F1: 2019 Canadian Grand Prix Preview
Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes GP looks on, on the grid before the Canadian Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Canada, 2018 (Photo Credit: Mark Thompson, Getty Images)

F1: 2019 Canadian Grand Prix Preview

Ahead of round seven of the 2019 Formula One season, Lewis Hamilton is looking to assert World Championship dominance, as the Brit seeks a third win on the spin.

matthewwatkinson
Matthew Watkinson

Mercedes lost their record of front-row race lockouts last time out in Monaco, but we are yet to see another team taste champagne from the top step of the podium so far this season.

As each race passes Mercedes domination seems impenetrable, but the begging question that has been asked before every race this season still stands. Can Ferrari finally displace the silver arrows?

The prancing horses will be hoping their slight straight-line speed advantage could play a part in Canada, though there is no more room for strategic errors which have become a regularity so far this season with notable hiccups in Baku and Monaco costing them dearly.

Christian Horner’s Red Bull will rest all their hopes on the young shoulders of Max Verstappen, with Pierre Gasly still a way off the Dutchman’s pace. The long straights of Canada could prove a real test for their Honda power unit which has come on leaps and bounds in the opening races this season.

The midfield battle promises to be as unpredictable as ever, with Carlos Sainz hoping to add to his sixth place in Monaco last time out. All eyes will be set on Racing Point’s Lance Stroll who will seek a change in fortunes at his home race after struggling to make an impact in the 2019 season.

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The track

The Circuit Ile Notre-Dame first hosted a Formula One race in 1978 where Gilles Villeneuve claimed a fitting win, before the track was eventually renamed the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in his honour.

The track is widely regarded as a favourite by most drivers, with several key overtaking spots to look out for. Famous for taking hits from some of the sport’s greatest ever drivers, the Wall of Champions is one of the most iconic parts of a track across the whole calendar. The current crop of drivers will be wary of falling victim to the wall at the very end of the track.

Turn 10 at the hairpin curve could see several drivers go late on the breaks, with overtaking opportunities expected to open up towards the final sector. The majority of overtakes will be just after the hairpin, on the long straight where DRS assistance will be available. But with the Wall of Champions lurking around the next chicane, the last of the late breakers could find themselves edge a little too close to the barriers.

Canada is known for its tricky, unpredictable weather conditions which have added to some classic races over the years such as Jenson Button’s last lap heroics against Sebastian Vettel in 2011. This time out conditions are expected to be more settled with a weekend of dry and warm conditions. Practice sessions could see some gusty winds making for a tricky Friday for some, but conditions should be routine for qualifying and the race.

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What happened last year?

After the 2018 Canadian GP, Vettel stormed to the top of the drivers World Championship ahead of Lewis Hamilton, after a dominant performance saw him snatch all 25 points.

The Mercedes driver had differing fortunes that day with the reigning world champion reporting problems with power and he limped to fifth place.

Vettel became the fourth consecutive grand prix winner from pole position, after surviving the battle off the start line which has been imperative to clinching victory in recent years.

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When can I watch it?

Friday

Free practice 1: 15:00 – 16:30

Free practice 2: 19:00 – 20:30

Saturday

Free practice 3: 16:00 – 17:00

Qualifying: 19:00 – 20:00

Sunday

Race: 19:10

All times BST. 

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