Pirelli has opted for the same tyre selection as the Monaco Grand Prix, with the C5, C4 and C3 tyres available to the teams – ranging from softest to hardest.
Pirelli Motorsport‘s Mario Isola believes that keeping tyre temperatures balanced will be one of the biggest challenges facing Formula 1 drivers and teams at the Canadian Grand Prix.
Despite revisions to the tyre range for the 2018 season, Isola explained that Pirelli’s tyre choice for the Canadian round is highly similar to last years; the biggest change being that the C3 is slightly harder than than the ‘soft’ tyre from ’18.
“Broadly speaking, our nomination for Canada is about the same as last year, when the hyper-soft also made its second appearance of the year after Monaco,” said Isola.
“The main difference is that the hardest compound available this weekend is a bit harder than last year, and there is no equivalent of the super-soft in the 2019 range, so the choices are more spread out.
“While we have the same nomination as Monaco, a few of the teams have compared Montréal more with Baku – where we made a harder selection – because of the higher speeds, longer straights, and the challenge of balancing tyre temperatures across the front and rear of the car.”
Last year, Sebastian Vettel took victory for Scuderia Ferrari on a one-stop strategy after starting on the middle compound – a tactic that may be repeated this weekend, subject to the pace shown by the field on the C4s in Free Practice and the early stages of qualifying.
The smooth surface and stop-start layout of the Circuit de Gilles Villeneuve ensures that front tyre wear is little issue for drivers, the emphasis more on brake and rear tyre temperatures.
The race also holds high Safety Car potential, with an early appearance triggered by a crash between Williams Racing‘s Lance Stroll and Scuderia Toro Rosso‘s Brendon Hartley in ’18, requiring teams to show a certain flexibility with their strategies.
“Montréal is also a race that contains plenty of variety, in terms of strategy, on-track action and weather,” Isola added.
“The teams always go into it not knowing quite what to expect, so it’s especially important to accumulate as much tyre data as possible in order to be able to make an informed reaction to changing circumstances.”