Things to know before the Canadian Grand Prix

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Canada, Circuit Gilles Villeneuveca

Sebastian Vettel took pole position for the Formula One Pirelli Grand Prix Du Canada 2019 at the end of the thrilling, entertaining and action packed qualifying session.

Yesterday’s qualifying session provided plenty of excitement and surprises. The second qualifying session saw Kevin Magnussen hitting the Champions’ Wall, forcing the race direction to deploy the red flag. At a consequence, many drivers were denied to finish their very last qualifying lap including Max Verstappen who, as a result of the Dane’s crash, got knocked out in Q2. Valtteri Bottas only secured the sixth starting position after the Finn got out of shape in the last qualifying segment, making a series of mistakes in the dying minutes of the session.

Track

Fast and unforgiving - The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve mixes elements of a permanent and a street circuit, offering an exciting combination of low grip and high speeds around the 4.361km track. The straights tempt drivers to apply the throttle aggressively, although the unforgiving conrete walls punish every little mistake.

Around and around – On the relatively short track, drivers need to complete 70 laps to cover the race distance of 305.207km.

Three - There will be three DRS zones in Canada. The first zone has a detection point 15m after Turn 5 and an activation point 95m after Turn 7. The other two zones share a detection point 110m before Turn 9, with activation points 155m before Turn 12 and 70m after Turn 14.

Series of changes - A drain has been added to the inside of Turn 2. There are new concrete walls and debris fencing running from Turn 4 through to Turn 10. The opening after Turn 10 on drivers right has been significantly widened and extended. The configuration of the wall to the drivers’ right at Turn 13 has been modified and the guardrail replaced with a concrete wall.

Huge investment – The old pit building has been demolished and rebuilt. The state-of-the-art, award-winning complex cost a total of CAN$60m. The organizers needed ten months for the reconstruction work.

Fuel – The stop and go nature of the Canada race track usually means that fuel useage is high during the race. In last year’s race, the drivers who completed the race distance with the least amount of fuel needed a total of 102.9kg while the driver with the „thirstiest” car required 104.8 kg.

History

221 – Ferrari have secured its 221th pole position of its history thanks to Sebastian Vettel’s stunning performance. The Italians have scored their second pole position of the season after Charles Leclerc proved fastest in the qualifying session for the Bahrain Grand Prix earlier in the season.

Fastest ever – Sebastian Vettel’s lap time of 1m10.240 was the fastest ever lap around the fast Montreal semi-street circuit. The fastest race lap also belongs to a former Ferrari driver as Rubens Barrichello still holds this record with his lap time of 1:13.622 which he set during the 2004 Canadian Grand Prix.

50th – Today’s race will be the 50th Canadian Grand Prix. Canada made its debut in 1967 and only missed the calendar on three occasions. The race was originally organized at Mosport Park which held a total of eight grands prix. Mont-Tremblant also hosted two Canadian Grands Prix before the race was relocated to Montreal in 1978.

Brand new – Four drivers will make their debut in Canada. Antonio Giovinazzi, Lando Norris, Alexander Albon and George Russell never completed a single lap around the quick circuit before.

Special venue – For six drivers, the Canadian Grand Prix must have a special place in their heart. Lewis Hamilton, Robert Kubica, Daniel Ricciardo, Thierry Boutsen, Gilles Villeneuve and Jean Alesi all took their debut F1 victory at this track.

King of Montreal – Michael Schumacher is the most successful driver at the Canadian Grand Prix with seven victories. Lewis Hamilton has the opportunity to equal that record in today’s race. Both drivers share the same record with winning for two different teams. The German took a victory for Benetton in Canada and six others for Ferrari while the Briton won for McLaren and Mercedes three times apiece.

Overtaking – Despite to the fact that overtaking is very much possible on this track, 19 of the 39 grands prix held on this circuit have been won from pole position, including five of the last six. The outlier from that sequence is Ricciardo’s 2014 victory for Red Bull Racing, which came from P6 on the grid. Jacques Laffite’s victory for Ligier from P10 is the furthest back from which a winner has started at this circuit.