On June 10th, 2018 Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Canada will host the 55th edition of the Canadian Grand Prix. The Canadian Grand Prix has been a part of the Formula 1 calendar since 1967 when the first Formula 1 race was held there.
Over the years, the Canadian Grand Prix has gathered the reputation of being a “Drivers’ Race”, a place where driving skills and tenacity shine. Circuit Gilles Villeneuve has seen some spectacular races recently and is constantly one of the most watched sporting events in the world.
The Canadian Grand Prix History and Past Winners
The Canadian Grand Prix has been a part of Formula 1 calendar since 1967. The race originally alternated between the two venues Mosport Park and Circuit Mont-Tremblant. The first Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix in 1967 was won by Jack Brabham.
Due to the safety concerns the race was moved in 1978 from Mosport Park and Circuit Mont-Tremblant to a newly-constructed track Circuit Ile Notre Dame, on a man-made island in the middle of St. Lawrence Seaway. The native driver Gilles Villeneuve won the inaugural race in Montreal. The Canadian Grand Prix has been held there since.
The death of Gilles Villeneuve in 1982 during the qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix, saw the track renamed Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, the name that the track still holds today.
Michael Schumacher holds the record with 7 Canadian Grand Prix victories. He won the race in 1994, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2004. Lewis Hamilton has a unique chance to match Schumacher’s record if he wins this year’s edition of the Canadian Grand Prix. He has won the race on 6 previous occasions in 2007, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
When it comes to constructors, Ferrari and McLaren hold the record with 13 victories each. Both teams have struggled to win there lately though. Ferrari saw their last victory in Montreal in 2004 when Michael Schumacher passed the checkered flag first. McLaren has fared better with their last title in 2012 when Lewis Hamilton won.
The Season So Far
2018 Canadian Grand Prix is the 7th race on the Formula 1 calendar. The season has been unpredictable so far with 3 different drivers and 3 different teams claiming wins in the first 6 races of the season.
Ferrari opened the season strong with Sebastian Vettel victories in Melbourne and Bahrain. Red Bull announced strong 2018 form with a crazy victory in the Chinese Grand Prix, courtesy of Daniel Ricciardo. Mercedes soared back into contention with a lucky Lewis Hamilton win in Baku and a dominant showing in the 2018 Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona.
Legendary Monaco Grand Prix was held two weeks ago in Monte Carlo, where Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo delivered a fantastic driving performance with a broken MGU-K, stealing the victory in front of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
Current Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton currently leads the Driver Standings with 110 points due to his strong showings and damage control in races where Mercedes struggled. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel is second with 94 points, while Daniel Ricciardo is third with 72 points.
In the Constructor Standings, Mercedes is on top with 178 points due to their amazing consistency. Ferrari is 22 points behind with 156 points, while Red Bull is third with 107 points. It is important to note that Williams has had a terrible season so far with only 4 points in the first 6 races, making them dead last in Constructor Standings.
- Daniel Ricciardo scored his maiden Formula 1 victory in 2014 Canadian Grand Prix.
- With a victory in 2018 Canadian Grand Prix Lewis Hamilton will tie Michael Schumacher for record 7 wins in Montreal.
- Sebastian Vettel currently has 49 Formula 1 Grand Prix victories. With a win in Montreal, he will be celebrating a 50-win milestone in Formula 1, a feat previously achieved by only 3 drivers (Schumacher, Hamilton and Prost)
- It has been exactly 100 Formula 1 races since Kimi Raikkonen last won a Formula 1 Grand Prix. If he wins in Montreal, Kimi will break Riccardo Patrese’s record gap of 99 races between two victories.
- 2018 Canadian Grand Prix will be the 300th start for Fernando Alonso, who made a Formula 1 debut in 2001, at the Australian Grand Prix.
