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Formula 1: Canadian Grand Prix

McLaren and Ferrari have closed the gap to Red Bull eight races into the Formula 1 season.

Formula 1

McLaren and Ferrari have closed the gap to Red Bull eight races into the Formula 1 season. Max Verstappen won four out of the first five races of the year. Since then, Red Bull struggled in Miami and recently in Monaco where Charles Leclerc won his home race for the first time.

This weekend the teams head to the famous Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montreal. Villeneuve won the first F1 race at his home circuit in 1978. In 1982 he died at the Belgian Grand Prix and the circuit was renamed in his honour.

The Track

Famous for the ‘wall of champions’, the track is a favourite because of its high-speed nature. According to reports, the surface has been relayed which will be welcomed by the drivers. The bumpiness of the track surface has been a problem in Montreal as well as the kerbs which can unsettle a car.

Red Bull’s car hasn’t been great at having a car setup to handle kerbs as it seems to lose performance when the ride height is increased. Ferrari and McLaren have been adept at finding a balance for their cars to handle kerbs and have solid performance.

Speaking of setup, Montreal has fast sections, particularly the 1190m-long back straight which requires strong performance to reach top speed. The top speed is around 315km/h and this is vital for drivers to perform overtakes, with the aid of the DRS zone. There are two more DRS zones and we’re likely to see lots of overtakes this weekend.

The three practice sessions will be vital for teams to feel what setup works more effectively.

Can Ferrari And McLaren Strike Again?

The last three races have seen McLaren, Red Bull, and Ferrari victorious. We doubt Ferrari will be as strong as they were a fortnight ago when qualifying played such an important role.

Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris have been strong in the last few races. The upgraded MCL38 offers strong performance, and this could give them the edge in Montreal.

It will be very tight at the top of the grid, and we expect Red Bull to give Verstappen the best chance to challenge Ferrari and McLaren. The triple world champion can grind out a result, but on this occasion, the McLarens might be too strong.

Look out for Mercedes who will bring upgrades to their car. Seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton will look to claw back some pride as he has been out-qualified by teammate George Russell on six occasions.

It’s Esteban Ocon’s first race since Alpine announced he will not partner Pierre Gasly next season.


Winner: Oscar Piastri
Podium: Piastri, Norris, Verstappen
Top 4 and 5: Leclerc and Sainz
Winning Margin: Under 5 seconds
Fastest lap: Verstappen
Pole position: Piastri
First to retire: Logan Sargeant
First car to retire: Williams
Most Team Points: McLaren
Both Cars Qualify for Q3 Shootout: Mercedes
Practice 1/2/3 Winning Car: Leclerc/ Ferrari
Safety Car: Yes
Top 6: Hamilton, Russell, Gasly
Top 10: Tsunoda, Alonso, Stroll
Fastest pit stop: Red Bull

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