June 6th, 2013 (F1plus/J. Polychronis).- The Pressure Gauge is a segment conducted before every race weekend of 2013. It is designed to predominately assess the big name drivers in F1 and how their pressure mounts or diffuses, depending on their situation.
Lewis Hamilton: Low ↗ Medium
When initially assessed post-Australia, we deemed Lewis Hamilton to be under low pressure. We expected the team to become centred on him, which was based on the common assumption he would out-perform Nico Rosberg. Fast forward to post-Monaco, and things are unfolding quite contrary to initial predictions.
Rosberg has claimed pole-position for the previous three races, one of which was eventually converted into a race victory. Once we compare this to Hamilton’s solitary pole position and zero race victories, it is safe to say Rosberg holds the early lead in the battle at Mercedes.
Nonetheless, Hamilton holds high hopes for the trip to Montreal, stating: “The Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve has been a strong circuit for me and I've been lucky enough to win there three times in my career, including last season.”
While the Canadian Grand Prix has provided Hamilton with much joy in the past, the Briton will head there this weekend with slightly more weight on this shoulders.
Nico Rosberg: High ↘ Medium
The exact assessment of Lewis Hamilton can be oppositely applied to Nico Rosberg. At the start of the season, we deemed the German to be under high pressure. This was the case as he was being forced to compete with a world champion at the top of his game. Six races later, and it is clear that Rosberg is not only rising to the challenge, but dare I say, excelling above it.
Hamilton may lead Rosberg by 15 points in the driver’s standings, however, it is Rosberg who has been claiming the headlines with more noteworthy performances. The most recognised of which, was becoming the first son of a former Monaco Grand Prix winner to achieve the feat as well. Before this race weekend in Canada, Rosberg said;
“Monaco was a fantastic weekend for the team and I'm so proud of the victory that we achieved there. We'll be hoping to maintain that momentum in Canada this weekend and will be going all out for another strong performance.”
The high degradation of tyres at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve will throw the pressure back onto the team who has suffered rear-tyre preservation issues. Not to mention test-gate fiasco currently unfolding…
Sergio Perez: High ↗ Extreme
As exciting as it may have been, Sergio Perez’ display in Monaco was reckless and unprofessional. This is a point of view shared by 2007 world champion, Kimi Raikkonen, who suggested that someone should “punch him (Perez) in the face” for his Monaco antics.
Perez was involved in numerous ambitious moves heading into the Nouvelle Chicane, eventually paying the ultimate price when colliding with Raikkonen. Perez provided the following excuse:
"Kimi did not give me any room at all. I touched the wall on the entry to the corner and I had no room for that.”
Someone ought to remind the Mexican that it was Monaco and there is no room to give.
Although fans enjoy viewing a “risk-reward” style of driving, quite simply there has been little reward for Perez’ style so far this year. Apart from glimpses in Bahrain, Perez thus far has not shown enough quality to justify his move to McLaren. Therefore, his pressure has climbed from ‘high’ to the greatest classification of ‘extreme.’
Paul di Resta: Low
Paul di Resta and Force India have been an impressive example of consistency this year. Apart from Malaysia, di Resta has finished in the points for every race so far this season. Included within these results, was his best career finish of fourth in Bahrain. Di Resta spoke about the team’s consistency before the race weekend in Canada:
“We’ve been competitive on every track this year and that’s a credit to the team, so we expect to be at our usual level once again.”
Regularly finishing in positions such as seventh and eighth strongly suggests that Force India are the best of the rest this season.
Ideally, this was all Force India could hope for at the start of the season. Di Resta, the more consistent of the two Force India drivers, is achieving exactly what is expected from him, placing him in the ‘low’ category of pressure.
The race in Canada marks Force India’s 100th Grand Prix.