RACING

RaceFans Round-up: F1 drivers will have to avoid Montreal curbs in new cars

ADVERTISEMENT

In short

2022 cars must avoid the sidewalk in Montreal

Drivers will be forced to abandon their approach to the Canadian circuit due to the stiffer 2019 cars, Gasly predicted. “This year the Montreal circuit will be really tough, especially with these new cars which are very stiff, much stiffer than their predecessors,” he said.

“The big curbs and high speeds will be a real test as will the last corner and the famous Wall of Champions. We will have to avoid the kerbs a lot more, whereas before you had to go over them to do a fast lap.

ADVERTISEMENT

Gasly is not convinced that his team will be as competitive at this temporary site as they were at the previous two. “Although it’s another street circuit like the last two races, it’s a much faster layout with faster corners,” he said, which “on paper” makes it harder for AlphaTauri.

Norris ‘wants to believe’ McLaren upgrade not specific to track

Lando Norris hopes McLaren’s mid-season improvements show an overall gain and are not track-specific. “I want to believe, and I think I have some confidence in saying that we have improved the car in most of those areas. And what we need now is in general a complete upgrade of the package.

“He behaves reasonably well. There are definitely types of characteristics that personally, as a driver, I always want more from the car and it’s just hard to go in that direction.

However, Norris warned that the full lineup of tracks on the schedule had yet to be seen. “I think there are still maybe a little more difficult areas. I want to believe that in general we have probably improved the car, on average, on all tracks.

“There are still a few that we haven’t been to yet, that we struggled a lot for last season. And I think that’s a bit different in terms of the characteristics from the other places we’ve been to, places like Zandvoort and things like that so we haven’t explored all the range of corner types and tracks etc yet.

Alfa Romeo will solve soft tire warming for Canada – Pujolar

Bottas should have a faster car this weekend

Alfa Romeo ground engineering manager Xevi Pujolar is confident the team will be able to maximize performance from its first laps in Canada after struggling to fit the soft tires in qualifying in Baku.

Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu were eliminated in Q2 after both drivers needed a second lap push to bring the C5 soft tires into the optimum temperature window. This came after the team experienced similar challenges with the C5 in Monaco.

With the three softest compounds in the Pirelli tire range set to be used again in Montreal this weekend, Pujolar is confident the team will be able to activate their tires faster.

“In Monaco, we had some difficulties, but it was different, explained Pujolar. “We work from Monaco. We changed the configuration of the car.

“If you see the level of performance we had with Zhou – because with Valtteri we have something different – then we can say that Monaco’s problems are gone. Now [in Baku], some competitors are able to extract more performance from the first timed lap. For us, for the first timed lap, we were in more difficulty. We were getting performance from the second lap pushed. It’s something we’re working on.

“I think we’re getting there in Q2, but we can’t make more progress. I think for Montreal, we don’t see a reason why we shouldn’t be on top. But Monaco’s problems, they’re past.

Caldwell calls first F1 test ‘incredible’

Formula 2 driver and Alpine Academy member Olli Caldwell said his first F1 test at Silverstone was “amazing”. He drove a 2021-spec Alpine A521 at the home of the British Grand Prix.

“I’m pretty speechless, to be honest,” Caldwell said. “There’s nothing I can compare it to, it was everything I expected and more. There’s nothing you can really do to prepare for how you feel.

“It’s incomparable to F2, even if it’s only a category above. Everything is more – the speed, the downforce, the braking, everything. Buttons – there are probably 50 more buttons than I’m used to, so. Much better. I look forward to the stage if it comes one day.

Formula 2 will race at Silverstone in two weeks. Caldwell expects the test to pay off when he returns.

“Simply because everything is faster and you have to work faster and faster to get the most out of the car. So I think coming back to F2 the car is slower so that should give me more time to think. I can’t wait to get back here and race and see how the track feels compared to F1.”

ADVERTISEMENT