Canadian Grand Prix

2019 Canadian GP Preview

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton

We are now just days away from the 2019 Canadian Grand Prix and the race for the World Drivers’ Championship is heating up.

Five-time world champion Lewis Hamilton is 17 points clear of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas ahead of Sunday’s race in Montreal but that could all change in the blink of an eye. And with the Canadian Grand Prix’s history of shock results, Hamilton won’t be taking anything for granted.

William Hill are as short as 5/4 for Hamilton to secure his fifth Grand Prix victory of the 2019 campaign. His record in Montreal is very impressive indeed, finishing on top of the podium six times in his career.

Only the legendary Michael Schumacher (7) has won the Canadian Grand Prix more times than Hamilton and it would take a brave man to back against the Mercedes driver moving level with the German this weekend.

Hamilton has hinted at driving for another five years and the British star could eclipse the seven world titles won by Schumacher. Victory for Hamilton in Montreal will certainly help his chances of claiming a sixth drivers’ crown in 2019.

It will come as no surprise to Formula One fans to hear that Bottas is next in the Canadian Grand Prix betting odds. Currently priced at 5/2 with Ladbrokes to win the Montreal race for the first time, Bottas is still in contention despite winning just two of the opening six Grand Prix events this season.

Watch this space, victory in Montreal could work as the catalyst for Bottas to push on and seize control of the world title race. Bottas has finished inside the top two in five of the six Grand Prix races so far this year – his consistency could be pivotal come the end of the campaign.

The Mercedes star has finished on the podium in each of the last four years and plenty of Formula One bettors will fancy Bottas to go close in his pursuit of glory. The 6/17 with Sporting Bet for a top three finish isn’t much of a price but he looks destined to secure a fifth Montreal podium in a row.

This is where it starts to get interesting. Like Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel has a solid record in Montreal and the Ferrari man could challenge the two Mercedes drivers. In theory, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve should suit the Ferrari drivers this weekend and that should mean a much more competitive Grand Prix.

7/2 with 888sport for Vettel to claim a first win of the season is a price worth taking. The German is under pressure from teammate Charles Leclerc but Vettel can cement his status as the team’s number one driver with some magic in Montreal.

Leclerc has shown glimpses of quality this campaign but he has yet to lay down a serious test to Vettel’s standing at Ferrari. Until he manages to frequently outqualify his teammate, the question as to who the main man at Ferrari is should remain closed. Leclerc will have his day in the sun…

And that day could be Sunday. With Boyle Sports offering 5/1 for Leclerc to notch his first Grand Prix success, Ferrari could be celebrating only their second Montreal victory since 2004. Leclerc’s speed through some of the tricky chicanes could give him a slight advantage over Vettel.

If you’re looking past the top four, Max Verstappen is the one to watch. Touted as Formula One’s next big star, Verstappen has the quick-thinking and intricate driving ability needed to flourish at the highest level. With five Grand Prix wins under his belt, Verstappen has shown that he can win under pressure and he will be looking to build on last year’s podium finish.

Currently 9/4 to finish in the top three again this time around, Verstappen is available at a solid price. The young Dutchman has time on his side but Red Bull Racing will be hoping that he can make a major impact this weekend – it is starting to look like a two-horse race for the Constructors’ Championship.

Verstappen is usually a red-hot tip to record the fastest lap of the race but he can fall short on consistency over a Grand Prix. The 3/1 favourite with Unibet to notch yet another record for speed, Verstappen will feature prominently in the closing stages of the Grand Prix and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see the Red Bull star finish strongly.

Surprisingly, Pierre Gasly comes next in the fastest lap betting. Ahead of Hamilton, Bottas and Vettel, Gasly has shown blistering speed in the early stages of 2019 and he could earn himself a move to a better team ahead of the 2020 campaign.

Betfred are going 7/2 for Gasly to finish with the fastest lap in Montreal and punters will be keeping a close eye on his efforts on Friday. If his practice speeds are quick, expect Gasly to be right in the mix for this particular accolade come race day.

The Canadian Grand Prix is one of motorsport’s great events and Formula One fans from all over the world will be tuning in for Sunday’s race. As per usual, Hamilton leads the way in the betting but it may prove prudent to look past the Mercedes star.

Vettel got the job done in Montreal last year and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see the Ferrari man record back-to-back wins in this race. The 7/2 available with 888sport won’t last long if Vettel shows serious pace in Friday’s practice sessions and during qualifying. Watch this space, the Ferrari drivers will be gunning for Mercedes this weekend.

