Lewis Hamilton can make history this weekend as he fights for his seventh Canadian GP victory, and the honour of being only the second driver to claim more than six wins at a single event.
Michael Schumacher did it in Canada with seven victories and even went one better in France. This weekend Hamilton stands a chance – and a good one at that – of writing his name up there with the legend’s – the only difference is he would do it with a fourth Canadian win on the trot.
Montreal has been kind to the British driver, who claimed his maiden F1 win at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve back in 2007. His tally includes six pole positions, six wins and he has never finished off the podium when he has seen the chequered flag.
As such it is difficult to see anybody, even Valtteri Bottas in the same machinery, beating Hamilton. Last year he dominated the grand prix, starting from pole and leading every lap on his way to the win, while behind him there was plenty of drama.
Romain Grosjean squeezed Carlos Sainz and Felipe Massa paid the price, Sebastian Vettel dropped out of contention when he broke his front wing but used a two-stopper to race his way back up the field to fourth, Max Verstappen made a flying start that came to naught when he retired later in the race, Fernando Alonso retired on the penultimate lap preventing him from scoring McLaren’s first point of the season.
Red Bull will spend the weekend evaluating the upgrades from engine suppliers Renault and Honda with an eye to perhaps swapping to the latter next season. Ricciardo, meanwhile, will be looking at those updates and also Red Bull’s decision before putting pen to paper on a new deal.
But while the Aussie is dreaming of a third win for this season, confirmed grid penalties for changing elements of his power unit mean most are predicting that the battle will be between Mercedes and Ferrari, or most notably, Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.