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6 things you need to know: Canadian GP

  1. Race Number Three in Europe arrives at... Montreal

    A quirk of the continental calendar sees F1’s ‘European leg’ make a brief pit-stop over the Atlantic, as Lewis Hamilton looks to bounce back from the team error that cost him victory in Monaco a fortnight ago.

    Canada could hardly be a better venue for the world champion to regain momentum in the title fight: Lewis has taken the chequered flag in Montreal on three occasions, and is the only driver on the current grid to record multiple wins.

    The circuit has form as well, having hosted what many regard as the greatest F1 race of the century in 2011, when Jenson Button claimed victory from the back of the field in treacherous conditions.

    That grand prix broke all manner of records, with six safety cars deployed over nearly five hours of racing. A race even fractionally as entertaining this weekend would be very welcome after the mediocre stuff we’ve witnessed recently.

  2. Have a brake

    After the tight streets of Monte Carlo tested downforce, the drivers will find the biggest challenge in Canada to be managing the temperature in the brakes.

    It was a problem that scuppered Mercedes last year after both drivers had suffered catastrophic hybrid power loss, allowing Daniel Ricciardo to win his first ever race in Formula One.

    It’ll be a worry for Red Bull, Lotus and McLaren in particular, as they’ve all had problems with their brakes in recent months, although Williams should be better off after struggling for aerodynamic grip in Monaco.

    And as for the prospects of some duelling for the race lead, the stats reveal that just 42.9% of Canada GP winners have started from pole. So we might actually see some overtaking at the front this time.

  3. Kimi has homework to do

    Raikkonen has been told by Ferrari that he’ll have to prove himself worthy of a contract extension for next year, with Finn’s recent performances raising questions over his commitment to qualifying.

    Kimi told the team he was getting “absolutely nothing” out of FP2 in Spain before qualifying a second behind Sebastian Vettel, and had to settle for sixth in Monaco as his teammate got on the podium.

    Team principal Maurizio Arrivabene has given his backing to Raikkonen, though, saying: “If he improves in qualifying then he will have no problems in a race because Kimi in a race is super.

    “If I have to give him some homework then he has to write 100 times ‘I have to be better in qualifying’.”

    Hard lines.

  4. Rosberg has dismissed Bernie's burn

    Two weeks on from Nico’s uncomfortable Q&A with Bernie Ecclestone, the German driver has brushed off the supremo’s suggestion that Lewis Hamilton is “the best champion” for the sport.

    Rosberg responded perfectly to the pre-race Monaco interview by claiming top spot on the podium, albeit in a fortuitous manner.

    Nico remains relaxed about the situation, saying: “I understand his opinion, everybody does, it is pretty obvious. It’s a straightforward thing.

    “He wants some movement out there, and Lewis does a lot of that in his own way.”

    Hamilton meanwhile has been doing things “his own way” in a record studio this week. ‘Hammer Time’ remix?

  5. There could be new teams in 2016

    Bored of watching F1 on the telly? Want to get involved in the action? Got tens of millions of pounds going spare?

    If the answer to all of the above is ‘yes’, then Good News! With Gene Haas’s (pictured) F1 entry confirmed for 2016, the FIA is on the lookout for a 12th team to join next season’s grid.

    Bosses have said they will judge candidates on technical ability, resources, funding and competitiveness, although they are under no obligation to offer anyone a place in the sport if the required standard is not met.

    All you need to compete are two drivers, two cars, licenses, insurance, racing experience, a library of spare parts, a team of mechanics, a pit crew, a development factory, and international freight transportation.

    You’d better get a move on though: the first deadline for applications is on June 30th.

  6. Toro Rosso have a comic strip

    Okay, so this has actually been running since March, but we hadn’t noticed until now.

    Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen have picked up where McLaren left off in the F1 cartoon market, with an online comic strip to accompany each race weekend.

    Their latest 2D outing sees the young drivers paddling their cars across a swimming pool, presumably in case aquaplaning becomes an issue and Race Control forget to pack their red flags.

    We look forward to (Ron) Dennis the Menace making a guest appearance in the future.

  7. Bonus seventh thing

    As well as hosting one of the best grands prix on the calendar, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is also home to the motoring world’s second most famous wall (behind our Cool Wall, obviously): the Wall of Champions.

    Four current F1 drivers have collided with Turn 13’s race-breaker at some point in their careers: Jenson Button, Nico Rosberg, Sebastian Vettel and - surprise, surprise - Pastor Maldonado.

    The Venezuelan will be hoping for better fortune having retired from five races out of six this season, though you’d be brave to bet on him having a clean race based on recent results…

    Download the hi-res version of Maldonado Bingo here

    Joking aside, Maldonado has probably earned a points finish after the luck he’s had lately. In the words of Eddie Jordan, he is after all: “a real sweetheart behind all that front he portrays.”

    Come on Pastor!

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