Formula 1 Racing

Time for another maiden winner? Six Canadian GP talking points · RaceFans

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Montreal, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2007

Round nine of the 2024 Formula 1 world championship is the second in North America. The 10 teams arrive in Montreal for one of the most popular rounds of the season.

But this year, Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve could play host to a pivotal race which will give us a real indication for what to expect at the front of the field entering the middle phase of the championship and beyond.

Will Red Bull be beaten for the third time in four rounds – perhaps even by a first-time winner – or will the world champions be able to re-establish themselves as the team to beat? These are the talking points for the Canadian Grand Prix.

Are Red Bull beatable?

For the first time since the middle of 2022, Red Bull have tasted defeat twice in the last three races.

After Lando Norris scored his long-awaited first grand prix victory in Miami, Max Verstappen only narrowly held the McLaren driver back to return Red Bull to the top of the podium the next race in Imola. Last time out in Monaco, Red Bull never looked in contention for victory from their first lap out of the pits in practice as Ferrari and Charles Leclerc controlled the Monte Carlo weekend on their way to a memorable home with for their driver.

But Monaco is the ultimate outlier circuit and the RB20’s struggles on its bumpy surface and the necessary increase in ride height to deal with it had a clear impact on the team’s outright performance. At a more conventional circuit, Red Bull should expect to perform much stronger than they did in Monte Carlo.

Last year, Verstappen took pole in a wet end to qualifying before converting that into victory on Sunday. Although he won by just under ten seconds, that would actually be one of his slimmer margins of victory over his dominant 2023 campaign. The year prior, Verstappen only just beat Carlos Sainz Jnr by less than a second after the Ferrari driver tried to put him under pressure in the closing stages.

Although the chicanes, kerbs and close barriers in Montreal mean it is far from the most traditional of racing circuits, this weekend should still provide a fascinating look and what the order truly is at the front of the field.

Piastri’s opportunity?

For whatever reason, Montreal has produced more first time grand prix winners that practically any other venue on the calendar.

Hamilton is among those who scored his first win in Montreal

From the man for whom the track is now named in honour of, Gilles Villeneuve, in 1978 to Thierry Boutsen in 1989,…

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