(L to R): Carlos Sainz Jr, Ferrari; Max Verstappen, Red Bull; Fernando Alonso, Alpine; Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2022

Verstappen doubts Canadian GP will be ‘straightforward’ despite compromised rivals

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In the round-up: Despite his closest championship rivals Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc starting outside the top 10, Max Verstappen does not anticipate an easy victory from pole position in Montreal.

In brief

Red Bull mastered difficult conditions to claim Canada pole – Verstappen

After claiming pole in Montreal Verstappen said he “still expects it not to be a straightforward race” today. He will start alongside Fernando Alonso with Carlos Sainz Jnr third, Perez 13th and Leclerc 19th.

Although he questioned on his radio why his team did not get him out on track later in Q3 to benefit more from the drying track, he praised the job Red Bull did managing the rain-affected session.

“Today, with the tricky conditions, we stayed calm, we didn’t make mistakes and we had the right calls in Q3. So of course I was super happy with that, to get pole position here and also to be back in Montreal, it’s good to see all the fans.”

Piastri “one of the list, for sure” for Williams’ 2023 line up

Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2022
Gallery: 2022 Canadian Grand Prix qualifying day in pictures
After Otmar Szafnauer said Alpine plan for Oscar Piastri to be racing in F1 in 2023, Williams boss Jost Capito confirmed that the Formula 2 champion is under consideration for their line-up next year.

“Oscar is ready to go into Formula 1,” said Capito. “And I think that’s one of the list for sure.”

The team hired former Red Bull reserve driver Alexander Albon last year, but Capito stressed that deal was done with the driver directly. “We didn’t do a deal with Red Bull on Alex,” he said, “we did a deal with Alex on Alex though.”

Shortfall at McLaren is car, not drivers – Brown

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown said he and Daniel Ricciardo agree about the need to improve results at McLaren after his comments about the driver’s performance were widely reported.

“I was asked the question and I just gave an honest answer,” Brown said. “I think Daniel has said the same thing. We’re here to to try and get towards the front, we’ve had some awesome weekends like Monza and then some disappointing weekends.”

Both McLaren drivers need more competitive machinery, said Brown. “I don’t think we’re yet giving our drivers a car that’s capable of being at the front on a regular basis. So we need to do that.”

Brown said he and Ricciardo “have got a great relationship and I just gave an honest answer to the question of how things are going and things could be going better, but we’re going to work hard and make sure that they are that in the future.”

Ricciardo’s victory in last year’s Italian Grand Prix proved he was capable of delivering if McLaren give him a good enough opportunity, said Brown. “Daniel’s shown like he did at Monza last year, when we give him a car that suits his driving style and his pace, he’s going to go out and and lead laps and win a race.

“I think we need to have a car that’s a little bit more performance and user-friendly and he’ll get the job done.”

Organisers “pushing like hell” to keep French Grand Prix in the south

Frederic Vasseur says that keeping the French Grand Prix in the south of the country is a priority for the region, after Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali told media a new race in Nice was a possibility.

“I’m not aware of the project,” admitted Vasseur. However, he said that “I know that Christian Estrosi, the mayor of Nice, is a big, big fan of motorsport and he’s trying to find the best solution to keep the grand prix in the region.”

Vasseur added it would be peculiar to situate a street race in France so close to Monte-Carlo. “It would be strange to have two street circuits, one in Nice and one in Monaco but we could do a big one and just with whatever,” Vasseur suggested. “But for sure they are pushing like hell to keep the French grand prix in the south of France.”

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Comment of the day

A lot of the concern about the 2022 regulations has been to do with teams raising or lowering the ride height or adjusting the car’s stiffness, Ben points out that the other major change to the way the cars run has been the move to 18-inch wheel rims:

So I am not going to say the floor aero is not mainly responsible but how about the tyres being much thinner. We could see the flex of these before in all directions that must make a huge impact on what is transduced to the chassis/driver.

We can easily notice changes on road cars, never mind on a race car. Does anyone think going back to smaller rims could improve this situation?

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On this day in motorsport

  • 45 years ago today Jacques Laffite scored the first Formula 1 win for Ligier, Matra and himself at Anderstorp in Sweden.

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Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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16 comments on “Verstappen doubts Canadian GP will be ‘straightforward’ despite compromised rivals”

  1. Cotd wasn’t the only one.

  2. James Coulee
    19th June 2022, 1:00

    About COTD: how could it improve the situation if there’d be even less control? A tall tire is just an undamped spring: it would magnify the problem.

    1. @James Coulee

      Actually I don’t think it would, with the newly increased tire diameter there was a significant loss of air volume in tires that was relied for dampening the ride and make it smoother, not to mention a major increase in wheel weight, teams also had to add significant amounts of more suspension hardware to the chassis just to make up for the loss dampening loss changing to the larger diameter, much low volume tires, there’s now a lot more moving parts to contend with between the wheel and chassis itself. The cars are now heavier exactly where you don’t want the weight. Ask any bicycle racer using only their legs to go fast with heavier wheels; it’s instantly noticeable and they feel clumsy.

