Tag Archives: CanadianGP

Formula One: Vettel flouts tobacco advertising laws

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Scuderia Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel is known to enjoy pushing the boundaries of regulations not impacting racing which he deems to be unnecessary. An exaple of this being the FIA mandate introduced in 2015 stating drivers are unable to change helmet design through a season. A regulation which has seen Vettel use 7 slightly different designs so far in 2016.

Pictured here during the track parade for the  2016 Canadian Grand Prix, Vettel defies regulations again, this time with his iPhone cover. Despite tobacco advertising being prohibited in Formula One for a number of years, Philip Morris International (Marlboro) remain the principle partner of Scuderia Ferrari. The partnership has explored numerous ways around the ban through adapting logo designs to mimic the iconic Marlboro logo and exploring subliminal messaging through barcode designs instead of Marlboro wording. The partnership seeks to make Marlboro synonymous with the Scuderia.

Vettel has taken this one step further in clearly showing the Marlboro brand whilst using his phone during an official Formula One session. Use of the logo in the public situation may not have been deliberate, but will no doubt lead to questions around whether of not the act constitutes advertising.

Formula One: 2 punctures for Rosberg in Canada

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Sources within Pirelli have confirmed that Nico Rosberg suffered 2 punctures in the laps preceding his second pitstop on lap 51 of the Canadian Grand Prix. The cause of both punctures has been identified as debris damaging the tyre.

The first puncture is understood to have been relatively minor leading to a slow loss of pressure, the second more substantial resulting in a rapid loss of pressure thus requiring immediate serving of car number 6.

Some parties have questioned Mercedes decision to service Nico with a set of Soft tyres in his second (unplanned) stop on lap 51. With only 19 laps to go both the Super Soft and the Ultra Soft compound could have completed the race distance. However as this article indicates, going into the race Nico had no fresh Ultra Soft tyres available, it is unlikely a used set of Ultra Soft compound tyres would have completed the race distance. The decision not to run the red Super Soft tyres will have been down to the issues Nico was managing in the car around fuel consumption and brakes. A tyre with greater performance could have led to greater issues in the closing stages of the race.

Commenting on Nico’s struggles Paddy Lowe remarked:

“For Nico, a late puncture[s] forced a second stop. It looks like he also collected some debris in one of his radiators, as he had overheating throughout the race. While this may not necessarily have affected his performance, it would have been quite a big distraction to manage. A podium was a possibility for him today – but unfortunately it didn’t work out”

Adding to this Nico himself commented on his race:

“I did my best to fight back and I there was a chance of a podium – but then I got the puncture and had to pit again – dammit! I was pushing hard after that to regain the positions but it was a massive mission managing the car with brake warnings coming on and running low on fuel.”

Pirelli went on to confirm that of the drivers that did manage to successfully complete the race on a single stop strategy; Hamilton, Bottas and Alonso. Did so well within the life of the soft compound tyre. Whilst confirmation of the number of laps it could be expected the tyres would have completed beyond race distance remains confidential Pirelli confirm no driver was near the limit of the life of the tyre.


Formula One: All the stats and tyre facts from the Canadian Grand Prix

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The Canadian Grand Prix got underway in some of the coldest conditions seen recently during a race weekend, with track temperatures of just 20 degrees centigrade: putting the accent on tyre warm-up and management. There was a wide variety of one and two stop strategies, with polesitter Lewis Hamilton stopping just once in his Mercedes, but holding off the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel, which stopped twice, having beaten Hamilton off the line to lead into the first corner.

Hamilton made his sole stop on lap 24, re-emerging in second place behind Vettel. Once Vettel made his second stop, he had a six-second deficit to try and make up to Hamilton in 33 laps, using soft tyres that were 13 laps younger than those on the Mercedes.

Despite the cold conditions, Nico Rosberg set the fastest lap of the race on the soft tyre, 10 laps from the end, lapping his Mercedes 1.4 seconds quicker than the 2015 fastest lap, which was set on supersoft.

Valtteri Bottas took the first podium of the season for Williams by using a similar strategy to Hamilton, while the remainder of the top 10 stopped twice, after starting on the ultrasoft – the fastest compound by around 0.6s per lap.

An alternative strategy was run by Force India’s Sergio Perez, who started on the soft tyre and completed a long first stint of 31 laps before making his sole stop for supersofts. The most impressive climber was Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz, who used a two-stop strategy (finishing the race on the rapid ultrasoft) to end up ninth, after starting 20th on the grid.

Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director: “Thanks to differing race strategies, we saw a grandstand finish, with the two-stopping Vettel closing in on the one-stopping Hamilton. Cool track temperatures made tyre management crucial, with some teams also switching strategies as it became clear that this might be quicker. Most drivers in fact stopped twice, compared to the one-stop race last year in Canada. Key to making a one-stopper work was looking after the tyres as effectively as possible, which Hamilton and Bottas both did brilliantly.”

