The Canadian Grand Prix is an annual auto race held in Canada. The race has a total race distance of 305.27 km or 70 laps around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. It was first held in 1961 at Mosport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario. Six years later, the race became part of the Formula One World Championships. After safety concern issues, the race moved to its current venue at the Circuit de Villeneuve.
Circuit Gilles Villeneuve
The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is a race track located at Parc Jean-Drapeau in Montreal, Quebec in Canada. It was opened in 1978 when the Canadian Grand Prix moved in. The 4.361 km track was named after Canadian Formula One driver Gilles Villeneuve, the father of former world champion Jacques, following the death of the older Villeneuve earlier that year.
There are barriers that run near the circuit and these have caused many drivers to crash into them. The most famous of these barriers is the wall with the writing Bienvenue au Québec (“Welcome to Quebec”) on the outside of the exit of the final chicane before the start/finish line. That wall is popularly known as the “Champions Wall” because it’s where the race has ended for former world champions Damon Hill, Michael Schumacher, and Jacques Villeneuve. In recent races, 2009 champion Jenson Button ( in 2005) and four-time champion Sebastian Vettel ( in 2011, during free practice) have fallen prey to the Wall of Champions.
Vetter set the fastest ever lap around the circuit at 1:10.764 during the qualifying for the 2018 Canadian Grand Prix. Vettel’s lap broke the former record of 1:11.459 set by Lewis Hamilton the year before to earn his record-tying 65th pole position in the 2017 Canadian Grand Prix.
This year’s Canadian Grand Prix is sponsored by the world’s fifth largest tire manufacturer Pirelli, the first time it has done so. Here is the list of companies who have sponsored the Canadian Grand Prix through the years:
- 1961–1966: Pepsi Cola Canadian Grand Prix
- 1967–1971: Player’s Canadian Grand Prix
- 1972–1977: Labatt’s Canadian Grand Prix
- 1980–1986: Grand Prix Labatt du Canada
- 1988–1996: Grand Prix Molson du Canada
- 1997–1998: Grand Prix Player’s du Canada
- 1999–2003: Grand Prix Air Canada
- 2018: Grand Prix Heineken du Canada
- 2019: Pirelli Grand Prix du Canada
Canadian Grand Prix Winners
German Formula One legend Michael Schumacher is the winningest driver in the Canadian Grand Prix. Schumacher won a total of seven times in Canada, including six wins during an 8-year period from 1997-2004. Current betting favorite to win the 2019 Drivers Championship and reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton is next with six victories at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Hamilton’s wins have come between 2007-2017 and he has three wins in the last four years.
Brazilian Nelson Piquet has three victories in 1982, 1984 and 1991 while Pedro Rodriguez, Jacky Ickx, Jackie Stewart, Alan Jones, Ayrton Senna, and Sebastian Vettel have two wins each at the Canadian Grand Prix.
Last year, Vettel won the race for the second time in his career. The German Ferrari ace set the lap record during his pole-winning run. During the actual race, he finished ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen who ran the fastest lap during the race proper. This year, Vettel is back to defend his crown but the odds are stacked against him.
2019 has been the year of the Mercedes as the Silver Arrows drivers have finished 1-2 in all the races so far this year. Lewis Hamilton has won four out of the first six races of the season while finishing second in the other two. Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas has won the two other races while finishing next to Hamilton in the other four.
So far, this is how the Drivers standings look like after the Monaco Grand Prix which stands as the last completed race of the season:
|1||Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)||137 points|
|2||Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)||120|
|3||Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)||82|
|4||Max Verstappen (Red Bull)||78|
|5||Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)||57|
|6||Pierre Gasly (Red Bull)||32|
|7||Carlos Sainz Jnr (McLaren)||18|
|8||Kevin Magnussen (Haas)||14|
|9||Sergio Perez (Racing Point)||13|
|10||Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo)||13|
|11||Lando Norris (McLaren)||12|
|12||Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso)||9|
|13||Daniel Ricciardo (Renault)||8|
|14||Alexander Albon (Toro Rosso)||7|
|15||Nico Hulkenberg (Renault)||6|
|16||Lance Stroll (Racing Point)||4|
|17||Romain Grosjean (Haas)||2|
|18||Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo)||0|
|19||George Russell (Williams)||0|
|20||Robert Kubica (Williams)||0|
Who Are The Favorites?
Here is the list of favorites to win the 2019 Canadian Grand Prix. Odds were taken from Bet365 as of May 29, 2019:
No question about the current F1 betting favorites on the odds board. Hamilton and Bottas have finished 1-2 in the first six races of the year and Hamilton has more wins at 4 against 2 so he’s justified as the odds on favorite here. Also, Hamilton has won this race six times already so that’s some heavy resume for the Briton.
Vettel is third because he is the defending race champion and own the fastest lap in the circuit. He is also third in the standings but while you want the Ferrari ace to finally get the first non-Mercedes win of the season, the Silver Arrows have been so dominant this year that it’s hard not to go either Hamilton or Bottas.
Much was expected of Leclerc heading to the season but not only has Ferrari’s car failed to deliver, but their strategy of putting Vettel’s interests ahead of Leclerc has also backfired several times already. Credit Leclerc for being a good soldier though. I think he’s the best non-Mercedes bet here though because he’s young, aggressive and hungry. Let’s just hope Ferrari won’t tell him to let Vettel pass this time if that situation arrives.
This has been a Mercedes year and Hamilton has won four out of the first six races of the season. He’s also the winningest driver among the current group with six wins here. Sure, Vettel won last year but remember Hamilton won three straight years before Vettel’s 2018 victory. I think he’s just having a fantastic season and Mercedes is off to a sensational start. I’m going with Hamilton again. Prediction: Lewis Hamilton