2013 Canadian Grand Prix Preview

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Formula One heads to North America for the first time in 2013 to visit the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal for the Canadian Grand Prix. The track is notorious for its car-breaking nature, mixing long straights with hard stops and technical chicanes, and with the walls just inches away, any mistakes will be punished: the Wall of Champions has claimed some illustrious names over the years.

Canadian Grand Prix Talking Points

Will Hamilton’s love/hate relationship with Montreal continue?

Lewis Hamilton does one of two things in Canada: win (as per 2007, 2010 and 2012) or crash out (2008 and 2011). Therefore, one could assume he’ll manage one of the two this weekend. The bigger question here is whether Mercedes have really cured their tire issues. Having won in Monaco, the track which is easiest on tires, they go to Canada, the track which is hardest. This will be the true test of their race pace.

How will the upgrades shake up the running order?

The teams are due to bring a few new upgrades to the Canadian Grand Prix, and this could have another impact on the running order. Ferrari really struggled in Monaco, meaning that they will need to make a step forward if they are to make up the gap to Vettel and Red Bull in both championships. The race will also have added pressure for Sauber and Williams, with the latter yet to score in 2013.

Force India join the 100 club

Force India will join the century club in Canada, with the race marking their 100th start in the sport having debuted at the 2008 Australian Grand Prix. Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta will be keen on making it a special one, having both ran strongly in 2013 to give the team its best ever start to a Formula One season. Congratulations to all at the team!

McLaren’s upward trend could continue?

McLaren may not have made a spectacular start to the season, but they have made some progress in the past two races. Sergio Perez’s effort in Monaco was the highlight of the race, even if it did end in retirement, and the team will be hoping for a similar sort of tenacity this weekend. In Button, they have a former Canadian GP winner, and Perez finished on the podium last year – a strong combination for the race.

Red Bull look to seize control

Vettel may lead the drivers’ championship by over 20 points and Red Bull have a healthy lead in the constructors, meaning that this weekend could be a turning point in both title races. A 1-2 finish could create an irretrievable gap that puts the defending champions in total control, although, as Vettel’s error in 2011 proved, nothing is ever that easy in Canada. A true challenge for the young German, with this race being one of the few he is yet to win.

Track: Circuit Gilles Villeneuve (4.361km)
Laps: 70
Corners: 14
Lap Record: Rubens Barrichello 1:13.622 (2004)
Tire Compounds: Super-Soft (Option); Medium (Prime)
2012 Winner: Lewis Hamilton (McLaren)
2012 Pole Position: Sebastian Vettel 1:13.784
2012 Fastest Lap: Sebastian Vettel 1:15.752
DRS Zones: Back straight (T12 to T13); Start/finish straight (T14 to T1)

Thursday – Free Practice 1: 10:00am ET
Thursday – Free Practice 2: 14:00pm ET
Saturday – Free Practice 3: 10:00am ET
Saturday – Qualifying: 13:00pm ET
Sunday – Race: 14:00pm ET

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry. Time just published a brief piece by Wallace saluting Hamilton as a trailblazer.

The idea of Hamilton attending the NASCAR season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it would seem right for Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — to spend some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).