If nothing else, let’s hope for a competitive race. The gap between Mercedes and Ferrari has lengthened somewhat in recent weeks but the Canadian Grand Prix should suit Vettel and Leclerc this weekend. Back Leclerc to gain some individual glory with Sunday’s fastest lap at a very appealing 11/2 with Betway.

RACE WINNER: Sebastian Vettel (7/2 with 888sport)

FASTEST LAP: Charles Leclerc (11/2 with Betfred)

About Australian GP

History

The Canadian Grand Prix dates back to 1961 and Formula One fans will be excited ahead of the 56th edition of the race. In its early years, the race was held at different venues across Canada before moving to hits current home in 1978. Since then, the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal has been a regular feature on the Formula One calendar.

Popular with motorsport fans around the world, the Canadian Grand Prix tends to rank highly in viewing figures. In 2005, it was the third-most watched sporting event of the year; behind Super Bowl XXXIX and the UEFA Champions League Final. The 2019 race should once again attract millions of Formula One followers from all four corners of the globe.

Historically, the Canadian Grand Prix has been one of the more dramatic races on the circuit. The legendary Gilles Villeneuve had the track named after him after tragically losing his life during qualifying at the Belgian Grand Prix in 1982 and this circuit carries emotional ties for older Formula One fans for that reason. It has been a must-watch in years gone by and it is still one of the most exciting races of the campaign.

Winners

Michael Schumacher

Michael Schumacher

Ferrari and McLaren have been the dominant forces at the Canadian Grand Prix, combining for an incredible 27 victories. McLaren’s last success in Montreal came back in 2012 while Ferrari ended a 14-year wait with victory in last year’s race. Ferrari will be hoping that either Sebastian Vettel or Charles Leclerc can come out on top in 2019.

Michael Schumacher is the most successful driver in Canadian Grand Prix history with seven wins in the race but Lewis Hamilton is breathing down his neck with six triumphs. Hamilton had won three in a row before Vettel’s win last year and the Mercedes man, priced at 11/8 with Ladbrokes, will be looking to regain his spot at the top of the Montreal podium in this year’s race.

Vettel will attempt to build on his perfect 2018 performance with another victory this time around. The German has been crowned Canadian Grand Prix winner on two occasions and Ferrari will be determined to push Mercedes close at the top of the leader board this week. The 4/1 available with William Hill carries plenty of appeal, especially given his win last year and Ferrari’s previous success in Montreal.

Fastest Lap

Max Verstappen has a habit for recording the fastest lap at Grand Prix events and the young Dutchman holds that particular record in the Canadian race. Last year, he finished the race in third position while notching a speedy 1:13:864 on lap 65. He has shown excellent speed at Montreal in recent years and that should stand him in good stead to lay down a serious challenge in 2019. 18/1 with Betfred for Verstappen to secure a sixth Grand Prix win could turn out to be a huge price.

The driver starting from pole position has gone on to win the race in each of the last four years and shining at the Canadian Grand Prix qualifying on Saturday can be the difference between success and failure. History suggests that whoever starts from pole position has a good chance of finishing top of the podium 24 hours later on race day.

Interesting Facts

canadian grand prix circuit

Circuit Gilles Villeneuve

With an average lap speed of around 75 seconds, the Canadian Grand Prix has one of the single lap times of the Formula One campaign. This appeals to motorsport novices as well as aficionados – the Montreal circuit is designed for exhilarating, high-speed action.

Despite recent success for drivers starting from pole position, number one on the grid hasn’t always meant success on race day. With a 45% success rate since 1967, the Canadian Grand Prix is still always worth watching. A positive Saturday does not necessarily mean success on Sunday.

The Future

As of 2014, Canadian Grand Prix organisers agreed a 10-year extension to keep the event at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve until 2024. With so much history surrounding the Montreal race, it would be a huge shame to see Formula One bosses knock it off the calendar. For fans, this is one of the biggest and most exciting races of the season and long may it continue.

There is some uncertainty surrounding the official attendance of the Canadian Grand Prix, with some figures suggesting that it is the most popular in Formula One while others have it ranked down the pecking order. Now sponsored by Pirelli, the Canadian Grand Prix looks set to maintain its status as a major player on the motorsport calendar.

Montreal has been a superb venue to host the Canadian Grand Prix for the last 40 years and motorsport fans north of the United States border will be hoping for another 40 years of high-speed drama. So often gripping from lap one to lap 70, let’s hope that the Canadian Grand Prix continues to attract attention from fans across the world.