Who won the 2018 Canadian Grand Prix on? Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)
FIVE KEY FACTORS
F1 arrives at the power-hungry Canadian Grand Prix. The Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve tests drivers and cars as there are plenty of slipstreaming and overtaking opportunities, with long straights and big braking zones. The emphasis is on engine and braking and by the end of the race, brakes can be a problem as drivers desperately try to slow their cars.
If Ferrari are to keep their faint hopes for 2019 alive, then Canada is arguably their last chance. 45% of the lap is spent on full-throttle, which in theory suits Ferrari. Unless Ferrari perform in Montreal the way they did in Bahrain, it is likely they will write off the season and only bring performance upgrades for the development of their 2020 car.
Rumours heading to Montreal suggest Mercedes are bringing an engine upgrade, with 20bhp more power. Lewis Hamilton is a master of the Gilles-Villeneuve circuit. He won his first ever grand prix in Canada, and has taken the chequered flag another five times since. If Hamilton and Mercedes dominate here, it is hard to see where Ferrari can realistically challenge again in 2019.
Qualifying is important in Canada. Similar to Monaco, there are many concrete walls which will punish any mistakes. Canada is a tight qualifying session around a relatively short lap, and getting a good lap time in early is crucial, as incidents can easily happen.
Red Bull may struggle this weekend. Although Honda have impressed this season, straight line speed is still their weakness. Meanwhile, Haas and Alfa Romeo have new Ferrari power updates this weekend, so they can look forward to a strong weekend in the mid-field battle.
Lewis Hamilton is running away with yet another world drivers’ championship and it is hard to discount him in this Canadian Grand Prix prediction. Hamilton will be motivated to match the great Michael Schumacher by winning for the seventh time in Montreal.
Ferrari should be more competitive this weekend, and closer to the Mercedes. Given Hamilton’s achievements in Canada, the Mercedes’ engine upgrade, and his racing skill around a challenging and tight circuit, the prediction is for a Lewis Hamilton win.