- Mercedes has dominated the Canadian Grand Prix in recent history with victories in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
2018 Canadian Grand Prix Pole Position Markets
The Canadian Grand Prix is a race which is notoriously heavy on the brakes and engines, so it is expected that the battle for the pole position will be decided between Mercedes and Ferrari drivers. Red Bull is expected to struggle a bit in qualifying pace, due to the power deficiency that their Renault power unit delivers.
Lewis Hamilton is the favorite for the pole position at 5 to 4 odds. Mercedes driver has won the last 3 editions of the Canadian Grand Prix and has 6 victories at the track in his career. The track in Montreal has seen some amazing Lewis Hamilton performances in the past.
Sebastian Vettel is the second favorite at 6 to 4 odds to win the pole position in Montreal. Ferrari has struggled at the track since 2004, the last year when Michael Schumacher won the race. Sebastian Vettel has won the pole position 3 times in Montreal in 2011, 2012 and 2013, but at that time he was in a dominant Red Bull car.
Valtteri Bottas is the third favorite for the pole position at 13 to 2 odds. The Finn has never won a pole in Montreal but he has been consistent with three straight top 3 starts in Montreal. Closely behind is Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen with 9 to 1 odds for pole position.
Red Bull duo of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen is tied at 10 to 1 odds for the pole position. Renault power unit in the Red Bull cars is expected to struggle on the long straights in Montreal.
Traditionally, the Canadian Grand Prix is not the race where a pole position guarantees a race victory. The track in Montreal offers plenty overtaking opportunities and chances for drivers to make it through the field. Only 7 out of the last 16 Canadian Grand Prix races were won by pole sitters.
2018 Canadian Grand Prix Winner Markets
As Expected, Lewis Hamilton is the main favorite to win the 2018 Canadian Grand Prix at 5 to 4 odds. He has already won the race 6 times before, including the last 3 editions of the Canadian Grand Prix in 2015, 2016 and 2017. The track in Montreal is the place where Hamilton shines and some of his best drives were there.
The second favorite for the win is Sebastian Vettel at 7 to 4 odds. Since winning the first two races of the 2018 Formula 1 season, Vettel has been trying to top the podium again. Ferrari driver has 1 Canadian Grand Prix victory in 2013, while he was still driving a Red Bull car.
Rounding out the Top 3 favorites is Valtteri Bottas at 5 to 1 odds. Mercedes driver is yet to win a Canadian Grand Prix and now he finally has the car that is capable of doing it.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen are both offered at 8 to 1 odds to win the race. It has been 100 Grand Prix races since Raikkonen has won the race, so he will be eager to break that streak. Max Verstappen, on the other hand, will be the sole hope of Red Bull since Daniel Ricciardo is about to face a grid penalty on race day, due to untimely MGU-K replacement.
It is hard to argue against picking Lewis Hamilton in Canada. He has been stellar in Montreal in the past and he is chasing Schumacher’s record this weekend. It has been a mixed start to the season for the Mercedes squad and the Championship is tightly contested among 3 teams and their drivers. Hamilton and Mercedes are geared up to take the win in 2018 Canada Grand Prix and increase their lead in Formula 1 Championship standings.
My Podium Picks – Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen
I already explained why I am picking Hamilton to win in Montreal. If you like sure bets, then picking Hamilton to be on the podium (regardless of the place) is as close as it gets at 1 to 5 odds.
I think that Sebastian Vettel is one of the best in the business when it comes to secure podiums and doing damage control. Ferrari has a chance to spring a surprise in Montreal, but even if that is not the case, Vettel will find a way to limit the loss of points to Hamilton. Odds on Vettel finishing the race on the podium are at 1 to 4.
Max Verstappen is the most aggressive driver on the grid in Formula 1. The young prodigy has already wreaked havoc with his numerous crashes and racing incidents. At the same time, he has put together some amazing races where his talent shined. Canadian Grand Prix is a race which rewards drivers that take risks and aggression often pays off. Don’t be surprised if Verstappen ends up on the podium. The odds for that are 5 to 4.