Preview: Canadian Grand Prix

This weekend's Canadian Grand Prix marks the start of six races in just eight weeks. Here's a guide to everything you need to know for the race in Montreal.

Preview: Canadian Grand Prix
Down at the T10 hairpin, overtaking should be plentiful (Image credit Action Images)

This weekend's Canadian Grand Prix will give an insight as to how the rest of the ​Formula One ​will unfold. Mercedes ​are still the hunted but their advantage of 2014 and 2015 is ever shrinking, with Red Bull,​ after a win in Spain and a thrown away win in Monaco  emerging as the most likely to de-throne the Brackley team.

The race, held at the 2.709 mile circuit named in 1982 after Canada's most famous F1 son, the late Gilles Villeneuve usually throws up a memorable event, anybody remember ​2011? ​As all of the engine manufactuers will be bringing upgrades to try and close the gap to Mercedes. It is here we will see just how much ​Honda ​have improved after a forgetable 2015, Ferrari's challenge is in danger of becoming of inconsequential importance. The team have been in position to win on at least two occassions this season, not taking advantage of early Mercedes troubles and in Spain and Monaco were out-qualified by the optimisitc and rejuvanted Red Bull-Racing.

Parallel to the long straight that makes up S3, is the rowing lake that was used in the Montreal 1976 Summer Olympics. The circuit itself was constructed in 1967 for the World EXPO fair.

What happened last year?

​​Lewis Hamilton ​claimed his fourth win on the part-street part-circuit that is one of the unaminous highlights on the calendar. In a relatively quiet race, Nico Rosberg came home second, whilst a Kimi Raikkonen ​spin cost him a podium, handing ​Williams's Valterri Bottas​ his first podium appearance of the season. ​​The first murmurs of discontent from Fernando Alonso about his McLaren-Honda ​package were broadcast to the world. "​I don't want to, I don't want to, looking like Amateurs​" came the reply from the Spainard when the request to save fuel was added to his growing list of "big problems"​.

Where am I going to see some overtakes?

​Circuit Gilles Villneuve has many a opportunity to attempt an overtaking move. Most popular is the T10 hairpin at the far-end of the track. Late braking up the inside can put a driver in position to either use DRS to pass along the long straight that follows or get close enough to attempt a pass into the final chicane - where the infamous "Wall of Champions" is lurking on the outside.                 (​Jacques Villeneuve 97,99, Michael Schumacher 99, Damon Hill 99, Jenson Button 05 and Sebastian Vettel 11, ​are the champions to have paid it a visit). In reality every turn has the possibility of a pass so Sunday's race should be a overtaking fest. The two DRS zones are on the aforementioned back straight and the run to the line.

What tyres are Pirelli bringing?

​​As in Monaco, Pirelli have opted for the softest selection of compounds in their range. That means the UltraSoft will make it's second appearance at a race weekend alongside the SuperSoft and Softs. As always the Inters and Wets will also be brought. Friday practice and Sunday's race are looking clear, crisp and sunny, although there is a chance that Saturday's qualifying session could be run in wet conditions.

When is it on?​​

There is a familiar feel to the weekend's structure, with practice on Friday, Saturday morning and qualifying that afternoon. Montreal is five hours behind the UK and so lights out is at 7pm UK time on Sunday evening.

First practice - 15:00pm - 16:30pm

Second practice - 19:00pm - 20:30pm

Third practice - 15:00pm - 16:30pm

Qualifying - 18:00pm - 19:00pm

Race lights out - 19:00pm

All times UK.