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Lewis Hamilton’s the Montreal master and other talking points ahead of Canadian GP

A look at the talking points as Formula One heads to Montreal for the Canadian Grand Prix.

Sport360 staff 2018/06/06

After two races in Europe, Formula One heads across the Atlantic to North America for the Canadian Grand Prix.

Daniel Ricciardo triumphed last time out in Monaco, but it is defending champion Lewis Hamilton who still holds a 14-point title lead over Sebastian Vettel.

Here, we take a look at the key talking points ahead of Sunday’s race in Montreal.

Hamilton’s the Montreal master

If you had told Hamilton that he would lose only three points to Vettel in Monaco, a notorious bogey track for his Mercedes team, the Brit would have nobbled your arm off.

And after salvaging third, only one place behind the Ferrari driver, Hamilton can now head to a circuit where he has become the master in recent years. Following trips to California, to check in on his pet dogs Roscoe and Coco, and then up and over to New York, Hamilton, 33, arrived in Montreal on Tuesday night.

It was here where he won his first grand prix, back in 2007, and it is a venue where he has gone on to triumph a further five times – including a hat-trick for Mercedes (2015, 2016, and 2017). Indeed should Hamilton win on Sunday, he will match Michael Schumacher’s record of seven Canadian Grand Prix victories.

Vettel needs victory to spark title charge

Vettel’s campaign started in spectacular fashion after he recorded back-to-back wins, but following an accident through no fault of his own with Max Verstappen in China, before falling off the track in Baku, and Mercedes and then Red Bull’s resurgence in Spain and Monaco respectively, Vettel heads to Canada winless from his last four races.

Montreal has been well-suited to Mercedes, but let us not forget Vettel should have won there back in 2016 only for Ferrari’s two-stop strategy to backfire and afford Hamilton the win.

It will not be a disaster for Ferrari if Hamilton triumphs on Sunday, but should Vettel upset the odds and beat his rival, then it will go some way to sending a statement of intent, and one which you fancy he needs, to reignite his championship charge.

Ricciardo facing grid penalty misery

Ricciardo won in Monaco despite nursing an engine problem so terminal that his Red Bull boss Christian Horner likened it to the troubling Apollo 13 space mission. But Ricciardo’s engine failure in the principality will come back to bite him this weekend with the Australian due to serve a hefty grid penalty on Sunday.

Indeed Ricciardo could be thrown to the back of the pack, dependant on the number of engine parts his Red Bull team have to change. It is a blow for Ricciardo’s title chances after he moved up to third, and within 38 points of Hamilton following his Monaco triumph.

But after the dreary spectacle in Monaco a fortnight ago, at least we can rely on one of the finest overtakers in the sport fighting his way back through the field to provide the entertainment this weekend.

Triple ton up for Alonso

Fernando Alonso will this week become only the fourth driver in Formula One history to reach the landmark of 300 grands prix entries. Rubens Barrichello (326), Jenson Button (309) and Schumacher (308) are the only other men to have surpassed the milestone.

Alonso was set to finish seventh in Monaco before he retired (his first DNF of the season) with a gearbox issue. The 36-year-old Spaniard fears the high-powered Montreal track will work against his McLaren car.

“Canada is going to be challenging,” Alonso said. “It’s a tough circuit with long straights. Our lack of speed is maybe a penalty there.”

Lawsuit filed against Raikkonen

A Canadian waitress has filed a reported seven-figure lawsuit against Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen. Raikkonen, the 38-year-old Finn, has been accused of touching the woman’s breasts after the Montreal race two years ago.

The woman made the allegations in a blog back in 2016, but did not name Raikkonen. Earlier this year, she gave her version of events to the police.

Raikkonen has denied the allegations and has claimed he is a victim of blackmail. The Finn’s lawyers have filed an extortion counterclaim.

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Canadian GP Canadian Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo F1 Kimi Raikkonen Sebastian Vettel