2015 Canadian Grand Prix Preview


Formula 1 heads to North America for the first time in 2015 this weekend for the Canadian Grand Prix at a pivotal point in the championship fight.

Nico Rosberg arrives in Montreal as the in-form driver after winning back-to-back races for the first time in his F1 career, even if his victory in Monaco two weeks ago was somewhat fortuitous.

His Mercedes teammate and title rival Lewis Hamilton still leads the drivers’ championship by ten points, but knows that he would be enjoying a 24-point lead had the strategic mistakes in Monaco not been made.

Nevertheless, the Briton has a soft spot for the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve as it was the site of his first grand prix victory back in 2007 with McLaren. Since then, he has won a further two times and has never finished off the podium when he has made it to the checkered flag.

The intra-team fight at Mercedes is just one of many storylines that will define this weekend’s race.

2015 Canadian Grand Prix – Talking Points

Thinking twice

After seeing a near-certain win in Monaco pass him by, Lewis Hamilton will be keen to fight back this weekend with a victory in his beloved Canada. Although he may claim that the race in the principality is behind him, it is likely that some elements of the defeat will still be playing on his mind. With a 60% chance of a safety car at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, if Mercedes were to make a snap call and tell Hamilton to pit, will he think twice? Then again, will Mercedes also think twice about any decisions Lewis may want to make? Time will tell.

Ferrari’s fightback

Having spent some of its engine ‘tokens’ for this weekend’s race in Canada, Ferrari could well be able to take a step towards Mercedes and perhaps challenge for a second win of the season. Sebastian Vettel arrives in Montreal off the back of a surprising second-place finish in Monaco, whilst Kimi Raikkonen is focusing on an improved qualifying display after struggling last time out. The power advantage may lie with Mercedes, but if Ferrari can make a step forwards, the Italian team could yet be in the mix this weekend.

Slim hopes for another Montreal miracle at Red Bull

Daniel Ricciardo’s victory in Canada last year came as something of a shock given Red Bull’s struggles at the start of 2014, but hopes of a repeat in 2015 are very slim indeed. The affable Australian’s victory came about last year thanks to Mercedes’ reliability woes, but this time around, if a repeat were to occur, it is likely that Ferrari and Williams would be the teams to pick up the pieces and claim a win. Red Bull is certainly improving, but with Renault admitting its engines will struggle in Montreal, this could be a weekend to forget for the team.

Verstappen gets back in the saddle

After suffering a huge shunt towards the end of the Monaco Grand Prix, Max Verstappen will return to his car this weekend with another lesson learned in his rookie F1 season. The 17-year-old has remained bullish about the incident, brushing off any criticism that has been pointed his way. He even suggested that Felipe Massa, one of his critics, should think about his own accident in Canada last year instead of pointing the finger. With youth comes bravado, of course…

Good timing, eh

The Canadian Grand Prix is a favorite for many of the drivers and teams within F1. Montreal as a city wholly embraces the race and gives it a great party vibe. However, perhaps the most positive aspect of it among our readers is the timings. After a string of early starts for races in China, Spain and Monaco, the Canadian Grand Prix is held entirely on ET, making it far friendlier for those in the USA to watch.

Timings aside, the action provided in Montreal is always entertaining. It’s very rare for there to be a ‘boring’ Canadian Grand Prix, and the 2015 edition should be no different.

2015 Canadian Grand Prix – Facts and Figures

Track: Circuit Gilles Villeneuve
Laps: 70
Corners: 13
Lap Record: Rubens Barrichello 1:13.622 (Ferrari, 2004)
Tire Compounds: Super-Soft (Option); Soft (Prime)
2014 Winner: Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)
2014 Pole Position: Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) 1:14.874
2014 Fastest Lap: Felipe Massa (Williams) 1:18.504
DRS Zones: Casino Straight (T11 to T12); Main Straight (T13 to T1)

2015 Canadian Grand Prix – TV Times

Free Practice 1: NBC Sports Live Extra 10am ET 6/5
Free Practice 2: NBCSN 2pm ET 6/5
Free Practice 3: NBC Sports Live Extra 10am ET 6/6
Qualifying: NBCSN 1pm ET 6/6
Race: NBC 2pm ET 6/7 (F1 Countdown on NBCSN from 1:30pm ET)

Texas starting lineup: Felix Rosenqvist back on pole; Scott Dixon qualifies second


FORT WORTH, Texas — For the second consecutive year, Felix Rosenqvist will lead the NTT IndyCar Series starting lineup to the green flag at Texas Motor Speedway.

The Arrow McLaren driver is hoping the third time will be the charm at the 1.5-mile oval, where he has run extremely well but has only a career-best 12th in five starts.

