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Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix Preview

Written by Owen Bradley, Edited by Meghana Sree

Credit: Paolo Pedicelli

F1 returns to The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve once again for what is shaping up to be a race with a lot of potential. Rain being forecast for the weekend, Mercedes looking strong, and Pérez seeking redemption– these are just a few stories to look forward to this weekend.

Circuit Layout

The Canadian Grand Prix being held at The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve has thrown up controversy in recent years, with the track being described as difficult to overtake on. Do statistics back this up? Well, in a way they do. Since 2014, every Canadian Grand Prix has had between 30-38 overtakes, with the only exception being 2018, which had just 15.

Many of the overtaking opportunities are on the straights, especially the back straight before the final chicane. Other places to look for some cars to get by one another are Turns One and Two, which flow smoothly coming off the home straight where many drivers manage to get side-by-side before battling it out through the next few corners. Of course, the famous Turn 10 Hairpin will likely also be a great overtaking zone, especially for drivers that are able to hold a good run through the chicane of Turns Eight and Nine.

Like many before them, perhaps a past, present or future World Champion will end up smashing into “The Wall of Champions”. Michael Schumacher, Damon Hill, Jacques Villeneuve, Jenson Button, and Sebastian Vettel are all names which have gone into the wall and were, or have become, champions in the sport. Could we see a similar situation at the 2023 Canadian Grand Prix?

Drivers to Watch

Credit: Eric Alonso

Verstappen is leading this championship by a long way, with many people already writing off this year’s championship, and predicting that Verstappen will become a three-time champion. Nevertheless, Verstappen hasn’t been completely accident-safe: he has made a mistake here and there in 2023, and perhaps with some serious pressure from the other drivers, he might end up making a Vettel-esque mistake from both 2011 and 2019, by running too wide at some corners. However, it would be difficult to place your bets against the flying Dutchman, as he’s already a long way clear of everybody in this championship.

Lewis Hamilton - Poetic Win to Return in Canada?

Hamilton got his first ever Formula One victory at this circuit back in 2007 with McLaren Mercedes. All these years later, he is still in a Mercedes powered car. With Mercedes’ recent run of form, with a double podium in Spain, could Lewis Hamilton finally get this victory that he has chased for the last 18 months? Of course, this would likely require a degree of luck to come his way, but if there is ever a track where he would likely succeed, it’s in Canada. And likely Britain too, which is also coming up very soon.

George Russell - Mercedes Momentum

George Russell has, similar to Hamilton, come off the back of a great podium finish in Spain. And with the new Mercedes concept, this could be a great circuit for the team, as the track is built up of a lot of chicanes and fast-flowing sections. For this reason, could it be time for at least one, or potentially both Mercedes drivers, to be standing atop the podium?

Weather Forecast

Rain has been forecast for the entire weekend in Montreal, but things can and might change. With the recent wildfires in Canada, and soaring temperatures during the summer, that rain may just dissipate. However, with this forecast of rain, we can expect to potentially see a race which pays homage to the iconic 2011 thunder-struck Canadian Grand Prix– which surely some viewers surfing the channels might have mistaken for a boat race!

Who do you think could win the Canadian Grand Prix? Let us know in the comments below!

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