Tyre issues point to interesting Canada race

McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton at Montreal yesterday

McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton at Montreal yesterday

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button are both predicting an “interesting” Canadian Grand Prix after experiencing a high level of tyre wear during Friday practice.

Button, who is currently second in the points standings, ended practice just 11th fastest after struggling on the softer compound “Option” tyre.

“It was tough on the long runs – the tyres didn’t last long,” said the reigning World Champion.

“I ran with the Option tyre at the end of the session for just a couple of laps, and it grained so much that I had to put the Prime on, where I was two or three seconds quicker than the cars still running Options.

“Still, I then started experiencing graining as well, so we have a few tyre issues – but then again I think almost everybody is struggling with tyre issues here. It could be a pretty interesting race.”

Hamilton fared slightly better in seventh, and also believes that others are experiencing similar tyre problems.

“The graining on the Option tyre made things difficult, but I think everybody had a similar experience out there, except maybe the Red Bulls,” he said.

“I don’t think you’ll be seeing a long first stint on the Option tyre on Sunday, that’s for sure.”

Hamilton also expressed his frustration with the condition of the circuit, which is used just twice a year.

“The track has been incredibly difficult to drive,” said the Briton.

“It’s very hard to switch the tyres on and get heat into them – it’s so slippery, it’s like driving on an ice rink. It’s such a huge difference from when we were last here (2008).”

With more showers expected throughout the weekend, the track’s grip level is unlikely to increase significantly for Sunday’s race.

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