June 4th 2013 (F1plus/ R.Creed) Before racing begins in Canada we take a look at five of the things you should be watching out for. From the protests surrounding Mercedes and Pirelli’s tyre test to the impressive form of Force India these are the five key stories to look out for this weekend:
Tyres once again were a major talking point last time out in Monaco after it was revealed Mercedes and Pirelli carried out a tyre test using their 2013 car. The test held after the Spanish Grand Prix led to Red Bull and Ferrari lodging protests against this. The matter was referred to the race stewards who in turn referred it to the FIA.
The test using a 2013 car with 2013 drivers was essentially run by the team which led to the upset. Both Mercedes and Pirelli claim the FIA knew about the test and let it go ahead, however the FIA isn’t so sure. To add to the drama Ferrari will now also be investigated after it conducted a test with Pirelli using a 2011 car.
Using a 2011 car is normally thought to be within the rules and regulations but the Italian team will still be investigated. It had been suggested a outcome could be decided by Canada but this looks unlikely - the issues looks set to run and run and who knows who may be next to admit to a tyre test.
Heading to Bahrain Sergio Perez was being told to ‘toughen up’ by his team but just four races later his new feisty attitude is upsetting his teammate and other drivers. Jenson Button has been unhappy on numerous occasions with Perez’s overtaking with the pair having some near misses.
In Monaco the Mexican may have been able to get past Button but it did not end well when a misjudged overtaking attempt on Kimi Raikkonen left the Finn with a puncture and having to pit and Perez out of the race. Both blamed each other for the incident with Raikkonen saying Perez should be “punched in the face”.
The Mexican needs to find a balance between the aggression he has been showing over the last few races and the control he showed in the early part of the championship. If he can find the perfect balance he has a chance of doing well in Canada.
Force India are having a truly impressive start to a season. They have 44 points from six races and have only failed to score on one occasion in Malaysia due to a wheel nut problem.
In Monaco they appeared to be single handedly trying to dismiss the claim you cannot overtake on the streets of Monte Carlo with some impressive moves by both their drivers. Adrian Sutil achieved the teams best ever performance in Monaco with a fifth place – ending his bad luck of recent races - whilst Paul di Resta scored points for the fifth time this season.
Historically the team has never done well in Canada having only scored three points there in 2010. This year the car is much better and they have their best chance of scoring some good points and extending their lead over the other midfield teams in the constructors championship.
Monaco signalled a return of Romain Grosjean of 2012. His less than impressive drive saw him crashing into the back of the Toro Rosso of Daniel Ricciardo ending the Australian’s race.
The incident also brought out the safety car. Grosjean seemed to show he hasn’t quite learnt the lesson about controlling his race and after an investigation by the stewards he was given a 10 place grid penalty for Canada. Monaco saw Grosjean have four accidents in just three days - all of which were his own fault.
The team repaired the car each time only for Grosjean to go out and reck the car again. Whilst it wasn’t in the same league as Spa last year where he potentially changed the face of the championship he denied Ricciardo the chance of points. Will he have learnt his lesson in Canada or will it be a case of de ja vu?
Williams and Mercedes power
After a dismal start to 2013 Williams have announced they will move to Mercedes power in 2014 when the new V6 turbo engines are introduced. The deal is understood to be long term and will see Williams supplied with Mercedes engines and Energy Recovery Systems.
Williams have used Renault engines for the last two seasons but haven’t really seen any improvement in fortunes. This season they have had two best place finishes of 11th out of six races. They have no points compared with the 44 they had at this point last season. The move will hopefully produce results next season but until then the once illustrious team need to sort out their difficulties in 2013.