The next race takes all teams to Canada, the only fly-away race within the European season. To a large extent, the challenges of Montreal are opposite to those of Monaco; the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is a high-speed track with relatively long straights and lots of overtaking possibilities. Similar to Monaco, however, are the concrete walls that punish any mistakes heavily and a tight qualifying session around this relatively short lap.
Canada is the seventh race of the season and now we can to see more clearly the strengths and weaknesses of the cars. In the past six races, Mercedes were very strong in the corners but lost time on the straights. This will make Canada a huge challenge for them as the track characteristics could favour their opponents – there are many long straights, and fewer corners in which to make up lap time.
Scuderia Ferrari has won twelve times in Canada, the first time securing a one-two finish in 1970 at Mont Tremblant. Jacky Ickx was first past the flag in the 312B followed by team-mate Clay Regazzoni.
This track has usually produced some exciting and unexpected racing. The long straight and the big braking zone before the chicane that leads onto the start-finish line is the place to overtake and to see some good fights. However, the Canadian track characteristics present another different challenge, given that top speed, braking efficiency and traction are the main considerations.
Wall of Champions. The walls are a feature of this track and one in particular, on the outside of the final corner leading onto the start-finish line, has claimed several world champions, which has led to it being known as the “Wall of Champions.” Jacques Villeneueve, Damon Hill, Rubens Barrichello and more recently, Jenson Button, Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel, the latter on Friday in 2011, have all left their “signature” on the wall. Michael Schumacher couldn’t avoid it either, ending his 1999 race there while in the lead. However, he is the undisputed master of this track with a total of seven wins including those in 2000, 2002 and 2004.