GP Betting: Canadian Grand Prix
... the 43-year-old reminded us all of his capabilities by setting the fastest time in qualifying in Monaco two weeks ago
With six races and six different winners so far, James Frankland is at hand to help in trying to find the winner of the Canadian Grand Prix.
As the F1 circus rolls into Canada, who can make it seven from seven?
The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is a firm favourite amongst drivers and fans, generating great racing and unpredictable results. In 2011 we saw perhaps the best race of the season when Jenson Button survived a clash with Fernando Alonso, an earlier coming-together with teammate Lewis Hamilton, a puncture and four additional pitstops - which at one stage dropped him to the back of the field - to come through and force Sebastian Vettel into a rare mistake with half a lap of the race to go. This all occurred either side of a two-hour hiatus when torrential rain forced the suspension of the race.
Judging by the first six races of this campaign, the 2012 race is set to be equally thrilling, so here are the leading contenders to extend the winning run to seven different drivers, and a little insight into their likely fortunes in Canada:
Record in Canada: 2 wins
Montreal will always be special for Lewis, for it was here, just six races into his Formula One career in 2007, that the Tewin-born racer tasted victory for the first time. A second win in 2010 means that Canada joins China, Germany and Hungary as the only tracks on which Hamilton has triumphed more than once, and he is well-placed to add a third victory this weekend. It remains something of a mystery as to why Lewis hasn't won a race yet - he has started from pole twice and the front row five times from seven races - but the finely-balanced nature of 2012's Pirelli tyres are catching out everyone at varying times. Lewis will come good and Canada is a circuit that ought to play to McLaren's strengths, with a premium on straight-line speed and braking stability.
Lewis Hamilton @ Betfair odds of (5.0).
Record in Canada: 7 wins, 5 podiums
Heading to Michael's most successful venue, with wins in 1994, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2004 already in his pocket, the 43-year-old reminded us all of his capabilities by setting the fastest time in qualifying in Monaco two weeks ago. While a fuel pressure fault took him out of the race on lap 64, Schumacher demonstrated that he's still got what it takes, and what was most impressive about his pole position was that it happened in Monaco, a track where the Mercedes double-DRS system would have been of limited value. Contrast that with the long, full-power straights of Montreal and the W03 ought to be a strong contender.
Michael Schumacher @ Betfair odds of (13.5)
Record in Canada: 1 win, 1 podium
He's been away from F1 for two years, but the way Raikkonen has slotted back into the sport you would never know it, and it is surely only a matter of time before he returns to winning ways. A win in Canada would be Kimi's 19th in the sport, and it appears that Lotus have given him a good platform in the E20, a car which has proven quick on all types of circuits. Kimi came close to a win in Bahrain, losing out to Vettel, and was closing in on Pastor Maldonado and Fernando Alonso at a rapid rate of knots in Spain, just running out of laps in which to set up an attack on the leading duo. Renault-powered cars haven't traditionally been strong performers in Canada, but with tradition seemingly discarded this year, don't write him off just yet.
Kimi Raikkonen @ Betfair odds of (13.5)
Record in Canada: 0 races
Grosjean makes his Canada debut this year, but don't think he won't be well-prepared. The teams have extensive, highly-detailed simulators on which Romain will have become intimately acquainted with at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, even going so far as to start working on a base setup for his car so he can hit the ground running in Friday practice.
After securing third place in qualifying for the opening race he made the F1 world sit and ponder whether it was the same driver who comprehensively failed to shine for Renault in 2009. Two DNFs in the first two races were quickly forgotten when he delivered three strong points finishes in China, Bahrain and Spain, joining teammate Raikkonen on the rostrum in Barcelona. He started fourth in Monaco two weeks ago but was taken out in the first-corner melee - so as with Raikkonen, he has a quick car on all types of track.
Romain Grosjean @ Betfair odds of (16.5)