Canadian Grand Prix: Could upg

Picture: Screenshot/Twitter

Canadian Grand Prix: Could upgrade delay thwart Hamilton?

History beckons.

Canadian Grand Prix: Could upg

Picture: Screenshot/Twitter

Formula 1 championship leader Lewis Hamilton will be going into this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix with a shot at matching Michael Schumacher’s record of becoming only the second driver to claim more than six wins at a single event.

Schumacher’s outright record currently stands at seven wins in Canada and eight in France.

However, Mercedes driver Hamilton – whose maiden victory came at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, in Montreal, in 2007 – might not have it all his way, as his team has been forced to postpone their planned engine upgrade, which will now be introduced on 24 June, at the French Grand Prix.

This also means that Mercedes’ customer teams – Force India and Williams – have also been affected by the one-race delay and will be running the current PU1 (first power unit) in Canada.

Mercedes revealed this week that the hold-up is the result of a last-minute quality issue that was identified by the team.

Renault and Honda are due to bring upgrades to their power units for this weekend’s race and unconfirmed reports have been doing the rounds that Ferrari will also be running an upgraded engine in Canada.

It remains to be seen how much the pushback affects Mercedes at the Canada circuit, which offers long, fast straights and some tight corners that require heaps of power and braking.

The 4.361km track also sports the “Wall of Champions”, as its turn 14 is known, after several world champions hit the wall on the exit of this corner in the past, ending their races instantly.

Michael Schumacher, Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve all crashed out at the exit of the tight, fast left-hand corner coming out of the last chicane during the 1999 race, and Jenson Button followed suit in 2005. Sebastian Vettel planted his Red Bull into the wall in 2011 during free practice.

Hamilton has won the race for the past three years running and his Mercedes team-mate, Valtteri Bottas, has finished in the top three in all three races.

After six races, Hamilton goes into this race with 110 points, ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel with 96 points and Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo with 72 points. The top three championship leaders are all sitting on two wins apiece this season, so expect a fast and furious battle for the honours in Canada.

In contrast to the low-speed and somewhat processional race in Monaco last time out, Montreal promises flat-out racing and will be – according to tyre supplier Pirelli – the real testing ground for the hypersoft rubber compound that debuted around the streets of Monte Carlo.

Completed in 1978 and originally named the Île Notre-Dame Circuit, the racetrack is located on a man-made island in the St Lawrence river, in Montreal. It was renamed in 1982 after Canadian great Gilles Villeneuve, who lost his life during qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix, earlier that year.