The Formula One World championship this season has already been one of the best in many years.
Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel may be running away with the F1 crown, but that hasn’t taken anything away from the racing that we have witnessed this season.
This appears to have come down to three factors, the re-introduction of KERS, the legalised driver enabled rear wing [DRS] and the impact that Pirelli’s new tyre compounds have had on the racing.
All three factors combined have led to more incidents on the track, with drivers able to catch and pass on the track, while tyre strategy has made the racing far less predictable, despite Vettel winning five of the opening six races.
The prime example of this was last time out in Monaco.
With just six laps remaining, a three driver, three team, battle for the race win was unfolding.
Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull made the most of the Pirelli soft compound around the streets of Monte Carlo and completed the race with just one stop, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso made two stops on route to the chequered flag while McLaren’s Jenson Button had completed three stops.
‘Monaco was a fantastic race, with three drivers battling closely for the win even though they were using three very different strategies.’ Pirelli’s director of motorsport Paul Hembery told Autosport Magazine.
Unfortunately spectators were robbed of the blockbuster ending. Vettel’s tyres looked to be struggling and even around the narrow twisty road circuit, where overtaking is almost impossible, the only thing that looked impossible was to predict who out of the three drivers would win.
A red flag which enabled the teams to change tyres in the end appeared to decide the race, although Hembery believes Vettel would have survived the final few laps.
‘From the data we can see that Sebastian Vettel’s tyres would have gone the distance if he had continued to drive on them in the same way that he had been doing up to the red flag period. This means that he could have covered 62 laps, the equivalent of more than 200 kilometres, on the PZero Yellow soft tyre, with an extremely close finish.
So what can F1 supporters expect around the Montreal track? Pirelli’s soft and super-soft tyre compounds (which were also used in Monaco) have been selected for the Canadian Grand Prix.
With higher tyre degradation expected in Canada expect more pit-stops and more strategies by the teams.
Hembery continued: ‘The characteristics of Canada mean that we’re unlikely to see a one-stop strategy this weekend, but we’re hoping that the racing will be just as close and that the opportunities for overtaking will give teams even more possibilities than Monaco in terms of race strategy.’
So just how do the Pirelli tyres work? Well this video helps to explain a lot of the technical side: