Can Hamilton eclipse Schumacher?
It’s crazy to think that Hamilton hasn’t won a F1 grand prix in over 18 months, stretching back to the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
If he is to end his long – by his lofty standards – win drought in F1 2023, doing it at Canada wouldn’t be too surprising given his incredible record in Montreal.
Hamilton has seven victories at the Circuit Gilles Villenueve, making it his third most successful venue on the F1 calendar – he only has more wins at Silverstone and the Hungaroring, which coincidentally, take place in the upcoming month or so.
It’s a good run of tracks for Hamilton coming up, Austria aside, so it could be the perfect chance for him to return to the top step of the podium.
If he was to do it in Canada this weekend, he’d overtake Schumacher (who also has seven wins) as the most successful driver in Montreal.
Mercedes left the last in Spain as the second-fastest team, overtaking Aston Martin and Ferrari.
It remains to be seen whether Mercedes’ improvement of form is genuine or it was track dependent.
Will Checo stop the rut?
It’s been a tough run of races for Sergio Perez and his title ambitions.
Perez has failed to make Q3 in the last two races after crashing in Monaco, while he lacked space in Barcelona.
After being just six points behind Max Verstappen, he now trails his world champion teammate by 53 points.
While no one ever expected Perez to remain in title contention for the entire season, this level of meltdown is unprecedented.
Perez has a car in the RB19 that should be comfortably finishing second every week, even during an off weekend.
As team principal Christian Horner put it, Perez needs to go back to focusing on each weekend rather than an unrealistic title challenge.
Return to form for Aston Martin and Ferrari?
Aston Martin endured their worst weekend of the year last time out in Barcelona.
The high-speed nature of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya didn’t seem to suit them, while Fernando Alonso had a rare off weekend.
Given Canada is full of low-speed traction zones, and it punishes rear tyres, Aston Martin should be back on form.
They are also expected to introduce their first major upgrade of the season.
Ferrari also struggled in Spain, with race pace their achilles’ heel again.
It’s difficult to know how competitive Ferrari will be given how much their pace yo-yos.
Charles Leclerc will be hoping to be back on the pace after Ferrari were unable to identify why he struggled so much in Spain.
For the third race running, rain is threatening this weekend’s action.
Currently, there’s a 58 per cent chance of rain to hit for FP2 on Friday afternoon.
On Saturday, there’s a consistent 40-50 per cent chance of rain for final practice on qualifying.
Race day looks more likely to be dry – as it stands – with the forecast predicting 20 per cent.