Some new names along with the established favorites fought it out for the win at the Grand Prix of Monaco in late May. Now the Formula One teams venture across the Atlantic Ocean to North America and battle it out June 9th at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for the Grand Prix of Canada in Montreal, Quebec.
Last season, with a warm sunny day on the shores of the St. Lawrence River, Lewis Hamilton, driving for McLaren, was victorious from the front row, winning his third Grand Prix of Canada (source: BBC). In fact, Montreal was the spot of Hamilton’s first career F1 win back in ’07. Youngsters Romain Grosjean and Sergio Perez rounded out the podium with favorites Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso finishing fourth and fifth respectively.
The weather (rain) can be an issue in Montreal this time of year and early practices could see a little wetness, but the teams should be okay with high temperatures in the 60s under partly to mostly cloudy skies. So who might be the favorites to win in 2013? Here they are listed with the overall favorite to win listed last.
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5. Sergio Perez
The young McLaren driver has the ability to make great moves and earns consideration for possibly winning a grand prix this season. And why not Canada? Last year was the only race the 23 year old has run at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. The Mexican showed quite a bit of promise last season in Canada with his improbable finish to garner an appearance on the podium, starting from the 15th spot on the grid – in a Sauber. Expect him to charge near the front again.
4. Fernando Alonso
The two-time former champ looks racy this year and has a Ferrari under him that appears to have more pace than in the recent past. The veteran has won in Canada — Alonso won from the pole in ’06 – and has a knack for qualifying well here as evidenced by his seven straight starts in the first two rows. When the Spaniard is on this year, he can win as shown with his victories in Shanghai and Barcelona. If he doesn’t crash, Fernando should end up near or at the front when the checkers fly.
3. Kimi Raikkonen
The Finn veteran has been one of the more steady drivers in F1 over the past couple seasons. Except for the races in Malaysia and Monaco, the Lotus driver has either won or been runner-up. Raikkonen has six top fives in Canada and if you throw out his crash in ’08, he doesn’t have any finish outside the top eight. Figure he has another finish near the front and nabs a podium at the very least.
2. Sebastian Vettel
The current reigning champ has never won in Montreal but the Red Bull driver does have two straight poles and hasn’t finished outside the top four over the last three events at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Vettel leads current point standings, helped along by two wins and all top four finishes in six races to date. It would be surprising if Seb didn’t end up on the podium and flirt with winning the Grand Prix of Canada in 2013.
1. Lewis Hamilton
Most thought Hamilton had made a bad move when he went over to Mercedes from McLaren but it now looks like the Brit made a great decision. Mercedes has both drivers in the top six while McLaren’s Jenson Button clings to 10th spot in the standings with Perez down in 12th. Hamilton doesn’t have a win yet this year but he certainly is getting close with a pole, two podiums and five top fives. The fly in the ointment is when he doesn’t win at Canada, he crashes out of the race. However, the thought here is he wins his first for Mercedes.