The Canadian Grand Prix has been part of the Formula 1 championship since 1967 and was moved to the circuit on Notre Dame Island in 1978 where it is still held today. In 1982 the circuit was renamed for Canadian racing icon and Quebec native Gilles Villeneuve who had died a few weeks previously.
The current version of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve has been in use since 1996 and has seen some dramatic and explosive races. From Jenson Button’s epic 2011 win after he started last on the grid. It was the home of Daniel Ricciardo’s first win in Formula 1, and has the most iconic wall in all of racing.
This track is also a favourite among F1 2018 players thanks to its fast pace and many overtaking points. But just where can you make a pass? And which corners are most likely to cost you time during qualifying or your time trial?
The first corner is an excellent place to make a pass, but you have to get it just right. You have DRS down the pit straight, but the switchback of turn 2 means you have to be fairly forceful with any inside move to cut off your opponents chances at regaining their place. The key is to make sure you don’t cut the corner on the inside and hurt your tyres, but also don’t dive from too far back because you’ll only end up losing some of your front wing.
The hairpin in Canada is one of the most recognisable corners in F1, and is also one of the best overtaking places too. There are multiple lines into this corner, but the best way to do it is a dive up the inside. You have space if you outbrake yourself and can still get around the corner without compromising exit speed too much or taking off your front wing on the wall.
The final chicane is the primary overtaking spot on this lap, or more accurately the straight running up to it is. This is a DRS zone and with the long blast from the hairpin up to the chicane it is easy to fly past your opponent before you hit the braking zone. If you do have to get it done on the brakes it is possible to do so on either side, but the preferable spot is always on the inside, this keeps the angle favourable for the second part of the chicane and keeps you out of the wall.
Those are the best overtaking spots around this lap, but what are the trickier corners of the Canadian Grand Prix?
It is very easy to get track extension and corner cutting warnings around Canada, but to register a good time you have to push the limits. That is very true around turn 6. This is a left-hander that is tighter than it looks, but you need to maximise exit speed through turn 7 if you want to qualify well. As a result, you need to take a good chunk of the inside kerb on turn in. However, be sure to stay off the inside kerb when you turn right or you will risk spinning out.
This is a mirror of turn 6, but even tighter. The bridge over the circuit can interfere with spotting your braking point, and in order to maximise exit speed you have to take a tight line and ride the kerb on the inside. If you drift too deep into turn 8 you’ll pay for it all the way down to the hairpin and give an opponent a chance to dive-bomb you into that overtaking point.
Canada requires terrific straight line speed. Trimming wing angle is vital, and since there aren’t too many sharp changes of direction you can survive around the corners. It can also be brutal on the rear tyres due to the ferocious acceleration zones, so keeping the differential reasonable is also key. You can see our setup here, just remember that your own driving style and level of assists may require some tweaks in order to maximise pace.
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