      I cant see how the new significantly heavier wheel/tires can be an improvement in F1 racing other than aesthetics. It does simplify tire choices and tuning the chassis handling with the shorter tire wall but I don’t see how the old tire size would make it worse or the new tire making the aero package better?

  3. I don’t think Turn 1 will be ‘straightforward’ if he doesn’t nail the start.

  4. Please! F1 has never been so predictable since 2011.

    1. You skipped 2014 till 2020 i presume?

      1. Not every year, there were some nice ones like 2017 and 2018, but generall yes.

        1. @esploratore1 I think even the seasons Mercedes did dominate were still fairly good because we at least had a good fight between there 2 drivers which took the championship to the final races. Yes it was clear in 2014-16 that Mercedes were going to win both championship’s and most the races, But we never really knew which driver would win.

          Was the same with that season of McLaren Honda dominance in 1988. There 2 drivers gave us a thrilling & exciting season with a great championship fight which produced plenty of excitement despite the advantage the team had. And it was similar in 1989 as well as they still had by far the best package.

          Compared to seasons like 2002/2004 where you not only had Ferrari with a superior package with Schumacher who was miles better than his team mate and also given clear #1 status.

          And from 2017-2020 Mercedes also didn’t dominate. They had strong competition at times and i think for periods they didn’t even have the best package & only won the championship more due to the mistakes from there main rival. I think Ferrari had the better car for most of 2018 for example but Vettel made too many mistakes & Mercedes out developed Ferrari later in the year which also coincided with Vettel’s slump in performance.

    2. Yesitsabobber (@)
      19th June 2022, 10:49

      Maybe you mean that the outcome doesn’t suit you? Like most of the comments here show. The season where MB won it all will be remembered as the most boring. Except for the Lewis fan of course

  5. Most of the vertical travel until this year was in the sidewall rahher than the actual suspension.

    The 18″ tires should give teams more control over the vertical movement as it puts a greater emphasis on the suspension settings as that is now where most of the vertical travel comes from.

    The 13″ tires did have a larger sidewall with more flex but that was vertical movement that was more outside teams control (Especially in the Pirelli era of regulated tire pressures). It was also more affected by things like temperature as that also affectes pressures.

    Had they stuck with the 13″ tires the issue may actually be worse partly due to teqms having less control over the vertical travel but the larger sidewalls may have ended up making the porpoising worse by allowing the car to bounce more readily with teams having less options to tune it out.

  6. A street race in Nice so close to Monaco might be weird, but I don’t think it would be as weird as continuing with Paul Ricard…

    Also, I know Netflix (rightly) gets heaps of credit for bringing F1 to the broader public but I see it more as a failure of the previous regime (for want of a better word…). The things that make the sport so appealing to its fans have been well known for decades!

  7. I reckon he’ll run away with the win anyway.

    Saving French GP is easier said than done as no space for all at once.

    I’m unsure if the porpoising situation would be better with the 13-inch rim size.

    1. I think the only thing that can stop verstappen is a mechanical problem, however alonso has nothing to lose at the start, he’s not fighting for the championship, so it’s on verstappen to play it safe.

  8. Verstappen had a big lead to P2 in qualy. He has arguably the best car in race trim, but he warns us that the race will be difficult for him.
    Barring a mechanical failure or an ill timed safety car, I don’t see Verstappen losing this race.

    1. Exactly and verstappen is not vettel, if he’s dominating the race I don’t see him throwing away like in germany 2018 even in tricky conditions, mechanical failure is indeed the most likely thing, I think he could win even with an ill timed SC, and he has to keep in mind alonso has nothing to lose at start.

  9. Not sure if anyone said anything, but when F1 went to Monaco, everyone complained about the TV director. There were full articles written in all the different media sites about it…

    As if the regular TV director was much better. Almost faultless… F1 can’t complain about the guy at Monaco. Yesterday, they spent half a lap following Gasly in teh dying moments of Q1 even after he had already gone 2.5 seconds slower than the leaders in the first sector.

    Then after the checkered flag, we followed Latifi on his slow down lap while Vettel was on his hot lap while he was sitting in the elimination zone. Some 3 minutes in total showing absolutely nothing of relevance in Q1, which only lasts 15 minutes. That’s a big chunk of nothing…

    Then in Q3 we followed Russell on his prep lap on slick tyres, but once he was about to start his first flying lap, which depending on the conditions could’ve been pole or a massive failure, we left him, only to return to him after he had already spun off…

    Maybe F1 should be better off improving their own TV broadcast before trying to get the TV rights away from a third party source at Monaco…

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