The race at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal has quietly become one of the classics of the F1 calendar. The wall of champions in particular is testament to the fact that this track can catch out even the finest drivers Formula 1 has to offer.
Plenty of high-speed corners and long straights are tempered by the long turns 2 and 6, and the tight hairpin of turn 10.
Such a mixed circuit requires a setup that can deal with all types of corners, all while maintaining a decent turn of pace in the flat-out sections.
As nice as it would be for the three long straights in Montreal, it’s not feasible to run ultra-low downforce here as you would in Monza.
The twists and turns of the first and second sectors mandate that at least a certain amount of wing angle be applied. Specifically, 2-7 works well.
This gives you plenty of rear end grip in what are some very difficult traction zones. Not only that, it gives you just enough front grip to make it through sector one.
Your on-throttle differential setting will, as ever, be 50%. This setting gives the best stability under acceleration, and it’s even more important here than at most other circuits.
When it comes to the off-throttle setting, I’ve found that 65% works best for me.
You need quite a low setting to help rotate the car around the long turn 2 as well as the hairpin, but much lower than this and you’ll be struggling to hold onto the car.
Suspension geometry is another aspect of this setup which is aimed towards having a car which you can rely on not to throw you off the road.
In general, running a ‘higher’ (I.E. closer to 0) camber will yield more stability. However, a lower setting would benefit the car in the high speed corners, of which Canada has several.
Nonetheless, erring on the side of stability is always the way to go, and I suggest going with -2.80 and -1.30.
For toe, running lower angles always seems to be the more effectively route. It helps significantly lower your tyre wear, as well as your performance in the longer corners. As such, the minimum settings of 0.05 and 0.20 are the best.
For the suspension itself, you will generally want a fairly soft setup.
While a firmer suspension can help with turn in and traction, it puts a lot of load through the tyres. Furthermore, there are several kerbs that you’ll be running on in Canada, and doing so without trouble requires a softer suspension.
Therefore, 3-5 is the way to go on your front and rear suspension settings. If you’re struggling with tyre wear or with the car feeling unsettled, consider lowering these further.
Running the anti-roll bars at 3-9 often yields good results, and this is true at Canada as well. The softer front setting and the firmer rear setting balance each other out.
Softening your rear anti-roll bar is another good option if you’re struggling with tyre wear.
As I have already mentioned, you’re going to be bashing some pretty hefty kerbs in Montreal. To help you do this, ride height settings of 3-4 will be sufficient to prevent the car from getting too unsettled.
Though Montreal is notoriously tough on brakes, brake wear is not present in F1 2020. So, my usual recommendation of 100% pressure with 50% bias should do the trick here as elsewhere.
Tyre temperatures can be quite marginal in Canada, and adjusting your pressures to accommodate this is important.
I would suggest running 22.2psi fronts and 20.3psi for the rears at most, but you should consider using even lower pressures if your tyres are overheating.
The lower pressures will help keep tyre heating under control. This way, you won’t find yourself losing grip if you’re pushing the car.
The Canadian Grand Prix is a surprisingly tough race, and one at which your car will always be trying to squirm out of your control.
These settings will help you to keep it where you want it, while also managing to log consistently fast lap times.