Lewis Hamilton leads the 2018 Formula 1 Drivers’ World Championship going into this week’s Canadian Grand Prix, with his closest rival, Sebastian Vettel, fourteen points behind him. If the British driver triumphs on Sunday, not only will he extend that lead, he will make sporting history.
The Brit has won six previous editions of the race and another victory here will see him equal Michael Schumacher’s record for the most Canadian Grand Prix wins. If Hamilton were to triumph after qualifying in pole position, he would also achieve a record-breaking fourth back-to-back pole conversion at the circuit.
So, can Hamilton come away from Montreal with more records to his name and another glittering motorsports trophy, or will another driver beat him to the chequered flag?
Hamilton in Canada – What’s the Secret to his Success?
The Silver Arrows driver is certainly a force to be reckoned with when it comes to the Montreal race. He has only missed out on podium places in three of the Canadian Grands Prix that he has participated in – the races that he didn’t finish (2008, 2011 and 2014).
His former Mercedes teammate, Nico Rosberg, recently said that Hamilton’s success at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve was due to the quality of his braking. The 2016 Formula 1 World Champion told Sky Sports that Hamilton “just brakes so late. He’s able to nail it lap after lap.”
Hamilton seemed to confirm this theory when he was asked about the track. He told Sky Sports that “it’s a mechanical, technical circuit, and it suits an aggressive driving style” and stated that “once you get to the corners, it’s a bit like a go-kart track.”
Which Drivers Could Prevent Lewis Hamilton from Winning in Montreal?
Hamilton has only topped the podium twice so far this season, with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo also having won two races apiece. Both Vettel and Ricciardo have previously been victorious in Canada, with Vettel winning there in 2013 and Ricciardo claiming the trophy in 2014.
Vettel hasn’t won a Grand Prix since Bahrain, however, and although he finished in second place in Monaco two weeks ago, he failed to make it onto the podium in the three previous races. Ricciardo racked up race wins in Monaco and China but hasn’t made it onto the podium in any other race this season. The Honey Badger, as he’s known, is also facing grid penalties of up to 20 places following the failure of his car’s MGU-K electric motor in Monaco.
The only other former Canadian Grand Prix winners on this year’s grid are Fernando Alonso and Kimi Räikkönen. While Räikkönen has made it onto the podium three times this season, neither driver has won a Formula 1 Grand Prix since 2013.
Hamilton could face challenges from Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen. Bottas has finished second on three occasions this season, but Hamilton has never finished behind a teammate in any Canadian Grand Prix that he’s completed. Verstappen, like Hamilton, is an aggressive driver so, in theory, it’s a great track for him. However, the racing gods haven’t previously been on his side in Montreal, with his best result being a fourth-place finish in 2016.
Do you think Hamilton will equal Schumacher’s record for Canadian Grand Prix wins this weekend? Leave a comment or talk to us on Twitter or Facebook.