Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton stormed to victory at the Canadian Grand Prix using a comfortable one-stop tyre strategy adopted by the top three finishers.
Tyre wear and degradation were extremely low at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Canada, enabling the majority of drivers to complete the race with just one change of tyres and enjoy long runs on both the soft and new supersoft compounds.
Hamilton, who won the race from pole ahead of his team mate Nico Rosberg, claimed his 37th career victory and extended his lead in the drivers championship to 17 points. The podium finishers – Hamilton, Rosberg and Williams driver Valtteri Bottas, who became the first non-Mercedes or Ferrari driver to finish on the podium this year, all started the race on the supersoft tyre, stopping within three laps of each other to change to the supersoft.
Fourth-placed Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen was the highest-placed driver to use a two-stop strategy, and the only driver to use the soft tyre in the middle stint: starting and finishing the race on the supersoft, which enabled him to score some very impressive lap times.
A number of drivers started the race in unusually low grid positions, including Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Williams driver Felipe Massa. They both used unusual strategies to boost their positions and finish in the points. Vettel was the earliest to pit, running the majority of the race on the soft tyre.
Paul Hembery, motorsport director for Pirelli tyres, said: “As we expected, given the specific characteristics of this circuit, tyre wear and degradation was extremely low on both compounds today, with an extremely stable product. This can lead to some criticism, as the goal is to have more than one pit stop per race.
“With only four tyre specifications available, sometimes it does become difficult to provide the perfect choice for every situation. Despite that, we did see some different thinking about strategy from many of the teams. In particular, the drivers who started further down the order were able to boost their prospects by doing something different to their direct rivals.”
Denna Bowman, Head Office