Formula 1: Canadian Grand Prix Preview

Felipe MassaLewis Hamilton is likely to get the better of Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg at this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix (Race: Sunday, 19:00 BST, live on BBC / Sky Sports F1).

Rosberg took the win in Monaco two weeks ago, leading Hamilton home from pole position to move to the head of the Drivers’ Championship. Fractures are starting to appear in their once harmonious relationship and it will be interesting to watch their interactions in Canada.

Reigning four-time champion Sebastian Vettel endured a difficult weekend, retiring just five laps in with a turbo failure having been out-qualified by teammate Daniel Ricciardo for the fifth time in six races. Ricciardo continued his impressive season by finishing third, ahead of the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso and Nico Hulkenberg’s Force India.

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McLaren secured a double points finish to end a run of three scoreless races, while Williams’ Felipe Massa (pictured) and Romain Grosjean (Lotus) both also finished in the points. However, the star of the day was Jules Bianchi, who gained Marussia their first ever Formula One points. His ninth place finish ended the team’s run of 82 races without scoring.

The Circuit

The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is a medium downforce track that features four straights linked by a series of tight and wall-lined corners. It is popular with the majority of the drivers and usually produces an entertaining race, with good overtaking opportunities at the hairpin and into the final chicane.

Pirelli will bring their soft and super soft tyres to this weekend’s event. The circuit forms part of a public park and is open to visitors for the majority of the year, so grip levels will increase significantly as the weekend progresses. Current weather forecasts suggest there may be rain on Friday, but that Saturday and Sunday should be dry.

Mercedes

Red Bull were closer to Mercedes in Monaco than at previous tracks. They do not, however, expect to be able to match the silver arrows in Montreal, where engine performance plays a much larger role. Mercedes have taken a clean sweep of pole positions and race victories so far this season and should be expected to continue their dominance this weekend.

Rosberg has a good record in Canada – having qualified ahead of his teammate of the time in four of his last five races at the circuit, and finished ahead in three of the five – but was out-qualified and out-raced by Hamilton last year in their first season as teammates.

The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve favours aggressive driving and Hamilton’s attack-orientated style has previously taken him to three pole positions and three victories at this track. He can be fancied to both qualify on pole position and take victory in Sunday’s race.

Qualifying

Jenson Button has a solid record in Canada and having taken McLaren to a sixth place finish in Monaco will be hopeful of another strong result this weekend. He has qualified in the top 10 in three of the six races this year and has a good chance of doing so for a fourth time this weekend at a circuit at which a number of his usual rivals are likely to struggle.

Top speed and traction out of slow corners are Lotus’ main weak points and they are therefore unlikely to be involved in the battle for a top 10 qualifying spot. Toro Rosso, too, will not be as competitive as they have been at other Grand Prix. With this in mind, Button can be fancied to reach the final session of qualifying on Saturday.

The Race

Force India have enjoyed an excellent start to the season and are fourth in the constructors’ championship having taken points from each of the six races. With good traction and a strong Mercedes power unit behind them, they should run very well in Canada.

Hulkenberg has been one of the most impressive drivers on the grid so far this year. He has finished in the points at every race and in the top six on five occasions, including a fifth place finish in Monaco last time out. He does not have a stellar record in Montreal but can be fancied to secure his team another top six finish on Sunday.

Williams, too, should benefit from the performance of their Mercedes engine this weekend. Like Force India, they have scored points in every race this year and have a car that should be well-suited to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Felipe Massa has finished in the points in seven of his 10 Canadian Grand Prix since his debut in 2002, while Valtteri Bottas qualified in a superb third place last year before trailing off in the race. The pair have secured their team a double points finish on two occasions already this season and have a good chance of repeating the trick on Sunday.

F1 Canadian Grand Prix Betting Tips Verdict

  • Back Lewis Hamilton on a pole position and race win double @ 8/13 with Bet365.
  • Bet on Jenson Button to reach qualifying session three @ best odds of 4/5 with Ladbrokes.
  • Back Nico Hulkenberg to finish in the top six @ 15/8 with SkyBet.
  • Bet on Williams to secure a double points finish @ 8/11 with William Hill.

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