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Hamilton ready to hit back in Canada

2014-06-05 08:57


'MONTREAL IS MINE': Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton is set to take back the lead in Montreal this weekend at the 2014 Canadian GP on Sunday. Image: AFP/Alexander Klein

MONTREAL, Canada - Nico Rosberg seized the 2014 Formula 1 championship lead from Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton in Monaco but he may have to hand it straight back in Montreal this weekend (June 8 2014).

With their rivalry sure to be as fierce as ever, despite each playing down talk of feuding in recent days, Hamilton can be expected to hit back hard on one of his favourite circuits, named for Gilles Villeneuve.

The 2008 F1 champion has won three times here, that of 2007 the first GP victory of his career.


Until 2013, when he started on the front row and ended up third behind Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, the 29-year-old Briton could boast of winning every Canadian GP he finished.

Hamilton said after Rosberg ended his run of four wins in a row with victory in Monaco on May 25: "Canada is a very good circuit for me. We were both quite quick there in 2013 but with this car it should be better.

"It's a late-braking circuit and I'm better on the brakes. It should be a good one for us and this one is really important. It's where I won my first GP so I want to make sure I keep doing that."

Even if Rosberg also rates Montreal as a favourite venue the German has not finished higher than fifth here. That must surely change this time, with Mercedes chasing a sixth 1-2 in a row and seventh consecutive pole and victory, but Hamilton will have the bit between his teeth after falling four points behind his rival.

Former McLaren team mate Jenson Button recalled: "With Lewis, when we had a tussle in a race or there was an issue between us... the next race he would destroy me. He would be stronger than ever.


"He's very good at turning it around and coming back because he is a superb driver. He is very fast and he can wrestle a car around a circuit. He won't have any issues going into the next race with Nico."

Champion team Red Bull is unlikely to repeat its 2013 win even if engine partner Renault says Vettel will finally have full power after a difficult start to the season. Remi Taffin, Renault F1's head of track operations, explained:

"In the last four races we've introduced several upgrades and will complete the process in Montreal, giving us the first full opportunity to see where we are versus the competition."

Taffin added that Renault had fixed the power-unit problem that forced Vettel to retire in Monaco, as well as the exhaust issues that hit both Toro Rosso drivers.

Canada, with long straights, top speed in excess of 330km/h and drivers brushing the infamous 'Wall of Champions', will be the toughest challenge so far for the new V6 'power units' and energy ecovery systems but should favour Mercedes.


Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said of the challenge of Montreal after Monaco: "You go from one extreme to the other. The next event will be straight-line performance so it's going to be very interesting to see how we fare against Mercedes-powered teams."

Ferrari hopes to be more competitive with Alonso - winner in Canada in 2006 with Renault - spending time at the factory in Maranello since Monaco. He told the Ferrari website: "We've been improving the car on the aero side while in the simulator we have done a lot of work on the set-up.

"We can't make any predictions because our improvement has to be seen in relation to what our competitors come up with. We need to match them and then find a plus."

McLaren, which has gone well in Montreal in the past, is also hoping to step up after ending a three-race run without points. Racing director Eric Boullier said: "It should suit our car and we should be in better shape than we were in Monaco."

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 Canadian F1 GP weekend.
Read more on:    red bull  |  mercedes  |  mclaren  |  formula 1  |  hamilton  |  alonso  |  button  |  montreal

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