MERC BATTLE LOOMS FOR MONTREAL: Lewis Hamilton (right) is ready to resume his superiority in F1 after being trumped by team mate Nico Rosberg at the 2015 Monaco GP in May. Image: AP / Luca Bruno
MONTREAL, Canada - A couple of weeks on from Mercedes' moment of Monaco madness, defending Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton will return to action at one of his favourite circuits, the 2015 Canadian GP, aiming to resume his early-season superiority.
If he succeeds it will bring his first win in Canada ffor Mercedes but his fourth overall on the high-speed circuit where he claimed his first win for McLaren in 2007.
Such a success, after the farce in Monte Carlo, would taste very sweet on the circuit that threads around Notre Dame Island in the St Lawrence River.
Hamilton's lead in the 2015 Drivers' championship was slashed from a likely advantage of 27 points to only 10 at the 2015 Monaco GP in May when his team called him in for an unnecessary pit stop.
That incident, which demoted him from first to third, gift-wrapped an unexpected victory for Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg and left double champion Hamilton stunned.
At Montreal however, he will relish his chance to bounce back in the way he knows best by demonstrating his previously dominant performance advantage once again on the demanding, tight and unforgiving Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
It is a track that has brought out the best in Hamilton and where, in head-to-head records, he has a better results sequence than Rosberg.
Hamilton claimed his maiden F1 pole and victory in Montreal in 2007, won again in 2010 and 2012. Rosberg has yet to win.
MERCEDES DRIVER DUEL
On top of that, Hamilton outscores Rosberg 4-1 in podium, 3-1 in pole positions and 6-1 in front row starts, a set of statistics that suggest he has the potential to rebuild his ascendancy in the title race in the seventh round of the 2015 championship.
As if he needed any more incentive, Hamilton also revels in the level of support he enjoys anywhere in North America and will doubtless be energised again by the Canadian fans.
Hamilton said: "This is always a great favourite for me. I could not ask for a better place to get back out there in the car and bounce back than to do it in Montreal.
"I think everything that had to be said about Monaco has already been said. It was, obviously, a really big disappointment for me, and also for the team, but we will learn from it. I am sure we will move on, together, as we always do."
'IT WAS VERY SURREAL'
Rosberg has the momentum of two straight wins to boost him and can draw from the fact that he took pole last year when Daniel Ricciardo secured his first win for Red Bull.
That was almost typical of the surprises that the circuit can deliver as it makes great demands of the cars' engines and brakes. In readiness for that challenge, Mercedes go into the race with new engines for both of their drivers.
Rosberg said: "I still can't quite believe I was standing on the top step in Monaco for the third time the other week. It was very surreal and I don't think I've ever been so lucky.
"However, that weekend also showed that I needto raise my game even further in the battle this year. I've got the boost of two wins behind me now... So, it's all to play for".
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