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Formula One: VIDEO Rosberg – Massively Frustrated


Heading home a mere 2 hours after the conclusion of the Canadian Grand Prix, Nico Rosberg talks through a frustrating race which saw him come home in 5th place. With team mate Lewis Hamilton winning the race, Nico’s championship lead has now been reduced to only 9 points.

Rosberg talks through what he felt was an aggressive move from Lewis at the start into turn one, which forced Nico to possibly work stress the W07 in order to maximise results for the day. This lead to issues with braking, excessive tyre wear and running extremely low on fuel in the closing stages of the event. In conclusion a massively frustrating race.

Nico will now have two days at home before ahead out to Baku for the inaugural Grand Prix of Europe.

Formula One: Tyres available for Montreal

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Pirelli have released a handy info-graphic explaining the tyres drivers have available for the Canadian Grand Prix today.

The graphic splits availability between new and used compounds.

The lack of new ultra soft tyres available for Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull and Williams further supports the theory that a single stop strategy will be the most likely approach to the race should conditions be dry.

Drivers qualifying in the top ten must start the race on the tyres they their completed fastest laps in Q2 with. Non of these drivers have a second set of Ultra Soft tyres available for the race.

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Formula One: One stop strategy expected

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Lewis Hamilton set a commanding pole position ahead tomorrow’s Canadian Grand Prix early today. Commenting on the lap and fortunes for the race Lewis commented:

That’s not necessarily the way you want it to turn out, getting pole without a real battle on the final lap – but you take it whatever way it comes! I think there was more time to be found out there but I’m happy to have done enough on that first run. This always tends to be a good track for me. It’s all about braking and since I was a kid I’ve always been last of the late brakers, so I guess that’s why it’s always suited my style and why I’m strong in sector one in particular. It’s such a great track to drive – like a Formula One kart track, with the high speeds and the way you’re jumping over the kerbs.

It’s always special coming back here as it’s where I won my first Grand Prix – plus the fans are incredible. Every year, without fail, they turn up in their thousands and create a great atmosphere at the track and in the city itself. In terms of the race, it’s going to be tight. I need to study hard tonight to get myself back to where I was yesterday, as I didn’t actually feel quite as strong in the car today. I was killing it out there yesterday – but I lost a bit of feel with the setup changes I made for today. I wasn’t always able to put the car exactly where I wanted, which means you have to step back and not quite push to the limit. Ferrari look strong on the long runs so we’ll need to be on our toes.”

Reviewing tyre performance ahead of Race day Pirelli commented:

Soft: used in free practice but not qualifying. A mandatory set for the race (if it’s dry).
Supersoft: quite close to the ultrasoft here both in terms of wear and degradation.
Ultrasoft: the fastest tyre by 0.6s per lap, making it the default choice from Q2 onwards.

Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director:

“With uncertain weather conditions both today and tomorrow, there were a number of question marks during qualifying that will be carried through to the race. Track temperature is clearly a key aspect to tyre behaviour here, but we won’t know exactly how that develops until just before the race: cool temperatures seem to be indicated, and there might even be some rain. With low wear and degradation, a one-stopper seems the most likely scenario. However, teams will have to keep an open mind on strategy and react to changing conditions as they happen: a traditional hallmark of this fantastic track. We’ve seen in the past that pole position is not necessarily the key to success here, so everything is still wide open.”

Race strategy: Track temperature will determine what the optimal strategy is for the 70-lap race tomorrow. If it’s cold, we’re looking at a one-stopper: starting on supersoft and then moving to soft on lap 26 is theoretically the fastest way. If starting on ultrasoft (which all the top 10 will do), the strategy is extremely similar, with the change to soft coming one lap earlier, on lap 25. Note, should the race take place under mixed conditions tomorrow, race strategy will look very different!

Formula One: Lewis “It’s been an awesome day”

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Mercedes AMG Petronas drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, along with Technical Director Paddy Lowe offer their thoughts on FP1 & 2 from Montreal:

Lewis Hamilton
It’s been an awesome day. This has always been a strong circuit for me and I’m really enjoying being back here again. I’ve generally been really happy with the car so far. The focus today has been on working hard to make sure we have a good understanding of the tyres. I’m enjoying myself and hoping the weather stays like this over the weekend for all the fans out there in the grandstands.”
Nico Rosberg
“Generally I feel good in the car. But getting the tyres working is not so straightforward here, so that needs some further analysis tonight. I lost most of my time in the first sector – possibly because of tyre temperatures. So, that part of the lap is the main area to work on and find some improvement for qualifying. The long runs have looked good so far, though. It’s been great to see so many spectators out there already today and I’m sure there will be an awesome atmosphere over the weekend.”
Paddy Lowe
“It’s great to have some decent weather after freezing conditions yesterday – particularly for the fans, who have come out in their thousands. The main interest of the day was to see how the three different tyre compounds functioned on low and high fuel. We managed to complete our programme without any major issues and both drivers are fairly happy with the balance of the car. It’s difficult to compare lap times precisely with everybody running slightly different programmes – but our performance looks reasonably strong. We’ve still got a lot to do to be fully prepared for qualifying – and in a shorter timescale than normal too. We’ve had normal running hours today – but curfew begins an hour earlier tonight, as we lose an hour tomorrow with the early start to FP3 and Qualifying. The team in the garage have a tough evening ahead to get the cars prepared.”


