoth 53-lap stint on the soft compound tyres, but he held on and brought the car home in seventh for his first points of 2015.
Lotus now look to have edged out Red Bull. They rise two places to fourth.
Williams put the memories of Monaco firmly to bed with a highly competitive outing in Canada.
Valtteri Bottas qualified fourth with a time of 1:15.102. He was just over seven-tenths down on Lewis Hamilton's pole time and less than a tenth away from taking third. Felipe Massa suffered a loss of power and was unable to get out of Q1, setting the 17th-fastest lap.
When the lights went out on Sunday, Bottas maintained his fourth place. The two Mercedes were far too quick, but he remained a respectable distance behind Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari.
Raikkonen's spin gifted third to Bottas, but he still had work to do. The team's original plan was for two stops, but midway through the race—after Bottas had pitted—they decided to go for just one.
The gamble worked and Bottas claimed his first podium of the season, five seconds clear of Raikkonen.
Massa started 15th after other drivers received penalties. Now able to call on every drop of Mercedes power, he rapidly cut through the field to run seventh before pitting and falling to ninth.
Running the quicker super-soft tyres in the second half of the race, the Brazilian made his way up to sixth at the flag.
Williams proved Monaco was an unfortunate blip and will head to Austria in a confident mood. They remain third.
Ferrari shot themselves in the foot and ruined their own slim chances of taking the fight to Mercedes.
Kimi Raikkonen qualified a season-best third, a little over six-tenths of a second down on Lewis Hamilton's pole time. But Sebastian Vettel—so often the Scuderia's main man on Saturdays—suffered a hybrid power issue. He could only manage 16th, which became 18th after a penalty for overtaking under red flags in third practice.
Raikkonen got off the line well and challenged Nico Rosberg going into Turn 1. Though unable to get by, the Finn settled into third and looked set for a lonely afternoon in the no-man's land between the two Mercedes and the rest of the field.
But Valtteri Bottas kept his countryman honest, and then Raikkonen spun at the hairpin on his out-lap—an incident he later put down to the Ferrari's throttle doing "something odd." He had a near-identical, equally strange spin last year too.
Whatever the cause, it put Raikkonen behind Bottas. He made an extra stop in the hope of passing later on fresh tyres but couldn't close the gap and ended up fourth.
Vettel set about making up places from the very start and was up to 13th by the end of the fourth lap. A very early stop left him needing to cut through the back-markers again, but he dispatched them quickly and was up to a net seventh by the halfway point.
A further stop and two more overtakes saw him move up to fifth; that's where he finished, less than five seconds down on Raikkonen.
Their pace was good but a couple of glitches cost them dear. Ferrari remain second.
Mercedes were again the class of the field as their nearest challengers self-destructed.
Lewis Hamilton claimed his sixth pole of the season and his fourth at this circuit with a time of 1:14.393. Nico Rosberg joined him on the front row; their closest rival was three-tenths back in third.
A reasonable if not spectacular start saw the two W06s convert their front row into running first and second, and they were never threatened from that point on.
It was something of a formation race—Hamilton ahead, Rosberg second as they stuck close together and gradually pulled away from the rest of the field.
Hamilton took the chequered flag for his fourth win of the year. His team-mate was close behind, and the third-placed Williams of Valtteri Bottas was 40 seconds up the road.
Ferrari might have been closer had they got everything right, but Mercedes remain first.