Key Strategic Moment

Key Strategic Moment

The Key Strategic Moment in Canada was the decision by the strategy teams of both race winner, Lewis Hamilton, and third placed Valtteri Bottas to pit only once on lap 25. Their one-stop strategies gave them track position over the cars that stopped twice. Hamilton beat Sebastian Vettel and Bottas beat both Red Bull Racing cars and Kimi Rӓikkӧnen. The ultrasoft and soft tires proved more durable than the others had imagined.

James Allen on F1, UBS F1 Expert

Winning Strategy

Will Renault boost points tally? What is The Renault Sport Formula One Team’s winning strategy for Montreal?

Will Renault boost points tally? What is The Renault Sport Formula One Team’s winning strategy for Montreal?

With just six points on the board after six races, the Canadian Grand Prix offers Renault a chance to add to their tally if the team executes the weekend perfectly. Montreal is a power circuit so the updated Renault engine should help and qualifying, which is Renault’s weakness, is less important here than elsewhere. The team needs to prepare a flexible strategy that will enable them to take advantage of any Safety Car periods because at Montreal there’s usually at least one!

Frustration for Renault - How did they perform in Canada?

Frustration for Renault - How did they perform in Canada?

Renault Sport Formula One team had a weekend to forget in Montreal. After a disappointing qualifying session we thought that they could make up for it with a good strategy on Sunday. Kevin Magnussen missed qualifying due to an accident, he started 22nd and finished 16th, after Jolyon Palmer retired on lap 16. Sebastian Vettel got off to a blistering start in the Scuderia Ferrari, but a brilliant one-stop strategy from Mercedes AMG Petronas allowed Lewis Hamilton to take back the lead and pick up his second victory of the season.

Race Strategy Briefing

A drivers’ favourite

Montreal is a great challenge with walls lining the track and strategy plays a bigger part in the outcome than at most venues.

Tire strategy

The ultrasoft tire performed well in Monaco, but its presence here is likely to make teams try different strategies if they cannot one-stop.

Safety car almost inevitable

Like Monaco, the Safety Car usually makes an appearance at Montreal and the short pit lane means it can really shake things up.

Easy to overtake

The long straights make overtaking easy, so Montreal is the least important pole position of the year with only a 35% conversion rate in the last 15 years.

Brutal on the brakes

Montreal is the toughest track of the season on brakes with a series of major stops from around 300km/h in quick succession.

Race Information

Canada, Montréal

June 12 | 14:00 local time, 20:00 CET

The Canadian Grand Prix joined the Formula 1 calendar in 1961 and was first held at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in 1978. The current track is located on a man-made island that was built for the 1967 world’s fair, Expo 67, in the middle of the St Lawrence River, which gives the track a unique setting. The close walls that surround the track gives it a fearsome reputation and the exciting racing often seen in Canada means it is firm favorite with both F1 fans and teams. Of the current drivers, Lewis Hamilton is the most successful with four wins, while Michael Schumacher holds the record with seven.



Circuit length 4.361 km
Race distance 305.27 km
Laps 70
2015 race winner Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
Pirelli allocation ultrasoft, supersoft, soft

Strategy Insights

Canada is a fascinating race strategically - there is usually little to choose between the one and two stop strategies in terms of race time, although a two stop is clearly preferable if you can run in clear air, as a front-runner. Overtaking is quite easy on the 350km/h straights, so strategists don’t worry too much about losing time in traffic. Driving a one stop requires a more careful approach in managing tires, but can work out well as there is a high (60%) chance of a Safety Car. Montreal is the hardest track of the year on brakes and coping strategies are needed towards the end of the race, with cars that now weigh around 700kg and multiple braking events from over 300km/h every lap.

In collaboration with James Allen