Canada’s spectacle last year with the unpredictability of the safety car meant we had a very entertaining race. This year is set to be the same, with the stars from last year set to jump to centre stage once more. They are Lewis Hamilton and Robert Kubica.
Last year, we saw Lewis storm to pole and on to his first victory while fighting Alonso and Robert having the biggest shunt of the year. It is only right that these two guys are set to shine again.
Even with Lewis under pressure from the Ferrari’s he was top of the time sheets for all of qualifying. It was only in the last dying moments in Q3 we saw Robert take pole, only to be beaten by Lewis on a stellar lap. Robert is in the right place to take his and BMW’s first victory but he is going to have to fend off Kimi and Alonso from behind.
But what are we going to expect from the race? First of all, the safety car has always come into play here with people hitting the wall. I think it will play a part in the race again.
Ferrari, Renault and Williams could use this to their advantage. They do not call it the wall of champions because Senna and Mansell have sat on it and watched the world go by.
Secondly, as we saw in qualifying, the track started to break up. I'm not sure if the track is going to last the 70 laps, and it may cause a few accidents. This may play into the driver’s hands outside of the top ten if they hope for a high number of retirements and pick up some points.
Turn one looks to be more interesting than just first corner shunts on the first lap, as we saw people going in too hot and running across the grass (see Alonso’s first lap attempt last year).
This morning, I have read a report that they are trying to resurface the turn 10 hairpin in order to prevent any more problems. But what about the rest of the track?
Thirdly, the chance of rain could make or break a number of strategies, none more so than Ferrari. Their current drivers do not seem to sparkle in the rain and with Massa sixth, he has a lot of work to do.
So everyone in the top ten has a chance of picking up points but who will finish 1, 2, 3?
The Ferrari’s have worked consistently here, but maybe the track does not quite suit Massa as it’s a bit like Monaco—it’s too narrow.
Kimi is strong, but could be heavy on fuel. My feeling is that he has not really chased pole but needs a very strong finish to stay in touch with Lewis. (Could it be something to with all the talk about his future?)
Alonso is probably lighter on fuel, but never rule him out. He is still lacking in performance, but he could pick up some points. Rosberg looks to be punching above his weight again if not consistently more than fifth, but with the right strategy, he could be a podium sitter.
Kovalainen and Heidfeld look to be rear gunners at the moment and lack sparkle. I hope Webber and Barrichello give solid performances, pick up points and maybe, could even, with a bit of luck hassle the top runners.
This year's Canada race looks to be as unpredictable as ever.