Heading into qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix there were a number of questions that were likely to influence the outcome of the Saturday session, as well as strategy during Sunday’s race, as Pirelli Motorsport Boss Paul Hembery explained.
“Track temperature is clearly a key aspect to tyre behaviour here, but we won’t know exactly how that develops until just before the race: cool temperatures seem to be indicated, and there might even be some rain.
“With low wear and degradation, a one-stopper seems the most likely scenario. However, teams will have to keep an open mind on strategy and react to changing conditions as they happen: a traditional hallmark of this fantastic track. “
On race day strategy was kept loose, with many teams starting out on a one-stop strategy, but finding tyre management in the cool temperatures of Montreal a problem, and switching to a two stop strategy instead. As Pirelli predicted, it did make for an interesting finish to the race.
“Thanks to differing race strategies, we saw a grandstand finish, with the two-stopping Vettel closing in on the one-stopping Hamilton.
“Cool track temperatures made tyre management crucial, with some teams also switching strategies as it became clear that this might be quicker. Most drivers in fact stopped twice, compared to the one-stop race last year in Canada.
A number of driver’s races were compromised by the two-stop option, but race winner Lewis Hamilton and third placed Valtteri Bottas achieved the one stop strategy to perfection, seeing their efforts rewarded with a podium finish.
“Key to making a one-stopper work was looking after the tyres as effectively as possible, which Hamilton and Bottas both did brilliantly.”