Hamilton to continue Montreal love affair

Lewis Hamilton has been the dominant force in Formula 1 since the start of the V6 hybrid era and nowhere has that been more evident than at the Canadian Grand Prix.

This weekend he could match Michael Schumacher’s record tally of seven victories, and few would, or should, bet against him achieving his goal.

Given he has won the last three races in Montreal, claiming pole position on each occasion, it is no surprise to see the reigning world champion open the betting as the 2.25 favourite.

The 33-year-old has always shown an affinity for the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, securing his maiden win in F1 during his debut season in 2007.

The layout of this power-friendly track suits Hamilton’s driving style with late braking required if you want to be in contention. He feels he is so successful in Canada because it reminds him of his happy childhood karting days, and in terms of sweeping all before him as he did as a youngster, not a lot has changed.

Hamilton has never finished off the podium in Montreal, so is unsurprisingly 1.21 to be in the top three come Sunday.

As well as backing him for the win, the four-time world champion looks good value at 2.35 to start on pole, having previously started from the front of the grid on six occasions.

Hamilton’s team mate Valtterri Bottas has also shown a liking for the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, finishing on the podium the last three years, and he is evens to land another top-three finish.

Away from Mercedes, Ferrari will hope to have better luck in Canada than previous years having struggled in 2017, while their last victory on the artificial island came way back in 2004.

Given the nature of the Montreal track, the Scuderia will expect to be quick and Sebastian Vettel may not be too far behind his title rival Hamilton.

However, it still looks like a case of damage limitation for the German, who is 14 points behind Hamilton in the Drivers’ Standings heading into the seventh race of the season.

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo entered the title picture with his victory in Monaco last time out, but a third win of the season already looks beyond him given he is set to be handed multiple engine-related grid penalties.

That leaves Red Bull pinning their hopes on the unreliable Max Verstappen, who kept up his unwanted record of being involved in an incident at every race weekend so far this season, when crashing in qualifying in Monte Carlo.

Red Bull are also planning an engine upgrade for this weekend but have played down its significance, meaning they are ones to avoid.

As for who will be ‘best of the rest’, then Haas’ Kevin Magnussen is worth considering at 3.00 to finish in the top six. The Dane’s American challenger has performed at its best on the more power-friendly tracks and he already has two top-six finishes to his name this season.