With Mercedes claiming glory at the Monaco Grand Prix, it’s hard to see just at which track they could be stopped this season. They are heading into the seventh race of the season with their two drivers streets ahead of the pack. Will that still be the case come Sunday night?
Mercedes could potentially extend their winning run to seven races this weekend. Both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas are in fine form at this early stage, while they could slug it out for the title all season. As it stands, Hamilton is just out in front, while we expect him to build on that with another win in Canada this weekend.
Canada has been almost ever-present on the F1 calendar in recent years, with this race set to be their 10th consecutive appearance. Once again, the race is held in Montreal, which has been a friendly hunting ground for Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes over recent years. However, can they secure success in the 2019 edition?
|7/21||Canada||Circuit Gilles Villeneuve||305km / 70 Laps|
|Date||Start Time||Finish Time||Forecast Conditions||TV Coverage|
|Practice 1||Fri 7th June||15:00||16:30||Dry / 17°||–|
|Practice 2||Fri 7th June||19:00||20:30||Dry / 20°||–|
|Practice 3||Sat 8th June||16:00||17:30||Dry / 19°||–|
|Qualifying||Sat 8th June||19:00||20:00||Dry / 21°||Sky F1|
|Race||Sun 9th June||19:10||21:10||Dry / 18°||Sky F1|
Last Season’s Results (2018)
Can Ferrari repeat last year’s success here? Sebastian Vettel took maximum points in this race last year, which was enough to move him top. Vettel’s win over Valtteri Bottas saw him move back out in front in the race for the Drivers’ Championship, but the win put him onto 121 points after seven races. After six races this season, that tally would still be 16 short of Hamilton at the top given that he’s sitting pretty with 137 points in the bag.
Last season Vettel was helped by a slump from Hamilton, who qualified in fourth for this race. He ended up finishing a place lower, ending up behind both of the Red Bulls in Montreal. It was a better day for Bottas, who finished up in second, which suggests he’s capable of a strong display in this weekend’s return to Canada.
|3||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||3||15|
|4||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||6||12|
|8||Carlos Sainz Jr||Renault||9||4|
|9||Esteban Ocon||Force India||8||2|
Race News: Hamilton’s Record Ambitions
Lewis Hamilton heads into the Canadian Grand Prix this week with a stark warning to his competitors: the champion isn’t going anywhere. He claims he’s going to do another five years in F1. Hamilton is on five world titles and 77 race victories, chasing Michael Schumacher’s record of seven titles and 91 race victories. At this rate, he could match both by the end of next season. He’s got his eye on a 78th victory this weekend, which would be his fifth in seven races so far this term.
Mercedes Cry Wolff
Another race, another concern from Mercedes boss Toto Wolff. He thinks that their winning run could be over, claiming that the circuit plays to their rivals’ strengths. However, this is a well-trodden path from Wolff, who has played up his own team’s weaknesses more than enough. Mercedes’ routine of trying to remove pressure on themselves is getting a little tiresome, especially after their brilliant start. While arrogance isn’t an endearing trait, it would be good to see them own their excellent resources and performances a little more, rather than acting like the underdogs every other week.
Analysis: Relentless Mercedes to Continue
It’s tough to see anything but a win for the Silver Arrows this weekend, as they’ve been impossible to catch. Last weekend was the first time that they didn’t record a 1-2 finish, with Sebastian Vettel sneaking into second to marginally boost his tally. However, there’s still a 55 point gap between Vettel and the reigning champion, with that lead being built up over the course of just six races.
If you cast your mind back a couple of months, it was Ferrari who had the pace advantage. However, Mercedes have proved themselves to have the strongest car, which has put their two drivers into a battle with each other to win the title. Hamilton’s experience is shining through as things stand, but with Bottas also performing well it’s hard to see anyone but them leading here.
Final Verdict: Hamilton To Win
Hamilton makes the trip to Canada knowing that his record here is brilliant. He’s got record equalling ambitions here, as he tries to draw level with Michael Schumacher’s seven wins here. Hamilton has six wins in Canada to his name – three of which have come since 2015. He’s teamed up well with Mercedes at this event, while we expect him to kick on to claim another win.
We’re backing Hamilton for success here at odds of 11/10. We also think it’s worth backing Max Verstappen for a top three finish at a decent price of 9/4 given he’s not finished lower than fourth all season. He’s always in the mix, but his price doesn’t entirely reflect that when you look at the opposition.
