Canadian Grand Prix 2022 Preview
Next up… the Canadian Grand Prix in 2022. While we can’t confirm the rumours of F1 teams using maple syrup as fuel for the race, we can indeed quickly summarise what happened in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
It was yet another race to forget for Ferrari, as both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz were forced to retire due to car problems. Ferrari had to simply watch Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez in the Red Bulls pick up a massive one-two victory.
Surprisingly, the Mercedes team performed rather well in Azerbaijan, as George Russell finished third and Lewis Hamilton earned fourth place. This was Verstappen’s fifth race win of the season and he is now 34 points ahead of Leclerc.
Venue, time, & where to watch the F1 Canadian Grand Prix
The F1 Canadian Grand Prix will take place at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve on June 19th 2022. Viewers in the UK can watch the race starting at 7:00pm on Sky Sports F1, but be sure to check out the entire weekend schedule below.
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The first Grand Prix was held back in 1978 and the current lap record belongs to that of Valtteri Bottas (2019) with 1:13.078. The number of laps is 70 and the circuit length is 4.361km long.
The Canadian Grand Prix is often a driver favourite due to the track’s quickness and decreased downforce. Apart from the long straight after the 11th corner, the most interesting part of the circuit is undoubtedly the Turn 10 hairpin, which always seems to have something dramatic happening there.
Watch out for Turn 13, too, as the nicknamed “Wall of Champions” has caught out many drivers over the years.
3 major F1 talking points
Here are some of the hottest topics heading into the Formula One race in Canada.
How will Ferrari respond?
One car retiring is bad enough in a race, but two? Now you’ve got problems. Ferrari needs to sort out its power unit issue, and fast, as this is the second time in three races that Leclerc has been winning a race but was forced to retire due to car failure.
This is such a shame, as Leclerc and Ferrari bolted out of the gates with vigour and looked like real contenders at the start of the season. A championship isn’t off the menu, per se, but Ferrari is certainly making it much harder for itself to catch up with the rampaging Red Bull team.
There’s little finger pointing at Leclerc or Sainz themselves, as both drivers have performed brilliantly on the track, but Ferrari assures everyone they’re sorting out the power unit and hydraulic issues that affected the cars at Azerbaijan. The team is also talking up its new rear wing as the saviour of the car. So let’s see if it makes much difference.
Leclerc has been on pole six times out of eight races this season, so the speed and handling are there for him, but all he needs now is a reliable car that can help earn him some much-needed points in Canada.
Is Red Bull already impossible to catch now?
At this point in the season, we’re already starting to get an idea of which teams look to dominate the following races. It’s hard to look past Red Bull, with Verstappen and Perez at the top of the driver standings, respectively.
There were a couple of setbacks at the start of the year for Red Bull, but those appear to be gone and now we’re left with an extremely quick, reliable, and downright impressive Red Bull F1 car.
It never hurts when you’ve got a star like Verstappen pushing his way to a second title, but neither is it bad for Perez to be his teammate, as the Mexican driver has displayed signs of a No.1 competitor worthy of a championship himself.
With Mercedes all but out of the running and Ferrari’s issues ongoing, it might be that the championship battle is already decided in June. We’d love to have it a bit more competitive, but until Red Bull shows signs of slowing down, it’s looking like a one-horse race.
Can Mercedes solve porpoising affecting Hamilton’s back?
Lewis Hamilton has been the latest driver to speak up about the horrendous back and neck pain that F1 drivers have been suffering this season. In the last contest in Azerbaijan, Hamilton said that he was in such pain that he wanted the race to be over ASAP – clearly a bad sign for a professional F1 driver.
The issue comes from porpoising, which means the car bumping up and down due to downforce pressures. The cars have been tweaked this season, and the drivers are feeling the effect more than ever, as Hamilton, George Russell, and Carlos Sainz have been the most vocal on the topic.
Current leader, Max Verstappen, seemingly doesn’t let the issue get to him and has stated that teams can merely raise the ride height of the car to lessen the porpoising issues. Of course, the result of that is to lose speed, as the cars are faster when lower to the ground.
“You can say is it necessary for F1 to have 20 drivers at the end of each race with back issues?” Carlos Sainz explained in an interview. “My personal opinion is that with the technology that there is nowadays, why do we need to carry this painful situation into our careers, when you can put a really easy solution to it?”
It’s something that the FIA will look at for 2023, no doubt, but in the meantime, the drivers may just have to grin and bear it.
This is how the top 10 looks in the driver standings right now.
1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 150 points
2. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) 129 points
3. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 116 points
4. George Russell (Mercedes) 99 points
5. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) 83 points
6. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 62 points
7. Lando Norris (McLaren) 50 points
8. Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo) 40 points
9. Esteban Ocon (Alpine) 31 points
10. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) 16 points
Predicted outcome for the Canadian Grand Prix race in 2022
One thing is for sure, we’re just happy to have a race in Canada at all, as the last F1 contest at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve was back in 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic made racing in Canada a strategic nightmare, but everyone in the Formula One world is eager to reunite with the track.
The circuit can really test the drivers’ accuracy around corners and some sections are faster than you’d think, but more than anything, there are some good overtaking sections into Turn 1, the last corner, and indeed the famous hairpin, so we hope for some entertaining racing.
The weather forecast for Canada is expected to be cloudy and around 17 degrees Celsius, with a low chance of rain and minimal wind speed. Please, please, no rain delays like in Monaco!
It might be too soon to call it a Ferrari comeback until we see them talk the talk on the circuit, so for that reason we’re going to play it safe and predict another race win for Max Verstappen. It won’t be shocking if Leclerc arrives in second place and Red Bull’s Perez finishes third.
Author: Joe Garland