After round six of the Formula One World Championship it is Lewis Hamilton that remains in control, 14 points clear of nearest rival Sebastian Vettel. Last time out in Monaco it was damage limitation for the defending champion, steering his Mercedes home to third place behind Ricciardo and Vettel, although in his post-race interview he did describe it as “one of the most boring races ever.” In fact, former champion Fernando Alonso felt pretty much the same, with both drivers suggesting that the circuit needs to change.
While Monaco has the most spectacular buildup of all the rounds, it always disappoints as a racing spectacle. It is almost impossible to overtake on, with the drivers lapping several seconds a lap slower, so they could manage tires and work to a one stop strategy.
— Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) May 28, 2018
The organizers really need to have a look at Monaco and find a way to reignite the drivers love affair with the most iconic race on the F1 calendar, something that will no doubt be debated as the season unfolds.
For now, the attention turns to Montreal and the Canadian Grand Prix. The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is a happy hunting ground for Lewis Hamilton with 6 wins in all, just one victory shy of the record held by Michael Schumacher.
Hamilton has been particularly dominant here in recent years with three consecutive wins, all three coming from the front of the grid. If the Brit storms to a 75th pole position on Saturday, then it would be a good idea to back him to deliver again.
Sebastian Vettel has just the one win in Montreal back in 2013, also coming off the back of a pole position. In 2011 Vettel was cruising to victory in the rain, before Jenson Button drove from last place to overtake the German on turn six of the final lap, in one of he most memorable races ever seen in Canada.
In 2014 Daniel Ricciardo recorded his first F1 win in Montreal, when he edged Nico Rosberg after starting from 6th place. The Australian will arrive in a confident mood after his Monaco victory, although it has been confirmed by Red Bull chief technical officer Adrian Newey, that he will be facing grid penalties in Canada due to additional engine parts he will require, following the problems he suffered in Monaco. Ricciardo is currently third in the championship 28 points behind Hamilton with this weekend now all about damage limitation for the Australian.
Any chance of a Red Bull win will now fall squarely on the shoulders of Max Verstappen. Team Principle Christian Horner confirmed they will be supported by an engine upgrade this weekend which is expected to bring at least an additional tenth of a second, something that will certainly boost their qualification form.
Red Bull’s issues have been in qualifying, with the Monaco Grand Prix the first time they have occupied the front of the grid in over two years. They have set four fastest laps in four of the races so far this season underlining their race pace. If they can get their qualification right, they will become serious contenders for the championship.
The early weather forecast suggests a dry free practice and qualifying, with temperatures in the mid-twenties, however race day could see some rain, conditions that will certainly level the playing field and most likely bring the safety car into play.
Haas are expected to bring significant upgrades for the race in Canada, putting them in a strong position to finish ahead of the likes of Force India and McLaren.
Daniel Riciardo Canadian Grand Prix Circuit Guide
McLaren have enjoyed their best start to a season for quite some time, although on a high speed circuit with long straights like they will be facing at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Fernando Alonso expects them to be quite badly exposed, the driver stating that their straight line speed is simply not good enough. That said, there is a pretty good chance that they will improve on their 14th and 16th place finishes in last year’s race.
Force India have started to show signs of improvement following a slow start to the season, and they will take heart from the fact that Montreal is a circuit that suits their package, Perez and Ocon coming 5th and 6th respectively last year.
Hamilton and Mercedes have been so dominant here down the years, it is tough to see Ferrari or Red Bull challenging that supremacy. A month ago in Barcelona, Mercedes had the perfect race weekend, with Hamilton storming to victory ahead of teammate Bottas. I would be very surprised if this didn’t happen again this weekend in Canada.
Who is our money on to take the chequered flag in Montreal? Claim your £30 WELCOME BONUS and make your call!