“We’ve always been good here, but this is a whole different confidence level compared to last year,” Rosenqvist told NBC Sports’ Marty Snider. “Let’s try to wrap it up (Sunday).”

In 2020, Rosenqvist was competing for a podium when he crashed with 10 laps remaining at Texas.

QUALIFYING RESULTS: Click here for speeds from Saturday’s time trials

INDYCAR AT TEXASSchedule, start times, how to watch on NBC, Peacock

Last year, he started first on an oval for the first time in his career but finished 21st because of a broken halfshaft.

“It’s definitely one of my favorite tracks, and naturally, I’ve always been OK here,” Rosenqvist said. “It was the first oval that made sense to me. Every year I’m building on that. But looking at the results, they don’t represent the speed I normally have.

“I don’t want to jinx anything, but I hope tomorrow is going to go a bit better and some luck our way would be nice. It’s been feeling super good. Arrow McLaren has been mega every session, so just keep it rolling.”

Arrow McLaren qualified all three of its Chevrolets in the top five, building on a second for Pato O’Ward and fourth for Alexander Rossi in the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

The March 5 season opener was a disappointing start for Rosenqvist who was squeezed into the wall by Scott Dixon on the first lap.

Dixon, a five-time winner at Texas, will start second Sunday, followed by Rossi and Josef Newgarden. O’Ward will start fifth alongside Takuma Sato, who will start on the outside of the third row in his Chip Ganassi Racing debut.

During nearly four hours of practice and qualifying (including a special high-line session), Saturday’s lone incident involved Conor Daly.

The Ed Carpenter Racing driver spun three times but stayed off the wall and in the frontstretch grass. Aside from a front wing change and new tires, there was no damage to his No. 20 Dallara-Chevrolet during the incident midway through the 30-minute session in which drivers were limited to the high line.

“I hadn’t really had a moment before, but it snapped really aggressively,” Daly told NBC Sports after final practice. “Not ideal, but I do know my way around correcting a spin it seems like. I drove NASCAR last weekend and that seemed to help a little bit. I drove in the dirt a lot in USAC Midgets and seemed to be able to save something but not ideal or what we wanted to have happen.”

Daly will start 25th of 28 cars alongside teammate Rinus VeeKay in Row 13. Carpenter qualified 18th.

“Our three of our cars were clearly looking for something. Mechanical grip is for sure what we need. Qualifying we actually expected to be a lot better, but we found an issue there. We’ll see what happens. This race can change a lot. I’m confident in the team to hopefully figure some things out for tomorrow.”

Here’s the IndyCar starting lineup for Sunday’s PPG 375 at Texas Motor Speedway (qualifying position, car number in parentheses, driver, engine and speed):


1. (6) Felix Rosenqvist, Dallara-Chevy, 220.264 mph
2. (9) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 219.972


3. (7) Alexander Rossi, Dallara-Chevy, 219.960
4. (2) Josef Newgarden, Dallara-Chevy, 219.801


5. (5) Pato O’Ward, Dallara-Chevy, 219.619
6. (11) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 219.508


7. (10) Alex Palou, Dallara-Honda, 219.480
8. (12) Will Power, Dallara-Chevy, 219.355


9. (18) David Malukas, Dallara-Honda, 219.256
10. (26) Colton Herta, Dallara-Honda, 219.184


11. (28) Romain Grosjean, Dallara-Honda, 219.165
12. (29) Devlin DeFrancesco, Dallara-Honda, 219.146

ROW 7 

13. (55) Benjamin Pedersen, Dallara-Chevy, 219.100
14. (14) Santino Ferrucci, Dallara-Chevy, 218.892


15. (3) Scott McLaughlin, Dallara-Chevy, 218.765
16. (8) Marcus Ericsson, Dallara-Honda, 218.698


17. (77) Callum Ilott, Dallara-Chevy, 218.427
18. (33) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Chevy, 218.375

ROW 10

19. (78) Agustin Canapino, Dallara-Chevy, 218.367
20. (27) Kyle Kirkwood, Dallara-Honda, 218.227

ROW 11

21. (06) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Honda, 218.196
22. (60) Simon Pagenaud, Dallara-Honda, 218.103

ROW 12

23. (51) Sting Ray Robb, Dallara-Honda, 217.676
24. (15) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 217.611

ROW 13

25. (20) Conor Daly, Dallara-Chevy, 217.457
26. (21) Rinus VeeKay, Dallara-Chevy, 216.880

ROW 14

27. (45) Christian Lundgaard, Dallara-Honda, 216.210
28. (30) Jack Harvey, Dallara-Honda, 216.103