2024 F1 Canadian Grand Prix Preview

Feature Image Credit: formula1.com

F1 returns to Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for the 9th round of the 2024 season as Verstappen looks to return to winning ways, whilst Ferrari will hope to build off their form in Monaco.

The Big Stories

Esteban Ocon to leave Alpine

Earlier this week it was announced that Esteban Ocon would be leaving Alpine at the end of the season after five years with the team. There had been speculation that his crash with Gasly in Monaco is what confirmed the decision, however reports state that Ocon was informed prior to the weekend.

This now means that every race between now and Abu Dhabi will serve as a potential advertisement of Ocon’s services for other teams, making him a driver to watch this weekend as he fights to secure himself a seat for 2025.

Sergio Perez re-signs with Red Bull

Red Bull announced on Wednesday that they were retaining Sergio Perez for the next two years. The announcement comes off the back of a couple of poor weekends for Perez, having finished 8th at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, and failing to finish at Monaco after qualifying 18th.

However, the top brass at Red Bull have been satisfied with Perez’s performance overall this season, with Team Principal Christian Horner having said “The past few races have been tough, there is convergence on the grid, but we are confident in Checo and look forward to his return to proven form and performance, that we so often see.”

He further explained the decision by stating “Continuity and stability are important for the team and both Checo and Max are a successful and robust partnership.”

Perez will be hoping that he can repay the faith shown in him by the team with a strong result in Canada, and will be another driver to keep a close eye on.

What can we expect from the Canadian Grand Prix?

We can see the balance of power within F1 slightly begin to shift as both Ferrari and McLaren have begun to creep into Red Bull’s streak of dominance. Leclerc’s win means that we’ve already had more winners this year than we did last season, and Ferrari are only 24 points behind Red Bull in the Constructor’s Championship.

Max Verstappen has won the Canadian Grand Prix in both of the last two years, meaning there should be a close fight up at the front of the grid.

Pirelli have brought along the softest tyres in the range this weekend in the C5, C4 and C3 tyres. The track has been entirely resurfaced since the last Grand Prix here in 2023, along with all the kerbs having been changed. However, Pirelli say the track’s characteristics of having low abrasiveness and reduced grip should stay the same.

Last year’s winning strategy was a two stop, with Verstappen using medium tyres at the start and end of the race, bookending a stint on hard tyres in the middle portion of the race. That being said, there was a decent mix between of two stop and one stop strategies.

However, weather may very well play an important factor in this weekend’s race. Forecasts suggest there is a 60% chance of rain on each day of running, which may create some interesting conditions and grip levels during qualifying and the race.

Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is a decent track for drivers to be able to pass at. Drivers will spend the majority of the lap at full throttle, with the track being joined together by mostly slow corners. Opportunities to overtake include the run down to turn 1, the chicane of turns 8&9, the hairpin of turn 10, as well as the final chicane. Following drivers will also be assisted with three DRS zones throughout the lap.

Whilst not as claustrophobic as Monaco, the barriers are still very close at the circuit, and drivers will need to be especially careful not to put their car in the wall, and leave the race with no points.

Driver’s Standings

  1. Max Verstappen – 169 points
  2. Charles Leclerc – 138 points
  3. Lando Norris – 113 points
  4. Carlos Sainz – 108 points
  5. Sergio Perez – 107 points
  6. Oscar Piastri – 71 points
  7. George Russell – 54 points
  8. Lewis Hamilton – 42 points
  9. Fernando Alonso – 33 points
  10. Yuki Tsunoda – 19 points
  11. Lance Stroll – 11 points
  12. Oliver Bearman – 6 points
  13. Nico Hulkenberg – 6 points
  14. Daniel Ricciardo – 5 points
  15. Alex Albon – 2 points
  16. Esteban Ocon – 1 point
  17. Kevin Magnussen – 1 point
  18. Pierre Gasly – 1 point
  19. Zhou Guanyu – 0 points
  20. Valtteri Bottas – 0 points
  21. Logan Sargeant – 0 points

Constructor’s Championship

  1. Red Bull – 276 points
  2. Ferrari – 252 points
  3. McLaren – 184 points
  4. Mercedes – 96 points
  5. Aston Martin – 44 points
  6. RB – 24 points
  7. Haas – 7 points
  8. Williams – 2 points
  9. Alpine – 2 points
  10. Kick Sauber – 0 points