All eyes will be on the Mercedes team this weekend as Formula 1 gathers in Montreal for the Canadian Grand Prix. Not just because the British-based squad is starting to run away with this year’s championship. But rather, talk will centre around whether or not the simmering tensions that developed between drivers Nico Rosberg at Lewis Hamilton at the last race in Monaco will boil over.
Rosberg had already secured pole position at Monaco when he made a mistake and had to take to the escape road. The resultant yellow flag forced Hamilton to abandon his challenge, leaving him second on the grid. Questions were asked, but Rosberg was judged to have made a genuine mistake.
In the race Rosberg lead away from pole, taking the win and the championship lead. Hamilton never really looked like he could snatch the lead, though his prospects were not helped when something got stuck in his eye towards the end of the race and he found himself battling a concerted challenge from third-placed Daniel Ricciardo.
With questions about the legitimacy of Rosberg’s off still swirling, Hamilton was left wondering what might have been while the media speculated about the damage to the pair’s previously very good relationship.
Whatever happens in the Mercedes garage, it would be tough to bet against Hamilton winning at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Sunday. The Brit has won the race three times, including his first ever win in F1.
Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel, McLaren ace Jenson Button and Ferrari pairing Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen have a win a piece in Canada, but they will need a significant boost in the lacklustre performance of their cars to repeat their victories.
Vettel could spring a surprise however, if he can unlock the potential of the Red Bull in the way that has allowed Ricciardo a strong run of form in recent races. But beyond the likely race-winning pace of the Merc’s, nothing can really be certain at this point in the season.
The Canadian Grand Prix always serves up good racing, so there should be some entertaining shenanigans on-track as well as off.