About the Canadian Grand Prix
The Canadian Grand Prix has been held at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve since 1982, although no Grand Prix was held in 1987 and 2009. The track is famously named after former Formula 1 driver, Gilles Villeneuve, who died in 1981.
The race is widely regarded as one of the most iconic on the tour, with the Notre Dame track (previous name and still widely referred to as this) being based around Notre-Dame Island, which is in turn situated around the St Lawrence river in Montreal.
The 4.3km track is one of the driver’s favourite, weaving its way around famous buildings from the 1967 World Fair and also the home of rowing events in the 1976 Olympic Games. Racing in Montreal is always spectacular, and Canada is widely regarded as one of the best venues to see Formula 1 cars at their finest, given the number of vantage points laid out around the track. The track has many challenging corners to accompany a spectacular setting.
Approaching turn 1 at the Canadian Grand Prix, traditionally a low downforce circuit, breaking is tricky to the small left hand turn at 1 and then into the long sweeping hairpin at turn 2. It’s one of the biggest areas on the track for drama, especially at the beginning of races as cars jostle for position.
The driver then needs to make sure the car is positioned perfectly as they come to the first of the chicanes on the race track. If they have been unable to get a satisfactory racing line at turns 1 and 2, then they are really going to struggle to take momentum into these corners.
Drivers need to be very careful through the chicane and take as much of the kerb as possible, without hitting the wall as they come out. The closer the wall better as it allows them more grip and then accelerate through to turn 5 that they will take flat out in qualifying, and possibly for long periods of the race itself as well.
Kinks at turn 6 and then straight into turn 7 require immense concentration at it’s here where drivers need to gain maximum traction for the long back straight. A good run from here mean that cars are easily able to slip stream and often a great place for overtaking coming into turn 8.
The approach to turn 8 needs to be timed impeccably, and with it drivers will start to play the brakes just before the overpass. The “s” bends through 8 and 9 require a good amount attraction and approach the hairpin. Getting the braking zone here is imperative and is a spectacular place for the crowds to sit as it’s another area that benefits from a high number of overtaking spots.
The drivers accelerate out of this and start into the longest straight on the track. The cars hit speeds well in excess of 330kmph here. Their target is a 100m board that they know will be the start of the breaking zone heading into the next turn.
The driver needs to be brave here as they take huge amounts of kerb through the final S bends and then power on through to the line. Whilst a relatively short lap, the track really does have it all, from tight, twisting sections to long straights gaining huge speed. A track the drivers love to take on and one of the best looking on the F1 calendar at the minute, that’s for sure!
The first official Formula 1 event was held in 1967, although racing had been taken part as part of a Canadian Grand Prix from 1961 at Mosport Park. Other venues in the early years of the event include the likes of Mont-Tremblant, before moving from Mosport Park in 1977 and taking residence at Circuit Ile Notre-Dame, as it was then known, but now more commonly known as the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
1999 – THE WALL OF CHAMPIONS WAS BORN
In an action-packed race in 1999, it was one wall that had particular relevance to one of the most iconic aspect to the Montreal based track. The final corner, which ironically had on “Welcome to Quebec” plastered all over it, saw Damon Hill, Michael Schumacher and Jacques Villeneuve all crash into it at different periods of the race. It was Mikka Hakkinen who benefited most, winning the race and extending his lead over Schumacher to 4 points in the Drivers championship as a result.
1997-2004 – THE SCHUMACHER’S DOMINATE
Whilst it’s been Michael Schumacher who is the most well-known brother over Ralf, it was the pair of them that manged to dominate the Grand Prix over the course of 9 seasons from 1997 to 2004. Admittedly, it was Michael who was the dominant force, winning 6 of the races, but brother Ralf chipped in in 2001 to pick up just his second career Grand Prix victory.
2008 – KUBICA SHOCKS THEM ALL
In 2008, Robert Kubica was pretty much an unknown quantity in F1, still finding his feet in is BMW Sauber. After a solid start to the season, he was able to benefit from crashes to Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen to secure his first and only F1 victory. Whilst the win took him to the top of the driver’s standings at the time, he failed to really kick on and ended finishing in 4thposition, with Lewis Hamilton winning at the final race of the season in Brazil.