Formula One: Mastro join Renault Sport F1 in Canada

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Mastro, authentic Italian deli meats producer, have joined the Renault Sport F1 team for the Canadian Grand Prix weekend.

Mastro branding can be found on the the rear ring end plate, nose-cone, and cockpit, seen below. At this time the partnership is for the Canadian Grand Prix only.

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Commenting on the partnership Bill Slovitt, Trade Marketing Director remarked:

“The Renault Sport team is a great vehicle for awareness of the Mastro brand which we are activating at grocery retail with over 100 stores in the Montreal area, helping to celebrate the race this weekend in Montreal”

The Renault Sport F1 team took to social media to announce the partnership, commenting:

Mastro have incorporated messaging of the partnership into the brands in-store advertising to great effect, as seen here:

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More information on Mastro can be found here. You can follow Mastro on twitter here.

Formula One: Red Bull Racing do Drones

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In the build up to the Canadian Grand Prix, Red Bull Racing duo Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen spent some time trialling racing drone technology armed with streaming Go Pro’s and VR headsets.

As well as showing of their drone handling skills(!), in the film below drivers give their analysis on the Monaco Grand Prix and look forward to the Canadian Grand Prix. Both expect the upgraded power unit to perform strongly around the circuit and hope to be able to compete at the front. Hopefully the two will avoid hitting each other on track, something they didn’t manage with the drones.

The use of drone technology is understood to be high on the agenda of Formula One Management’s technical revolution in race broadcasting and content creation, with trials expected to take place over the Italian Grand Prix weekend. which is coincidently a Grand Prix which Heineken are now a title sponsor. It is not clear if the trials will lead to imagery being used in broadcast or as a form of VR trail, but it is clear FOM are looking into new ways to present the sport.

Filming & streaming content from drones could enable FOM to showcase the sport in an entirely new format at a much lower cost than more traditional filming via helicopter. The sport could even consider the use of VR to allow fans to control their view of the sport from a drone. A direction, FOM, SKY, and Mercedes AMG Petronas partner Tata Communications is keen to facilitate and encourage as discussed in this interview.

FIA Formula E, trialled the use of drones earlier this year following the Mexico ePrix. Click here for more.

Formula One: In-play odds reach Formula One

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In-play odds are nothing new to football fans who place bets online. For years customers have been able to bet on matches as a game evolves. With the evolution of mobile gambling apps the popularity of this functionality is one of the most significant growth areas for bookmakers.

Essentially, In-play gambling is achieved through a book maker constantly adjusting odds on factors within an event, whilst the event is taking place. In the case of football this can range from the overall result to who will score next, to whether or not a player will finish a match. Gambling within football has become so engrained within the sport it is possible to bet on almost any element of a game and do so live.

Frequent readers of this site will have seen I recently started posting gambling watch-outs or tips over a Grand Prix weekend such as this one for Monaco. In my preview I sighted Force India drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez as watch-outs for the weekend if the forecast rain arrived. As it transpired, the rain did come and Sergio Perez found himself in a possible podium position half way through the race. At this point I tweeted a question about what odds would be availble for Perez to win now and how great it would be if bookies offered in-play odds in Formula One. To my surprise William Hill replied, and confirmed they do in fact offer in-play odds in F1, and that the live odds for Perez at that time were 6/1, down from the 200/1 when I made my original forecast for the weekend.

Intrigued by this development, which as an F1 fan not adverse to a little (responsible) gambling from time to time, I made some enquires with William Hill to find how in-play / live odds evolve over an F1 race.

The graphs below illustrate the dynamic odds availble for the top 4 finishers of the 2016 Monaco Grand Prix. The time period involved is from the night before the race up until the final lap.

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For ease of illustration I have changed the odds to decimal rather than more traditional fractional. The figures shown represent the return a customer would see for a correct 1 (£,€,$) bet placed at the given times during the race. For reference I have added pointers to a number of influencing points in the race.

It is worth noting that at any time, a customer could place an each way bet on the result. This would lead to a payout at 1/5 of the odds offered for a win should the driver finish in 2nd or 3rd. This means that on the final lap of the race you could have placed money on Sergio Perez to win at 100/1, and been paid out at 20/1 for him securing 3rd place.

The growth of in-play betting in Formula One demonstrates that the sport is receiving attention from the broader sporting community. This development further necessitates live viewing. The gambling sector has a loud and powerful voice when it comes to the way in which sport is consumed by fans. It is possible growth of in-play F1 gambling as a revenue stream for the sport will serve to encourage Formula One Management to focus maximising audience size. In order to achieve this perhaps they will consider relaxing or reviewing pay TV fee structure in order to gain increased revenue from growth of the gambling sector.

To read my tips for the Canadian Grand Prix, click here.

To see my preview for the Canadian Grand Prix, click here.

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