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Montreal GP: Round 7 of Lewis v. Nico

2014-06-06 08:29

THE BATTLE CONTINUES: Mercedes drivers Nico Rosberg (left) and Lewis Hamilton will look to set the Gilles-Villeneuve track alight in the 2014 Canadian GP. Image: AP/ Paul Chiasson

MONTREAL, Canada - The Gilles-Villeneuve Circuit is a different track than most in Formula 1 but don't expect the Mercedes team to be any less dominant.

The Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have won all six races to start the 2014 season, finishing 1-2 in the last five. They will be the favourites again despite the close walls and hard braking on the circuit.

Nico Hulkenberg of Force India said: "I don't think it will be different from the other weeks."


The race weekend will begin with practice on Friday (June 6 2014), and qualifying on Saturday (June 7 2014) before the grandstands on the island track across from downtown Montreal fill up for the 45th Canadian GP on Sunday (June 8 2014).

It will be the first experience for Canadian fans of the quieter, more fuel-efficient 1.6 turbo power units introduced in 2014, which has dropped the formerly dominant Red Bull team down the grid and raised Mercedes to near invincibility.

In the opening six events, Rosberg has had two wins and finished second four times to lead the Drivers' standings by four points from Hamilton, who has four wins and one second. They have nearly double the points of third place Fernando Alonso of Ferrari. Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel is sixth.

Some feel the peculiar Gilles-Villeneuve track, which features long straights leading into sharp turns, a hairpin and some tricky chicanes, might close the power gap on Mercedes. However, Hamilton said: "I'll be guessing, but I don't feel that will be the case. We're particularly strong in the straights. Maybe we'll be surprised this weekend but the long straights do suit us very well. We have a very good power unit."

Mercedes, supremacy is drawing comparisons to 1988 when the McLaren Honda team of Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost won 15 of the 16 races on the schedule, with Senna taking eight and Prost seven.


Rosberg said: "I'm honoured to hear those comparisons because that was an extremely high-level battle but I leave it at that. I don't really compare myself to that era. I want to do my own thing."

It seems the only thing that can stop Mercedes may be infighting between Hamilton and Rosberg, but even the tension that has been building between them looks to have abated since a blow-up the Monaco GP, when Hamilton felt Rosberg cheated him of a chance to claim pole position.

Hamilton tweeted recently: "We spoke and we're cool, still friends no problem."

Vettel has had bad luck in Canada but broke through in 2013 when he cruised to win from pole, 14 seconds ahead of Alonso.

Vettel said: "It will be difficult to match the Mercedes-powered cars down the straights. We know the corners are very tricky and demanding here and can make up a lot of time. We'll do our best down the straights and try to do better than everyone else on the corners."


The McLaren, Force India and Williams teams also use Mercedes power but none has put the package of engine and car quite like Mercedes.

McLaren's Jenson Button, the 2011 Canadian GP winner who has found himself battling just to get into the points by finishing in the top 10 this season, said: "In terms of the development of the car, it is working and we're going in the right direction.

"It's tough when you've been fighting for wins and the team is used to fighting for wins, it's difficult when you find yourself in this situation."

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 Canadian F1 GP weekend.

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