From history, Canada a perfect place for Hamilton re-assume the Mercedes throne

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The Mercedes AMG boys can say they’ve made peace after their rivalry escalated in Monaco – for now, anyway – but the intensity undoubtedly still burns between both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg to stay ahead of the other one as we head into the first of two North American Grands Prix this season.

For Hamilton, the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal couldn’t be a better place to come to after Monaco as he seeks to re-assume the throne from Rosberg, who recaptured the lead in the 2014 World Championship with his Monaco victory.

Hamilton took his first career victory at Montreal in the at-times chaotic 2007 Canadian Grand Prix, and added two further ones for McLaren in 2010 and 2012. He finished third here last year for Mercedes.

Rosberg’s record at Canada, by contrast, has not achieved anywhere near the same heights.

He failed to score in Canada in his three starts here for Williams and has come fifth once (2013) and sixth twice (2010 and 2012) since joining the Mercedes factory squad.

So a podium for the German here, and you’d have to expect it’s coming given the Mercedes’ outright pace advantage this year, would be his first at this circuit.

“Montreal is one of my favorite venues,” Rosberg said in the team’s advance release. “It’s a beautiful but also crazy city where there is always a lot happening: particularly in the evenings… it’s a great place to celebrate a good result, shall we say! That’s what I’ll be aiming for again this weekend.”

We’ll see if his results match his expectations. A podium would be nice, but he’ll have to go through his teammate – per usual – if he wants to stay atop the heap at the end of the weekend.

Toro Rosso at crossroads after Kvyat’s point, Hartley’s strong debut

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In a weekend with something to prove at Circuit of The Americas, Daniil Kvyat rose to the occasion with what he called “his best race of the season for sure” at the United States Grand Prix.

But it may not be enough for the Russian to have saved his seat at Scuderia Toro Rosso for the three final races this year.

Meanwhile, New Zealander Brendon Hartley capped off his roller-coaster debut weekend in Formula 1 with a solid 13th place finish after starting from the rear of the grid, learning as the race went on and bringing home his Toro Rosso chassis to the flag.

Toro Rosso faces a dilemma of three drivers available but only two seats to fill for the final three Grands Prix, with the Mexican Grand Prix coming up just next week.

Frenchman Pierre Gasly will be back after missing Austin due to his Super Formula commitments at Suzuka in Japan, but ultimately that went for naught as the races were canceled due to a typhoon.

Kvyat qualified 12th, was promoted to 11th by way of grid penalties and ended 10th, scoring a point for only the third race this year and first time since coming ninth in the Spanish Grand Prix back in May.

It was a weekend where he would have been expected to outdo Hartley, and did so, but not by a massive margin. And he was already coming in with a track time disadvantage, losing out in FP1 as Indonesian Formula 2 driver Sean Gelael ran in his chassis.

As it was, he rated his weekend performance highly and didn’t do his chances of staying in the car any harm.

Speaking to NBCSN after the race, Kvyat said, “Yeah, it was a perfect race. I did everything well. Brought the points home. It was close with (Felipe) Massa.

“We had some energy release issues on the engine. But it was a massive weekend. It was great. I really enjoyed myself. It was a good job by the team to keep it together with very limited running.

Hartley built up confidence throughout the weekend as he learned the car, the Pirelli tires and how an F1 race races versus an endurance race that he’d been used to doing for several years.

Having coming into the weekend with no expectations and just taking the race session-by-session, he felt good at the end of it.

“There’s so many little things to reflect on,” he told NBCSN. “I’ll put the eyes at rest and process it all. I did the standing start and it wasn’t the best… it’s been a long time.

“But yeah, (you’re learning) in terms of following in traffic, what 20 laps on these tires means, how much you can push it. I’m pretty satisfied. The pace was pretty strong. I made the mistake of getting passed by (Lance) Stroll. I couldn’t pass him back. Lots of challenges. I hope I can get another shot at it.

“Up until this moment… I didn’t want to know. I just wanted to do the job. I’m really relaxed. Now there might be some conversations.”

Toro Rosso figures to reveal its Mexican Grand Prix driver lineup early this week.