For the first time in 11 years, a Canadian driver will take part in their home grand prix this weekend.
And appropriately Lance Stroll is driving for Williams, the team which took his predecessor Jacques Villeneuve to the world championship 20 years ago.
It’s been a difficult introduction to F1 for Stroll who is yet to score a point. But the reigning European Formula Three champion has shown some progress – after failing to finish the first three races he was classified in the next three, despite retiring with brake problems in Monaco.
That seems more than a little generous. In his team mate’s hands, Stroll’s car was good enough for sixth in Bahrain. His best finish so far is five places lower. Within his first six races Raikkonen managed three top ten finishes in his Sauber, including a fourth place.
Like Raikkonen, Vettel also scored on his debut, albeit in a one-off-start for BMW. He then moved to Toro Rosso where the pickings were slimmer, though he was running third in Japan until he collided with Mark Webber behind the Safety Car. He took a fourth at the following race in China.
For Stroll there would be no better place than home to score his first point. The last driver to do that was Daniel Ricciardo in the 2012 Australian Grand Prix.
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The form book
Lewis Hamilton has excellent form in Canada. This year’s race will be the tenth anniversary of his first grand prix win and since then he’s racked up five wins at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
Two more will put him level with the all-time record holder Michael Schumacher, who won this race seven times. He holds the record for the most wins in any individual race with eight victories in the French Grand Prix.
The only other drivers on the grid who have won this race before have just a single victory to their names. Ricciardo, Raikkonen, Vettel and Fernando Alonso. Vettel has only won the race once despite starting from pole here three times.
Williams made their only visit to the podium at this circuit last year, courtesy of Valtteri Bottas. As in 2015, he finished third.
Bottas produced the first stand-out performance of his F1 career at this track four years ago, when in a wet qualifying session he put his uncompetitive FW35 third on the grid behind Vettel and Hamilton. This weekend will be his 100th appearance at a grand prix weekend, though he won’t notch up his 100th start until next year.
His team mate remains the only driver with more than one pole position so far this year. His next will put him level with Ayrton Senna on 65, just three behind Schumacher’s all-time record.
Lap times and overtaking
The last significant modification to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve was made in 2002. The lap time record was established in the V10 era, during the final season before teams were required to use a single engine for an entire race weekend.
Last year the V6 hybrid turbo cars were little more than half a second slower, despite also lacking the benefit for tyre war-era high-performance rubber.
Here’s how F1 Fanatic readers have rated the Canadian Grand Prix in recent years. The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve has the highest average rating of any track on the 2017 F1 calendar.
Join in Rate the Race when the chequered flag falls at the end of this year’s race. You will need a (free) F1 Fanatic account to participate:
2017 Canadian Grand Prix
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- Canadian GP rated highly despite no fight at the front
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